Author: Chris Dufresne

Rankman’s picks: Week 12

“Child 2” came through again last week to earn another full plate of odds-and-ends. Junior was a valuable mid-season call up from AAA Pick-tucket and has thus far impressed the front-office staff with the gnarl on his fastball and his every-day starter stuff.  Kid was 4-2 last week and is 10-6 overall with a quality WHIP (Wagering vs. House Index Percentage). Rankman remains in the Pick 3 Friday rotation only because of his huge contract and access to the TMG sign-in code. In the old days of the four-man rotation we Angels’ fans used to say “Tanana and Ryan and two days of cryin.” At TMG headquarters the one-two punch saying is “Rankman & Son” but there’s really only one.” We carry on into the dying light of November to forge a late-season rally for the aged and the ages. Three more regular-season weekends means three more weekends to level the score and even the ledger. And then there’s bowl-picking season!   Child Locks Army getting 2.5 vs. NORTH TEXAS Syracuse getting 13 vs LOUISVILLE Texas getting 3 1\2 vs. WEST VIRGINIA   Over\Under  Arizona vs. OREGON (74 1\2) Oklahoma vs. KANSAS (70 1\2) Central Florida vs. TEMPLE (55)   Father Knows Bets Cal vs. STANFORD (55 1\2) Arizona getting 1 vs. OREGON The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here....

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Rankman’s super duper ranking\comments: Week 12

The selection committee finally came around to Alabama at No. 1 the same week Rankman came around to relegating the Pac 12 to the “Group of 6”. The Pac will join Conference USA, the MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt and the American in a pool of conferences that will compete for two very good bowl bids. The top finisher in the Pac 12 will receive an invitation to the Fiesta Bowl while the champions of five other leagues will vie for a spot in the Peach Bowl. This has been a down year for the Pac 12 but there’s no sense getting up in the league’s face. The conference released its 2018 schedule on Wednesday and it was hard not to get excited about the prospect of Cincinnati playing at UCLA on Sept. 1. If you don’t like that, there’s also Bowling Green at Oregon Green on the same day. Ok, we buried the lead.  After two years of getting ripped for scheduling Rutgers, the University of Washington will play Auburn on Sept. 1 in a neutral-site game. The selection committee will likely hail Auburn for making this game while chastising U-Dub for taking so long to make it. And here’s an opening-week present for the new Oregon State coach: at Ohio State. Yikes! The second week could make or break the Pac playoff psyche with key non-conference games:...

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Broken Coverage

AN IRREVERENT LOOK AT ALL THINGS SAID, CONSIDERED, TWEETED, POSTED, PHOTOGRAPHED, PLAYED AND OTHERWISE GONE AMUCK IN COLLEGE SPORTS This just in from the Broken Coverage news desk: Three UCLA basketball players, pinched for shoplifting in China, have been suspended indefinitely. First reaction: Wrong! Whiff! Second reaction: If the Pac 12 was trying to hide this news by putting it on the the seldom-seen Pac 12 Network, well, it didn’t work. The “news” conference featuring UCLA Coach Steve Alford and the players hit Twitter like a new Miley Cyrus dance move. Second reaction to first reaction: Until last week, I thought the low point in recent UCLA basketball history was the Bruins losing to Princeton in the NCAA Tournament. This tops that. The Chinese escapades may mark the low point in the history of UCLA athletics. Or at least since Billy Don Jackson. Or the handicap parking spot fiasco. So, of course, the university (for now) chickened out. “Suspended indefinitely” is the biggest cop-out in the front-office arsenal.  It suggests there is a path to redemption once all the facts have been gathered and analyzed. “Suspend indefinitely” is what Nebraska coach Tom Osborne did to Lawrence Phillips during the 1995 football campaign. Phillips, the team’s star tailback, had dragged his girlfriend down a stair case by her hair. Phillips learned the hard lessons you learn from that and was...

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Pac Tracks: It’s only a banner season if you consider those being flown over UCLA games

The “over\under” on Pac 12 mentions during Tuesday night’s College Football Playoff ranking show has been set at “two.” ESPN\Disney\analyst cast members, decent folks that they are, will read the names of ranked Pac 12 schools FAST–like a disclaimer at the end of a late-night catheter commercial. Stanford will definitely move into the top 25 based on Friday night’s conference-damaging win over Washington. Washington State, Washington and USC will get perfunctory attention. The selection committee, as usual, will show the Pac 12 more respect than it receives from the selection committee show. And also more respect than the other, mercifully meaningless, polls. USC, at No. 11, is already ranked higher in the CFP ranking than the Trojans were in Sunday’s Associated Press poll (12). The AP has USC at No. 12 even after it  won by double digits at Colorado, on a day THREE teams in the top 10 lost (Georgia, Notre Dame, Washington). The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here....

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Rankman’s wrap (late edition): How the mighty have fallen, and risen, after a chaotic Saturday

One and three, but not two. Uno and tres, but not dos. Un and trois, but not deux. No way this college football season was going to be as easy as one, two, three. We came so close, to having the top three ranked schools lose, on the same day, for the first time since Jan. 1, 1966. Top-ranked Georgia fell, as did third-ranked Notre Dame, but not second-ranked Alabama. The Crimson Tide avoided Bloody Saturday by scoring a game-winning touchdown, with 25 seconds, to win at Mississippi State. Stark-Vegas had a chance to pull off the upset but seemed inclined to play for a close, you-almost-got-em, defeat. MSU got the ball back, game tied, after a missed Alabama field goal, but sat on the ball like a stork on an egg.  On fourth-and-medium, Coach Dan Mullen pulled out his situation card and punted back to Alabama for what everyone knew was going to be the game-winning drive. Mullen, if he goes to Florida, is going to have to show a little more imagination. How many times do you get to beat Alabama, as opposed to punting to Alabama? So it was almost complete chaos yet, with two-loss Notre Dame cleared out of the playoff way, it was enough mayhem to make a couple of Power 5 commissioners happy. No way three conferences’ champions get left out now. Meanwhile, earlier...

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Notes

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Newsmaker of the Week


Miami’s Mark Richt
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TMG Guest Lecturers

What you need to know about the Big 12 and the CFP from TMG contributor, Wendell Barnhouse. Read More…

Special contribution from USC grad student, Anthony Ciardelli, on 50th anniversary of USC vs. UCLA 1967 game for the ages. Read More…

TMG contributor, Tom Luicci wonders how you fit 5 teams into this week’s top 4 spots. Read More…

Big 12 is defensive…about its defenses, from TMG contributor, Wendell Barnhouse. Read More...

TMG welcomes Guest Lecturer/ Fresno State Alum, Larry Stewart, for a trip down memory lane in CA’s Central Valley.  Read More...

And, then there were nine? (in the CFB playoff picture) from TMG Contributor, Tom Luicci. Read More…

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