“They call Alabama the Crimson Tide; they call me Deacon Blues.” RIP to Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, who died last week at age 67 after a memorable life and career in which he contributed to pop culture a terrific college football lyric. Rankman never admitted to caring much about Steely Dan in the 1970s but actually dug their grooves in songs like “Rikki don’t lose that number” and “Reeling in the Years.” When asked by Rolling Stone about the “Crimson Tide” reference Steely co-founder Donald Fagen said, “Walter and I had been working on that song at a house in Malibu. I played him that line and he said, “You mean it’s like ‘they call these cracker a-holes this grandiose name like the Crimson Tide, and I’m this loser, so they call me this other grandiose name, Deacon Blues?’ and I said ‘Yeah!’ He said, “Cool, let’s finish it.’” On to this week’s ranking, starting with No. 1. They call Auburn the something Tigers—man that just doesn’t cut it as a cool song lyric, but we’re sticking with the Fightin' Gus Malzahns until they lose this weekend against Clemson. But what if they don’t? Last year, lest you forget, Auburn held Clemson to 19 points, the fewest points scored by the eventual national champs in any game. Auburn’s problem was it only scored 13 against Clemson. Alabama, based on its suffocating defeat of Florida State, moves into the on-deck circle. “They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, we call them No.2.” Note: our three projected preseason comeback teams, all 4-8 last year, scored opening day wins. Oregon and Notre Dame won easily while UCLA needed an epic comeback to take down Texas A&M. Did anyone leave the Rose Bowl early? Yes. Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott. He attended the game but left in the second half to catch a flight back to the Bay Area. This is standard practice for him. Please tell us the pilot broke in from the cockpit, mid-flight, to give the final score. “Any Pac 12 fans on board?” [membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
1: Auburn (1-0): Game versus Clemson is Tigers vs. Tigers. The early betting lion in Vegas is Clemson by six. (1)
2: Alabama (1-0): Loss of two top linebackers leaves Saban with only six potential remaining Dick Butkus Award finalists. (4)
3: Ohio State (1-0): Zeke Elliott admits doing drugs in college; Oregon wants him retroactively charged with felony RODUI (Running Over Ducks Under the Influence). (2)
4: USC (1-0): Gesture to allow blind snapper Jake Olson his glorious moment almost restores my faith in humanity. Almost. (3)
5: Oklahoma (1-0): Forget Steely Dan and the Crimson Tide…your musical was a smash hit on Broadway! (6)
6: Washington (1-0): QB looked better against last two green teams (Oregon\Colorado) than last two red teams (Alabama\ Rutgers). (7)
7: Florida State (0-1): Scheduling Alabama in neutral-site opener, and losing starting QB for year, still means never having to say you’re sorry. (5)
8: Penn State (1-0): Loser of Pitt game will be subject of a new, three-chord downer Springsteen song about lost steel industry jobs. (8)
9: Clemson (1-0): Good week as Dabo finds a new quarterback and $54 million in quarters between couch cushions. (9)
10: Georgia (1-0): Call new quarterback Jake Fromm any nickname you want except “Squeaky.” (10)
11: Wisconsin (1-0): AD Alvarez says FAU can stay after game in one of his cozy, lake-side castles. (11)
12: Oklahoma State (1-0): Tulsa Takeaway: Mason Rudolph, under pressure, is cool as a jar of pickles. (12)
13: LSU (1-0): Post game note: 27 points scored in opener matched number of children of current married BYU players. (13)
14: Michigan (1-0): Coach Khaki Pants closes “The Gap” on Florida\SEC. Also… there’s a sale at Penney’s! (14)
15: Oregon (1-0): Huey and Dewey were “very impressed” with Willie Taggart’s debut. Louie wants to see more. (15)
16: UCLA\Notre Dame (1-0, 1-0): Bruins did a 34-comeback clap on TAMU; Irish went to synagogue on Temple. (16)
First four out
Stanford: Kings of Aussie football told Rice after game: “Not in our Sydney Opera House.”
Maryland: “Fear the Turtle” beats out "Save the Whales" and "Give a Hoot, don't Pollute" in annual Greenpeace slogan contest.
Howard: Beating 45-point spread in Vegas earns team five free pulls on Brent Musburger's "Big Wheel of Exploited Amateur Kids."
Rutgers: Staying close to U-Dub not bad for team outscored last year, 224-0, by Ohio State\Michigan\MSU\PSU.
Next four NEVER
Florida Atlantic: Lane’s 1:47 a.m. opening defeat his worst after-midnight loss since USC flight from PHX landed at LAX.
Baylor\Rice\Texas\Texas A&M: Schools jointly decide to round up seven best players and form a super CYO flag team.
Oregon State: Only Pac 12 team with a loss AND had to sweat out a last-second missed field goal to survive Portland State.
Fresno State: Next up after 66-0 win over Incarnate Word is “no prayer” chances at Alabama, at Washington.[/membership]