Unbuckling the mailbag:
Question: Where is the petition to send UCLA to the Big Sky North Division?
Answer: I think that petition became Proposition 60-13 and is on the ballot in next month's California elections. The Big Sky doesn't have divisions, but if it ever did, and UCLA downgraded to 1-AA in football, if it hasn't already, I would imagine the Bruins would be put in the south so long as they were guaranteed every-year crossover games against Montana and Montana State in the north.
The most incredible point in Thursday night's lumbering loss at Oregon was when UCLA opted for a field goal in the Ducks' red zone to cut the lead to 15-3.
I asked followers on Twitter to finish the following sentence: "Settling for a field goal against Oregon is like…"
My contribution was…shaking hands with Miss America.
Some of the other responses:
-- "Sinking a 40-foot putt for a 7."
-- "Winning five bucks and walking away from the table."
-- "Reading the SI Swimsuit Edition."
-- "Having a box of Krispy Kreme donuts with a Diet Coke."
Q: Any truth to the rumor that Mike Leach is on the short list to replace Ra Ra Ricky? Can we start one?
A: I doubt Mike Leach would be the right fit at UCLA., especially after his contentious parting with Texas Tech.
UCLA and Lubbock, though, are similar in some ways. One has Rodeo Drive and the other has a rodeo.
Leach tried to get involved at UCLA after Karl Dorrell was canned, but that didn't go very far. And that was before Leach allegedly locked ESPN analyst Craig James' kid in a shed at Texas Tech.
Q: Dear Chris: I can see the BCS from my porch! Shall I compare the BCS to Sarah Palin?
A: Not quite sure what you're getting at, Scott, unless you're talking about moving the BCS to Alaska, putting it on an "unsinkable" cruise ship, not providing enough life rafts and then running it into an iceberg. I think a lot of people would be in favor of that.
Q: You did a great job last week highlighting the possible bias and illogic of the human voters in the two polls used by the BCS. How about an article discussing (defending) the much-derided computer rankings? How about showing a little love for the computers?
A: Loving the BCS computer component is sort of like loving British Petroleum. One computer guy (Peter Wolfe) has Stanford ranked No. 9, two spots ahead of Oregon, which beat Stanford this year 52-31.
LSU holds the No. 2 ranking despite nearly losing to Tennessee and last week having to score a couple of late touchdowns to make the McNeese State game seem as if it wasn't close (it was).
If the computers had eyes, they wouldn't have Oklahoma No.1. The computers, though, think scraping past Utah State in Norman is something to boast about.
These are the same man-made machines that kept Oklahoma No.1 in the BCS in 2003 after the Sooners got blown out by Kansas State in the Big 12 title game.
Here's a thought: Only use the computers in the BCS as the tie breaker. Don't use them if the two human polls both agree on No.1 and No.2 — as they agree now on Oregon and Boise State.
Without the computers, Miami would have played Oklahoma in 2000, Oregon would have played Miami in 2001, and USC would have played LSU in 2003.
I would have much rather seen those games than Florida State-Oklahoma, Miami-Nebraska and Oklahoma-LSU.
Maybe I need to write a book: "Death to the BCS (computers)."
Q: BCS, what else? These computer rankings don't pass the smell test. Bozo Sagarin thinks there are 19 teams better than Alabama. Moron Massey thinks there are 20 teams better than Ohio State and idiot Billingsley thinks there are 25 ore more teams better than Missouri.
Preston Gartley, La Habra.
A: You didn't even mention Anderson & (Court Jester) Hester, who have LSU at No. 1; Wacky Wolfe, who has Alabama at 15; and "Completely Lost it" Colley who thinks Michigan State is No. 4.
Q: I respect you as a sportswriter. That said, I cannot imagine why you, and granted, many others are so high on Boise State….What would you think of Alabama or Oklahoma if they had Boise's schedule?
A: I respect you, Lew, as a whatever-you-are, but let's turn that around: why are you, and many others, so low on Boise? The Broncos finished last year 14-0, ended up No. 4 in both polls, and returned more than 20 starters. If you took the "BSU" logo off their helmet and replaced it with "LSU," would you have any problem ranking that team preseason No.1?
Alabama lost 10 starters on defense and was hoisted to the top of this year's rankings. Why?
It's time for people to get off Boise's case.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News asked San Jose State Coach Mike MacIntyre this week about how Boise State would fare against Alabama.
"I think it would be a great game," MacIntyre, whose team lost to both schools this year, said. "Boise State is right there with all of those teams. "
Could Boise, athletically, hang with Alabama?