Adding to the mysteries in your column is Rankman slotting in USC as No. 25. If a 7-3 Notre Dame team that beat No. 14 Michigan State and No. 22 Arizona State doesn't deserve to be ranked (and they don't), then how can a 7-3 USC team that lost to Notre Dame (and ASU) merit a ranking?
My prayers were answered! Thank goodness, you are all alive! I thought the entire Domer Nation had retreated to an underground bunker with a year's supply of canned beans.
The Irish's fan base camp was last seen in January leaving the Fort Lauderdale area for a long hike toward Mt. Alabama. Fans were told to "pack a lunch" because it was "going to be an all-day affair." The trip would be treacherous and there was a chance the entire entourage would get turned back before halftime of the climb.
I am happily surprised, after all these months, you were found shivering on the streets of Pittsburgh surrounded by empty bottles of Heinz ketchup. Glad everyone is OK.
Now, to your excellent point: First, I remember the old days of last year when the argument over Notre Dame was over No. 1, not No. 25. But Gerry from the "ah-ha!" police caught me breaking my own rankings rule. That is, if two teams have the same record, the advantage goes to head to head.
There is another rankings rule, though, that overrides the head-to-head rule: I had a better comment for USC than Notre Dame.
Why is it that South Carolina is ranked higher than Missouri, yet Mizzou beat SC (the other USC) and they have a better record; what kind of rankings are these?
These are just your normal, garden-variety rankings. Nothing special. I put hardly any effort into it and find myself very easily distracted. For example, if I'm doing the rankings but see a butterfly outside my office window I'll drop everything I'm doing and chase it down the street.
Or, sometimes, rather than concentrate on a team's win-loss record, I'll notice a loose seam on a baseball and unravel it all the way to its core.
If I'm really bored, I'll add up how many major college football venues I've visited over the course of a long career. I did this Wednesday and came up with 87.
The reason I ranked South Carolina ahead of Missouri is because the "other" USC actually defeated Missouri.
You may have turned off the television set after Missouri shot out to a big lead. But the Gamecocks came back and won in double overtime.
In your heart, do you believe Fresno State would be a favorable school and fit if the Pac-12 expanded and the school met the five (I think) doctoral program requirements? Fresno State has three and is expanding the programs.
The answer is no. The Pac-12 has no interest in the California state schools, but the good news for everyone is the conference has no plans to expand beyond 12 for the foreseeable future.
The embarrassing rash of conference poaching was stalled when the Atlantic Coast Conference, which was prone to attack, got its members to agree to a "grant of rights" deal. That means any school that leaves for another league has to pay its broadcast rights back to the ACC.