Sunday, December 27, 2009

And then there were... none. There are no longer any undefeated teams in the National Football League, as the Indianapolis Colts fell to the New York Jets this afternoon.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Last night saw the extension of one major winning streak and the ending of another.

The Penn State women's volleyball team won its 102nd straight match and third straight NCAA championship, defeating Texas in a dramatic comeback.

However, the NFL's New Orleans Saints suffered their first loss of the season, 24-17 to Dallas. The Saints are now 13-1. The Indianapolis Colts (14-0) are now the only team in contention for a perfect record, with two games to go in the regular season and the playoffs to follow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some brief items today:

The Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints each extended their records to 13-0 in NFL action. For Indy, it was also a record 22nd straight regular-season victory.

Golfer Ernie Els had his streak of winning at least one pro tournament a year snapped at 18. In other words, each year from 1991 to 2008, Els had captured at least one tournament, although sometimes on a tour other than the United States PGA (e.g., European Tour, Japan Tour). A comprehensive list of Els's wins is available on his Wikipedia page.

The University of Akron men's soccer team saw it hopes for an undefeated season fall just short, with an overtime (penalty kicks) loss to the University of Virginia in the NCAA College Cup final. The Zips entered the match 23-0-1 (apparently the semi-final match Akron won over North Carolina on penalty kicks is officially considered a tie; see game-by-game log).

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Joe Levy just sent me an e-mail with the subject heading "The cold leg in soccer," regarding what happened to Maccabi Haifa, Israel's top soccer squad, in the European Champions League. Playing in a four-team pool against other countries' national champions (with each team facing each opponent twice), Maccabi Haifa became, in the words of a Yahoo/Eurosport article, "the first team to lose all six group games without scoring a goal."

Making matters worse were the circumstances of the sixth shut-out defeat: "The Israeli league leaders lost 1-0 to Bordeaux, who recorded a fifth successive Champions League victory despite fielding a second-string side."

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Yesterday's New York Times had an article on Penn State women's volleyball coach Russ Rose and his program's current 98-match winning streak as it moves into this year's round of 16 in search of a third straight national championship. As the article notes of the 98 straight wins:

It is the longest winning streak in N.C.A.A. Division I women’s sports history, and the second longest over all, trailing only the Miami men’s tennis program, winner of 137 straight from 1957 to 1964.

In recent weeks, Penn State volleyball passed, among others, the 88-game winning streak of John Wooden’s U.C.L.A. men’s basketball teams from 1971 to ’74, and the North Carolina women’s soccer program, which won 92 in a row from 1990 to 1994.

As seen on this year's Nittany Lion volleyball schedule/results page, Penn State not only is a perfect 34-0 thus far in matches, but has won nearly every time by a score of three sets to none. Only once, in a mid-October match at Michigan, have the Lions been taken to the maximum five sets.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts each survived another weekend with perfect 12-0 records. Only four more games to go for 16-0 regular-season records! In fact, even the existence of two 11-0 teams (a week ago) was unprecedented in the NFL.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Nets win! Nets win!

The New Jersey Nets, who set a new NBA record for worst start to a season by losing their first 18 games, finally got their first win, with a 97-91 victory tonight over Charlotte.