If you thought sportswriters were masters of bad predictions and fake news you should check out college coaches and administrators, who have been historically hilarious at fibbing and fear-mongering. Chicken Little had nothing on these guys, as noted brilliantly this week by Nathan Fenno in his L.A. Times story on the panic-attack reaction to California's passage of SB 206. Fenno pulled a few quotes from the past from geniuses who inaccurately predicted that more rights for student athletes would led to disaster: My favorite was USC Coach John McKay's 1970s response to the passage of Title IX for women. "It means the end of our athletic program," he said. Actually, John, the hiring of Lynn Swann did way more harm. And how about this years-ago gem from former NCAA President Walter Byers: "The possible doom of collegiate sports is near." Rankman has learned over the years to trust college players more than their coaches, athletic directors and commissioners. What the "educators" say often goes in one ear hole and out the other. They fabricate, lie and/or deceive far more than the kids they are supposed to be leading. Who can forget Nick Saban's famous quote: "I'm not going to be the Alabama Coach," or Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany's 2009 reaction to President Obama's call for a college football playoff. "I think his strength is in basketball brackets." Or Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer at Big Ten Media Day. "My intention was not to say anything inaccurate or misleading, however..." Or Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino's honesty after his motorcycle accident? Or Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel signing a false NCAA statement and then becoming president of Youngstown University? Give me a break. Now on to the rankings.
1: Ohio State (4-0): AD Smith reveling in top-spot before canceling future games in all 50 states, including Ohio, over pending NIL legislation. (5)
2: LSU (4-0): “Upset Alert” called off for Utah State this week after learning it came from same guy who picked Maryland over Penn State. (1)
3: Alabama (4-0): Overtaking Clemson for No.1 after a win over Ole Miss feels like finding four quarters between Bear Bryant's old couch cushions. (7)
4: Georgia (4-0): Enjoy this stat while it lasts: All-time series with Tennessee tied 23-23-1 headed into this weekend’s game in Knotville. (2)
5: Wisconsin (3-0): Please accept fruitcake and wedge of Camembert with our sincerest apologies for thinking Nebraska would challenge you in Big Ten West. (3)
6: Oklahoma (3-0): 60% chance of rain in Norman on Saturday far exceeds Kansas’ 1.9% cumulus zero-ness chance of upsetting Sooners. (4)
7: Clemson (4-0): Chef Dabo’s elective-course cooking class this week: “How to stuff a two-point conversion attempt in making Carolina Cordon Bleu.” (6)
8: Auburn (4-0): At Florida this week is the biggest game in the SEC and the also biggest Pac 12 game for Oregon. (8)
9: Penn State (4-0): Switch from black to white shoes this week is the most radical football fashion move since Paterno wore bell-bottom jeans in a 1973 win over Pitt. (12)
10: Notre Dame (2-1): How teams are preparing for next week’s showdown in South Bend? USC: Off week, rest. Notre Dame: Bowling, Green. (9)
11: Florida (4-0): Rankman likes “under” bet of 47.5 vs. Auburn despite Gainesville being only 177 feet above sea level. (9).
12: Texas (3-1): At W.V. is Horns’ first true road test unless you count live mascot taking the “Bevo Mobile” out for a spin. (10)
13: Oregon (3-1): First game after starting something called "school" is a big concern for players who have not left Nike Ranch in 12 weeks. (11)
14: Washington (3-1): DC Jimmy Lake recently named by Field & Stream the “most perfectly-named assistant coach working effectively near an FBS body of water.” (14)
15: Boise State (4-0): Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Cheech & Chong all agree QB Bachmeier is taking way too many hits**.** (NR)
16: Utah (4-1): Holding Wazzu to 13 points is like holding Trump to five tweets a day or Joey Chestnut to one weenie on a stick. (NR)
Next Four Out
Minnesota/Iowa/Michigan: Combined record of 12-1 with combined capitals of St. Paul, Des Moines and Lansing.
Hawaii: Aloha State boasting now it is the “Biggest Little Island in the World” after 54-3 drubbing last weekend in Reno.
Next Four Never
Rutgers: Chris Ash wanted a say in discussions over his weekend firing but, like his team against Michigan, he was shut out.
Tennessee: Coach to Cop on player arrest: “This is the silliest S&@#@ I’ve ever seen in my life.” Cop to Coach: “Have you seen your team play?”
New Mexico State: Things are so bad players have been told not to even mention this week’s home opponent. They’re not at Liberty to say.
Akron: Lousy start forces school to seek temporary players for weekend work on job site “ZipRecruiter.”