Top 25 Pop Quiz

What you may not, or may, know about some of the nation's best

Oct. 11, 2007

College Football Preview: Week 7

> The Red Zone  |  Tape It Up  |  Strike The Pose  |  Breaking The Code
> B.J.: No Love In The Heartland  | Bad Bruins    |  Amsinger: Picks  |  Sorenson: 10 Questions
> Braff: Backups Be Ready  |  Hart: Magic Acts  |  Trev: USC Still In It  |  Heisman Frontrunner
> Caparell: Missouri The Machine  |  Blackburn: Top 25 Pop Quiz  |  Crystal Ball: Weekend Predictions

By Carter Blackburn

Special to



Carter Blackburn covers various sports for CSTV and writes frequently for
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Sitting down for enchiladas at Las Minatas this week, a fairly knowledgeable friend asked me, "So, who is this Central Florida team?"


An odd question, since the George O'Leary-led Knights are having no better than an above average season, including a near upset over my local team, Texas.


"They're rated 5th in the country, and I don't even know what their mascot is," he continued.




This is when I realized the error of his ways; it was not Central Florida he wanted to know about, but South Florida. His knowledge of the nation's 5th-ranked team excluded not only their mascot, but the proper direction in the Sunshine State from which they hailed.


I suspect that my friend, the directionless diner, is not alone in this "Alice through the Lookinglass" season in college football where everything seems upside-down. 


So with the Oct. 7, 2007 AP Top 25 poll by my side, I present a mix and match of interesting facts about teams currently ranked. You will really learn nothing meaningful from the exercise, but it makes for good chatter around the sour cream dip at your next football party.


So see if you can identify the university from the football ranking associated with these trivial facts (answers below):


- The author of the TV series The Waltons ran with this undefeated pack of cats.


- The birdlike beast of this school got its name from an 1896 nonsensical cheer.


- Ten years ago, this top 10 program's football team was founded as a I-AA independent.


- Bette Midler attended this school, whose football team is improbably ranked higher than Florida State, Auburn, Texas, Georgia and Tennessee.


OK, only a couple more:


- The song "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" was a cynical take on graduates of this Big Ten bunch going to work for weapons developers.


- When you're in the stands and hear the, "Charge" tune on the organ, it originated at what humbled power?


Feeling a bit like Will Ferrell's Alex Trebek character, I've pulled out these nuggets about some old ranked favorites and the new kids on the college football power list. See if you got any of these right:


-  The guy who wrote the Waltons went to Cincinnati, currently ranked 15th and driving the wagon in the Big East. Apparently Earl Hamner wrote the show about his childhood in Virginia.


- Speaking of the Commonwealth of Virginia, any good Virginia Tech alum can tell you their odd nickname came from the Old Hokie spirit yell, penned in 1896. And if they really love Beamer Ball, they can sing it for you.


- Truly, USF (that tricky directional Floridian school ranked 5th) began playing football 11 years ago. The school had so little funding for the program that coaches would turn their headlights onto the practice field when they wanted to work the team past dark. And now focus on how that football team is probably way better than yours.


- Picturing Bette Midler in a grass skirt doing the hula? Yep, she is a University of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine, polling ahead of the mainland powers who have a loss or two.


- Next time you hear "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" in an 80s movie or at that karaoke bar down the street from your office, think of this inspiration - the Madison, Wisconsin-based duo Timbuk3 envisioned a nuclear holocaust engineered by Badger graduates in a Dr. Strangelove post-graduation party.  Makes you think a little differently about My Best Friend Is a Vampire, huh?


- USC trumpeter Tommy Walker trumped up the 1947 Rose Bowl with his rallying, `Charge'. Walker kicked field goals in addition to his drum major duties, making him extra popular with his teammates.


Even if you have learned nothing at all about the educations offered at these fine institutions, or even about their football teams, you now have some fresh banter for this week's pigskin party.