Rankman's Friday mailbag: UCLA's "Boulder Hash" performance. Rosen or Darnold? Washington vs. Texas AT$M.

So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gonna start a new life

So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife

Send a copy to my lawyer, gotta start a new life

--R.B. Greaves

UCLA is the best 5 loss team in the country and you know it!

Jason Ruiz


(Update): UCLA is now the best SIX loss in the country after Thursday night’s 20-10 carnival show defeat at Colorado. The game was so hideous it will only be re-shown on Pac 12 Network to ensure few people will see it. The headline in Friday’s LA Times captured it perfectly: “Boulder Hash.” One genius tweet noted the game was so undisciplined the refs should have called a penalty for “roughing the viewer."

UCLA won the penalty battle, 13-12, clinching an ineptitude display in which the Bruins jumped offside on fourth-and-four to clinch victory for a winning team that otherwise played like a pile of Buffalo chips. The best news: Rankman recorded the event, which allowed him to fast-forward through the broadcast to get straight to the commercials. UCLA at Colorado was a mashed menagerie of cheap shots, late hits, botched field goals, dropped passes, screaming coaches and play so deplorable Walter Camp would have said, “Um, this is not what I had in mind.” The “Twilight Zone” episode of this game, starring William Shatner gazing out his prop-plane window, would have been titled “Nightmare at 5,430 feet.”

This wasn't Folsom Field--it was Folsom Prison. What a night, huh, for John Elway and 32 NFL scouts to be in attendance? UCLA is now 3-6 and guaranteed its worst finish under Jim Mora. The Bruins need three more wins to be bowl eligible and one more to avoid eviction from the Rose Bowl.

And for the record, UCLA was not the best “five loss” team entering the game. You were forgetting 3-5 Mississippi, the pearl of Oxford, still getting one vote in the USA Today poll. The voting coaches just hate letting go of SEC schools, although there’s a case to be made for the Rebels. The five losses are to Florida State, Alabama, Arkansas, LSU and Auburn. Some are even hyperventilating that Ole Miss could be the best 3-5 team in history.

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So if you were re-recruiting this position you would take Sam over Josh?

Jim Souders


It all depends on the situation, system and coach. A great college quarterback doesn’t necessarily have to project to a star in the NFL.

Tim Tebow was a GREAT college quarterback at Florida. So was Boise State’s Kellen Moore. It’s very possible USC's Sam Darnold could turn out to be a better college quarterback than UCLA's Josh Rosen, but Rosen could turn out to be the better pro. It happens all the time. It's a shame Rosen, who will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, won't play against Darnold this year.

Imagine Rosen with JuJu, Rogers and a great running game. Darnold is very talented but let’s not go overboard.

Adam Gorney


Overboard is the only way I know to go over a ship.

Why does the committee even put out ratings before decision day? Arbitrarily capricious? Or capriciously arbitrary?

Ron Flatter


I would have to go with callously cruel, or cruelly callous. Or randomly hubris. Look Ron, it’s show biz. ESPN pays a lot of money for the rights to the College Football Playoff and they need a College Football Payoff. Part of what made the BCS so outrageous were the weekly rankings that had people scratching their heads trying to figure out the “quartile” component of a BCS computer run out of some guy's basement in Hackensack.

Seriously, though, there is no real reason the committee releases the rankings now other than ratings for ESPN and promotion for the playoff. It would also be a little shocking to dump the playoff lineup, all at once, on a Sunday afternoon in December. How would, say, fans in Kalamazoo have time to prepare for the Fiesta Bowl if the top four ended Alabama, Clemson, Michigan…Western Michigan?

Why is Washington at #5? Absurd!

Russell Small


It just so happens, Russell, that the CFP selection committee meets each week at the Theatre of the Absurd in North Dallas.

I’d take Washington over T A&M. What are they thinking?

Flavio Berny


I honestly think, Flavio, the committee was looking to spice up the first selection show with something that was “out of the box” and different from…almost every other index.

Putting Penn State at No. 12 is an example of that. I mean, come one, that’s 11 spots higher than the Nittany Lions are ranked in the USA Today coaches’ poll. That’s a real outlier when you consider the selection committee is dominated by FIVE former coaches.

I think the committee put Texas A&M at No. 4 because it could. And who cares if it’s an insult to the Pac 12? The polls have been insulting the conference for years.

It also doesn’t matter. The committee knows if Washington wins out, and finishes 13-0, the Huskies will be in the playoff.

No.1 Alabama and Texas A&M both reside in the SEC West, meaning only of one of those schools can win the division and advance to the SEC title game.

Alabama has already defeated TAMU, by 19, which is the part I don’t get.

Committee chair Kirby Hocutt said TAMU had the advantage over Washington because it had four wins against teams with winning records, compared to two for UW.

Yeah, but one team has a double-digit loss and the other is undefeated.

WSU is ranked, nobody is saying they’re aren’t getting better. What are you expecting?

Dan Scansen


Just a little more respect for a team that is 5-0 in the Pac 12 North, the second-ranked division behind the SEC West in Jeff Sagarin’s highly-respected weekly USA Today index. Washington State has won six straight games, with wins over Stanford, UCLA and Oregon.

Citing a loss to a FCS school also needs an explanation. Eastern Washington is 7-1 and ranked No. 3 in this week’s FCS poll. EWU is probably better than a dozen schools in FBC. Also, the combined record of EWU and Boise State, the teams that defeated Washington State, is 14-2.

Virginia Tech, ranked higher than Washington State, has two losses against schools with seven combined losses.

Washington State Cougars lost to a FCS school. At home. End of story.

Darren Bunkley


I must be reading a chapter and verse. Doesn’t a school have a chance to come back from an early-season loss? Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? How come Auburn and LSU can get better over the course of the season, but Washington State can’t?

I understand losing to Eastern Washington is a bad loss, but that’s pretty much been Mike Leach’s pattern in Pullman. He’s 0-5 in his first game at Washington State, but his teams tend to get better.

And college football is different than the pros. There are no “exhibition” games to work out the kinks.

Washington State followed the EWU loss with a tough loss at Boise State, but have since won six straight.

I ONLY suggested the Cougs deserved to be higher than No. 25.

Is it fair, or East Coast bias? Is it the Pac 12’s fault for so many late games on Saturday? The answer: yes.

Other teams have been allowed to rebound from bad losses.

In 2010, Virginia Tech followed a season-opening loss to Boise State with a home loss to 1-AA James Madison. Yet, the Hokies improved all the way to No. 12 in the polls and earned an Orange Bowl bid.

IN 2007, remember, Michigan lost at home to Appalachian State, one of the most embarrassing defeats in school history. Yet, the Wolverines capped Lloyd Carr’s final game with a win over Tim Tebow's Florida in the Capital One bowl. Florida was defending national champions.

I’ll stop now if I’m making too much sense.

Chris, curious about your take on SEC teams playing tomato cans on Nov. 19 in obvious ploy to avoid late season losses.

M Go Humor


The only place you’ll see more tomato cans that day is in the Andy Warhol Museum. It is a smart thing to do when your conference only plays eight league games. The SEC can use that week for glorified scrimmages before key showdown races.

Unfortunately, a hurricane changed those Nov. 19 plans for Florida and Louisiana State this year. The Gators and Tigers must now play each OTHER instead of South Alabama and Presbyterian.

You will take hating the SEC to your grave, won’t you?

Jeff Schultz


No burial for me. I want to be cremated, 56-3, same way Auburn did to Arkansas.[/membership]