Rankman ended months of wild speculation Monday by deciding not to expand his ranking system. “We’ve never been more united to stay at 16,” he said after emerging from a TMG College Sports presidents’ meeting. Last summer, the idea of expansion was broached after thinking the current ranking may be “psychologically disadvantaged” against “power” systems that rank more schools. TMG paid a consulting firm $10 to gauge the feasibility for expansion and to solicit formal presentations from numbers 17 through 25. In reality, only four numbers were ever seriously considered: 17, 18, 19 and 20. Rankman refuted the suggestion other digits were only considered to appease bingo players and third-grade math teachers. “We really enjoyed the presentations of ALL the numbers,” Rankman insisted. “We learned a lot. No.21, for example, boasted it was once worn by Roberto Clemente, which it argued would help our “pirate” demographic. An interesting case was also made for 23, the only “prime” number among those considered from 21 to 25. We even got a long shot, “Hail Mary” heave from No. 26, the TMG-expansion equivalent to Rice University. Reps highlighted the number’s important role in history and culture, including the catchy song lyric, “26 miles across the sea, Santa Catalina’s the island for me…” Ultimately, Rankman and TMG decided to stay at 16, and sincerely hope this “exploratory,” fact-finding mission was not a colossal waste of time, money and resources. TMG was not trying to “do a number” on anyone and considered the journey of the last few months a pleasant, convivial, satisfactory, foray for all. To us, all number applicants were a foamed-finger No.1.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
1: Alabama (7-0): Woody Guthrie’s “Red ribbon of highway” coach-search almanac has Kiffin landing anywhere from Purdue to Fresno. (2)
2: Ohio State (6-0): Remains of Pope Urban VI (1378-1389) almost dumped and destroyed so that his sarcophagus could be used to water horses. (1)
3: Michigan (6-0): Whirlwind Harbaugh bye weekend in California ends with coach flipping hat in air like opening of Mary Tyler Moore Show. (3)
4: Washington (6-0): Verne and Gary caught shredding Heisman-promo material that shows Browning leading nation in passing. (5)
5: Texas A&M (6-0): President JPM (Johnathan Paul Manziel) calms anxious Aggie nation with “Nothing to fear about Alabama” fireside chat. (6)
6: Clemson (7-0): No stopping these guys so long as opponent kicker misses game-winning chip shot every week. (4)
7: Louisville (5-1): NT odds at Bovada.lv improved to 9-to-1 this week after coach traded last motorcycle in for bird feeder. (7)
8: Wisconsin (4-2): Two of the toughest losses on Saturday seen since Aykroyd and Belushi left cast of SNL. (8)
9: Boise State (6-0): Special Teams put on "Blue Alert" after allowing two straight onside kick recoveries against Colorado State. (9)
10: Nebraska (6-0): Rankman channeled Descartes--“I think therefore I am”—with this week’s imponderable “What is Nebraska?” (10)
11: Baylor (6-0): Worst nightmare for playoff committee since hotel buffet ran out of bacon-wrapped shrimp. (12)
12: Florida State (5-2): A 17-6 win over Wake Forest may not sound like much but it’s the best deal we can offer at this time. (14)
13: Utah (6-1): Running back who came out of retirement to rush for 179 said his pension plan was terrible.
14: Western Michigan (7-0): Notre Dame search party told by tracker there is no town called “Kazoo” in Michigan. (NR)
15: Oklahoma (4-2): President Boren said he first fell in love with the sound of his own voice, as a child, talking to the back of a cereal box. (NR).
16: Arkansas (5-2): Rankman would probably watch Hogs versus Ole Miss in anything except a human-hollering contest.
First Four Out
LSU: Nobel Committee wonders if Coach O could pass along message to Dylan when he plays Baton Rouge on Oct. 26.
West Virginia: TCU will be coming around the mountain when they come; coming around the mountain when they come.
Navy: Midshipmen have only played five games; still need two more to qualify for American Conference batting title.
Houston: School’s “reasonable” extension parameters with Herman include jet for job interviews at LSU, Notre Dame and Texas.
Honorary Poll Bearers
Stanford, (great job at ND without star Christian what’s-his-name), Auburn (finalist for this year’s Lazarus Award), Tennessee (worst home loss in state since Estes Kefauver), Florida (boss suspicious after program takes another sick day), Miami (sorry, watching Dodgers on Thursday night), USC (bye week in advance of three states in three weeks: Cal, Oregon, Washington), Colorado (too late to get coach Mac on Nov. 8 ballot?) Washington State (Trump warns Leach that Pac 12 race may be rigged by, of course, Washington).
Next Four Never
Rutgers: Given key to the city after scoring first touchdown in 11 quarters—but it didn’t fit.
Oregon: Bye week allows Ducks time to contemplate being up Willamette creek without a waddle.
Kansas: Played Baylor to 7-7 tie in second half after only losing first half, 42-0.
Notre Dame: Hoping new Carrie Underwood song will help turn things around: “Touchdown Jesus, take the wheel.”[/membership]