Author: Chris Dufresne

Rankman’s Saturday night wrap: Gulp, what now? Playoff committee left with a big, giant mess

Remember when the BCS screwed up every other year and people said: “What we need is a committee!” Don’t let computers decide the national champion. “Death to the BCS,” one book successfully proposed. All we need to do is gather 12 reasonable people in a room and let them pick the participants. Smart folks will know what to do. Ok, here’s your committee. Here are your smart people. And here’s your nightmare. All the wrong things happened this weekend for the College Football Playoff selection panel, presently holed up in at a four-star hotel in the Lone Star state. Your move, Condi Rice, Tyrone Willingham, Barry Alvarez and Co. You didn’t get your bail-out wish. The whole weekend went to hell in a hand basket and now you’re saddled with a huge controversy. “It’s on you now, the committee,” Penn State Coach James Franklin appropriately bellowed to the crowd in Indianapolis after his team had the nerve to beat Wisconsin in Saturday night’s Big Ten title game. Yes it is. There is no way around this mess because you already anointed a team, Ohio State, which couldn’t play Saturday because it didn’t win its own division. Anointing this team was a mistake. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here....

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Washington wins Pac 12, likely clinches playoff spot on a night that belonged to…USC?

SANTA CLARA—Friday was a championship night for Washington. A great, commanding, night of purple majesties. But how about those USC Trojans? If you can believe it, the Trojans may have won the day. Washington had to work hard for its spoils; USC didn’t have to lift a finger. Washington may now have to play Alabama and why would USC want to try that again? Most teams have to play their way into the Rose Bowl–USC may have watched its way in. First things first.  Washington clinched the Pac 12 title with a decisive, 41-10 win over Colorado at Levi’s Stadium. That win likely secured a spot in the four-team playoff, unless the playoff committee thinks it should now drop its No. 4 team after a 31-point blowout win. You never know with these people. The first year of the playoff, TCU got short-sheeted after a 55-3 win over Iowa State. Chairman Kirby Holcutt said this week the committee was “struggling” with No. 4  Washington vs. No. 5 Michigan, seen as some as a warning shot to Seattle. The committee might be able, now, to put some separation between the “razor thin” margins between these two candidates. Washington finished 12-1 to Michigan’s 10-2. Washington won its conference; Michigan failed to win its division. Washington beat Colorado, 41-10, on a neutral field. Michigan beat Colorado, 45-28, in Ann Arbor. Leaving Washington...

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Rankman hits highway 101 to unravel the mysteries of tonight’s Pac 12 title-game

SAN JOSE—The stakes for tonight’s Pac 12 championship game at Levi’s Stadium are…confusing? Maybe “muddled” is a better word, or “befuddling.” Or six words with a question mark: “beats the hell out of me?” Or, any words that stand in opposition to “clear” or “that’s what I thought.” I cried at the end of “The BCS Story” because the directors  killed off the thing I loved best about college football—the utter chaos. I thought the new four-team playoff, selected by men and women in suits and pants suits, would be boring. This weekend has not only proved me wrong, it put Rankman in the back of a Dodge rental mini-SUV and headed up Highway 101 to Washington vs. Colorado. Part of me still doesn’t know what I’m here for.  Part of me feels like Geraldo Rivera looking for Al Capone’s vault. Maybe I came for a better explanation. The Rose Bowl, so long the thrilling landing spot for the Pac champion, can’t even extend an invitation or hand out roses. It’s that complicated. Let’s see if I don’t have this straight. Colorado will win a Rose Bowl bid if it wins tonight, but also if it loses. If Colorado loses bad, however, then maybe USC goes to the Rose Bowl and Colorado slides to the Davy Crockett (Alamo). Washington clinches the Pac 12 title with victory but not a...

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Rankman’s picks: week 14

Welcome to Rankman’s Last Pick 3 Stand, the end of months of hand-wringing over point spreads and the over-under. Hours of sweating over the foibles of 19 year kids with acne and suspicious line-to-gain spots from Big Ten referees with big beefs against the head coach from Big Blue. So how we doing? Meh. Last week’s 4-6 record brought my season record to 30-32-3, which sounds more like the beauty-pageant measurements of a very unattractive swimsuit model. So this weekend is the last round-up to make it all up before my annual bowl picks. In the NFL they call this bet “Monday Night Football,” a chance to recoup the sins of Sunday Day Football. We’re going all in again, boom or bust, in an effort for this bettor to break .500 or better. Here’s my last big bunch of picks:  The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here....

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Rankman super duper ranking\comments: week 14

  We at TMG feel for the College Football Playoff selection committee. Our rankings are for fun. The real committee, though, is staring at a fiery inferno if the Big Ten champion loses a playoff spot to a team (or two) from the Big Ten that didn’t win its own division. Making tough decisions is the price the committee must pay for eating all those A-quality cheese balls from the buffet tray. We will continue to pick team names out of a 10-gallon hat and randomly order them with comments. Rankman also doesn’t understand all the fighting over the No. 4 position in the CFP ranking. Doesn’t that mean you have to play Alabama? Good luck to all on this final regular-season weekend not counting Army-Navy, which is being played a week from Saturday right before Baker Mayfield wins the Heisman. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.  ...

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