Rankman ended months of wild speculation Monday by deciding not to expand his ranking system. “We’ve never been more united to stay at 16,” he said after emerging from a TMG College Sports presidents’ meeting. Last summer, the idea of expansion was broached after thinking the current ranking may be “psychologically disadvantaged” against “power” systems that rank more schools. TMG paid a consulting firm $10 to gauge the feasibility for expansion and to solicit formal presentations from numbers 17 through 25. In reality, only four numbers were ever seriously considered: 17, 18, 19 and 20. Rankman refuted the suggestion other digits were only considered to appease bingo players and third-grade math teachers. “We really enjoyed the presentations of ALL the numbers,” Rankman insisted. “We learned a lot. No.21, for example, boasted it was once worn by Roberto Clemente, which it argued would help our “pirate” demographic.  An interesting case was also made for 23, the only “prime” number among those considered from 21 to 25. We even got a long shot, “Hail Mary” heave from No. 26, the TMG-expansion equivalent to Rice University. Reps highlighted the number’s important role in history and culture, including the catchy song lyric, “26 miles across the sea, Santa Catalina’s the island for me…” Ultimately, Rankman and TMG decided to stay at 16, and sincerely hope this “exploratory,” fact-finding mission was not a colossal waste of time, money and resources. TMG was not trying to “do a number” on anyone and considered the journey of the last few months a pleasant, convivial, satisfactory, foray for all. To us, all number applicants were a foamed-finger No.1. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.