Rankman's "Doodles on a Scratch Pad..."

Nobody asked me to write this column while three-dot channeling the best of Jimmy Cannon, AllanMalamud, Larry King and Bud Tucker, but…

Dufresne-Headshot-2017-Thumb-CU

Pac 12 After Dark did not disappoint with two great games with playoff implications. Oregon learned a very hard lesson in a 38-31 overtime defeat in which the Ducks never trailed in regulation...

The lesson is NEVER hand the ball off when you don't have to...

Duck U let Stanford back in the game when running back CJ Verdell fumbled in the final minute while trying the pick up a first down Oregon really didn't need. A QB knee down would have effectively ended the game. "We're going to be aggressive," Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal explained, post-game to the Oregonian, of his decision to hand off...

No, coach, you're going to lose...

Washington's late hold-off of Arizona State (another really good game) should keep the Pac 12's top two teams (both from the North Division) in the top 10...

What a bounce-back for the Pac one year to the weekend after last year's "cupcake" fiasco game featuring ESPN's crew for California at Washington. This time Larry's League delivered an OT masterpiece, in prime time, to the lead crew of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit...

Virginia Tech's stunning 45-39 loss at Old Dominion on Saturday solidified the Hokies as kings of the point-spread chokers...

Va. Tech lost by 14 after being favored by four touchdowns...

The Hokies already owned two of the worst defeats in modern college football history, losing to Temple (1998) as 35.5 favorites and to James Madison (2010) as 33.5 favorites...

I know Va. Tech's Bud Foster is considered one of the game's best defensive coordinators but allowing 49 points to Old Dominion puts a big ding in his chest plate...

Don't get cocky, Va. Tech record seekers, you didn't come close to UNLV losing as 45.5 favorites to Howard last year, which may stand the test of time as the greatest upset in college football history...

Ranking second on the all-time biggest upsets, of course, is Stanford (plus 45) winning at USC in 2007. Did you know: Starting quarterback in that game, Tavita Pritchard, is now Stanford's offensive coordinator...

King's things
"I eat blueberries everyday and I am better off for it..."

Clay Helton is 18-0 at the Coliseum but 0-1 in the Holiday Bowl…

Washington State Coach Mike Leach can no longer be called “The Pirate” after running twice to set up a blocked field goal attempt in Friday night’s three-point loss at USC…

Trojans quarterback JT Daniels is going to be a superstar, but not until he shaves that mustache…

I’ve always thought the biggest difference between college and the pros is on special teams…

Memo to ESPN play-by-play men: Please focus on your game and quit asking your analyst to pick a weekend upset. Friday night, Greg McElroy predicted No. 8 Notre Dame would struggle at Wake Forest. Notre Dame won, 56-27…

Coach Brian Kelly’s move to replace Brandon Wimbush with Ian Book at quarterback could open the next great chapter for Irish football…

I've rarely seen a team get more positive press in a rout than Illinois did in Friday's 63-24 home loss to Penn State...

Nobody
Jimmy Cannon was a legendary New York newspaper man who filled slow days with column quips such as "If I had a chance of drinking partners I'd pick Winston Churchill..."

This year marks the 30-year anniversary of Notre Dame’s last national title and the Dodgers’ last World Series championship…

I hate cantaloupe and haven't eaten it since I was 10 years old...

I thought a UCLA quarterback might transfer during the bye week after the father of Dorian Thomas-Robinson ripped Coach Chip Kelly in a series of tweets. I didn’t think the transfer would be third-string quarterback Devin Modster

Is UCLA's 0-3 start more respectable now that opening-loss Cincinnati has improved to 4-0...?

Is USC's 2-2 start more respectable now that Texas just beat TCU...?

I didn’t know until this week that there were two “Rs” in Turmeric…

Somebody explain to me again why you can’t return a “muffed” punt…?

Los Angeles Angels pitchers have allowed 59 runs in a five-game span this week…

Michigan led Nebraska, 39-17, at the half on Saturday. Michigan had 39 points, Nebraska had 17 yards (note courtesy BrettMcMurphy)…

Nebraska isn’t the worst Power 5 team in the country. The worst team is Rutgers and it isn’t even close…

Mud
The late great Allan Malamud perfected the dot, dot, dot column with "Notes on a Scorecard..."

Wait a Horned Frog minute. TCU coach Gary Patterson, trailing Texas by two touchdowns with 2:44 left in the game, punted back to Texas? And lost by two touchdowns...?

There is not another school in America I trust less with a national ranking than Boston College…

Look for Texas A&M to receive several votes in this week's USA Today coaches' poll and for at least one SEC coach to label the Aggies the best two-loss team in the history of college football...

Mississippi football has allowed 86 total points the last two weeks to Nick Saban's current team (Alabama) and his alma mater (Kent State)...

Jeff Pearlman's new book on the USFL "Football For a Buck" is terrific but he goofed in not including Steve Young among the top 25 players in the league's three-year history...

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