Ray's Top 25: Stanford returns, edges USC


Ray's Top 25: Stanford returns, edges USC

Every week, our Senior Decider votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, which of course makes all other opinions both superfluous and valueless (hey, dont say you never get your moneys worth here).

So here, after Week Eight, is the world of college football, whether you like it or not. And if you dont, theres a new one next week you might like better.

RELATED: Ratto's Week Eight rankings

1 Alabama Just sucking the fun out of everything, every week. 2 Oregon And then there was one left of the 12, and the Ducks are it. 3 Kansas State Bill Snyder might be good at this until he's 115. 4 Notre Dame Stanford can say it got squeezed at the end. Oklahoma just got crushed. 5 Florida State Will have a very nice January. Just not the one they dreamed of. 6 Ohio State The Big 10 is down, very down, but the Buckeyes can't be responsible for everyone else. 7 Louisiana State Idle hands are the devil's workshop. See Mathieu, Tyrann. 8 Louisville When you never lose, eventually you hang around the thin-air types. 9 Georgia A very impressive win over a slightly overrated Florida bunch. 10 Clemson You don't have to like them. You have to beat them. And nobody does. 11 Florida Overrated at 2. Maybe underrated at 11. But these are treacherous times. 12 South Carolina Cut it a bit fine again, but ended up on the right side of the blade. 13 Oregon State Washington is a hard out in Seattle. But they're also very maddening. 14 Mississippi State No shame in losing to Alabama. You just lose a few brownie points. 15 Oklahoma When someone figures this team out, please alert the authorities. 16 Texas A&M I suppose getting Gene Chizik fired will make someone happy, though I can't see the joy. 17 Toledo Beating Buffalo is not your standard signature win. 18 Kent State Rutgers went as far as it could, but these are the freaking Gloden Flashes we speak of here. 19 Texas Tech Deserves to drop after performance against Kansas State, but we're running out of other candidates. 20 Rutgers Kent State will hurt for a good long time. 21 Boise State You don't have to like them. They have one loss. They always have one loss. 22 Stanford Washington State another closer-than-it-should-be shave. 23 Southern California Lane Kiffin is no longer winning friends and influencing alums. 24 Northern Illinois They may not get much higher than this, but they don't look like they'll go much lower, either. 25 Louisiana Tech The next Boise State in training, perhaps?

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe


Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof


The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.