I take that back, Notre Dame

2009–10 Big East Conference men's basketball s...

…what I said about not being a disappointment. I wasn’t aware that the Irish could be jinxed, but apparently I’ve done it.

The 2-0 loss in Big East quarterfinals, at Alumni Field, is a step away from unacceptable. It’s not like Notre Dame lacks the experience and personnel to win a crucial Big East game at home over this year’s UConn. But! I still believe the Irish are the kind of team that you can light a fire under. Better now than in NCAAs, right?

In other “What the hell?” NCAA news, Ohio State dropped an L against Indiana today, allowing Penn State to tie for first place. Check it:

Penn State’s win coupled with Ohio State’s upset loss at Indiana on Sunday moves the Nittany Lions into a tie for first with OSU. Both teams are tied atop the standings at 7-2-0 with 21 points, while Wisconsin is a point behind at 6-1-2. All three teams have one game left to play.

The ACC standings are also behaving strangely, but that is only worth noting if UNC doesn’t tally a W today.

Much later: Santa Clara, that red card better be epic.

Penn State and the 2010 drought

You know, I had high hopes for Penn State this season. I was expecting PSU and Wisconsin to be in close competition for the Big Ten title, the way Boston College challenged UNC last season in the ACC. Instead, as Big Ten play opens, Penn State is an abysmal 2-6-1 in the non-conference schedule and Wisconsin is 3-3-3. Not that I completely discounted Illinois, which is always good for an upset, but I wasn’t aware that PSU would be so woefully unprepared to replace last year’s seniors.

Here is the Big Ten so far, sorted by overall win percentage:

Illinois, 7-1-0
Minnesota, 8-1-2
Michigan, 5-1-2
Iowa, 7-2-1
Ohio State, 6-2-1
Michigan State, 5-2-1
Northwestern, 5-3-2
Wisconsin, 3-3-3
Purdue, 4-5-2
Indiana, 4-5-1
Penn State, 2-6-1

Using a composite national ranking, College Soccer 360 ranks Illinois 15, Minnesota 18, Ohio State 29, Michigan State 44, Wisconsin 48, and Iowa 49.

After holding out hope through the most recent loss at home to Dartmouth, I’m ready to doubt Penn State’s ability to recover from a 2-6-1. On top of a record like that, PSU recently confirmed the loss of key defender Lexi Marton, who suffered a partial MCL tear in the game against Portland. She is expected to miss three months. Penn State is expected to last another month and a half, two at best (which seems unlikely without Marton).