There's a difference between loving college football and knowing it. I love my country but couldn't be Secretary of State.
Oh please, let's stop this stuff about Condoleezza Rice not being qualified to sit on a panel to choose four college football teams for a playoff.
Rice is actually a college football nerd. She said the other day she remembers listening on the radio to the 10-10 tie between Notre Dame and Michigan State in 1966.
Notre Dame played for the tie to protect its national title in the two national polls. Rice remembers her father complaining about a playoff way back then.
"He was always frustrated as a fan that we didn't have head-to-head competition," Rice said.
Rice said her role on the committee will be to bring a different point of view. "People thought it was important to have diversity of experience," Rice said. "Secondly, they said we want people who will make critical judgments, and can do it under pressure."
Rice will be just fine.
How are you feeling now about your claim that Stanford's the best in the Pac-12 and national championship contender?
I feel just awful. I can't sleep, eat, think or function. I'm a physical wreck, mentally despondent, dehydrated and dyspeptic. I've had hot flashes and heat rashes. My good cholesterol is low and my bad cholesterol is high. I have developed iron-poor blood, psoriasis and bunions.
I am on so much medication I should not operate a can opener much less heavy machinery.
The pit in my stomach is deeper than the Mariana Trench. I have been muttering around the house incoherently ever since Stanford came up six yards shy of staying undefeated at Utah.
I haven't bathed, shaved or left the house for fear neighbors will whisper, "There's the guy who thought Stanford was No.1."
I feel lower than the theme song on the old show "Hee Haw" that goes: "Gloom, despair and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. Gloom, despair and agony on me."
Lindsay Lohan emailed, "I feel better about my life now knowing you picked Stanford."
I feel like a boob and a heel and an ignoramus all rolled into a sucker sandwich for having the gall to pick a team No. 1 that had the exact same record as Alabama the last three years.
I bang my head against a Palo Alto and ask, "Why, why why can't I predict the outcome of every game?" How come my preseason top 25 never matches up with my postseason 25?
There, I feel better now.
The Southeastern Conference has eight teams in the top 25? What's up with that?
What, you wanted nine? I was surprised myself considering the SEC really isn't as strong as it has been. I think it's easier for voters just to pencil in SEC teams on Sunday morning because it doesn't take much effort.
The SEC will start to lose ranked teams as the season plays out. Alabama and Missouri are the only undefeated teams left in the league. Missouri, without injured quarterback James Franklin, could lose at home on Saturday to Florida.
Two-loss Florida or Georgia is guaranteed a third loss when the teams play on Nov. 2. And Florida still has to play South Carolina. Auburn is sniffing around the top 25 but has remaining games against Texas A&M, Florida and Alabama.
What I'm saying is there's no way the SEC will end up with eight ranked teams.
My guess is seven.
I'm surprised you didn't rank Oregon above Alabama.
I thought long and hard and then decided to simply move No. 2 Alabama into Stanford's old spot. I think Oregon is playing the best football right now, but Alabama deserves to be No. 1 as the two-time defending champion.
I look at it like boxing now, where you have to take the belt from the champion. Alabama has been up and down all year and has not played an inspiring schedule, but the Crimson Tide always has another gear when it needs it.
In big games, when it counts most, Alabama still has what it takes to beat anybody out there, including Oregon.
What's your take on how good Utah is? Who do you think wins Utah vs. USC at the Coliseum?
The Utes are good. They beat Utah State with Chuckie Keeton, Brigham Young and Stanford. They lost in overtime to Oregon State and came within an on-side kick recovery that could have led to upsetting UCLA. The Bruins forced six interceptions and still couldn't put the Utes away.
I don't know why the Utes have barely earned votes in the writers' and coaches' polls. Are people not watching?
Utah had a tough transition from the Mountain West to the Pac-12, as everyone expected. The Utes went 13-12 in their first two years, but this is the same program that went 13-0 in 2008 and defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
The addition of Dennis Erickson as co-coordinator this year has put a jolt into the Utes' offense. Utah is averaging 37 points per game, 11 more than last year and 470 yards per game compared with 324.
Utah is better at home than it is on the road so I'd have to make USC a slight favorite at the Coliseum on Oct. 26.
The Utes nearly upset USC two years at the Coliseum in their first game as a Pac-12 member.
You missed the most basic question: Why do we need a national champion?
Whoa there, hold your SMU Mustangs. Why do we need a national champion? Why do we need food or water or oxygen?
If you asked that question in the South you'd have to change your name and get an unlisted phone number.
This is America, land of the free, home of the government shutdown and king of the championship crowners. We hand out championships for hot-dog eating and dog shows. We give out trophies for artichokes.
The problem in college football is that, for too long, our national championship was "mythical" and decided by a handful of coaches and writers.
We're trying to find a better way to crown a champion. For years the bowl contract system prevented the top teams from meeting.
The Bowl Championship Series tried to resolve that issue by bringing the Rose Bowl into the fold and picking the top two teams using polls and computer polls. After 16 years, we're upgrading next year to a four-team playoff that will be chosen by a prestigious panel of judges.
This isn't the eight- or 16-team playoff that many want, but it's a start.
I'm curious. The mayor wants the Rams back? Do you? I don't.
The former L.A. Rams? That would depend on what team you are talking about. I'd take back the 1989 team I covered all the way to the NFC title game. I would not take back any Rams whose name started with "St. Louis."/runtime:topic> title game. I would not take back any Rams whose name started with "St. Louis."