Sunday, December 8, 2002

Enquirer's Page Two Power rankings



By Mike Ball
Cincinnati Enquirer

Top five

1. The Bengals. We couldn't help but get geared up for this week's game after listening to the radio. Live Dick LeBeau and Jon Kitna press conferences, the daily barrage of Bengals-Panthers promos. Think the Bengals can take Elder?

2. Roone Arledge. The ABC sports executive was, among other things, the brain behind Wide World of Sports. Pity the young kids of today who won't grow up watching cliff-diving, barrel-jumping and demolition derby.

3. Redsfest. Put the cynicism aside. It's still pretty cool for young kids to see pro athletes up close and personal (although some undoubtedly liked the new furry mascot). And good for Junior for stopping by. P.S.: If you heard Marty Brennaman and his son Thom working together on the Hot Stove League this week, you don't have to wonder who the best replacement for the 'Ol Left-hander would be.

4. The BCS. Say what you will, but after 15 weeks of belly-aching, don't we have a national championship matchup with two undefeated teams?

5. NKU. Ken Shields' men's basketball squad finally got the Kentucky Wesleyan monkey off its back. The Norse upset top-ranked Wesleyan Thursday, showing they are once again a Division II national power.

Bottom five

1. The Bengals. Sorry, but losing close games isn't any better than getting your butt kicked. Period.

2. The Reds. They just can't get out of their own way. The "will they/can they trade Junior" fiasco, followed by the "are they/are they not going to have to slash salary by trading Sean Casey" drama completely overshadowed something positive - the re-signing of 15-game winner Jimmy Haynes.

3. Baseball. In the old days, didn't they trade players and not contracts?

4. Alabama. In the old days, wasn't that one of the best football coaching job in the collegiate sports?

5. ESPN. In the old days, didn't they incessantly promote sports, and not made-for-Disney movies?




CROSSTOWN SHOOTOUT
No. 16 Xavier 50, Cincinnati 44
Shootout fans, teams perpetuate the rivalry
DAUGHERTY: West second to none
Kirkland gets his shot; it just doesn't quite fall
Shootout Notebook: Handshake flap revisited
Musketeers wanted to keep cool and did

OTHER COLLEGE BASKETBALL
RedHawks top Broncos in MAC opener
Notre Dame shocks 9th-ranked Terps
Undermanned OSU outlasts Tenn. Tech
UK exposes Heels' youth with second-half attack
Locals: King's eight treys lead No. 25 UC women

BENGALS / NFL
Bengals' great expectations met by long tale of woe
Bengals' changes won't be big
Isolation Booth: Williams Vs. Brown
Keys: Offense could have it rough against Panthers' D
Life as a rookie
Bengals-Panthers: By the numbers
This week's picks
Curnutte's Power Rankings

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Guest list set for Fiesta
No. 1 'Canes hang 56 on Hokies
Leftwich, Marshall tip Toledo
How the bowls shape up
Georgetown wins NAIA semi 35-19
College Football Today

REDS / BASEBALL
Trading Griffey bad all around
Reds Q&A
Clubs offer arbitration to players; others cut
Matchups determine increase in ticket cost

PREP SPORTS
Division I champion Elder in high offseason demand
Announcing prep games almost as fun as playing
Hoops: Boys roundup
Hoops: Girls roundup
Saturday's prep sports results

HOCKEY
Cyclones win 5th straight; Ducks tie Bears; OSU sweeps MU

TRISTATE SPORTS SPOTLITE
Howland comes through in clutch
Enquirer's Page Two Power rankings
Sports today on TV