Ray Ratto

Ratto's AP Top 25 Poll (1016)

549738.jpg

Ratto's AP Top 25 Poll (1016)

Every week, Senior Insider Ray Ratto votes in the Associated Press College Football Poll. Here is this week's stab at perfection.

table .font5 color: windowtext; font-size: 8pt; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; font-family: Verdana; td padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 1px; padding-left: 1px; color: black; font-size: 12pt; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; font-family: Calibri,sans-serif; vertical-align: bottom; border: medium none; white-space: nowrap; .xl24 text-align: center; border: 0.5pt solid windowtext; white-space: normal; .xl25 border: 0.5pt solid windowtext; white-space: normal; ruby rt color: windowtext; font-size: 8pt; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; text-decoration: none; font-family: Verdana; display: none; RANK TEAM LAST WEEK THIS WEEK COMMENT 1 LSU WON AT TENNESSEE, 38-7 AUBURN Lots of 2 ALABAMA WON AT MISSISSIPPI, 52-7 TENNESSEE Routs at 3 OKLAHOMA WON AT KANSAS, 47-17 TEXAS TECH The Top 4 BOISE STATE WON AT COLORADO STATE, 63-13 AIR FORCE Of the 5 WISCONSIN BEAT INDIANA, 59-7 At Michigan State Poll Again 6 STANFORD WON AT WASHINGTON STATE, 44-14 WASHINGTON This Week 7 OKLAHOMA STATE WON AT TEXAS, 38-26 At Missouri 40th career win for Mike Gundy, who is a man 8 CLEMSON WON AT MARYLAND, 56-45 NORTH CAROLINA Not the most, just the most fun 9 OREGON BEAT ARIZONA STATE, 41-27 At Colorado May not finish the season on two wings 10 ARKANSAS Set a spell At Mississippi Lost a spot by doing nothing; hey, it happens 11 TEXAS A&M BEAT BAYLOR, 55-28 At Iowa State Convincingly beat a Heisman candidate 12 VIRGINIA TECH WON AT WAKE FOREST, 38-17 At Miami Florida Just holding serve 13 KANSAS STATE WON AT TEXAS TECH, 41-34 At Kansas Bill Snyder says it's not really any of your business 14 WEST VIRGINIA Watched the Big East become the Ottoman Empire At Syracuse Could win the last conference title before it merges with the Patriot League 15 HOUSTON Watched the Texans MARSHALL May not lose a game or be noticed 16 MICHIGAN STATE BEAT MICHIGAN, 28-14 WISCONSIN Throwback uniform feature next week: Leather helmets 17 PENN STATE BEAT PURDUE, 23-18 At Northwestern Maybe this looks silly, but only loss is to Alabama 18 NEBRASKA Nothing worth telling the folks about At Minnesota Inside the leather next week 19 WASHINGTON BEAT COLORADO, 52-24 At Stanford Maybe this looks silly, but only loss is to Nebraska 20 SOUTH CAROLINA Won at Mississippi State, 14-12 Denying any knolwedge of point spreads Barely survived a lousy week, but gamblers hate them anyway 21 AUBURN BEAT FLORIDA, 17-6 At LSU May only last a week here, but they earned it 22 MICHIGAN Lost at Michigan State, 28-14 Taking crap from Michigan State fans Thjrowback uniform feature next week: Straw boaters on coaches 23 ILLINOIS Lost at Ohio State, 17-7 At Purdue Didn't do much against a reeling opponent 24 GEORGIA TECH Lost at Virginia, 24-21 At Miami Florida Not really excusable, when you think about it 25 SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI Enjoyed the hammock and the dying embers of a late summer SOPUTHERN METHODIST Getting used to the idea of being in the Mountain Wrst

Celtics are the rivals Warriors fans need

Celtics are the rivals Warriors fans need

You don’t think you needed this game to go this way, but you did, and you do.

The Golden State Warriors spat out a 17-point lead and lost, 92-88, in Boston Thursday night, in a game that was taut if not particularly elegant, and in a game that elevated the Celtics to a place that makes them the new heir apparent to the heir apparent.

The Celtics have been a difficult out for the Warriors during the Brad Stevens Era, losing six of nine but only being blown out twice, and Thursday was not one of those nights. The box score will tell you the shooting and rebounding problems, but the Warriors had that lead and didn’t hold it. Or, to be accurate, the Celtics had that deficit and refused to let it destroy them.

Which is exactly the kind of team you, the fully licensed Warrior fan, want to watch play your team in the NBA Finals. You want to see them genuinely challenged, forced to win outside their comfort zone, induced to show their greatness in the highest of high leverage situations.

At least we think that’s what you want. Maybe you prefer blowouts so you can drink and go to the bathroom without care or fear. After all, the Warriors have taught the area the true meaning of front-running by being in front so often.

But the Celtics play a level of defense typically reserved for the San Antonio Spurs, and yes, the Warriors. They have a spiky exoskeleton that the acquisition of Kyrie Irving has actually enhanced, and Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum give them a gifted precocity that fits well with veterans like Al Horford and Marcus Morris, and Boston’s overall youth (they are fifth youngest, while Golden State is third-oldest) ought to make them a more difficult conundrum than Cleveland or any other team in either conference.

They are not yet the superior team; that remains to be proven, and betting against the Warriors requires a level of irrational bravery left only for the truly self-destructive.

But they are, as we sit this evening, the team the Warriors will have to work hardest to finish, because on a night when they had the chance to do so, they didn’t. In other words, the fight for a third ring still goes through Oakland, but it looks more and more like a one-stop through Boston.

And as much as you may hate thinking about it, you’ll almost certainly remember, and savor, a Celtics-Warriors final more than another round of Cavs-on-the-half-shell.

Three reasons Draymond Green is the perfect college professor

dray-ap.jpg
AP

Three reasons Draymond Green is the perfect college professor

Programming note: Warriors-Celtics coverage starts today at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming live right here 

Draymond Green spoke to a group of students at Harvard Thursday on the subject of leadership, and if you find that incongruous, shame on you.
 
I mean, who else would you want as a college professor?
 
Green has led, and been led. He has learned, and he has taught. He has certainly lectured, as any teammate, official and media member will testify. He’d be a hell of a teacher, and the subject almost doesn’t matter.
 
For one, homework would be different, as in I’d bet there would be no written work. I don’t see Prof. Day-Day poring over essays about the Industrial Revolution, M-theory or pre-Raphaelite art. Not even the history of Basketball-Reference.com.

For two, having tenured faculty audit his classes may find his choice of rhetoric a little strident, as in “What the ---- were you thinking, dude?” is not typically approved instructional methodology.
 
And three, nobody would get a grade. Green would mark every exam with a “35,” as in his draft position, and besides, the exams would be students arguing with each other over whether that was a foul or a no-call, and who pulled the better face when the call was made. He’d give either an approving nod or give the loser a second technical foul and kick him or her out of class.
 
But it would be a hell of a class. Not at Harvard, of course, because Green probably would want to teach a school that could better use his brand of wisdom, and Harvard kids already have a healthy lead off third base. He’d want his students to make Harvard students cry, you can just tell.
 
But wouldn’t he look perfectly Draymond in a cap and gown on graduation day, pulling a bottle out of his sleeve to make the valedictory speeches less painful. “Damn, dude,” you could hear him yell. “Peaking?”