We interrupt regular-scheduled Rankman programming to bring you Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott's latest scandal report. That said, what IS a scandal these days? You know it's bad, though, when the best option for Larry at Thursday's basketball media day for basketball in San Francisco was to KEEP talking about the FBI corruption trial that just added "Oregon" into the official record. That was preferable to addressing the latest bombshell involving Pac 12 football officiating. No one at Pac headquarters said Yippee! when Yahoo! reporter Pete Thamel got his hands on an internal memo that revealed a "third-party" front-office person had waived off a targeting call on USC quarterback JT Daniels during a recent game against Washington State. Woodie Dixon, the league's general counsel who oversees football, is one smart cookie but is not an official and should not be overruling something that is already called a "command" center. It was just another credibility punch to the league's shoddy officiating reputation. When Scott became commissioner in 2009, he gathered a few of us ink-stained wretches to give our opinions on the conference's biggest problems: To a man, we all said "officiating." So here were are a decade later...Scott did address the Yahoo! report and said, to paraphrase, it would NEVER happen again. He said Dixon didn't think he was making the final call, only offering his opinion, but the guys in the replay department so much did not see it that way a copy of their internal report somehow found its way to Yahoo!. This was a great reporting rebound coup for Thamel, who prematurely tweeted two Saturday night's ago "Man, Oregon is just pummeling Stanford, 30-7..." Hey, it was an honest mistake. So what about Replay Dixon-Gate? Will it have legs? Is this the scandal that takes down Scott? Nah. This could be nothing compared to what the FBI corruption trial ultimately reveals. Scott, a former tennis player from Harvard, went right to his serve-and-volley game and took responsibility for a policy that would allow a non-ref to impact real-time officiating. "He believed he was offering a point of view," Scott said of Dixon's thinking. "None of that matters. If there was perception (of influence)...then it was inappropriate." Scott did not fire Dixon and did not fire himself, but offered, "I take responsibility for our policy being what it is, and the ambiguity being there..." Scott said he hoped his strong action would "lift any cloud that might exist" as he probably hoped someone would follow up with an FBI question to get him out of this mess...
Onto this week's Rankman's Ranking
1: Alabama (6-0): Already considered greatest Bama team to ever allow 45 points to Louisiana Lafayette & Arkansas in the last five quarters.” (1)
2: Ohio State (6-0): Breakdown of current, interim and\or former OSU head coaches: Ryan Day (3-0), Urban Meyer (3-0), Luke Fickell (6-0 at Cincinnati). (2)
3: Georgia (6-0): QB Fromm says LSU is a business trip and hopes it goes better than Miller’s “Death of a Beignet Salesman.” (3)
4: Notre Dame (6-0): “Pitt the Giant Killers” come to town looking to do what they’ve done to a lot of title contenders. (Look it up). (4)
5: Clemson (6-0): Benched QB Kelly Bryant released from Paw School and said to be looking for a fix-me-upper program in North Carolina. (7)
6: Washington (5-1): Coach Pete refuses to call Oregon a heated rivalry, seeing it more as a series of spirited discussion over cups of 86-degree coffee… (9)
7: West Virginia (5-0): Creeping up slowly like long underwear does during a long day of squirrel hunting. (12)
8: Penn State (4-1): Michigan State will be the grittiest, toughest and most preseason overrated Big Ten team Nits will face until Iowa or Wisconsin. (11)
9: Central Florida (5-0): Hard-line traditionalists maintain Knights would finish fifth in the SEC West, fourth in Pac North and third in the American League East. (13)
10: Michigan (5-1): Harbaugh’s first grandchild, a son born last week, issues statement saying he’s never lost to Ohio State. (12)
11: Florida (5-1): Working Dan Mullen book title: “How I turned it around AND lost to Kentucky for first time in 31 years.”
12: LSU (5-1): Mike the Tiger being on being fed only Florida Gator meat this week: “Tastes just like chicken!” (5)
13: Texas (5-1): Turns out half the 197 congratulatory messages Herman received after Oklahoma win were pranks from Bevo’s distended family.
14: Oklahoma (5-1): Mike Stoops learned the hard way that giving up 48 points to Texas is always a fireable defense…(6)
15: Miami (5-1): Sebastian on the Don Ibis Show: “The only thing better than being FSU is beating FSU after trailing 27-7…” (15)
16: Colorado (5-0): Has never defeated USC in football (0-12), or lost to the Trojans in a downhill combined skiing event. (NR)
First Four Out
Oregon: Officially offended after Las Vegas installs team as 3-point under ducks for Pac 12 North showdown against Washington.
Wisconsin: Farmers Insurance rejects recent BYU home loss claim, ruling it an unfortunate “Act of Curd.”
Kentucky: First loss reportedly sent many fans on wild Mila Kunis bender of Jim Beam Bourbon commercials.
Hawaii: Reader S. Obitz recently opened his SPAM folder to contribute this line about team’s QB: “Cole McDonald had a farm…”
Next Four Never
UCLA: Topping Sagarin strength of schedule rankings this week probably not the No.1 foam finger most Bruins had in mind.
UTEP: Last week’s home attendance of 12,809 failed to reach the fund-raising goal of Mt. Whitney’s elevation (14,505).
San Jose State: With playoff hopes doomed many players have signed up to become “host airport” greeters for CFP champ game in Santa Clara.
Nebraska: Local optimist S. Frost, overheard in Lincoln after making a hard right off Vine onto N. 16th Street: “I feel like we’ve really turned a corner.”