The selection committee finally came around to Alabama at No. 1 the same week Rankman came around to relegating the Pac 12 to the “Group of 6”. The Pac will join Conference USA, the MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt and the American in a pool of conferences that will compete for two very good bowl bids. The top finisher in the Pac 12 will receive an invitation to the Fiesta Bowl while the champions of five other leagues will vie for a spot in the Peach Bowl. This has been a down year for the Pac 12 but there’s no sense getting up in the league’s face. The conference released its 2018 schedule on Wednesday and it was hard not to get excited about the prospect of Cincinnati playing at UCLA on Sept. 1. If you don’t like that, there’s also Bowling Green at Oregon Green on the same day. Ok, we buried the lead.  After two years of getting ripped for scheduling Rutgers, the University of Washington will play Auburn on Sept. 1 in a neutral-site game. The selection committee will likely hail Auburn for making this game while chastising U-Dub for taking so long to make it. And here’s an opening-week present for the new Oregon State coach: at Ohio State. Yikes! The second week could make or break the Pac playoff psyche with key non-conference games: Oklahoma at UCLA, Arizona at Houston and Michigan State at Arizona State. Another Bevo-burner figures to be USC at Texas on Sept. 15, a rematch of this year’s 2OT thriller at the Coliseum. Great news for USC, however, which was forced to play 12 straight weeks this year. The Trojans will get a bye in 2018, on Oct. 6.  The schedule is fairer overall and does away, thankfully, with Friday road games following Saturday road games. Pac 12 will  play seven games on six different Friday nights, a move partially responsible for the MAC having to move its entire schedule to Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Also, if Jim Mora remains UCLA’s coach, he’s going to have to wait until the last weekend of the season (Nov. 24) to get another shot at beating Stanford for the first time. Did we mention, in terms of the Pac 12, that next year can’t get here soon enough?

 

1: Alabama (10-0): Saban doesn’t understand why kids need to rip holes in jeans. Kids don’t understand why Saban needs to rip holes in Mercer. (1)

2: Miami (9-0):  School calls pest control to deal with hundreds and hundreds of former players crawling out of wood work.  (4)

3: Clemson (9-1): Dabo on Citadel: “Boys, if you’re looking to get suspended for one game this is the week to do it. (6)

4: Auburn (7-2): Louisiana-Monroe game ends SEC presidential cupcake series that included Louisiana-Adams and Louisiana-Madison. (15)

5: Oklahoma (9-1): It is believed Baker Mayfield would be first QB to win Heisman six months after getting tackled by a Fayetteville cop.  (6) The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.