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CHRIS DUFRESNE / ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Rankman installs Texas Christian at No. 1

Horned Frogs top Auburn in final college football rankings. Call it a protest vote or a complaint that Texas Christian and Auburn can't decide this on the field.

January 12, 2011|Chris Dufresne
  • TCU safety Tyler Luttrell celebrates following the Horned Frogs' 21-19 victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
TCU safety Tyler Luttrell celebrates following the Horned Frogs'… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Rankman walked away from the Rose Bowl and Bowl Championship Series title game thinking Texas Christian deserved to be No. 1 in something! The Horned Frogs played a crisp, turnover-free game in a 21-19 win over a Wisconsin team that had scored 83, 48 and 70 points in its last three games.

The BCS title game was exciting but uneven, with the winning quarterback's late fumble nearly costing his team the national title.

Call this a protest vote or a complaint that TCU and Auburn can't meet to decide this on the field. Also, if NCAA violations are found that would force Auburn to forfeit the BCS title — what's pending with USC — there will be no need here to vacate the 2010 season champion.

The foolproof part about this pick is no one can disprove it. The most troubling sentence in college football has always been: "We'll never know."

1. Texas Christian (13-0): Your picture-postcard Rose Bowl photos available for pickup at Costco. (3)

2. Auburn (14-0): Cecil Newton sneaked into BCS game disguised as a selfless, team-first father. (2)

3. Oregon (12-1): Pulled a fast one on every team this season, except one. (1)

4. Stanford (12-1): School should replace Harbaugh with Andrew Luck as player-coach. (4)

5. Boise State (12-1): School keeps Coach Petersen by offering him a 13-0 season next year. (7)

6. Nevada (13-1): UCLA registers for Part II of Professor Ault's "Pistol Offense Theory" course. (8)

7. Ohio State (12-1): President Gee really prefers that you call it the Tattoo University. (9)

8. Wisconsin (11-2): Bucky Badger's Hollywood pet cemetery tour included stop at "Toto." (5)

9. Oklahoma (12-2): Sooners appear pumped and poised to lose next year's BCS title game. (12)

10. Alabama (10-3): Tide sends Auburn congratulatory note it's held since 1957. (18)

11. Arkansas (10-3): Mallett will be a good quarterback when he learns when not to throw a pass. (6)

12. Louisiana State (11-2): Bo reaches down from "The Big House" to punch "The Hat" in "The Head." (13)

13. Oklahoma State (11-2): Rankman guarantees top 10 finish in next year's Big 12. (15)

14. Mississippi State (9-4): Made RichRod wish Michigan had fired him before Gator Bowl. (19)

15. Virginia Tech (11-3): Senior moments cost Hokies against Leland Stanford Jr. (10)

16. Michigan State (11-2): Team learns in bowl the real "Legends" division is SEC West. (11)

17. Missouri (10-3): Gabbert offered Iowa secondary three dumb passes and said "pick one." (14)

18. Florida State (10-4): Coach Fisher almost made fans forget … dad-gum, what's his name? (NR)

19. Texas A&M (9-4): Need cure for five straight bowl losses? Play Arizona. (16)

20. Nebraska (10-4): Cocksure Huskers overlooked Huskies in the Hubris Bowl. (17)

21. Utah (10-3): Devoted followers begin perilous wagon trek to the Pacific (12) South. (20)

22. Central Florida (11-3): School will use bowl money to buy more athletic tube socks. (24)

23. Maryland (9-4): If new coach Edsall turns program around, Terps will be 4-9 next season. (NR)

24. Tulsa (10-3): Coach leaving Tulsa for Pittsburgh considered a cultural "push." (NR)

25. San Diego State (8-4): Future bright until Hoke took Michigan job Tuesday. (NR)

Dropped out: South Carolina (21), Connecticut (23), West Virginia (24); Hawaii (22).

Moved in: Florida State, Maryland, Tulsa, San Diego State.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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