Ray Ratto

Ratto's AP Top 25 Poll (102)


Ratto's AP Top 25 Poll (102)

Every week, our intrepid jackass . . . sorry, senior insider Ray Ratto votes in the Associated Press College Football Poll. This is this weeks latest stab at perfection.

RANK TEAM LAST WEEK THIS WEEK COMMENT 1 LSU Won at Kentucky, 35-7 Florida This next one could bury the Gators for good 2 Alabama Won at Florida, 38-10 Vanderbilt Poised to move back to No. 1 if LSU struggles 3 Boise State Beat Nevada, 30-10 at Fresno State (Friday) Hard to see them moving from this spot any time soon 4 Oklahoma Beat Ball State, 62-6 at Texas (Dallas) Strangest bedfellows ever 5 Clemson Won at Virginia Tech, 23-3 Boston College Nobody wanted to believe it until now 6 Wisconsin Beat Nebraska, 48-17 Sweeping up after Nebraska Russell Wilson could catch a ball on the sideline too 7 Stanford Beat UCLA, 45-19 Colorado Luck expected to start at strong safety this week 8 Oklahoma St Restocked the dorm kegs Kansas Not easy, but not difficult either 9 Arkansas Beat Texas A&M, 42-38 Auburn Maybe the easy early schedule kept them rested for now 10 Oregon Regrouted the hot tub California (Thursday) Ursines will have to get hurt a lot to slow Ducks 11 Michigan Beat Minnesota, 58-0 at Northwestern Brady Hoke already owns the state that isnt East Lansing 12 Texas Beat Iowa State, 37-14 Oklahoma (Dallas) If Texas wins, it will but OU and make it a satellite school 13 Georgia Tech Won at North Carolina State, 45-35 Maryland Terps need to bring back the opening night unoforms 14 Texas A&M Lost to Arkansas, 42-38 at Texas Tech No glory lost in defeat for Ags, but Tech is better than it seems 15 West Virginia Beat Bowling Green, 55-10 Connecticut Rallying back toward that 11-2 record 16 Virginia Tech Lost to Clemson, 23-3 Miami, Florida It's what the Hokies do, over and over and over again 17 Illinois Beat Northwestern, 38-35 at Indiana Big win means a quasi-week off 18 Florida Lost to Alabama, 38-10 at Louisiana State This won't be nearly as much fun as we thought 19 Nebraska Lost at Wisconsin, 48-17 Ohio State Is Ohio State still in the league? 20 Auburn Won at South Carolia, 16-13 at Arkansas Nobody liked Auburn early, but it's not early any more 21 Texas Tech Won at Kansas, 45-34 Texas A&M Tech's stay may be brief 22 Houston Beat Texas El Paso, 49-42 East Carolina They score, they get scored upon. This is football, baby! 23 South Carolina Lost to Auburn, 16-13 Kentucky They stayed up because Auburn is a tough out 24 Washington Won at Utah, 31-14 Starbucks for Seahawks pledge drive Huskies look like they're getting it 25 Arizona State Beat Oregon State, 35-20 at Utah This was nearly Kansas State, so Devils need to hold serve

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


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?”