The UCLA job: Mike Sherman? Pete Carroll? What’s Herman Cain’s number?


Unbuckling the mailbag:

Question: Is Mike Sherman now a candidate for the UCLA job?

Jared Gibson

Answer: Yes, have him get in line behind Pee-wee Herman. If UCLA tried to hire Mike Sherman, recently fired by Texas A&M, Bruins Athletic Director Dan Guerrero would have to make the announcement in a Sherman tank.

Q: Why are you looking so far away? U-DUB Husky Coach Steve Sarkisian is perfect. He was born just five minutes away from UCLA. He coached at USC and will be a natural rival to Kiffin.


Robert Alvarez

A: I like the way you think!

But . . . Sarkisian might as well have been born five light-years away from UCLA. He’s in a solid position at Washington. You can win big there, the alumni base is fanatical and the school is remodeling Husky Stadium.

UCLA’s only chance is to fly up to Seattle and take away Sarkisian’s umbrella.

Q: Like Spurrier, Pete Carroll seems to be having a rough time in the NFL. Is it too close to the USC scandal for him to come back and replace Rick Neuheisel at UCLA?

P.J. Christman

A: Wow, you guys are on fire. Robert wants Sarkisian back, and you want Carroll to coach UCLA?

How about bringing John Robinson back as offensive coordinator and hiring Jeff Fisher to run the defense?


Jack Del Rio, another Trojan, is also available.

Q: Shouldn’t the Pac-12 championship game be on the Fashion Channel?

After all, isn’t it a fashion throw-down between Nike and Adidas?

Lynn McGinnis


A: UCLA is one of the few schools that was not sucked in by the power of Nike.

Everyone knows Phil Knight and Nike, but the Bruins are outfitted by a German company, founded by Adi Dassler. That’s how the company it got its name: Adidas.

Growing up, the fable goes, Dassler was known as the “the gutty little schuhsenkel [shoelace].”

His breakthrough came when Germany won the 1954 World Cup wearing Dassler’s “boots.”

Interestingly, that was the year UCLA, coached by Red Sanders, won its only national title in football (a split crown with Ohio State).

It seemed fitting UCLA and Adidas would someday join forces to win the first Pac-12 South title.

The shoe fit, and UCLA wore it.

Q: Did you see Craig James this weekend? Did you hear him say he still rates Arkansas No. 3, even after losing badly to LSU?

David Macaray


A: No. Every time I see Craig James on TV, it is my longstanding policy to run screaming out of the room and hope he goes away.

I actually count the minutes until Lou Holtz comes back on the air and says something like: “These guys are so bad they shouldn’t be playing Temple, they should be playing Synagogue.”

(That’s no joke: Holtz actually said that this year.)

Q: So you obviously don’t like Alabama but still have them No. 2, right?

Why all the sarcasm?

Mark Stracener

Collierville, Tenn.

A: I’m not a hater. I’m just trying to point out the double standard Southeastern Conference people have. They love the Bowl Championship Series when it suits them. They howled at the moon to prevent a Michigan-Ohio State rematch in 2006 and argued that the system should be overhauled if Florida did not get in the title game.

Now, you are arguing the opposite — that there should be a rematch because there are two SEC teams involved.


Michigan, in 2006, was ranked No. 2 when it lost by three points at No. 1 Ohio State.

Florida lost that year to No. 11 Auburn, by 10.

Yet Florida deserved the bid over Michigan?

Simply acknowledge the hypocrisy of SEC myopia and I’ll be happy to move on to more important matters, such as Andrew Luck deserving the Heisman Trophy over Trent Richardson.

Q: Dear Rankman, do you think the phrase “signature loss” will replace “body of work” and “passing the eye test” as the most used cliche when discussing Alabama’s No. 2 BCS ranking?

Jon Basalone


A: As far as Alabama making the title game, I’d add this cliche: “The hay is in the barn.”

Q: Get real. The two best teams in college football are in the SEC West. To imply that there is another conference as strong as the SEC is laughable.

Elvie F. McGlawn III


A: I have no response to this but included your question just because of your fantastic name!

Q: If Georgia beats LSU, Georgia must go to a BCS game. If that happens, how can LSU play Alabama in the BCS championship? There can be no more than two teams from any conference in BCS bowls. Was there a rule change to allow three?

Ron Tamburello

A: Yes, the BCS had to account for this little problem back in 2007 when it appeared three Big 12 schools might face this sort of situation, though it never happened.

The BCS handbook now states that only two teams from the same conference are allowed in BCS games “unless two non-champions from the same conference are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the final BCS standings.”

That probably would be the scenario if Georgia upsets LSU on Saturday. LSU and Alabama would likely still play for the title as non-champions.


Q: ‘Bama lost at home, didn’t win their division or conference and could get schooled in New Orleans for the BCS title. What will be said then? The other 49 states will be screaming.

Mike Lloyd

A: No one will be screaming loud enough to stop it from happening.

Q: You can dish it out . . . but can you take it? You have the liberty of writing your opinion in a large publication, with the hope of influencing voters to do your personal bidding of preventing an Alabama/LSU rematch. It is your personal bidding because your argument is absurd.

W. David Shipp

A: I quit reading after you said “you have the liberty of writing your opinion in a large publication . . .”

Q: Like it or not, the rematch will happen. Just because you hate/fear the SEC does not mean they are not the top teams in the nation.


Chill out and wake up.

Dr. Terrence Hendridge

A: You call that bedside manner? My fear is that if you treated me for the chills, I wouldn’t wake up.

Q: The SEC will play a rematch game and there isn’t anything you can do about it, so go into your room and cry.

Scott Haynes

A: OK. I’ll cry in my fancy hotel room when the company sends me down to New Orleans to cover the game. But first, I’m going to get a cup of coffee and beignet at Cafe du Monde and then walk along the Mississippi River at sunset.

Dinner plans? You bet. I’ll start with the turtle soup at Commander’s Palace and make my way down the menu from there, closing with the fabulous bananas Foster.


The difference between ‘Bama fans and me is I’m going to the game no matter who is in it.

Remember, there’s no cheering in the press box.

Q: What/who specifically is keeping USC out of the Pac-12 championship game? Is it the NCAA postseason ban or did the Pac-12 take separate action against SC by extending the NCAA sanction definition to include the championship game?

Tom Kendall

A: The decision was made as soon as the Pac-12 was formed and the schools were divided into two divisions.

It would be hard to let USC win the league title and then not allow the Trojans to go to the Rose Bowl.

Would you send the Pac-12 title game loser?

It is too bad because USC is very hot right now.

Q: And just who do you think deserves the chance to pay for the national title . . . Stanford?

Brad McNeeley


A: Stanford or Samford, either one is fine by me.