Rankman loved Tom Petty and is dedicating this week's preamble to the late rock star, who proved that attitude, relentlessness and kick-ass songs are all you need to cut through the corporate bull crap. Very few people have so successfully combined sizzling hooks with penetrating snark. John Lennon and Elvis Costello did it pretty well. Petty didn't have rock star looks, or even a great voice, but he knew how to blow down doors, take on record companies and still remain a high-volume listen on mainstream car radio. He was also, most important, a valuable member of the Traveling Wilburys. So let's weave some of our favorite Petty songs into this week's ranking. Rutgers earns "Breakdown" after last week's 56-0 loss to Ohio State. The Buckeyes have outscored the Scarlet Knights, 114-0, the last two seasons. Clemson gets "It's Good to Be King" after silencing the crowd at Virginia Tech. The Hokies use another band's big hit, "Enter Sandman," to rile up the pregame crowd. But Clemson, simply put, put that crowd to sleep. Vanderbilt after Alabama invaded Nashville two weeks ago? "Don't Come Around Here No More." Ole Miss on departure from Alabama: "Don't Do Me Like That (66-3)." Baylor ("Free Fallin") is four quarters at Oklahoma State this week from dropping to 0-6. San Diego State ("Running Down a Dream") is 5-0, the only undefeated 1-A team in California, and the odds-on (for now) favorite to earn the Group of 5 bid to a major bowl. USC lost at Washington State for the first time since 2002. Even the losers, get lucky sometimes? Team with the snarkiest attitude this year might be Texas Christian. The Horned Frogs, left for dead after last year's rare losing season, are 5-0 this year and led by a very feisty coach. ("I Won't Back Down"). [membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
1: Alabama (5-0): Missing from game notes package: “Tide has outscored two SEC teams, 125-3, and two Mountain West schools, 82-24.” (1)
2: Clemson (5-0): First team to defeat three, top-15 teams in September while also juggling three balls and riding a unicycle (3)
3: Georgia (5-0): Two of these four names play QB for the Dawgs: Jake Eason, Jacob Eason, Jake Fromm, Jacob Fromm. (2)
4: Washington (5-0): Pac 12 answers Chris Petersen's request for more daylight games by scheduling Huskies to play at midnight next summer in Alaska. (5)
5: Penn State (5-0): Frankly, if we’re being honest here, Saturday’s 11 a.m. local kick off at NU has Washington Coach Chris Petersen seething.
6: Oklahoma (4-0): Leads Iowa State, 74-5-2, in the all-time series, 13-0 in the Big 12 era, and 8-0 in the Gilded Age. (7)
7: Texas Christian (4-0): Hosting West Virginia this week in a daytime national showcase that, again, is really going to tick Coach Pete off. (8)
8: Michigan (4-0): Injury at QB makes O’Korn the starter for several weeks. Some Wolverine fans mutter: O’ Lord. (9)
9: Ohio State (4-1): Nate Silver's latest numbers give Buckeyes a 24% chance to win the College Football Playoff Electoral College. (10)
10: Washington State (5-0): “Alternate” Leach quote on fans storming field: “It was just like Woodstock except everybody’s weed was legal—and better.” (NR)
11: Wisconsin (4-0): Badgers say their red-and-white uniforms at Nebraska this week will be "completely different" than Nebraska's white and red uniforms. (11)
12: San Diego State (5-0): San Diego Chamber of Commerce notes the Aztecs and L.A. Chargers are now a combined 5-4. (12)
13: Auburn (4-1): School statement on Cam Newton: “Listen, we won a natty in his only half-season on campus. He was worth it.” (14)
14: USC (4-1): Trojan who knocked over Wazzu fan on field after game earns Pac 12 Plow-er of the Week. (4)
15: Oklahoma State (4-1): Schedule says Cowboys are hosting 0-5 Baylor this week at Boone “Easy” Pickens Stadium. (13)
16: Notre Dame (4-1): Irish will keep starters home this week and send "Rockne's Runts" to face to 1-4 North Carolina. (15)
First Four Out
Miami: Another “hurricane” watch in advance of Saturday’s FSU game is giving folks a major case of Tropical Depression.
Central Florida: To reiterate: Scott Frost would ONLY leave school for Nebraska if Nebraska called him.
South Florida: Study concludes home attendance woes are result of students getting really bad directions to Raymond James Stadium.
Florida: Tried to get Troy for this week’s homecoming game but had to settle instead for Louisiana State.
Next Four Never
UTEP: Interim coach Mike Price says he is NOT a candidate for head coach… but is considering a run for mayor of Juarez.
North Carolina: Strictly adhering to school’s 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not be better than the basketball program.”
Baylor: NCAA investigator tells FBI agent before pre-game flip coin: “Heads I get football, tails you get basketball.”
Rutgers: Outscored, 280-0, in last 5 games vs. Ohio State (114-0), Michigan (78-0), Michigan St (49-0) and Penn St (39-0).[/membership]