Georgia got three first-place votes and 1, points. Ohio State, which was fourth last week, received 10 first-place votes and 1, points. The last time there was a tie in the top three was Sept. Florida moved up three spots after beating Auburn on Saturday. The Tigers slipped five to No. The school let Briles go amid a scandal related to the handling of sexual assault claims on campus. An investigation led to the president of the university and athletic director also departing.
Bears coach Matt Rhule told the AP on Sunday that he congratulated his team on being after a convincing win at Kansas State the day before and senior linebacker Jordan Williams corrected him. The Bears started the '16 season ranked under interim coach Jim Grobe and rose all the way to No. They then lost their last six regular-season games and the program descended even further from there.
After the regular season, Rhule was hired away from Temple, where he had taken a typically downtrodden team and won double-digit games in each of his final two seasons. He hired several Texas high school coaches to bridge the gap in recruiting, but just getting through Year 1 was a major challenge. The Bears improved to with a bowl victory last year, but the defense was still one of the worst in the nation.
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That's turned. Baylor is 16th in the nation in yards per play allowed 4. Many of the players who were forced onto the field before they were ready during the first two seasons under Rhule are now juniors and seniors. The personnel fits the three-man front defensive coordinator Phil Snow prefers to use. Offensively, Rhule has adapted to the talent available. The sideline-to-sideline, up-tempo spread used by Briles has been replaced by a more methodical and confined approach, though not quite so fullback-reliant as Rhule's Temple teams.
Before Briles, Baylor was a perennial Big 12 cellar-dweller. Whether it could be more than that without him was an open question. Central Florida is unranked for the first time since the Knights moved into the Top 25 on Oct. UCF saw its game conference winning streak snapped by Cincinnati on Friday night. The 25th-ranked Bearcats were rewarded with their first ranking of the season.
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The following Saturday I worked half a day at my job and when I got home it stormed for a couple hours. When I finally got on the air, the high bands were in excellent shape with E-skip and I made FT8 contacts. The contest ended at 7 AM Sunday morning. Later that afternoon my score skyrocketed and went over the 10, point mark. I was happy with the result. In the afternoon, the band opened to the west. I worked many more new grids including stations in California and Mexico. I ended up with 97 total grids on contacts. It was an excellent weekend on the radio.
On Monday evening, July 23rd, there was a tremendous E-skip opening on six meters that went late into the night and spanned the entire continental USA. But the next four days sporadic E propagation was, well, sporadic. E-skip continued into August.
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Unfortunately conditions were poor and activity was low. I only made a few contacts in the contest then went to FT8. The other stations ahead of me were DXpeditions and special event stations. The 2, point total for July was my highest for the year. I got a decent start to August on FT8 despite not having my heart in it.
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On Sunday morning, July 29th, our cat Isabella was unable to walk and we rushed her to the emergency room. Her right rear ankle was swollen and an X-ray revealed what would end up being a tumor.
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She had surgery on Thursday August 2nd to take samples for a biopsy. I spent a good amount of time with Isabella that first week. I made FT8 contacts in the morning before the contest started. I was then able to put in nearly a full-time effort in NAQP that resulted in contacts. I only made a handful of contacts on Monday after work and spent most of the evening with Isabella. On Tuesday we got the results of the biopsy which revealed she had lymphoma cancer. At 13 years of age, we decided not to try to save her life by putting her through chemotherapy, radiation, and the possibility of amputating her leg.
So on Wednesday the 8th, we put her to sleep. She was the last of three cats spanning 20 years. She was such a sweet cat. She loved keeping me company in the radio room. E-skip continued for the first two weeks in August. There was very little skip on the 15th and 16th but the high bands opened up nicely on Friday the 17th. On the morning of Wednesday, August 22, a rare cold front blew through Louisiana. That meant I could leave the station powered on while I was away and operate FT8 remotely. Most of the contacts were into Europe on 17 meters as conditions were good.
So I worked every one of those stations I heard. It was a good day, but on Sunday, the A index shot up to 80 and the K went to 6 as the result of coronal mass ejection CME coming off the sun. Despite the high A and K index, I was still able to find new grids to work on 20, 30 and 40 meter FT8 during the day on Sunday. Operating FT8 on 20 and 40 meters that last Sunday and into the next week was a little like duck hunting on a slow day.
I just sat and waited. When a new one came along, I pounced on it. I concentrated on the low bands for the first part of the last week as the A index stayed high.
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As the month wound down, I was thankful there were no tropical storms or hurricanes to deal with. But on the 13th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on August 29th, weather forecasters were telling us of a tropical wave pushing up from the Caribbean. It was forecast to become a low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico and make landfall after Labor Day. This was not good news. As the month ended, forecasters had the storm headed right at New Orleans. I started getting nervous.
This meant no one behind me gained on me.