Oklahoma! Our musical ode and elevation of the Sooners to No.1 is hard-earned and well deserved. Until Alabama beats Clemson and\or plays a school not initialed FSU, it appears to us that Lincoln Riley’s team in Norman is the nation’s best after this season’s first 10 or 15 minutes. It also reminds Rankman of the time a writer filed a special section story on the success of Oklahoma football. The writer was proud of his lede that playfully tweaked a lyric from the famous Broadway musical. “Oklahoma, where the wins come sweeping down the plains.” The writer pushed the send button and then sat back for accolades that might have included prize money. He was shocked to read in the paper the copy desk had changed his sentence to “Oklahoma, where the victories come sweeping down the plains.” The writer called the office and was told, “Our newspaper’s style book is victories, not wins.” There is another story from the 1950s about an acclaimed New York writer who covered a game in which the Dodgers committed several errors in a loss. "The Dodgers died with their boots," the scribe penned. Brilliant. The desk changed it to "the Dodgers died with their boots on." Of course, it could be worse. The New York Times demands that everyone be referred to on second reference as Mr. or Mrs., as in Mr. (Charles) Manson. Which reminds me of the time I used “Miss Manners” as a funny aside to someone and the desk changed it to “etiquette arbiter.” Anyway, on to this week’s ranking: As you’ll see, Rankman is not afraid to overturn the applecart in any given week during the fall harvest. Play well, move up. Play like Ohio State, at home, and move down. There are no congeniality awards here and, if there were, Nebraska Coach Mike Riley would win every week. Especially last week, for “almost” coming back from a 28-point deficit against Oregon. And Riley doesn’t need us. He was rewarded, by his own school, with a contract extension. [membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
1: Oklahoma (2-0): Some are calling Baker’s post-game gesture the ballsy-est Columbus flag plant since 1492. (5)
2: Clemson (2-0): Defensive front being compared to the fabled “Seven Blocks of Granite holding up Billy Roy's 1965 Chevy." (9)
3: Alabama (2-0): Versus the FSUs so far. Allowed 7 points to Florida State and 10 to Fresno State…what a minute! (2)
4: USC (2-0): Not being honored before Texas game: Sark, Kiffin, Bush lateral, 4th-and-2, USC song girl who cheered VY game winner. (4)
5: Georgia (2-0): Retreated below Mason-Dixon after Battle at South Bend with four-leaf clover and Gen. Kelly’s sword. (10)
6: Oklahoma State (2-0): NFL would like to combine state’s best QBs into one Baker Mason Mayfield Rudolph (12)
7: Auburn (1-1): Idiomatic takeaway from Clemson was six points of one and a half dozen poll drops of another. (1)
8: Washington (2-0): (6) Fresno State comes to Seattle this weekend to discuss programs’ most recent losses to Alabama.
9: Penn State (2-0): Ben Franklin after dinner: “There was never a good war, or a bad peace.” James Franklin after Pitt: “For us this was just like beating Akron.” (8)
10:Florida State (0-1): Jimbo never imagined his biggest September opponent would be University of Irma. (7)
11: Ohio State (1-1): Thanks a lot, Herbstreit: “Ohio State won’t see a better passing attack than it did at Indiana.”(3)
12: Wisconsin (2-0): One dairy industry bookie gives BYU only a 2% chance to win. Another says “skim to none.” (11)
13: LSU (2-0): Leads all schools with 50 players on NFL rosters and also in LDL cholesterol levels. (13)
14: Michigan (2-0): (14) Harbaugh is relieved team did not play like WKRP against Cincinnati.
15: Oregon (2-0): Elevation for Wyoming game in Laramie this week is 7,215 and that’s not in webbed feet. (15)
16: UCLA (2-0): (16) Rosen named “Quarter system player of Month” but expect big drop off when school starts.
First four out
Maryland: Not getting much notice out west but some of us think Buck Showalter deserves manager-of-year consideration.
Louisville: LJ looks to lock up second Heisman with win over Clemson and three season-ending defeats.
TCU: Big win at Arkansas offset by recurring nightmares involving squeals, banjos and “pig faces.”
Washington State: Leach’s “constipated” offense should loosen up after two teaspoons of Colon Blow (Oregon State).
Next four NEVER
Rutgers: Mark 2019 down on calendar as the 150th year of school being institutionally bad at football.
Oregon State: Beavers’ most recent home loss to Gophers made the cover of “Road Kill Illustrated.”
Baylor: Only thing missing from this fallen monument to greed, false gods and ornaments is someone muttering “Rosebud.”
North Carolina: Early 2018-19 Heisman candidates petitioning athletic directors to get Tar Heels on schedule...right now. [/membership]