This is the week where idioms and cliches convene for the annual lazy-language convention. Where push comes to shove, rubber meets the road, wheat gets separated from chaff, only the strong survive, jigs are up, the going gets tough, men are separated from boys, the fat lady sings, you can't keep a good man down, feet are put to the fire and don't it make your brown eyes blue? Six schools in Rankman's top 10 face each other in match-ups where no one gets out alive, lines get drawn in the sand and teams have to dig deep. Or, as a player who once melded two cliches into one, said, "Our backs are against the driver's seat." Anyway, it should be fun, a kick, a hoot, donnybrook and a blast. Louisville v. Clemson; Wisconsin v. Michigan and Stanford v. Washington. Go ahead, fellas, and make your cases. [membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
1: Louisville (4-0): Lamar is Rankman’s ninth favorite Jackson behind Stonewall, Michael, Reggie, Tito, Andrew, Bo and Shoeless Joe. (1)
2: Alabama (4-0): Saban loved all those battles with Miles but what he’ll really miss most about Les is his crummy offenses. (2)
3: Wisconsin (4-0): Only people picking Badgers over Michigan are Koehler family, Dick Bennett, Paul Ryan and “Squiggy” from “Laverne & Shirley.” (7)
4: Ohio State (3-0): During off week players see musical “Bye, Bye, Urbie,” about rock star coach who gives last performance in Ohio before being inducted into HOF. (3)
5: Michigan (4-0): It’s not true Harbaugh once played golf with Arnold Palmer in a made-for-TV event called “The King” vs. “The Khakis.” (5)
6: Clemson (4-0): Going into Louisville: one QB is the Heisman candidate everyone’s talking about. The other is Deshaun Watson. (6)
7: Stanford (3-0): If McCaffrey thought there were no lanes open against UCLA wait until he sees Friday night rush-hour traffic in Seattle. (8)
8: Houston (4-0): Wells Fargo CEO blasted in Senate hearings for allowing Baton Rouge branch to open secret bank accounts for Tom Herman. (9)
9: Washington (4-0): In advance of Stanford the Beach Boys will release “Puget Sounds,” the unfinished masterpiece from the Don James era. (10)
10: Tennessee (4-0): Scored 38 unanswered points against Fla. but still can't answer question: "How much gold is there in Fort Knox?" (12)
11: Boise State (3-0): Coach’s concern after big road win is how to keep players on farm now that they’ve seen the lights of Corvallis. (11)
12: Texas A&M (4-0): Win over Arkansas earns Aggies "Southwest Conference Team of the Week" by the Bebe Rebozo Downtown Athletic Club. (13)
13: Michigan State (2-1): Dantonio only interested in Notre Dame if he is allowed to conduct press conferences from bell tower atop Golden Dome. (4)
14: San Diego State (3-0): Franchise soaring since switching from flour to corn tortillas and adding up-tempo “Baja-style” offense to menu. (NR)
15: Nebraska (4-0): QB Armstrong calls team’s fast start, “one small step for 11-man football, one giant leap for Corn Nation.” (NR)
16: Utah (4-0): Roster includes 34 players of Polynesian decent and an offensive lineman named Nowakowski from Castaic. (NR)
First Four Out
Miami: Georgia just called coach and said, on second thought, 10 wins a year wasn't so bad.
UCLA: Terry Donahue’s grandchildren ask “paps” if UCLA has ever been as good as Stanford in football.
Florida: Gators doing fine on Tennessee’s field until the defense started playing checkers in their own end zone.
LSU: Orgeron announces he will not coach Tigers in bowl game unless he’s named the permanent coach.
Honorary Poll Bearers
Baylor (Michelin awards schedule one-and-a-half Ken Starrs); Texas (time to stop bragging about ND win); Arizona State (Jake’s 1996 team would put a 100 on this defense); Army (went hut-two-three but slipped up on four); Ole Miss (Your Kelly having better year than ND’s Kelly); Duke (rode out of South Bend like “Duke” Wayne); West Virginia (undefeated, with an explanation); Brigham Young (more close shaves than Tabernacle choir); North DakotaState (Eat more Bison); Texas Christian (would Patterson consider LSU?); Wake Forest (Go 5-0 for Arnie); Arkansas (Good luck in the Little Rock Clinton Bowl).
Next Four NEVER
Miami (Ohio): School once known as the cradle of coaches is now just getting rocked.
Florida International: If things don't get turned around soon school will be turned back into an airport.
Rice: Vows to put man in the end zone before end of decade. Not because it's easy, but because it's hard.
New Mexico State: Lost Cruisers have allowed 104 points in last two losses versus Kentucky and Troy.[/membership]