2018 NCAA Bradley Terry Bracket #3 (thru January 15)

BASED ON CURRENT RATINGS:  EAST v WEST, SOUTH v MIDWEST

EAST (BOSTON, MA)

  • (1) Villanova v (16) Robert Morris/NC A&T
  • (8) Louisville v (9) Texas
  • (4) Michigan State v (13) Missouri State
  • (5) Tennessee v (12) Buffalo
  • (2) West Virginia v (15) Wright State
  • (7) Kentucky v (10) Boise State
  • (3) North Carolina v (14) Montana
  • (6) Creighton v (11) Maryland

SOUTH (Atlanta, GA)

  • (1) Virginia v (16) Princeton/TX Southern
  • (8) Arkansas v (9) Houston
  • (4) Xavier v (13) East Tennessee State
  • (5) Arizona State v (12) South Dakota State
  • (2) Auburn v (15) Towson
  • (7) Rhode Island v (10) Notre Dame
  • (3) Kansas v (14) UC-Davis
  • (6) Nevada v (11) LSU/Kansas State

MIDWEST (Omaha, NE)

  • (1) Purdue v (16) Radford
  • (8) Florida State v (9) Texas A&M
  • (4) Gonzaga v (13) Louisiana-Lafayette
  • (5) Seton Hall v (12) Middle Tennessee
  • (2) Duke v (15) Bucknell
  • (7) Arizona v (10) Butler
  • (3) Wichita State v (14) Stephen F Austin
  • (6) TCU v (11) Baylor

WEST (Los Angeles, CA)

  • (1) Texas Tech v (16) Lipscomb
  • (8) Saint Mary’s v (9) Miami-FL
  • (4) Cincinnati v (13) Murray State
  • (5) Michigan v (12) New Mexico State
  • (2) Oklahoma v (15) Rider
  • (7) Florida v (10) Marquette
  • (3) Clemson v (14) Vermont
  • (6) Ohio State v (11) Missouri/Western Kentucky

LAST FOUR BYES: Houston, Boise State, Baylor, Maryland

LAST FOUR IN: Missouri, LSU, Kansas State, Western Kentucky

FIRST FOUR OUT: Alabama, NC State, Syracuse, Virginia Tech

NEXT FOUR OUT: Georgia, Boston College, UCLA, Providence

FOUR MORE: Oklahoma State, Saint Bonaventure, San Diego State, USC

 

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2018 NCAA Bradley Terry Bracket #2 (thru January 7)

BASED ON CURRENT RATINGS:  MIDWEST v WEST, SOUTH v EAST

MIDWEST (Omaha, NE)

  • (1) Texas Tech v (16) Robert Morris/Texas Southern
  • (8) Kentucky v (9) Rhode Island
  • (4) North Carolina v (13) LA-Lafayette
  • (5) Gonzaga v (12) Missouri State
  • (2) Arizona State v (15) William and Mary
  • (7) Ohio State v (10) Georgia
  • (3) Duke v (14) Stephen F Austin
  • (6) Nevada v (11) Houston

SOUTH (Atlanta, GA)

  • (1) Virginia v (16) Princeton/North Carolina A&T
  • (8) Arizona v (9) Saint Mary’s
  • (4) Kansas v (13) Murray State
  • (5) Xavier v (12) Missouri
  • (2) Oklahoma v (15) Northern Kentucky
  • (7) Michigan v (10) Marquette
  • (3) Clemson v (14) UC-Santa Barbara
  • (6) Florida v (11) South Dakota State

EAST (Boston, MA)

  • (1) Villanova v (16) Bucknell
  • (8) Texas A&M v (9) Baylor
  • (4) Wichita State v (13) Buffalo
  • (5) TCU v (12) New Mexico State
  • (2) Purdue v (15) Portland State
  • (7) Miami-FL v (10) Butler
  • (3) Cincinnati v (14) Vermont
  • (6) Tennessee v (11) Kansas State/Boise State

WEST (Los Angeles, CA)

  • (1) West Virginia v (16) Radford
  • (8) Arkansas v (9) Maryland
  • (4) Seton Hall v (13) East Tennessee State
  • (5) Florida State v (12) Western Kentucky
  • (2) Michigan State v (15) Rider
  • (7) Notre Dame v (10) Texas
  • (3) Auburn v (14) Lipscomb
  • (6) Creighton v (11) Oklahoma State/Louisville

Last four byes: Georgia, Marquette, Houston, Missouri

Last four in: Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Boise State

First four out: San Diego State, UCLA, SMU, Central Florida

Next four out: Syracuse, LSU, Saint Bonaventure, Boston College

Four more: Virginia Tech, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Utah

2018 NCAA Bradley Terry Bracket #1 (thru January 1)

BASED ON CURRENT RATINGS:  WEST v SOUTH, MIDWEST v EAST

WEST REGION (Los Angeles, CA)

  • (1) Arizona State v (16) Robert Morris/Texas Southern
  • (8) Texas v (9) Maryland
  • (4) Wichita State v (13) South Dakota
  • (5) Clemson v (12) UC-Santa Barbara
  • (2) Purdue v (15) Portland State
  • (7) Nevada v (10) Baylor
  • (3) Xavier v (14) Ball State
  • (6) Gonzaga v (11) Missouri/Alabama

MIDWEST REGION (Omaha, NE)

  • (1) Michigan State v (16) Princeton/North Carolina A&T
  • (8) Syracuse v (9) Saint Mary’s
  • (4) Arkansas v (13) Belmont
  • (5) Florida State v (12) Kansas State
  • (2) Virginia v (15) Towson
  • (7) Auburn v (10) Houston
  • (3) Texas Tech v (14) Stephen F Austin
  • (6) Seton Hall v (11) Minnesota

EAST REGION (Boston, MA)

  • (1) Villanova v (16) UNC-Asheville
  • (8) Michigan v (9) Kentucky
  • (4) TCU v (13) Lipscomb
  • (5) Miami-FL v (12) Missouri State
  • (2) West Virginia v (15) Northern Kentucky
  • (7) Butler v (10) Rhode Island
  • (3) North Carolina v (14) East Tennessee
  • (6) Arizona v (11) Ohio State/Oklahoma State

SOUTH REGION (Atlanta, GA)

  • (1) Duke v (16) Rider
  • (8) Creighton v (9) SMU
  • (4) Kansas v (13) Vermont
  • (5) Tennessee v (12) Middle Tennessee
  • (2) Oklahoma v (15) Bucknell
  • (7) Saint Bonaventure v (10) Boise State
  • (3) Texas A&M v (14) Lousiana-Lafayette
  • (6) Cincinnati v (11) New Mexico State

Last four byes: Baylor, Houston, Minnesota, Kansas State

Last four in: Ohio State, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma State

First four out: Notre Dame, Utah, Florida, UCLA

Next four out: Marquette, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Boston College

Four more: UNLV, Southern Cal, Central Florida, Saint John’s

Every #1 Song of the 1980s – Series 10

Click for links to: Series 9,  Series 8,  Series 7,  Series 6,  Series 5Series 4,  Series 3, Series 2, and Series 1 and a quick study of #2 songs

Getting towards the end of this survey – I was worried the bottom of the chart would not be tested, but then ta-da!

“Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen (1980) – On Sirius, Nina Blackwood, when introducing this noted the bass beat was used to train EMTs on chest compressions for CPR cases. The bass line is of course one of the most well known in rock history, and makes the song one of the great ear worms from the decade. 1980 was a pretty dreary year for #1s and this is clearly one of the best. (35 points)

“Woman In Love” by Barbra Streisand (1980) – Given my own enmity towards soppy love songs and the year 1980, this was always going to be a contender for the bottom of the list. Now, I guess you can say that “Hey she has a terrific voice” but even that is not really for me. I didn’t like “The Way We Were” and that was a LOT better. (12 points)

“Arthur’s Theme (Best You Can Do)” by Christopher Cross (1981) – There is nothing about this which is not dated. This was the Oscar winning theme song to the movie which made Dudley Moore a huge star. Of course Christopher Cross was “kind of a big deal” around this time too. At the same time, I really do find it kind of charming, and the song does describe Arthur fairly well – it actually is a working theme song. It should get credit on that basis alone. (32 points)

“Jack and Diane” by John Mellencamp (1982) – This was still back in the John Cougar days – this would be Mellencamp’s only number one. Indeed “Hurts So Good” would actually finish higher in the 1982 year end chart. This “little ditty” is the sort of song about regular folks which he would turn back to over and over (and over) again. For some reason I liked “I Need a Lover” better. But still this is fine. (35 points)

“Who Can It Be Now” by Men At Work (1982) – This was the first of Men At Work’s two #1s, and probably the lesser of the two. That said, this is still a cheeky song with a fun video. I grew up in the late 80s-90s when the videos had stories too, but the lower level of production here is just more charming. (39 points)

“Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler (1983) – On the other hand, videos can yield something like this. The song itself is clearly bloated, overlong and overdramatic – no wonder being a Jim Steinman composition. Steinman, of course was Meat Loaf’s writing collaborator – so the song is not a surprise. The video here is – appropriate I guess given the style of the song, but how did it not give frightful nightmares to everyone in its wake? I can’t write more without it happening to me. (27 points)

“Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton (1983) – Early 80s was very much about the country crossover, such as “9 to 5” and “I Love a Rainy Night”‘ and “Queen of Hearts”. For my money, this is the best of the lot, a duet of two country legends with a song infectious enough to be interpreted by Old Dirty Bastard and Pras. With the absence of a video, here is the grammy performance. This won’t score too high relatively – but it is hard not to smile. (32 points)

“I Just Called to Say I Love You” by Stevie Wonder (1984) – This is a very sweet song which I have sang to my kids as infants before. It is also justifiably noted as cheesy – and the video sure as hell is cheesy. Of course this also fits as a description of Stevie Wonder’s 1980s material. But he is such a terrific songwriter that it doesn’t matter too much to me. And I guess my score has some nostalgia there too, belated credit for “Superstition”, and “I Wish.” (38 points)

“Oh Sheila” by Ready for the World (1985) – There are some songs, like “Rock Steady” by the Whispers and “Casanova” by Levert which are very much of the decade. It’s not Motown, but clearly of influence. Ready for the World, from Michigan was certainly of a piece, and this was their big hit. Overall it’s pretty disposable, but I enjoyed the dancing in the video.(31 points)

“Take on Me” by a-ha (1985) – Usually I have gone with more durable acts for 50 point scores. a-Ha only had this hit and maybe one more, but what a hit it was. The video was groundbreaking – and this is among the most coverable of all the songs in this project. I saw Reel Big Fish do a perfectly party-appropriate ska version of this many years ago. This is one song which transcends the obscurity of the artist ultimately. (50 points)

“Saving All My Love For You” by Whitney Houston (1985) – Is this the greatest song ever made about cheating? It is an unaplogetically romantic song – and since this is Whitney Houston, it works on that level. She famously staggered the usually detached David Letterman when she did this on his show, and I am certainly not immune to prime Whitney’s superpowers. It’s just funny to note the actual subject matter here. (44 points)

“When I Think of You” by Janet Jackson (1986) – The first of Janet Jackson’s many number ones, the video is a terrific production which really does play like a high level Broadway style performance. The song is pretty good too. (40 points)

“True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper (1986) – My daughter loves this song, or at least the version which appeared in “Trolls”. Is this Cyndi Lauper’s signature song? Some say “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and that is certainly not wrong. She has always been a terrific singer and it shows here. (41 points)

“Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake (1987) – David Coverdale already had some fame with his run in Deep Purple. However, Whitesnake was where he would have his greatest fame. This song is probably more well known for the video with the lady on the car. It is one of the better rock entries among the 1980s #1s, although it is not my favorite. (36 points)

“Lost in Emotion” by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam (1987) – The band’s second #1, I like “Head to Toe” better. (33 points)

“Bad” by Michael Jackson (1987) – As I always note when Michael Jackson comes up here – it is hard to convey just how big he was in his heyday. No artist now – especially given the diffuse nature of media in 2017, could capture the zeitgeist the same way. When “Bad” dropped, the real world seemed to stop. This was not a great song relative to other things he did, and frankly I know it more for inspiring the great Weird Al parody. (37 points)

Here is the 18 minute film if you have the time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd4SJVsTulc

“Love Bites” by Def Leppard (1988) – This was one of the lesser monster ballads to appear in the #1 spot. Additionally, if I told you Def Leppard would appear on this list, this would not be the song you’d expect – and rightfully so. Personally, this song just makes me yearn for that other song. (28 points)

“Red, Red, Wine” by UB40 (1988) – This is one of those songs like “All Along the Watchtower” or “Nothing Compares 2 U”, which is a cover where the cover version became the version of record.
Yes, this is a Neil Diamond song, but what UB40 did with it was so distinctive that even Diamond really performs that version of the song now. This is the only reggae entry on the list and I certainly admire it. Of course reggae covers became UB40’s metier – at least as far as pop success went. (38 points)

“A Groovy Kind of Love” by Phil Collins (1988) – Did you know that Phil Collins was a star in a major movie? But yes, yes he was – Buster. This was one of the two number ones from the soundtrack. “Two Hearts” is a song I liked very much – and my own feelings about Collins are largely hard to defend. This is a sweet song – enough to survive its sappiness. (34 points)

“Miss You Much” by Janet Jackson (1989) – This song spent 4 weeks at number 1, more than any song in 1989. This was the first single from Rhythm Nation, the “long awaited” follow up to Control. That is was a huge hit on that basis alone was not surprising. (40 points)

The Full List through October:

Song Artist
1 Sweet Child O’Mine Guns N’ Roses
2 West End Girls Pet Shop Boys
3 Kiss Prince
4 Take On Me a-ha
5 Jessie’s Girl Rick Springfield
6 With or Without You U2
7 When Doves Cry Prince
8 Beat It Michael Jackson
9 Billie Jean Michael Jackson
10 Rock With You Michael Jackson
11 I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For U2
12 Batdance Prince
13 Father Figure George Michael
14 Roll With It Steve Winwood
15 Jump Van Halen
16 Livin on a Prayer Bon Jovi
17 Down Under Men At Work
18 Saving All My Love For You Whitney Houston
19 Every Breath You Take The Police
20 Eye of the Tiger Survivor
21 Faith George Michael
22 How Will I Know Whitney Houston
23 Let’s Go Crazy Prince and the Revolution
24 Like a Virgin Madonna
25 The Tide Is High Blondie
26 Centerfold J Geils Band
27 (I Just) Died in Your Arms Cutting Crew
28 La Bamba Los Lobos
29 Don’t You (Forget About Me) Simple Minds
30 Sledgehammer Peter Gabriel
31 We Are the World USA For Africa
32 Like A Prayer Madonna
33 Money for Nothing Dire Straits
34 True Colors Cyndi Lauper
35 Greatest Love of All Whitney Houston
36 Monkey George Michael
37 Everybody Wants to Rule The World Tears For Fears
38 Rapture Blondie
39 Man in the Mirror Michael Jackson
40 Miss You Much Janet Jackson
41 What’s Love Got to Do With It Tina Turner
42 When I Think of You Janet Jackson
43 The Power of Love Huey Lewis and the News
44 Careless Whisper Wham featuring George Michael
45 Footloose Kenny Loggins
46 Walk Like an Egyptian Bangles
47 Karma Chameleon Culture Club
48 I Love Rock and Roll Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
49 Celebration Kool and the Gang
50 So Emotional Whitney Houston
51 Venus Bananarama
52 Don’t You Want Me The Human League
53 Two Hearts Phil Collins
54 Need You Tonight INXS
55 Red Red Wine UB40
56 Call Me Blondie
57 Who Can It Be Now Men At Work
58 A View to a Kill Duran Duran
59 I Just Called to Say I Love You Stevie Wonder
60 Let’s Dance David Bowie
61 Never Gonna Give You Up Rick Astley
62 Dirty Diana Michael Jackson
63 Together Forever Rick Astley
64 Time After Time Cyndi Lauper
65 Every Rose Has Its Thorn Poison
66 Bad Michael Jackson
67 Papa Don’t Preach Madonna
68 My Prerogative Bobby Brown
69 Got My Mind Set on You George Harrison
70 Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car Billy Ocean
71 Addicted to Love Robert Palmer
72 Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) Eurythmics
73 Upside Down Diana Ross
74 Shout Tears For Fears
75 I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) Whitney Houston
76 Owner of a Lonely Heart Yes
77 Forever Your Girl Paula Abdul
78 Maneater Darryl Hall and John Oates
79 Here I Go Again Whitesnake
80 Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 Pink Floyd
81 Rock Me Amadeus Falco
82 I Just Can’t Stop Loving You Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett
83 Chariots of Fire Vangelis
84 Saint Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) John Parr
85 Open Your Heart Madonna
86 One More Try George Michael
87 Wishing Well Terrence Trent D’Arby
88 Another One Bites the Dust Queen
89 The Flame Cheap Trick
90 The Way You Make Me Feel Michael Jackson
91 Jack and Diane John Cougar
92 Say, Say, Say Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
93 9 to 5 Dolly Parton
94 Straight Up Paula Abdul
95 Missing You John Waite
96 The Look Roxette
97 Head to Toe Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
98 Invisible Touch Genesis
99 Higher Love Steve Winwood
100 Stuck With You Huey Lewis and the News
101 Islands in the Stream Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
102 The Reflex Duran Duran
103 Who’s That Girl Madonna
104 I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) Aretha Franklin and George Michael
105 A Groovy Kind of Love Phil Collins
106 Baby Don’t Forget My Number Milli Vanilli
107 Ghostbusters Ray Parker Jr
108 Flashdance … What a Feeling Irene Cara
109 Lost In Emotion Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
110 Shakedown Bob Seger
111 Good Thing Fine Young Cannibals
112 That’s What Friends Are For Dionne Warwick
113 Physical Olivia Newton John
114 I Can’t Go For That Hall and Oates
115 Sussudio Phil Collins
116 I’ll Be There For You Bon Jovi
117 Crazy Little Thing Called Love Queen
118 Everything She Wants Wham
119 Africa Toto
120 Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) Christopher Cross
121 Maniac Michael Sembello
122 Don’t Worry Be Happy Bobby McFerrin
123 Right Here Waiting Richard Marx
124 Holding Back the Years Simply Red
125 Satisfied Richard Marx
126 Alone Heart
127 Cold Hearted Paula Abdul
128 Coming Up Paul McCartney
129 Come on Eileen Dexy’s Midnight Runners
130 These Dreams Heart
131 Anything For You Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
132 Heaven Bryan Adams
133 Tell Her About It Billy Joel
134 Oh Sheila Ready for the World
135 Ebony and Ivory Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
136 The Living Years Mike and the Mechanics
137 At This Moment Billy Vera and the Beaters
138 Bette Davis Eyes Kim Carnes
139 If You Don’t Know Me By Now Simply Red
140 Didn’t We Almost Have It All Whitney Houston
141 Foolish Beat Debbie Gibson
142 She Drives Me Crazy Fine Young Cannibals
143 Eternal Flame The Bangles
144 Kyrie Mr. Mister
145 Hold On to the Nights Richard Marx
146 Don’t Wanna Lose You Gloria Estefan
147 Shake You Down Gregory Abbott
148 You Keep Me Hangin On Kim Wilde
149 Kiss Is On My List Hall and Oates
150 Funkytown Lipps, Inc
151 Let’s Hear It for the Boy DeNiece Williams
152 Everytime You Go Away Paul Young
153 Girl I’m Gonna Miss You Milli Vanilli
154 Love Bites Def Leppard
155 Keep on Loving You REO Speedwagon
156 Magic Olivia Newton John
157 There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry) Billy Ocean
158 Hello Lionel Richie
159 Total Eclipse of the Heart Bonnie Tyler
160 Take My Breath Away Berlin
161 It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me Billy Joel
162 Glory of Love Peter Cetera
163 I Love a Rainy Night Eddie Rabbitt
164 Abracadabra Steve Miller Band
165 Live to Tell Madonna
166 I’ll Be Loving You (Forever) New Kids on the Block
167 Lost in Your Eyes Debbie Gibson
168 Say You, Say Me Lionel Richie
169 Always Atlantic Starr
170 Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now Starship
171 (Just Like) Starting Over John Lennon
172 On My Own Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald
173 Hard to Say I’m Sorry Chicago
174 Hangin Tough New Kids on the Block
175 Crazy for You Madonna
176 Seasons Change Expose
177 Can’t Fight This Feeling REO Speedwagon
178 One More Night Phil Collins
179 I Want to Know What Love Is Foreigner
180 Stars on 45 Medley Stars on 45
181 Escape (The Pina Colada Song) Rupert Holmes
182 Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Midler
183 Sara Starship
184 Endless Love Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
185 Lean on Me Club Nouveau
186 Sailing Christopher Cross
187 Baby, Come to Me Patti Austin and James Ingram
188 Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) Phil Collins
189 Where Do Broken Hearts Go Whitney Houston
190 Could’ve Been Tiffany
191 Do That To Me One More Time Captain and Tennille
192 Jacob’s Ladder Huey Lewis and the News
193 Morning Train (Nine to Five) Sheena Easton
194 When I’m With You Sheriff
195 The One That You Love Air Supply
196 Toy Soldiers Martika
197 Rock On Michael Damian
198 Woman in Love Barbra Streisand
199 Please Don’t Go KC and the Sunshine Band

2017 College Football Rankings #5

Well, Championship Week is here.  With Auburn’s stunning rout of Alabama – things have come into much clearer focus.  Here are the rankings – and some thoughts.

W L Pts Scale SOS Rank
1 Wisconsin 12 0 0.5681 1.000 0.5681 40
2 Clemson 11 1 0.5146 0.954 0.5980 25
3 Oklahoma 11 1 0.5110 0.951 0.5944 26
4 Miami-FL 10 1 0.4720 0.917 0.5630 42
5 Georgia 11 1 0.4709 0.916 0.5542 46
6 Ohio State 10 2 0.4559 0.903 0.6226 12
7 Penn State 10 2 0.4430 0.892 0.6097 17
8 Alabama 11 1 0.4387 0.888 0.5220 59
9 Michigan State 9 3 0.4130 0.866 0.6630 5
10 UCF 11 0 0.4105 0.864 0.4105 91
11 Notre Dame 9 3 0.4060 0.860 0.6560 6
12 TCU 10 2 0.4026 0.857 0.5693 39
13 USC 10 2 0.4008 0.856 0.5675 41
14 Auburn 10 2 0.3855 0.843 0.5521 48
15 Northwestern 9 3 0.3568 0.818 0.6068 18
16 Oklahoma State 9 3 0.3490 0.811 0.5990 23
17 Washington 10 2 0.3257 0.791 0.4923 66
18 Michigan 8 4 0.3177 0.784 0.6510 8
19 Memphis 10 1 0.3173 0.784 0.4082 93
20 Stanford 9 3 0.3092 0.777 0.5592 44
21 Virginia Tech 9 3 0.2872 0.758 0.5372 52
22 NC State 8 4 0.2847 0.756 0.6180 14
23 Washington State 9 3 0.2843 0.755 0.5343 54
24 LSU 9 3 0.2670 0.740 0.5170 61
25 Iowa 7 5 0.2607 0.735 0.6774 4
26 Louisville 8 4 0.2400 0.717 0.5733 36
27 Boston College 7 5 0.2370 0.714 0.6537 7
28 Toledo 10 2 0.2302 0.709 0.3968 97
29 San Diego State 10 2 0.2222 0.702 0.3889 101
30 Boise State 9 3 0.2208 0.700 0.4708 75
31 Wake Forest 7 5 0.2050 0.687 0.6217 13
32 Mississippi State 8 4 0.2025 0.685 0.5358 53
33 Iowa State 7 5 0.1978 0.681 0.6145 15
34 South Carolina 8 4 0.1915 0.675 0.5249 57
35 Fresno State 9 3 0.1665 0.654 0.4165 88
36 West Virginia 7 5 0.1571 0.646 0.5738 35
37 South Florida 9 2 0.1549 0.644 0.3367 114
38 Purdue 6 6 0.1457 0.636 0.6457 9
39 Arizona State 7 5 0.1437 0.634 0.5604 43
40 Florida State 5 6 0.1368 0.628 0.6823 3
41 Kansas State 7 5 0.1348 0.626 0.5515 50
42 Army 8 3 0.1241 0.617 0.3968 98
43 Texas A&M 7 5 0.1169 0.611 0.5336 55
44 North Texas 9 3 0.1155 0.610 0.3655 107
45 Florida Atlantic 9 3 0.1142 0.608 0.3642 108
46 Houston 7 4 0.1122 0.607 0.4758 71
47 Oregon 7 5 0.1111 0.606 0.5277 56
48 Troy 9 2 0.1097 0.605 0.2915 125
49 Texas Tech 6 6 0.1049 0.600 0.6049 21
50 Texas 6 6 0.1041 0.600 0.6041 22
51 Navy 6 5 0.1040 0.600 0.5586 45
52 Kentucky 7 5 0.0971 0.594 0.5137 62
53 UCLA 6 6 0.0876 0.586 0.5876 32
54 Northern Illinois 8 4 0.0846 0.583 0.4179 87
55 Duke 6 6 0.0812 0.580 0.5812 33
56 Virginia 6 6 0.0778 0.577 0.5778 34
57 Missouri 7 5 0.0747 0.574 0.4914 67
58 Central Michigan 8 4 0.0713 0.572 0.4047 94
59 SMU 7 5 0.0620 0.564 0.4787 70
60 Georgia Tech 5 6 0.0602 0.562 0.6057 20
61 Maryland 4 8 0.0597 0.562 0.7264 1
62 Arizona 7 5 0.0556 0.558 0.4723 73
63 Ohio 8 4 0.0518 0.555 0.3851 103
64 Indiana 5 7 0.0434 0.547 0.6267 11
65 Akron 7 5 0.0337 0.539 0.4503 83
66 Nebraska 4 8 0.0322 0.538 0.6989 2
67 Utah 6 6 0.0247 0.531 0.5247 58
68 Ole Miss 6 6 0.0112 0.520 0.5112 63
69 Minnesota 5 7 0.0080 0.517 0.5913 29
70 Pittsburgh 5 7 0.0053 0.515 0.5887 31
71 Wyoming 7 5 -0.0143 0.498 0.4024 95
72 Arkansas State 7 3 -0.0184 0.494 0.2816 127
73 FIU 7 4 -0.0293 0.485 0.3344 115
74 California 5 7 -0.0296 0.484 0.5537 47
75 Appalachian State 7 4 -0.0323 0.482 0.3313 116
76 Colorado State 7 5 -0.0352 0.480 0.3815 104
77 Rutgers 4 8 -0.0354 0.479 0.6313 10
78 Temple 6 6 -0.0483 0.468 0.4517 82
79 Southern Miss 8 4 -0.0529 0.464 0.2805 128
80 Vanderbilt 5 7 -0.0636 0.455 0.5197 60
81 Florida 4 7 -0.0650 0.454 0.5714 38
82 UAB 8 4 -0.0663 0.453 0.2671 131
83 Syracuse 4 8 -0.0685 0.451 0.5982 24
84 Colorado 5 7 -0.0736 0.447 0.5098 64
85 Western Michigan 6 6 -0.0793 0.442 0.4207 86
86 Utah State 6 6 -0.0881 0.434 0.4119 90
87 Marshall 7 5 -0.0904 0.432 0.3263 120
88 Arkansas 4 8 -0.0938 0.429 0.5728 37
89 Air Force 5 7 -0.1122 0.413 0.4711 74
90 Buffalo 6 6 -0.1127 0.413 0.3873 102
91 Tulane 5 7 -0.1196 0.407 0.4637 79
92 Georgia State 6 4 -0.1267 0.401 0.2733 129
93 Tennessee 4 8 -0.1271 0.400 0.5396 51
94 Eastern Michigan 5 7 -0.1530 0.378 0.4303 85
95 North Carolina 3 9 -0.1586 0.373 0.5914 28
96 MTSU 6 6 -0.1590 0.373 0.3410 113
97 Louisiana Tech 6 6 -0.1732 0.361 0.3268 118
98 UTSA 6 5 -0.1843 0.351 0.2703 130
99 Cincinnati 4 8 -0.1914 0.345 0.4752 72
100 UNLV 5 7 -0.2103 0.329 0.3731 105
101 Miami-OH 5 7 -0.2131 0.326 0.3702 106
102 Western Kentucky 6 6 -0.2174 0.322 0.2826 126
103 New Mexico State 5 6 -0.2189 0.321 0.3265 119
104 Illinois 2 10 -0.2216 0.319 0.6118 16
105 BYU 4 9 -0.2244 0.317 0.4679 77
106 Old Dominion 5 7 -0.2251 0.316 0.3583 110
107 LA-Lafayette 5 6 -0.2381 0.305 0.3074 122
108 Connecticut 3 9 -0.2629 0.283 0.4871 69
109 South Alabama 4 7 -0.2753 0.273 0.3611 109
110 East Carolina 3 9 -0.2821 0.267 0.4679 76
111 LA-Monroe 4 7 -0.2824 0.266 0.3540 112
112 Nevada 3 9 -0.2954 0.255 0.4546 81
113 Massachusetts 4 7 -0.3075 0.245 0.3289 117
114 Kansas 1 11 -0.3110 0.242 0.6057 19
115 New Mexico 3 9 -0.3146 0.239 0.4354 84
116 Oregon State 1 11 -0.3226 0.232 0.5940 27
117 Baylor 1 11 -0.3261 0.229 0.5906 30
118 Tulsa 2 10 -0.3376 0.219 0.4957 65
119 Kent State 2 10 -0.3454 0.212 0.4880 68
120 Hawaii 3 9 -0.3519 0.207 0.3981 96
121 Other 9 89 -0.3564 0.203 0.5518 49
122 Bowling Green 2 10 -0.3705 0.191 0.4629 80
123 San Jose State 2 11 -0.3786 0.183 0.4676 78
124 Ball State 2 10 -0.4203 0.148 0.4131 89
125 Idaho 3 8 -0.4218 0.146 0.3055 124
126 Georgia Southern 2 9 -0.4225 0.146 0.3957 99
127 Coastal Carolina 2 9 -0.5119 0.069 0.3063 123
128 Texas State 2 10 -0.5143 0.066 0.3190 121
129 Rice 1 11 -0.5231 0.059 0.3936 100
130 Charlotte 1 11 -0.5610 0.026 0.3557 111
131 UTEP 0 12 -0.5914 0.000 0.4086 92

Wisconsin ends the regular season as the only 12-0 team in the field. Now, simply winning the games is not enough reason to be #1 – but with Alabama sporting an unusually skimpy resume compared to years past … the Badgers have earned the opportunity. Clemson’s wins are better but their loss at Syracuse looks much worse.  Looking at the standings (and really I think you can only really deal with resume here), the endgame Final 4 is pretty clear.

  • THE SEC champ will make the Final Four – Georgia winning is pretty straightforward.  Despite Auburn’s #14 standing, they beat Georgia and that should push them into the Top 10 somewhere, and there are plenty of non-quantitative things in their favor. (winning the SEC, better wins)
  • The Big Ten champ will make the Final Four – Ohio State, Wisconsin.  This is pretty easy.  Now, I am not sure if Wisconsin would still warrant a Top 4 spot if they lost.  Given Ohio State’s actual ability as a team – I could justify it.
  • The ACC champ will make the Final Four – there are two Top-4 teams.  This was simple.
  • Alabama could make it – but yeah they want some chaos.  With a lot of bad luck with their scheduled opponents, Alabama’s typical excellent season was only against the 57th rated schedule in the country.  Yes, Alabama can only play who is on its schedule – but this year’s slate really played with the team’s margin for error.
  • The Big 12 champ could make it.  If it’s Oklahoma – then it’s obvious.  If it’s TCU – it is dicier, although TCU has had a wonderful season.  TCU does benefit though from what Alabama wishes it had – one more chance to hang a great result.

So, who will win the conferences?  Well – if we turn to the “adjusted scoring margins”- which I think is a better reflection of team quality – here is what we get. (team adjusted scoring margin rank in parentheses)

  • American: UCF (#13) over Memphis (#31)
  • ACC: Clemson (#4) over Miami-FL (#15)
  • Big 12: Oklahoma (#9) over TCU (#11)
  • Big Ten: Ohio State (#2) over Wisconsin (#3)
  • C-USA: Florida Atlantic (#43) over North Texas (#86)
  • MAC: Toledo (#40) over Akron (#88)
  • MWC: Boise State (#34) over Fresno State (#53)
  • Pac-12: Stanford (#18) over USC (#20)
  • SEC: Georgia (#5) over Auburn (#6)

Do I believe Georgia and Stanford win rematches like the numbers say they could?  I am a bit more skeptical.  But we know that winning twice is hard, and Stanford and Georgia are good teams.  For this exercise, I am inclined to pick Auburn and USC though.

Given this, here are the automatic bids to the Bowl Series

  • Clemson (ACC Champ, semifinals)
  • Oklahoma (Big 12 Champ, semifinals)
  • Ohio State (Big Ten Champ, semifinals)
  • Auburn (SEC Champ, semifinals)
  • USC (Pac-12 Champ)
  • UCF (Group of 5 champ)

So this sets up the National Semifinals – it is possible Ohio State and Auburn finish 3/4.  I would imagine though the committee would like to avoid 2 regular season rematches if possible.

  • Sugar Bowl: Clemson v Ohio State
  • Rose Bowl: Oklahoma v Auburn

The other bowls?  The Orange Bowl would take the best ACC team left, Miami, and the highest ranked Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame non-champ.  So, we are deciding between Alabama, Georgia and Wisconsin.  Now, I think the committee will go SEC – but I’d put Wisconsin here.

  • Orange Bowl: Miami-FL v Wisconsin

So this leaves us UCF, USC and four more teams.  Penn State, Alabama, Georgia seem obvious.  The hard one is Notre Dame or TCU.  If Oklahoma beats TCU, I think it might be hard to justify TCU over Notre Dame, given the yawning gaps in schedule strength.  Using this, the rest of the bowls line up thusly:

  • Cotton Bowl: Penn State v Alabama
  • Fiesta Bowl: USC v Georgia
  • Peach Bowl: Notre Dame v UCF

2017 College Football Rankings #4

Well, that’s interestimg.  So now, TCU, Penn State add losses while Notre Dame continues to rise with routs of USC and NC State.  With the first college playoff rankings announced, it seemed like an opportune time to write a bit more here.  These are the rankings entering Friday’s games.

W L Pts Scale SOS Rank
1 Georgia 8 0 0.5038 1.000 0.5038 40
2 Miami-FL 7 0 0.4774 0.977 0.4774 48
3 Alabama 8 0 0.4599 0.962 0.4599 55
4 Notre Dame 7 1 0.4597 0.962 0.5847 8
5 Clemson 7 1 0.4580 0.960 0.5830 9
6 Penn State 7 1 0.4574 0.960 0.5824 10
7 Ohio State 7 1 0.4543 0.957 0.5793 11
8 Wisconsin 8 0 0.4531 0.956 0.4531 60
9 Oklahoma State 7 1 0.4258 0.933 0.5508 22
10 Oklahoma 7 1 0.4230 0.930 0.5480 25
11 TCU 7 1 0.3799 0.893 0.5049 39
12 Michigan State 6 2 0.3527 0.869 0.6027 4
13 UCF 7 0 0.3452 0.863 0.3452 107
14 USC 7 2 0.3315 0.851 0.5537 21
15 Michigan 6 2 0.3250 0.845 0.5750 12
16 Iowa State 6 2 0.2927 0.817 0.5427 27
17 Washington 7 1 0.2907 0.816 0.4157 75
18 Virginia Tech 7 1 0.2901 0.815 0.4151 76
19 NC State 6 2 0.2760 0.803 0.5260 34
20 Memphis 7 1 0.2576 0.787 0.3826 91
21 Toledo 8 1 0.2375 0.770 0.3487 106
22 Mississippi State 6 2 0.2357 0.768 0.4857 42
23 Iowa 5 3 0.2111 0.747 0.5861 6
24 Northwestern 5 3 0.2106 0.746 0.5856 7
25 South Carolina 6 2 0.2101 0.746 0.4601 54
26 Washington State 7 2 0.2087 0.745 0.4309 66
27 Auburn 6 2 0.2052 0.742 0.4552 58
28 LSU 6 2 0.2045 0.741 0.4545 59
29 Boston College 5 4 0.1999 0.737 0.6444 3
30 San Diego State 7 2 0.1992 0.737 0.4214 73
31 Stanford 6 2 0.1987 0.736 0.4487 62
32 Kentucky 6 2 0.1808 0.721 0.4308 68
33 Boise State 6 2 0.1605 0.703 0.4105 78
34 Wake Forest 5 3 0.1538 0.697 0.5288 33
35 Maryland 4 4 0.1513 0.695 0.6513 2
36 Arizona 6 2 0.1244 0.672 0.3744 97
37 SMU 6 2 0.1232 0.671 0.3732 98
38 South Florida 7 1 0.1166 0.665 0.2416 123
39 Navy 5 3 0.1082 0.658 0.4832 46
40 Texas A&M 5 3 0.1047 0.655 0.4797 47
41 Nebraska 4 4 0.0978 0.649 0.5978 5
42 Louisville 5 4 0.0907 0.643 0.5351 31
43 Houston 5 3 0.0862 0.639 0.4612 53
44 Army 6 2 0.0842 0.637 0.3342 110
45 West Virginia 5 3 0.0841 0.637 0.4591 56
46 Georgia Tech 4 3 0.0774 0.631 0.5060 37
47 Troy 7 2 0.0728 0.627 0.2950 116
48 Northern Illinois 6 3 0.0718 0.626 0.4051 83
49 Texas 4 4 0.0713 0.626 0.5713 14
50 Ohio 7 2 0.0596 0.616 0.2819 118
51 Arizona State 4 4 0.0569 0.614 0.5569 19
52 Texas Tech 4 4 0.0480 0.606 0.5480 24
53 Virginia 5 3 0.0449 0.603 0.4199 74
54 Fresno State 5 3 0.0336 0.593 0.4086 80
55 UCLA 4 4 0.0324 0.592 0.5324 32
56 Oregon 5 4 0.0316 0.592 0.4761 49
57 FIU 5 2 0.0300 0.590 0.3158 113
58 Colorado State 6 3 0.0297 0.590 0.3631 102
59 Marshall 6 2 0.0073 0.571 0.2573 120
60 North Texas 5 3 0.0037 0.568 0.3787 94
61 Akron 5 4 0.0002 0.565 0.4446 63
62 Florida 3 4 -0.0092 0.556 0.5622 18
63 Syracuse 4 4 -0.0157 0.551 0.4843 43
64 Pittsburgh 4 5 -0.0160 0.551 0.5395 28
65 Florida Atlantic 5 3 -0.0219 0.545 0.3531 104
66 Colorado 5 4 -0.0221 0.545 0.4223 72
67 Wyoming 5 3 -0.0238 0.544 0.3512 105
68 Florida State 2 5 -0.0308 0.538 0.6835 1
69 Minnesota 4 4 -0.0371 0.532 0.4629 52
70 California 4 5 -0.0392 0.531 0.5164 35
71 Arkansas State 5 2 -0.0462 0.524 0.2395 124
72 Purdue 3 5 -0.0532 0.518 0.5718 13
73 Indiana 3 5 -0.0546 0.517 0.5704 15
74 Central Michigan 5 4 -0.0592 0.513 0.3853 89
75 Rutgers 3 5 -0.0606 0.512 0.5644 17
76 Air Force 4 4 -0.0691 0.505 0.4309 67
77 Arkansas 3 5 -0.0708 0.503 0.5542 20
78 Utah 4 4 -0.0726 0.502 0.4274 69
79 Kansas State 4 4 -0.0730 0.501 0.4270 70
80 Appalachian State 5 3 -0.0741 0.500 0.3009 115
81 Tennessee 3 5 -0.0766 0.498 0.5484 23
82 Western Michigan 5 4 -0.0766 0.498 0.3678 100
83 Vanderbilt 3 5 -0.0805 0.495 0.5445 26
84 Duke 4 5 -0.0838 0.492 0.4717 50
85 UTSA 5 2 -0.1169 0.463 0.1688 131
86 Southern Miss 5 3 -0.1379 0.445 0.2371 126
87 Ole Miss 3 5 -0.1416 0.442 0.4834 45
88 UAB 5 3 -0.1607 0.425 0.2143 129
89 Missouri 3 5 -0.1612 0.425 0.4638 51
90 Utah State 4 5 -0.1656 0.421 0.3900 86
91 Tulane 3 5 -0.1676 0.420 0.4574 57
92 Temple 4 5 -0.1750 0.413 0.3805 93
93 Georgia State 4 3 -0.1774 0.411 0.2512 121
94 Louisiana Tech 4 4 -0.1824 0.407 0.3176 112
95 Western Kentucky 5 3 -0.1932 0.397 0.1818 130
96 MTSU 3 5 -0.2128 0.380 0.4122 77
97 New Mexico 3 5 -0.2252 0.370 0.3998 85
98 UNLV 3 5 -0.2356 0.361 0.3894 87
99 Cincinnati 2 6 -0.2448 0.353 0.5052 38
100 Illinois 2 6 -0.2541 0.345 0.4959 41
101 Eastern Michigan 3 6 -0.2611 0.339 0.4056 82
102 South Alabama 3 5 -0.2664 0.334 0.3586 103
103 Buffalo 3 6 -0.2792 0.323 0.3875 88
104 Connecticut 3 5 -0.2896 0.314 0.3354 108
105 New Mexico State 3 5 -0.2901 0.314 0.3349 109
106 Miami-OH 3 6 -0.2922 0.312 0.3745 96
107 Hawaii 3 5 -0.2941 0.310 0.3309 111
108 LA-Lafayette 3 4 -0.2978 0.307 0.2737 119
109 North Carolina 1 8 -0.3229 0.285 0.5660 16
110 Tulsa 2 7 -0.3282 0.281 0.4496 61
111 Oregon State 1 7 -0.3377 0.272 0.5373 29
112 Kent State 2 7 -0.3401 0.270 0.4376 65
113 East Carolina 2 6 -0.3428 0.268 0.4072 81
114 BYU 2 7 -0.3517 0.260 0.4261 71
115 Kansas 1 7 -0.3642 0.250 0.5108 36
116 Idaho 3 6 -0.3803 0.236 0.2864 117
117 Old Dominion 2 6 -0.3809 0.235 0.3691 99
118 Bowling Green 2 7 -0.4009 0.218 0.3769 95
119 LA-Monroe 3 5 -0.4046 0.215 0.2204 128
120 Ball State 2 7 -0.4124 0.208 0.3653 101
121 Other 9 83 -0.4180 0.203 0.4842 44
122 Nevada 1 7 -0.4366 0.187 0.4384 64
123 Baylor 0 8 -0.4646 0.163 0.5354 30
124 San Jose State 1 8 -0.4854 0.145 0.4035 84
125 Rice 1 7 -0.4930 0.138 0.3820 92
126 Texas State 2 6 -0.5044 0.128 0.2456 122
127 Massachusetts 2 6 -0.5110 0.123 0.2390 125
128 Charlotte 1 7 -0.5697 0.072 0.3053 114
129 Georgia Southern 0 7 -0.5896 0.055 0.4104 79
130 UTEP 0 8 -0.6165 0.031 0.3835 90
131 Coastal Carolina 1 7 -0.6528 0.000 0.2222 127

The bowl matchups if the season ended today? (with a little projection for mega-conferences)

  • The top 4 is less simple here.  Considering that Miami-FL and Clemson would play each other … and Alabama and Georgia would play each other.  I use the adjusted scoring margins to choose winners there.  This puts Clemson and Georgia in the Top 2.  Despite a slightly higher ranking, Ohio State gets credit for the head to head win (which moves them into Big Ten champ territory).  Thus, Georgia, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State get the 4 spots now.
  • The other automatic bids include the Pac-12 leader (#14 USC) and the Group of Five rep (#13 Central Florida – San Diego State is higher ranked but not leading the Mountain West), Oklahoma State (Big 12).
  • Orange Bowl is the highest remaining ACC team against the highest ranked Big Ten, SEC, or ND team that is not a conference champ.  So – this means Alabama gets the slot
  • That leaves four more teams to place into bowls.  By ranking, we go Penn State, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and TCU.  This seems reasonable.
  • Using these matchups?
    • Sugar Bowl: Georgia v Ohio State
    • Rose Bowl: Notre Dame v Clemson
    • Orange Bowl: Miami-FL v Alabama
    • Fiesta Bowl: USC v Central Florida
    • Cotton Bowl: Penn State v Oklahoma
    • Peach Bowl: Wisconsin v TCU

Every #1 Song of the 1980s – Series 9

Click for links to: Series 8,  Series 7,  Series 6,  Series 5Series 4,  Series 3, Series 2, and Series 1 and a quick study of #2 songs

This is probably my favorite month so far in this project.  First of all, the top of the big board changes – with one of the great rock songs ever made.  But we also get one of the best songs from a dreary year (1980), one of the silliest videos ever made, and another video which is one of the defining videos in MTV’s history.

“Upside Down” by Diana Ross (1980) – Based on the magic he weaved with Chic in 1978, Nile Rodgers managed to keep himself as a producer for other artists.  In 1983, he helmed David Bowie’s Let’s Dance album when Bowie wanted a more commercially successful sound.  Diana Ross wanted the same from him in 1980, and so came the album which spawned her late career dance classics like “I’m Coming Out” and this song.  It takes a true grinch to not get seduced by the beat and tempo here.  (36 points)

“Abracadabra” by Steve Miller Band (1982) – Steve Miller’s biggest hit is one of the weirdest cases.  On one hand, yeah – it’s a catchy hook, and I actually kind of enjoy Sugar Ray’s cover of this song.  But – this is a pretty terrible song as Miller did it.  Lyrically it’s pretty silly.  That along is not disqualification, but given Miller’s quality – it is pretty trifle.  “I wanna reach out and grab ya”.  On the bright side, my daughter liked that there was a song called Abracadabra. (26 points)

“Hard to Say I’m Sorry” by Chicago (1982) – Wow, is this hard to listen to.  Of course, it’s Peter Cetera which we’ve covered before.  About this point, Chicago – who actually was a pretty rocking band in the 1970s had figured out that their best commercial success could come from balladeering.  Their first #1 song was 1976’s “If You Leave Me Now” – a solid display of simpering Cetera-led crooning – so you can see the dollar signs at work here.  The result of this change is a terrible, overearnest ballad which lacks the jazz/horns influence which permeated their best work.  (25 points)

“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics (1983) – This was Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox’s biggest hit as a duo, even though “Here Comes the Rain Again” is a better song.  This is one of those songs everybody knows – and the video is one of the early things I remember from Classic MTV.  I have to admit, for my money Lennox’s voice is one of the very best in the rock/pop genre – although this song does not explore the depths of that.  Like “Jump” by Van Halen, a lot of the score here is more impact than song related.  (37 points)

“Maniac” by Michael Sembello (1983) – This is the second of the two big hits from Flashdance, and actually it is hard to pick between the two in terms of cultural impact and what have you.  Both songs seem pretty well known.  Ultimately I kind of like this song better – both as a song and, kind of a better theme song of the two.  “Just a steel town girl on a Saturday night …”.  (32 points)

“Tell Her About It” by Billy Joel (1983) – This is one of those songs I forgot even happened.  This came from the An Innocent Man album.  This was the #1, although I think every organism remembers “Uptown Girl” much more.  This song is  fun tribute to the sort of music Joel listened to as a kid – and I do like the Ed Sullivan scenario outlined here.  (31 points)

“What’s Love Got to Do With It” by Tina Turner (1984) – This ended up as the #2 song for all of 1984 – arguably the best pop music year on this list.  Tina Turner’s marriage to Ike Turner, the fallout and her comeback is the stuff of legend.  Like Patti LaBelle having a number one song in 1986 – the idea of a 40-something like Tina Turner having a #1 single in 2017 is beyond what my tiny pee brain can handle.  The song itself still works – with her voice and the very strong baseline.  (40 points)

“Missing You” by John Waite (1984) – The first of Jon Waite’s two number one songs in the decade – this is the better one.  Actually this might be one of the better pure songs on the list, even if misses some of the cultural markers songs higher on the list have.  The radio clicker often stops if this comes on.  The dated dramatic story in the video gets some solid kitch points here. (34 points)

“Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince and the Revolution (1984) – Do I have to rate EVERY Prince song on this list in the Top 10?  Well, I could.  But a song does have to finish 4th.  I guess I will go with the most conventional of the four – the searing opening to Purple Rain, even with its fabulous “sermon” at the start of the proceedings.  This is a song without reproach – except that I liked others better.  (43 points)

“Saint Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” by John Parr (1985) – If I remember right, Saint Elmo’s Fire was a terrible movie – or at least one of the more forgettable pieces of the Brat Pack era.  However, this is actually a better song than the movie deserves (and better than say “If You Leave” though not as good as “Don’t You Forget About Me” – and John Parr’s hairstyle is just wonderful.  (36 points)

“Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits (1986) – Is this Dire Straits’ best song?  Of course not.  I take “Sultans of Swing” every day, and probably even “Walk of Life” from the same Brothers In Arms album which spawned their biggest hit.  But – like “Ghostbusters” theme, how do you fight this?  You have a catchy hook, some excellent guitar work with some cheeky lyrics (even the homophobic 2nd verse is really done by a character in the song – which I missed when I was a kid), and a video everybody knows.  No rack and stack of the MTV era can leave this out. (42 points)

“Venus” by Bananarama (1986) – A song like this really illustrates the funny thing about the music video form.  There are a lot of cheesy videos – and this is among the very silliest.  At the same time, a silly video can elevate the right song in a lot of ways.  Of course, it can also turn it into the subject of a Beavis and Butthead interstitial – but that only usually happened when the song sucked too.  Shocking Blue had a #1 with this song in 1970 but I will defend this version to the death as the vastly superior one.  Indeed, combine this with the absolutely ridiculous video and it’s very very hard not to smile. (38 points)

“Take My Breath Away” by Berlin (1986) – An Oscar winner, this is the sappy love song from Top Gun, which is one of those classic examples of a movie being afraid to be gay.  One of the most exciting filmgoing experience was being able to take a gay friend who had never seen this movie to see it on a big screen.  They should have played this song over the Maverick and Iceman scenes.  There was not one second where the Kelly McGillis stuff is remotely convincing.  So – the song?  I – oh never mind. (27 points)

“Stuck With You” by Huey Lewis and the News (1986) – There were a lot of silly videos in the 1980s.  If you don’t believe me, look two videos up from this one.  Huey Lewis and the News were consistent in producing some of the more fun ones.  They were silly too – but Lewis was clearly in on the joke.  It makes sense, as the band always seemed to have sort of the right attitude about its own music.  They had their bar band and doo wop influences – they played songs they and the people liked and that was enough.  No ripping out artistic bone marrow here.  This was the first single from their Fore! album – and I like the doo-wop oriented stylings here, probably more than the Billy Joel one earlier.  I am not a very objective judge here though.  (34 points)

“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” by Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett (1987) – I remember “Bad” being the first single from Bad, but it turns out it wasn’t the case.  The first single was this duet with his protege Siedah Garrett.  Originally Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston were envisioned as partners but both declined – but it works out pretty well here.  I am sure I have written this before, but it is hard to truly articulate to kiddos in today’s diffuse media culture just how culturally important Michael Jackson was.  This, his follow up to what was only the best selling album of all time, was not just a music event – it was actual news.  Time stopped for this, in a way that just wouldn’t happen now – yes, not even with Taylor Swift.  (36 points)

“Didn’t We Almost Have It All” by Whitney Houston (1987) – I have written a lot about Whitney Houston over this series, and given how many number ones she had, how could I not?  Given the circumstances of her downfall, this song is obviously kind of eerie.  That said, her ballads have not aged as well as some of her peppier stuff. (“Greatest Love of All” or “Saving All My Love” notwithstanding)  But it is what it is. (30 points)

“Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses (1988) – And then, we land here.  This was Guns N’Roses first chart single, and their only #1.  It also is clearly the best song on this series so far, and the one which will survive the longest as something truly special.  “Livin on a Prayer” has kept going as a great song to find at a wedding or in a bar to sing along to – this is just a magnificent song that has not dated at all.  I have railed against sappy love songs throughout these missives, yet a absolutely sentimental sap-fest here gets the highest praise.  Slash’s driving riff apparently was inspired by a scale practice exercise, and he found a sound in the guitar which (if I recall correctly in a Rolling Stone piece) he said he had trouble imitating because he was so blitzed during the entire thing.  (or was it during shows, or was it all of the above?)  Everything works – the 1940s standard lyrical sentiment, Slash’s guitar work, the driving coda to finish.  If “West End Girls” was to be knocked out of the number one spot – best it be by absolute quality. (50 points)

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin (1988) – Is there a greater juxtaposition than a rock opus like “Sweet Child of Mine” getting bumped from its #1 position in 1988 by the only a capella song to hit #1 in the decade?  This was originally recorded for the soundtrack to Cocktail, and the video has a role for a very famous sadly gone star.  Certainly everybody has used “Don’t Worry. Be Happy” as a mantra – but I wonder how much they remember the song that spawned it?  McFerrin is a really unique artist, and certainly no other song in the decade sounded like this. (32 points)

“Cold Hearted” by Paula Abdul (1989) – This actually ended up being the biggest hit from the Forever Your Girl album.  It is my least favorite of the three.  I remember not really liking Paula Abdul back then – if nothing else due to just how often these songs came on the radio.  I had to listen to this again to remember what it was.  30 years later, it’s extremely hard to get any energy here. (32 points)

“Hangin’ Tough” by New Kids on the Block (1989) – If “Sweet Child O’Mine” has not dated in any real way, this is the counterpoint.  This was the first flirtation with rap/chant/stomp, whatever the F it is the New Kids were doing.  This did not lead to them shortening things to NKOTB, but you see the inexorable descent here.  Unlike Bananarama, this song is just not good enough for the ridiculous video to make things better.  Indeed, it makes things more awkward. (25 points)

“Don’t Wanna Lose You” by Gloria Estefan (1989) – Gloria Estefan’s second #1, this was a staple of VH1 when I was a kid, when VH1 was the “adult” alternative to the videos on MTV.  The vocal work here is good – she is a terrific performer.  I just never really cared.  Yawn!  (30 points)

“Girl I’m Gonna Miss You” by Milli Vanilli (1989) – I liked this more when I was a kid than now.  As I noted in the #2s piece, Milli Vanilli scandal had terrible repercussions – but the music itself would still play.  It was not sung by the duo, but the songs themselves were fairly good pop songs.  Now this ballad is actually not a good song – but it’s bad in the soppy love ballad sort of way – and not some extraordinary act of terribleness. (such as “Please Don’t Go”)  (29 points)

The big board through September is below:

Song Artist
1 Sweet Child O’Mine Guns N’ Roses
2 West End Girls Pet Shop Boys
3 Kiss Prince
4 Jessie’s Girl Rick Springfield
5 With or Without You U2
6 When Doves Cry Prince
7 Beat It Michael Jackson
8 Billie Jean Michael Jackson
9 Rock With You Michael Jackson
10 I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For U2
11 Batdance Prince
12 Father Figure George Michael
13 Roll With It Steve Winwood
14 Jump Van Halen
15 Livin on a Prayer Bon Jovi
16 Down Under Men At Work
17 Every Breath You Take The Police
18 Eye of the Tiger Survivor
19 Faith George Michael
20 How Will I Know Whitney Houston
21 Let’s Go Crazy Prince and the Revolution
22 Like a Virgin Madonna
23 The Tide Is High Blondie
24 Centerfold J Geils Band
25 (I Just) Died in Your Arms Cutting Crew
26 La Bamba Los Lobos
27 Don’t You (Forget About Me) Simple Minds
28 Sledgehammer Peter Gabriel
29 We Are the World USA For Africa
30 Like A Prayer Madonna
31 Money for Nothing Dire Straits
32 Greatest Love of All Whitney Houston
33 Monkey George Michael
34 Everybody Wants to Rule The World Tears For Fears
35 Rapture Blondie
36 Man in the Mirror Michael Jackson
37 What’s Love Got to Do With It Tina Turner
38 The Power of Love Huey Lewis and the News
39 Careless Whisper Wham featuring George Michael
40 Footloose Kenny Loggins
41 Walk Like an Egyptian Bangles
42 Karma Chameleon Culture Club
43 I Love Rock and Roll Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
44 Celebration Kool and the Gang
45 So Emotional Whitney Houston
46 Venus Bananarama
47 Don’t You Want Me The Human League
48 Two Hearts Phil Collins
49 Need You Tonight INXS
50 A View to a Kill Duran Duran
51 Call Me Blondie
52 Let’s Dance David Bowie
53 Never Gonna Give You Up Rick Astley
54 Dirty Diana Michael Jackson
55 Together Forever Rick Astley
56 Time After Time Cyndi Lauper
57 Every Rose Has Its Thorn Poison
58 Papa Don’t Preach Madonna
59 My Prerogative Bobby Brown
60 Got My Mind Set on You George Harrison
61 Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car Billy Ocean
62 Addicted to Love Robert Palmer
63 Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) Eurythmics
64 Upside Down Diana Ross
65 Shout Tears For Fears
66 I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) Whitney Houston
67 Owner of a Lonely Heart Yes
68 Forever Your Girl Paula Abdul
69 Maneater Darryl Hall and John Oates
70 Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 Pink Floyd
71 Rock Me Amadeus Falco
72 I Just Can’t Stop Loving You Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett
73 Chariots of Fire Vangelis
74 Saint Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) John Parr
75 Open Your Heart Madonna
76 One More Try George Michael
77 Wishing Well Terrence Trent D’Arby
78 The Flame Cheap Trick
79 The Way You Make Me Feel Michael Jackson
80 Say, Say, Say Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
81 9 to 5 Dolly Parton
82 Straight Up Paula Abdul
83 Missing You John Waite
84 The Look Roxette
85 Head to Toe Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
86 Invisible Touch Genesis
87 Higher Love Steve Winwood
88 Stuck With You Huey Lewis and the News
89 The Reflex Duran Duran
90 Who’s That Girl Madonna
91 I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) Aretha Franklin and George Michael
92 Baby Don’t Forget My Number Milli Vanilli
93 Ghostbusters Ray Parker Jr
94 Flashdance … What a Feeling Irene Cara
95 Shakedown Bob Seger
96 Good Thing Fine Young Cannibals
97 That’s What Friends Are For Dionne Warwick
98 Physical Olivia Newton John
99 I Can’t Go For That Hall and Oates
100 Sussudio Phil Collins
101 I’ll Be There For You Bon Jovi
102 Crazy Little Thing Called Love Queen
103 Everything She Wants Wham
104 Africa Toto
105 Maniac Michael Sembello
106 Don’t Worry Be Happy Bobby McFerrin
107 Right Here Waiting Richard Marx
108 Holding Back the Years Simply Red
109 Satisfied Richard Marx
110 Alone Heart
111 Cold Hearted Paula Abdul
112 Coming Up Paul McCartney
113 Come on Eileen Dexy’s Midnight Runners
114 These Dreams Heart
115 Anything For You Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
116 Heaven Bryan Adams
117 Tell Her About It Billy Joel
118 Ebony and Ivory Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
119 The Living Years Mike and the Mechanics
120 At This Moment Billy Vera and the Beaters
121 Bette Davis Eyes Kim Carnes
122 If You Don’t Know Me By Now Simply Red
123 Didn’t We Almost Have It All Whitney Houston
124 Foolish Beat Debbie Gibson
125 She Drives Me Crazy Fine Young Cannibals
126 Eternal Flame The Bangles
127 Kyrie Mr. Mister
128 Hold On to the Nights Richard Marx
129 Don’t Wanna Lose You Gloria Estefan
130 Shake You Down Gregory Abbott
131 You Keep Me Hangin On Kim Wilde
132 Kiss Is On My List Hall and Oates
133 Funkytown Lipps, Inc
134 Let’s Hear It for the Boy DeNiece Williams
135 Everytime You Go Away Paul Young
136 Girl I’m Gonna Miss You Milli Vanilli
137 Keep on Loving You REO Speedwagon
138 Magic Olivia Newton John
139 There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry) Billy Ocean
140 Hello Lionel Richie
141 Take My Breath Away Berlin
142 It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me Billy Joel
143 Glory of Love Peter Cetera
144 I Love a Rainy Night Eddie Rabbitt
145 Abracadabra Steve Miller Band
146 Live to Tell Madonna
147 I’ll Be Loving You (Forever) New Kids on the Block
148 Lost in Your Eyes Debbie Gibson
149 Say You, Say Me Lionel Richie
150 Always Atlantic Starr
151 Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now Starship
152 (Just Like) Starting Over John Lennon
153 On My Own Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald
154 Hard to Say I’m Sorry Chicago
155 Hangin Tough New Kids on the Block
156 Crazy for You Madonna
157 Seasons Change Expose
158 Can’t Fight This Feeling REO Speedwagon
159 One More Night Phil Collins
160 I Want to Know What Love Is Foreigner
161 Stars on 45 Medley Stars on 45
162 Escape (The Pina Colada Song) Rupert Holmes
163 Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Midler
164 Sara Starship
165 Endless Love Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
166 Lean on Me Club Nouveau
167 Sailing Christopher Cross
168 Baby, Come to Me Patti Austin and James Ingram
169 Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) Phil Collins
170 Where Do Broken Hearts Go Whitney Houston
171 Could’ve Been Tiffany
172 Do That To Me One More Time Captain and Tennille
173 Jacob’s Ladder Huey Lewis and the News
174 Morning Train (Nine to Five) Sheena Easton
175 When I’m With You Sheriff
176 The One That You Love Air Supply
177 Toy Soldiers Martika
178 Rock On Michael Damian
179 Please Don’t Go KC and the Sunshine Band