CHRIS DUFRESNE / ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Times college football rankings: Five California schools make the list

Stanford, at No. 9, is the highest-rated school in this week's Rankman list.

Rankman has rarely been this excited about two recently "dropped out" teams playing on a Thursday night in Piscataway, N.J. The showdown between Rutgers and Louisville now features two teams representing three different conferences. Rutgers is joining the Big Ten in 2014 and Louisville just announced it is leaving the Big East for the Atlantic Coast. The Big East doesn't bother these days to stitch member names on its lettermen's sweaters — it uses Velcro. There is so much upheaval and mediocrity at the bottom of these rankings that Slippery Rock made it to the second-to-final cut. Five schools from California cracked the list but uthere was no room at the Top-25 Inn for hobos USC and California. Also, note the team at No. 20. This is the highest Rankman has been on Utah State since he used to put beer on ice in the sink while lodging at the Logan Motel Baugh.

1. Notre Dame 12-0; Walmart worker claims to see image of Touchdown Jesus in gold helmet on recent SI cover. (1)

2. Ohio State 12-0; Could have self imposed postseason ban last year but that Gator Bowl gift bag was too good to pass up. (2)

3. Alabama 11-1; Last played Georgia so long ago that the game tape included several runs by Herschel Walker. (3)

4. Oregon; 11-1; Prediction: coach who talks out of the side of his mouth will leave for the NFL using a side door. (4)

5. Georgia 11-1; Team reminds Rankman of the guy who cuts to the front of a movie theater line and claims a friend saved his spot. (5)

6. Florida 11-1; One Gator says to another, "Interesting how BCS system developed by SEC has worked out so well for SEC." (7)

7. Kansas State 10-1; Fiesta Bowl matchup with Oregon could be billed "Was BCS title game on Nov. 12." (8)

8. Louisiana State 10-2; "Death Valley" nickname seems a tad misleading after Towson and Mississippi combine for 57 points. (9)

9. Stanford 10-2; Ranked higher than USC in AP poll and most national university ratings. (10)

10. Texas A&M 10-2; Johnny Football's anticlimactic first words to media this year: "Hey, anyone got change for a quarter?" (11)

11. South Carolina 10-2; If Steve Spurrier keeps winning 10 games a year he should get a plaque at the Fort Sumter visitors center. (13)

12. Oklahoma 9-2; Fiesta Bowl matchup with Oregon would not start until Oklahoma receives background check on replay official. (14)

13. Florida State 10-2; Jimbo Fisher creates special "Cartography Unit" just in case team plays Kent State in Orange Bowl. (6)

14. Clemson 10-2; If Clemson was in the Olympics it would look great and finish fourth in every event. (12)

15. Oregon State 8-3; Don't be surprised if win over Nicholls State somehow gives Alabama a huge BCS computer bounce. (15)

16. UCLA 8-3; Ranked higher than USC in AP poll and also produced singer Jim Morrison of "The Doors." (16)

17. Nebraska 10-2; "Go Big Red!" is chant for the team standing between Rose Bowl and five-loss Wisconsin New Year's Day-mare. (17)

18. Texas 8-3; Needs to win regular-season finale at Kansas State and a bowl game to cap a truly ordinary 10-win season. (20)

19. Kent State 11-1; Alum Lou Holtz says team is spitting image of all the really good teams he ever coached. (23)

20. Utah State 10-2; Bylaws state that team that wins the last WAC football championship must also turn out the lights. (24)

21. San Diego State 9-3; Ranked higher than USC in AP poll and also boasts a nearby world-class zoo. (22)

22. Fresno State 9-3; Ranked higher than USC in AP poll and also town where Carson Palmer was born. (NR)

23. San Jose State 10-2; Ranked higher than USC; also city where 35% of all U.S. venture capital funds are invested. (NR)

24. Northwestern 9-3; Three blown leads undefeated season and graduate Brent Musburger leading cheers in title-game press box. (NR)

25. Northern Illinois 11-1; Recap: Huskies lost opener to Iowa by one point and then were largely ignored until, well, right now. (NR)

Dropped out: Louisville (18), Rutgers (19), Michigan (24), Mississippi State (25).

Moved in: Fresno State, San Jose State, Northwestern, Northern Illinois.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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