Polls offer only a fixed amount of insight. Until the big day, they’re merely speculative.
In this case, we are referring to college football’s “big day” — autumn Saturdays — rather than Election Day. The polls are compiled by sportswriters and coaches, ranking the best teams in America, instead of undecided voters assessing Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians.
Still, the bottom line remains the same — the results that matter come on game day (or Election Day), not in the preliminary polls.
The Indiana State Sycamores defied the prognosticators on Saturday, achieving something that few people outside of their own lockerroom expected to happen. ISU traveled to Fargo, N.D., to play the nation’s No. 1-ranked team in the Football Championship Subdivision — the North Dakota State Bison. Since moving in the 1980s into that level of Division I college football, Indiana State had never beaten a top-ranked opponent, or even a top-five-rated foe. Frankly, aside from a handful of standout seasons, significant victories have been rare. Just three years ago, the Sycamores were in the midst of a 33-game losing streak.
Last Saturday, the unranked Sycamores beat No. 1-rated North Dakota State 17-14 in the Bison’s home stadium, the Fargodome, with 18,164 stunned North Dakotans in attendance.
The victory by Coach Trent Miles’ squad stands as a watershed moment for a program whose plug once dangled precariously from its power socket. Miles guided ISU to consecutive 6-5 records in 2010 and 2011, injecting a dose of respectability and pride into Blue and White football. Yet, the distinction achieved in those two seasons largely amounted to becoming competitive and shedding mediocrity.
At Fargo, the Sycamores vaulted to a new plateau — championship contenders. ISU can not only compete with America’s finest; the Sycamores can also defeat those rivals, on any playing field, on any given Saturday, as the cliche goes.
Voters in the national FCS polls reacted cautiously. ISU received the No. 25 spot in this week’s Coaches FCS Top 25, and hit No. 21 in The Sports Network Top 25 (involving media members). More importantly, the Sycamores sport win-loss records of 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, and stand in contention for the postseason playoffs, which lead to — dare we say it — the FCS national championship game.
Until that time comes, pollsters can no longer count the Sycamores out.
Sycamore footballers prove they’re ready for the national stage
Polls offer only a fixed amount of insight. Until the big day, they’re merely speculative.
Editorial: Racing with momentum
The news from the NCAA on Wednesday was very, very good. Terre Haute’s LaVern Gibson Championship Course will host the 2014 and 2016 national cross country championships and the 2017 Great Lakes Regional, one of the feeder regionals for the national championship foot races.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 13, 2013
Let voters speak on marriage ban
High praise for those who help
RONN MOTT: Christmas 2013
Sitting on the front porch in my favorite chair, I began to count the buds and flowers on the Christmas cactus that is on the porch all year. The legend is it will bloom for Christmas and true to the legend this cactus has bloomed consistently around the Christmas season. I counted 40 buds and flowers and I stopped when I reached 40 with more left on the plant. I guess without hesitation that means Christmas is for sure about to arrive.
Bill Walton, Larry Bird visit Eugene V. Debs Museum
There’s an essay-type question that shows up on history exams, college applications, “Saturday Night Live” skits and quite possibly requests for platinum credit cards.
Editorial: Intriguing option for ISU towers
It’s appropriate that Indiana State University’s Recycling Center on North Ninth Street sits in the shadow of two hulking, well-used, 15-story towers that, if things develop as they might, could themselves be recycled rather than imploded.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 12, 2013
Noteworthy in the news: Another landmark for Pat Rady
A few weeks ago, Pat Rady embarked on his 50th year as a head basketball coach. Last weekend, he punctuated his landmark season at Cloverdale High School in Putnam County with the 724th victory of his stellar career, a mark that makes him the second winningest coach — and tops among active coaches — in Indiana basketball. It’s a remarkable achievement, and he appears to be going strong.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 11, 2013
RONN MOTT: Seeds from the same tree
Mahatma Gandhi, who was born in India before the turn of the 20th Century, went to England to study law and decided to settle in South Africa, and he did for 20 years. His work in South Africa was involved in the right of his Indian neighbors to have equal access to civil rights. He also worked for the indigenous people as well. When the people of India became restive during the early days of World War I, Gandhi came home.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 10, 2013
• Proud of diploma from McLean HS
• Sports could use drone’s eye view
• Another great downtown fest
• ISU’s silence is disappointing
MS. TAKES: Important date passes by without much notice
Recently we were asked to share our memories of the Kennedy assassination. Folks were interviewed for television or radio, or were asked to recall exactly what they were doing when they got word that our president had been murdered.
GUEST EDITORIAL: Lack of vaccinations puts children, community at risk
U.S. vaccination programs appear to have become a victim of their own success. Because many parents have never experienced the effects of childhood diseases such as mumps or measles — let alone polio — they don’t always appreciate the health risks the diseases pose and the continuing need for vaccinations.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 9, 2013
Remove politics from education
FLASHPOINT: Dealing with hunger requires less rhetoric, more action
In November, millions of families in Indiana and across the nation saw their Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits cut through a planned phase-out of a temporary increase in funding that originally took place during the 2009 recession.
READER FORUM: Dec. 8, 2013
• Diving in to pool project
• A timely review of food basics
• Name-calling shows sad state of our politics
• Republicans their own worst enemy
• Full attack on common sense
EDITORIAL: Refusing to accept injustice, Mandela made world a better place
Injustice seldom ceases easily. Humans rationalize entrenched systems of persecution. Oppressed people or ideas get painted as a danger to the peaceful social order — the status quo. Cast in that image, inequality appears acceptable, even necessary, to the masses.
GUEST EDITORIAL: Congress now free from the threat of too much work
The headline on the Congress-watching newspaper Politico said it all: “Done.”
RONN MOTT: A friend celebrates his 90th
I went to Charlie Fox’s 90th birthday party Sunday last. He was standing greeting people as they came in the door. I never saw him sit down even one time. He looked more like a man celebrating his 60th rather than his 90th.
Editorial: Bring on the ‘Miracle’
For five miraculous years, Terre Haute’s Christmas festival on a Friday night in early December has grown and prospered.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 6, 2013
RONN MOTT: Cigars
Leaving Baesler’s Market the other day, making my round of errands, I started to re-light my cigar. It was left over from the day before and I did not place it in the humidor. It had gotten too dry, so I threw it into my garbage sack asking myself the question, “Why do I do this?” Well, I do it because I enjoy it.
TRIBUNE-STAR EDITORIAL: Changing attitudes demand GOP action
From all indications, the Republican Party’s legislative leadership will punt away in its next session the opportunity to make a good decision on behalf of all Hoosiers about placing a same-sex marriage ban in the state’s constitution.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 5, 2013
• Anarchy is in the ‘tea’ leaves
Editorial: Help us spread holiday cheer
The kind and generous people of the Wabash Valley are called upon often to help those less fortunate. We are proud to live an area where that call never goes unanswered.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 4, 2013
RONN MOTT: Cats, Inc.
I suppose we should give her a cake and a candle, but she would be happier with a handful of “treats” you can find wherever you shop for groceries. I’m talking about the two-year anniversary of the first cat we adopted. If we had known there were going to be more, her name probably would have been different. She was Orange Crush, a small, bedraggled, starving, Golden Tabby female that wandered into our yard a little after Thanksgiving. She had been badly maltreated.
MS. TAKES: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of. Our friend, Bill, stopped by our table to offer holiday felicitations and the conversation turned, as it often does this time of year, to Christmas.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 3, 2013
• Prestige chosen over practicality
• Tea partiers love country, freedom
• Same old clowns
LIZ CIANCONE: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 3, 2013
Prestige chosen over practicality
Tea partiers love country, freedom
Same old clowns
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- Editorial: Racing with momentum