Lather, rinse, repeat. No changes to this week's top four. Took a couple of catch-up days during college basketball's opening week only to find myself soaked in a cesspool of international incidents in China involving UCLA basketball, the Ball Family, and an inside look into the Forbidden City (Chino Hills). Then more shoes dropped in the FBI indictment case while a cranky, old, loathsome man, with white hair, who used to throw tantrums and chairs while choking and coaching kids at Indiana, decided to take another swipe at UCLA John Wooden, who is dead. This, while Bob Knight contemporaries are running for their legal lives and cloaking themselves in the Fifth Amendment as the sport gets its collective nuts crushed in a vice. But how about what Sam Gilbert, 50 years ago, did at UCLA? Do we really need to hear from Bob Knight anymore? Does he bring anything relevant to any discussion he enters? Knight was a fine coach, Xs and Os, but he needs to fade off now on a long, long duck hunt, where he can blast birds into feathers with his arsenal of shotguns while regaling his boat mates with tales of Clair Bee and Henry Iba. Got it Bob. You graduated your kids and your 1975 Indiana team was better than your 1976 team and would have denied Wooden his last NCAA title had Scott May not been injured. You have also diminished your legacy with drivel and nonsense and devalued any greater purpose served. I have frankly never been more sick of NCAA basketball before a season started and need to hear Bob Knight quoted about as much as I need indigestion or more righteous indignation pontificated by Rick Pitino through his lawyers. I can't tell you how much this makes me love, even more, college football playoff talk in November, even though I know football isn't clean. But it's way more compelling, in the regular season, than the squeaks of one-and-done sneakers as we cross off calendar days, like a jail sentence, waiting for three precious weeks starting in late March.
1: Alabama (9-0): Woman hauled out of Bryant-Denny for smoking says she used to bum unfiltered Chesterfield's off Bear Bryant under the goal posts. (1)
2: Georgia (9-0): Chubb\Michel rank high on my list of great duos along with Sonny\Cher, Seals\Croft, Loggins\Messina--but not higher than Cheech or Chong. (2)
3: Notre Dame (9-1): Rankman's early idea for ND-Miami, "One, Holy Apostolics vs. Persons Guilty of Crimes, especially in a Court Of Law," wouldn't fit on t-shirt. (3)[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
4: Miami (8-0): My dream is for Richt's new team (Miami) to face Richt's old team (Georgia) in the Sugar Bowl with Georgia as a slim-favorite and a pregame tribute to Fats Domino. (4)
5: Clemson (8-1): "Tigers" can clinch a division title this week ahead of Auburn, LSU, Missouri, Memphis, Princeton, Detroit, Idaho State, Hamden-Sydney and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. (6)
6: Oklahoma (8-1): UCLA’s 1998 defense says it can help you guys get over any national title hump except Miami in a Hurricane remake game. (7)
7: Wisconsin (9-0): Having the worst SOS among top 25 schools while playing a Big Ten schedule is a juggling act worthy of old Ed Sullivan Show. (9)
8: Washington (8-1): Holding Oregon’s offense to a field goal last Saturday is like China holding LaVar Ball to “no comment” last Tuesday. (11)
9: Texas Christian (7-1): Limiting Oklahoma to 31 points and 400 yards would be twice as good as Oklahoma State did. (12)
10: Central Florida (7-0): You guys are basically Wisconsin without Barry Alvarez and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany working the political levers. (13)
11: Auburn (6-2): Rankman’s preseason No.1 gets off the Eliza Doolittle deck with a chance now to fell Georgia mainly on the plains. (15)
12:USC (8-2): Congrats to sports information director Tim Tessalone for his HOF induction and also for not being UCLA’s SID in China this week. (16)
13: Oklahoma State (7-2): Coach says there’s nothing wrong with the defense that 10 or 11 Dick Butkus Award winners couldn’t fix. (10)
14: Michigan State (7-2): Four players and two assistants treated for the bends after 12-spot rapid rise in CFP ranking after a win over Penn State. (NR)
15: Ohio State (7-2): School says after last week’s horrendous loss it will now be officially known as “THE” Oh-Iowa State University (5)
16: Penn State (7-2): Selection Committee’s new nickname “Hot Rock” is perfect because that’s what it just dropped you like. (8)
First Four Out
Washington State: West Side Pullman Story: Leach wants more schools near oceans nicknamed “Sharks” and more schools near airports called “Jets.”
Memphis: Selection Committee tells school that beat UCLA it may need to upgrade its non-conference schedule.
Mississippi State: Coach says, while team isn’t afraid of Alabama, it is sleeping with the lights on this week.
Florida Atlantic: Bowl-eligible Kiffin tells AD “You’re going to need a bigger boat” after hearing Twitter is expanding to 280 characters.
Next Four Never
Charlotte: Frankly, Charlotte, and this is a terrible thing to say, but…no one gives a damn?
Illinois: Marge from “Fargo” comes to investigate bizarre rumors of head coach possibly “freezing” opposing kickers.
Indiana: Bob Knight says he’s forgotten more about Hoosiers football than all you people combined are ever going to know.
Kansas: One historian at Richmond says loss to Baylor while wearing Civil War-themed uniforms should counts as Union Army defeat.[/membership]