“They call Alabama the Crimson Tide; they call me Deacon Blues.” RIP to Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, who died last week at age 67 after a memorable life and career in which he contributed to pop culture a terrific college football lyric. Rankman never admitted to caring much about Steely Dan in the 1970s but actually dug their grooves in songs like “Rikki don’t lose that number” and “Reeling in the Years.” When asked by Rolling Stone about the “Crimson Tide” reference Steely co-founder Donald Fagen said, “Walter and I had been working on that song at a house in Malibu. I played him that line and he said, “You mean it’s like ‘they call these cracker a-holes this grandiose name like the Crimson Tide, and I’m this loser, so they call me this other grandiose name, Deacon Blues?’ and I said ‘Yeah!’ He said, “Cool, let’s finish it.’” On to this week’s ranking, starting with No. 1. They call Auburn the something Tigers—man that just doesn’t cut it as a cool song lyric, but we’re sticking with the Fightin’ Gus Malzahns until they lose this weekend against Clemson. But what if they don’t? Last year, lest you forget, Auburn held Clemson to 19 points, the fewest points scored by the eventual national champs in any game. Auburn’s problem was it only scored 13 against Clemson. Alabama, based on its suffocating defeat of Florida State, moves into the on-deck circle. “They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, we call them No.2.” Note: our three projected preseason comeback teams, all 4-8 last year, scored opening day wins. Oregon and Notre Dame won easily while UCLA needed an epic comeback to take down Texas A&M. Did anyone leave the Rose Bowl early? Yes. Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott. He attended the game but left in the second half to catch a flight back to the Bay Area. This is standard practice for him. Please tell us the pilot broke in from the cockpit, mid-flight, to give the final score. “Any Pac 12 fans on board?” The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.