Ray Ratto

Ratto: AP Top 25 Rankings (101010)


Ratto: AP Top 25 Rankings (101010)

Ray Ratto

Each week, your elderly . . . er, geezerific . . . er, well beyond his prime . . . er, past his sell-by date . . . er, Senior Insider provides his Associated Press College Football Top 25 poll to you, ahead of time, at no extra charge. We will, of course, bill you at the end of the season.

1 (2)
Ohio State
They may back into the title game now.
2 (3)
This is where the real argument is.
3 (4)
OregonHow about mixing in a good first half?
4 (5)
Boise StateStill waiting on the Nevada game.
5 (7)
This might be the second-best team.
6 (6)
AuburnMade it too close against Kentucky.
7 (9)
NebraskaThis is where we find out if they're real.
8 (18)
South Carolina
Lost to Auburn, which is why they're here.
9 (11)
LSULes Miles' soul, meet the devil.
10 (12)
Michigan StateThat'll teach RichRod.
11 (1)
AlabamaNow they must actively root against folks.
12 (15)
UtahIowa State, not so good.
13 (16)
IowaIt's losers out this week.
14 (17)
MissouriNot sure how they do it, but they do.
15 (22)
StanfordCuttin' it a little fine there, eh, Jimmy?
16 (8)
See Iowa.
17 (19)
ArkansasThis could be the end of the line.
18 (21)
West Virginia
Starting to count that BCS money already.
19 (NR)
Oklahoma State
Soon (not yet) the schedule gets cranky.
20 (NR)
Florida State
Nice piece of work against Miami.
21 (23)
Just layin' in the weeds until Nov. 26.
22 (NR)
Air ForceOnly the FG loss to Oklahoma in the way.
23 (NR)
NC State
The pickin' is starting to get slim now.
24 (13)
This was very nearly Oregon State.
25 (NR)
This was very nearly Delaware.
Previous Rank in Parentheses

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The time has come to draw your own conclusion

The time has come to draw your own conclusion

For the record, and just so you can’t say you weren’t told, these are the 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL and the 50 backups. Draw your own conclusions.

(Author’s note: We list these only because Joe Webb was just signed by the Buffalo Bills, whose starter and first backup, Tyrod Taylor and T.J. Yates, are still in the concussion protocol).


DENVER: Trevor Siemian (Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler)

KANSAS CITY: Alex Smith (Patrick Mahomes, Tyler Bray)

LOS ANGELES: Philip Rivers (Cardale Jones)

OAKLAND: Derek Carr (E.J. Manuel, Connor Cook)


BALTIMORE: Joe Flacco (Ryan Mallett)

CINCINNATI: Andy Dalton (AJ McCarron)

CLEVELAND: DeShone Kizer (Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, Josh Woodrum)

PITTSBURGH: Ben Roethlisberger (Landry Jones, Joshua Dobbs)


HOUSTON: Tom Savage (DeShaun Watson)

INDIANAPOLIS: Scott Tolzien (Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett)

JACKSONVILLE: Chad Henne (Blake Bortles)

TENNESSEE: Marcus Mariota (Matt Cassel)


BUFFALO: Nathan Peterman (Taylor, Yates, Webb)

MIAMI: Jay Cutler (Matt Moore, David Fales)

NEW ENGLAND: Tom Brady (Jimmy Garoppolo)

NEW YORK: Josh McCown (Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg)


ARIZONA: Carson Palmer (Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert)

LOS ANGELES: Jared Goff (Sean Mannion)

SAN FRANCISCO: Brian Hoyer (C.J. Beathard)

SEATTLE: Russell Wilson (Austin Davis)


CHICAGO: Mike Glennon (Mitchell Trubisky, Mark Sanchez)

DETROIT: Matthews Stafford (Jack Rudock)

GREEN BAY: Aaron Rodgers (Brett Hundley)

MINNESOTA: Sam Bradford (Case Keenum)


ATLANTA: Matt Ryan (Matt Schaub)

CAROLINA: Cam Newton (Derek Anderson, Brad Kaaya)

NEW ORLEANS: Drew Brees (Chase Daniel, Taysom Hill)

TAMPA BAY: Jameis Winston (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Griffin)


DALLAS: Dak Prescott (Cooper Rush)

NEW YORK: Eli Manning (Geno Smith, Davis Webb)

PHILADELPHIA: Carson Wentz (Nick Foles)

WASHINGTON: Kirk Cousins (Colt McCoy)

Again, draw your own conclusions. I know I’ve drawn mine.

Justin Verlander becomes the new face of Texas-sized pressure


Justin Verlander becomes the new face of Texas-sized pressure

The word “pressure” should be the focus of a drinking game – every time you are watching a sporting event and some announcer uses it to describe a tense situation, get sociable. You’ll be paralytic in half an hour.
And then there’s Justin Verlander, the newest Houston Astro. He is already being cast as the man who can face down a flood and renew Houston’s self-esteem in as many as 12 starts.
Verlander was moved by the newly cost-conscious Detroit Tigers at the waiver wire because the Astros, who once had the American League taking a knee, have been in a Giants-level freefall for the last month a once-double digit lead over the rest of the field has withered to three games and change with less than 30 to play.
So Verlander is supposed to stabilize the team’s wonky pitching staff to entertain a town that has been beaten remorsely by the meteorological thug Harvey, and give the Astros a world championship that hasn’t happened in more than two decades at a time when it could use all the morale it can get.
It’s a tawdry little play on the 2013 Red Sox, who won the World Series after the Boston Marathon bombing, and Verlander is the face of the new guy who helps stabilize the old faces into a march to distractive glory.
Now that, children, is pressure on a level that broadcasters cannot begin to fully explain. But hey, Justin Verlander knew the job was dangerous when he took it, and this is a way easier path to the ring he didn’t get in 2014. All he has to do is haul an entire waterlogged city with him.
Piece of cake.