Rankman's (updated) Late Night Saturday Wrap: SEC scheduling storm; Rutgers gives Cumberland a run; Washington rises in the West

The Southeastern Conference is my favorite league but I wished it played more games--league games.

I wish it played nine, like the Pac 12, Big 12 and Big Ten do. Since it won’t do that it, shouldn't all its members at least play eight?

Too much to ask, you say? Too taxing in the gruel and grind of unforgiving competition?

The way this is going, with a little help from pressure systems, Louisiana State and Florida could get the rest of their schedules PPD'd and declare themselves co-national "Weather Channel Champions."

Jim Cantore could present the trophies.

The SEC’s motto this year, interestingly, is “it just means more,” but this week it's giving “less is more" a try.

What we’re witnessing is a great conference at a public relations low tide.

LSU was supposed to play at Florida on Saturday until a hurricane got in the way.

We get there was NO way the game should have been played in Gainesville on Saturday with the path of “Matthew” still unclear.

The game, however, should have been played somewhere on Sunday, with all options considered including Baton Rouge. South Carolina and Georgia, apparently the grownups in the room, saw the danger of Matthew and moved their game in Columbia to Sunday.

Something “swampy” is going on here.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

It seems to me (and other co-conspirators) that Florida AD Jeremy Foley, who is retiring Nov.1, worked new commissioner Greg Sankey into getting the game postponed.

There is no doubting Foley put first the genuine safety of all concerned, yet it’s also true one-loss Florida has been depleted by injuries and benefitted by not playing this weekend.

What happens next is critical to the integrity of the SEC. There is no way Florida and LSU can get away with playing only seven SEC games this year.

That might fly in the Sun Belt, but not in the Bible Belt (God’s Conference).

Two big-time schools, playing TWO fewer league games, compromises the SEC and the balance of the College Football Playoff.

Sankey on Saturday sounded like a hostage calling in from a hideout when he spoke via phone to CBS announcers Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson during an otherwise exciting game in which Texas A&M won in double OT over Tennessee.

“This game needs to be played,” Sankey said, “and we need to work to find a way to do that.”

Ok, but when? Both schools could buy out their opponents for non-league games on Nov. 19, but that would mean LSU closing with three straight SEC road games.

You can’t imagine former commissioners Roy Kramer, or Mike Slive, letting the controversy get this deep.

Who’s wearing the big-boy pants here?

A strong commissioner would have demanded the schools play SOMEWHERE this weekend. Or, in the least, demanded all parties signing off on playing Nov. 19. There definitely should have been no wiggle room for “indefinite.”

The good news was that LSU and Florida got to see, with popcorn from their couches, a full platter of football developments.

--They got to see Texas A&M get to 6-0 for the first time since 1994 and Navy shock No. 6 Houston for its first win over an AP top 10 opponent since 1984.

--They got to see other teams play in bad weather, with North Carolina State and Notre Dame showering in a torrential downpour that was not postponed by Hurricane Matthew.

--They got to see “Hurricane (Brian) Kelly” lose his fourth game and handle it by throwing his center under the bus for his “atrocious” snaps.

Kelly has promised to keep his abhorrent sideline behavior in check but, in the end, he just can’t help blaming others for his team’s lousy 2-4 start.

Kelly has got to be on a short leash now as Notre Dame faces must-win games against Stanford, Miami and Virginia Tech to, maybe, save his job.

--LSU and Florida got to see epic wipeouts on the 100-year anniversary weekend of Georgia Tech’s 222-0 win over Cumberland.

Rutgers came closest in matching Cumberland’s ineptness in losing, 78-0, at home to Michigan. If you add last week’s shutout loss to Ohio State, that makes a two-week defeat of 136-0.

This was bad, even for Rutgers, which punted 16 times and failed to pick up a first down until the fourth quarter.

The closest three results we could get to Cumberland’s 222-0 loss was Oregon, Rutgers and Boston College losing to Washington, Michigan and Clemson by the combined score of 204-31.

If it’s any consolation to the Cumberland community, Georgia Tech lost to Pitt on Saturday.

Flashback: on Oct. 7. 1916, at Grant Field in Atlanta, Georgia Tech won a football game by the score of 222-0.

Why? Georgia Tech coach John Heisman was ticked Cumberland had once defeated his baseball team, 22-0, by sneaking semi-pro players into the starting lineup.

Heisman was a surly sort with a mean streak. He once said “Better to have died a young boy than to fumble this football.”

But there is payback and there is PAYBACK. Heisman insisted the 1916 football game be played even though Cumberland had dropped football.

Had it canceled, Cumberland would have been on the hook for the $3,000, so the school rounded up volunteers from campus to field a team against Heisman’s powerhouse squad.

Cumberland pleaded mercy after trailing by more than 100 points at the half, and Heisman agreed to shorten the game—by five minutes.

Nice guy, this Heisman—maybe they’ll name an award after him.

What else did LSU and Florida get to see?

How about the burgeoning battle for the coaching rights to Houston’s Tom Herman after his Cougars got the “heave ho” from the “anchors aweigh.”

That pretty much spit-cans Houston's playoff chances. And now, if the Cougars don’t get invited to the Big 12, a decision which should be known sometime this month, Herman may want to exit stage right.

He could have his choice of openings at LSU, Texas or Notre Dame.

Texas got closer to posting its position with HR after Charlie Strong’s loss to Oklahoma in the Red River Pressure Cooker.

Herman could be in the same position Chris Petersen faced a few years when Boise State got left behind after the power-conference bake-off.

Herman insisted this week he could win a national title at Houston. Yeah, maybe, but not this year.

Petersen knew he had to get out of Boise and took the best job available at the time: Washington.

So how’s that going? Washington improved to 6-0 on Saturday by routing Oregon, 70-21, in a dominant performance in Eugene. The Huskies snapped a 12-game losing streak against Oregon and established themselves as legitimate national title contenders.

Remember back in 2008, when Washington was 0-12 and Stanford and Oregon were the talk of the league?

Pac 12 after dark was a train wreck. It's officially Washington, Utah and 10 ugly ducklings. Stanford got pummeled at home, by Washington State, with Christian McCaffrey getting hurt. UCLA lost at Arizona State with quarterback Josh Rosen getting hurt. Cal lost to Oregon State with Sonny Dykes' pride getting hurt.

It was a dream scenario for holding-tight-at-three-losses USC, which defeated Colorado on a day rivals UCLA, Notre Dame, Stanford and Cal all lost.

What year is this?

Whose league is this?

Things have changed.[/membership]

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