Author: Sriram

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
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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

2017 College Football Rankings #3

It’s always the weeks you don’t expect where the fun lies.  What looked like a sleepy weekend without any ranked v ranked games – and whaddya know?  Clemson, Washington, Washington State, Auburn all go down, with Michigan just dodging a bullet.  TCU registers another good road win to continue to amass the best resume in the country to date.  How does it all shake down rankings-wise?

W L Pts Scale SOS Rank
1 TCU 6 0 0.5517 1.000 0.5517 17
2 Alabama 7 0 0.5346 0.987 0.5346 23
3 Penn State 6 0 0.5116 0.970 0.5116 35
4 Miami-FL 5 0 0.5115 0.970 0.5115 36
5 Georgia 7 0 0.4809 0.947 0.4809 51
6 Wisconsin 6 0 0.4617 0.933 0.4617 57
7 Michigan State 5 1 0.4485 0.923 0.6152 4
8 Ohio State 6 1 0.4026 0.889 0.5454 21
9 Clemson 6 1 0.3984 0.886 0.5413 22
10 Michigan 5 1 0.3966 0.885 0.5632 14
11 USC 6 1 0.3813 0.873 0.5241 28
12 Oklahoma 5 1 0.3812 0.873 0.5479 18
13 Oklahoma State 5 1 0.3635 0.860 0.5302 25
14 Notre Dame 5 1 0.3566 0.855 0.5233 29
15 San Diego State 6 1 0.3390 0.842 0.4818 49
16 NC State 6 1 0.3298 0.835 0.4726 53
17 UCF 5 0 0.3242 0.831 0.3242 110
18 Navy 5 1 0.2842 0.801 0.4509 58
19 Washington 6 1 0.2779 0.797 0.4207 74
20 Washington State 6 1 0.2741 0.794 0.4170 76
21 Iowa 4 2 0.2404 0.769 0.5738 9
22 Virginia 5 1 0.2327 0.763 0.3994 88
23 Stanford 5 2 0.2314 0.762 0.5171 32
24 Kentucky 5 1 0.2247 0.757 0.3914 93
25 Memphis 5 1 0.2005 0.739 0.3672 100
26 Virginia Tech 5 1 0.1997 0.739 0.3664 101
27 South Carolina 5 2 0.1965 0.736 0.4822 47
28 Texas A&M 5 2 0.1963 0.736 0.4820 48
29 Toledo 5 1 0.1957 0.736 0.3624 102
30 Wake Forest 4 2 0.1799 0.724 0.5132 33
31 Florida State 2 3 0.1673 0.714 0.7673 1
32 Iowa State 4 2 0.1604 0.709 0.4937 39
33 LSU 5 2 0.1596 0.709 0.4453 59
34 Auburn 5 2 0.1531 0.704 0.4389 64
35 Mississippi State 4 2 0.1509 0.702 0.4842 45
36 Texas Tech 4 2 0.1480 0.700 0.4813 50
37 South Florida 6 0 0.1470 0.699 0.1470 131
38 Boise State 4 2 0.1470 0.699 0.4803 52
39 Maryland 3 3 0.1423 0.696 0.6423 2
40 North Texas 4 2 0.1087 0.671 0.4420 62
41 California 4 3 0.1027 0.666 0.5313 24
42 Houston 4 2 0.0998 0.664 0.4331 67
43 Arizona State 3 3 0.0989 0.664 0.5989 5
44 Fresno State 4 2 0.0986 0.663 0.4320 69
45 Utah 4 2 0.0914 0.658 0.4247 72
46 Marshall 5 1 0.0903 0.657 0.2570 124
47 Indiana 3 3 0.0790 0.649 0.5790 6
48 SMU 4 2 0.0788 0.649 0.4122 80
49 Northwestern 3 3 0.0766 0.647 0.5766 8
50 Colorado State 5 2 0.0761 0.647 0.3618 103
51 Northern Illinois 4 2 0.0707 0.643 0.4040 86
52 Purdue 3 3 0.0678 0.641 0.5678 11
53 Army 5 2 0.0662 0.639 0.3520 104
54 Texas 3 3 0.0644 0.638 0.5644 12
55 West Virginia 4 2 0.0634 0.637 0.3968 89
56 Troy 4 2 0.0632 0.637 0.3966 90
57 Duke 4 3 0.0616 0.636 0.4902 42
58 Oregon 4 3 0.0596 0.634 0.4882 43
59 Boston College 3 4 0.0559 0.632 0.6274 3
60 Louisville 4 3 0.0539 0.630 0.4825 46
61 Appalachian State 4 2 0.0424 0.622 0.3757 98
62 Ole Miss 3 3 0.0221 0.607 0.5221 30
63 Florida 3 3 0.0178 0.603 0.5178 31
64 Akron 4 3 0.0153 0.602 0.4439 60
65 Georgia Tech 3 2 0.0099 0.598 0.4099 81
66 Arizona 4 2 0.0045 0.594 0.3379 108
67 UCLA 3 3 -0.0042 0.587 0.4958 38
68 Wyoming 4 2 -0.0067 0.585 0.3266 109
69 Nebraska 3 4 -0.0079 0.584 0.5636 13
70 Syracuse 4 3 -0.0111 0.582 0.4175 75
71 Vanderbilt 3 4 -0.0128 0.581 0.5587 15
72 Western Michigan 4 3 -0.0152 0.579 0.4134 79
73 Minnesota 3 3 -0.0280 0.569 0.4720 54
74 FIU 4 2 -0.0339 0.565 0.2995 117
75 Tennessee 3 3 -0.0367 0.563 0.4633 56
76 Ohio 5 2 -0.0383 0.562 0.2474 125
77 Southern Miss 4 2 -0.0399 0.561 0.2935 118
78 Colorado 4 3 -0.0474 0.555 0.3812 97
79 Tulane 3 3 -0.0610 0.545 0.4390 63
80 UAB 4 2 -0.0762 0.534 0.2571 123
81 New Mexico 3 3 -0.0772 0.533 0.4228 73
82 Kansas State 3 3 -0.0836 0.528 0.4164 77
83 Arkansas 2 4 -0.0882 0.525 0.5785 7
84 Arkansas State 3 2 -0.1095 0.509 0.2905 119
85 Florida Atlantic 3 3 -0.1119 0.507 0.3881 95
86 UTSA 3 2 -0.1218 0.500 0.2782 121
87 Louisiana Tech 3 3 -0.1247 0.498 0.3753 99
88 Rutgers 2 4 -0.1579 0.473 0.5088 37
89 Georgia State 3 2 -0.1596 0.472 0.2404 126
90 Pittsburgh 2 5 -0.1624 0.470 0.5519 16
91 MTSU 3 4 -0.1636 0.469 0.4078 83
92 Buffalo 3 4 -0.1690 0.465 0.4025 87
93 Western Kentucky 4 2 -0.1755 0.460 0.1579 130
94 New Mexico State 3 4 -0.1801 0.456 0.3913 94
95 Air Force 2 4 -0.1820 0.455 0.4847 44
96 Utah State 3 4 -0.1841 0.453 0.3873 96
97 Cincinnati 2 5 -0.2014 0.441 0.5129 34
98 Tulsa 2 5 -0.2216 0.426 0.4927 40
99 South Alabama 2 4 -0.2243 0.424 0.4423 61
100 LA-Lafayette 3 3 -0.2257 0.423 0.2743 122
101 Central Michigan 3 4 -0.2290 0.420 0.3424 107
102 Illinois 2 4 -0.2315 0.418 0.4351 66
103 Kent State 2 5 -0.2454 0.408 0.4689 55
104 UNLV 2 4 -0.2582 0.398 0.4084 82
105 Eastern Michigan 2 4 -0.2592 0.398 0.4075 84
106 Missouri 1 5 -0.2616 0.396 0.5718 10
107 Temple 3 4 -0.2672 0.392 0.3042 116
108 LA-Monroe 3 3 -0.2807 0.382 0.2193 128
109 Hawaii 3 4 -0.2824 0.380 0.2891 120
110 Oregon State 1 6 -0.3107 0.359 0.5465 19
111 Old Dominion 2 4 -0.3171 0.355 0.3496 105
112 Ball State 2 4 -0.3209 0.352 0.3457 106
113 BYU 1 6 -0.3323 0.343 0.5249 26
114 North Carolina 1 6 -0.3328 0.343 0.5244 27
115 Connecticut 2 4 -0.3459 0.333 0.3208 113
116 Idaho 2 4 -0.3587 0.324 0.3080 115
117 Miami-OH 2 5 -0.3904 0.300 0.3239 111
118 Kansas 1 5 -0.4070 0.288 0.4263 71
119 Other 9 82 -0.4091 0.286 0.4920 41
120 Nevada 1 6 -0.4209 0.278 0.4363 65
121 Rice 1 5 -0.4391 0.264 0.3943 91
122 San Jose State 1 7 -0.4428 0.261 0.4322 68
123 East Carolina 1 6 -0.4501 0.256 0.4071 85
124 Baylor 0 6 -0.4544 0.253 0.5456 20
125 Bowling Green 1 6 -0.4645 0.245 0.3927 92
126 Texas State 1 6 -0.5343 0.193 0.3228 112
127 Georgia Southern 0 5 -0.5686 0.168 0.4314 70
128 UTEP 0 7 -0.5863 0.155 0.4137 78
129 Coastal Carolina 1 5 -0.6005 0.144 0.2328 127
130 Charlotte 0 7 -0.6852 0.081 0.3148 114
131 Massachusetts 0 6 -0.7947 0.000 0.2053 129

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

  • The top 4 is simple.  TCU, Alabama, Penn State, Miami-FL
  • The other automatic bids include the Pac-12 leader (#11 USC) and the Group of Five rep (#17 Central Florida – San Diego State is higher ranked but not leading the Mountain West)
  • Orange Bowl is ACC vs Notre Dame, SEC or Big Ten.  Going by straight rankings Clemson vs Georgia
  • That leaves four more teams to place into bowls.  Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan are the four teams by ranking.  That said, it is unlikely all four teams joined Penn State here, we drop Michigan and promote Oklahoma here.
  • Using these matchups?
    • Sugar Bowl: TCU v Miami-FL
    • Rose Bowl: Alabama v Penn State
    • Orange Bowl: Clemson v Georgia
    • Fiesta Bowl: USC v Ohio State
    • Cotton Bowl: Michigan State v Oklahoma
    • Peach Bowl: Wisconsin v Central Florida

2017 College Football Rankings #2

(Note: This does not include the results of Wednesday or Thursday’s Games)

 

Entering last week, defending champions Clemson had not had a huge test yet – or at least something which had that look by the model.  However, with Auburn and Louisville gaining strength and Clemson’s wipeout of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, the Tigers are back where you’d expect them.  Meanwhile, Alabama keeps rolling – although it is still inconclusive as to whether they have beaten anybody good yet.  Last week’s #1 Central Florida, did nothing wrong – it’s just that teams passed them.  In particular, TCU – the other team with two high quality road scalps, ascends to the top.

W L Pts Scale SOS Rank
1 TCU 4 0 0.5720 1.000 0.5720 7
2 Clemson 5 0 0.5277 0.967 0.5277 17
3 Oklahoma 4 0 0.5212 0.962 0.5212 18
4 Michigan 4 0 0.5209 0.962 0.5209 19
5 Alabama 5 0 0.5189 0.960 0.5189 21
6 Georgia 5 0 0.5159 0.958 0.5159 22
7 San Diego State 5 0 0.4601 0.916 0.4601 41
8 Navy 4 0 0.4554 0.912 0.4554 47
9 UCF 3 0 0.4415 0.902 0.4415 56
10 Penn State 5 0 0.4270 0.891 0.4270 62
11 Miami-FL 3 0 0.3939 0.866 0.3939 83
12 Maryland 3 1 0.3806 0.856 0.6306 3
13 Washington 5 0 0.3759 0.853 0.3759 90
14 Ohio State 4 1 0.3644 0.844 0.5644 8
15 Oklahoma State 4 1 0.3588 0.840 0.5588 9
16 USC 4 1 0.3470 0.831 0.5470 10
17 Notre Dame 4 1 0.3449 0.830 0.5449 11
18 Wisconsin 4 0 0.3433 0.828 0.3433 99
19 Florida 3 1 0.2917 0.790 0.5417 13
20 Washington State 5 0 0.2917 0.790 0.2917 116
21 Wake Forest 4 1 0.2585 0.765 0.4585 43
22 Louisville 4 1 0.2581 0.764 0.4581 44
23 Utah 4 0 0.2546 0.762 0.2546 123
24 UTSA 3 0 0.2514 0.759 0.2514 124
25 Texas Tech 3 1 0.2473 0.756 0.4973 31
26 Michigan State 3 1 0.2328 0.746 0.4828 36
27 NC State 4 1 0.2308 0.744 0.4308 60
28 Duke 4 1 0.2127 0.730 0.4127 73
29 Oregon 4 1 0.2088 0.727 0.4088 76
30 Troy 4 1 0.1970 0.719 0.3970 79
31 SMU 4 1 0.1941 0.716 0.3941 82
32 Auburn 4 1 0.1804 0.706 0.3804 87
33 Kentucky 4 1 0.1776 0.704 0.3776 88
34 Iowa 3 2 0.1731 0.701 0.5731 6
35 Marshall 3 1 0.1728 0.700 0.4228 66
36 Memphis 3 1 0.1454 0.680 0.3954 81
37 South Florida 5 0 0.1419 0.677 0.1419 131
38 Virginia Tech 4 1 0.1344 0.672 0.3344 106
39 Houston 3 1 0.1340 0.671 0.3840 85
40 Texas A&M 4 1 0.1331 0.671 0.3331 107
41 Toledo 3 1 0.1266 0.666 0.3766 89
42 Minnesota 3 1 0.1202 0.661 0.3702 93
43 Indiana 2 2 0.1134 0.656 0.6134 4
44 Mississippi State 3 2 0.1111 0.654 0.5111 25
45 Florida State 1 2 0.1070 0.651 0.7736 1
46 Vanderbilt 3 2 0.0963 0.643 0.4963 34
47 Ohio 4 1 0.0934 0.641 0.2934 115
48 Virginia 3 1 0.0923 0.640 0.3423 100
49 Stanford 3 2 0.0813 0.632 0.4813 37
50 California 3 2 0.0797 0.631 0.4797 38
51 Nebraska 3 2 0.0595 0.615 0.4595 42
52 Tennessee 3 2 0.0490 0.608 0.4490 49
53 Georgia Tech 3 1 0.0471 0.606 0.2971 113
54 Texas 2 2 0.0448 0.604 0.5448 12
55 North Texas 3 2 0.0440 0.604 0.4440 52
56 FIU 3 1 0.0392 0.600 0.2892 117
57 UCLA 3 2 0.0372 0.599 0.4372 58
58 Boston College 2 3 0.0340 0.596 0.6340 2
59 South Carolina 3 2 0.0223 0.588 0.4223 67
60 Fresno State 2 2 0.0190 0.585 0.5190 20
61 Kansas State 3 1 0.0166 0.583 0.2666 120
62 Army 3 2 0.0134 0.581 0.4134 72
63 Colorado 3 2 0.0125 0.580 0.4125 74
64 Tulane 2 2 0.0106 0.579 0.5106 26
65 Western Michigan 3 2 0.0014 0.572 0.4014 77
66 Purdue 2 2 0.0012 0.572 0.5012 29
67 Buffalo 3 2 -0.0007 0.570 0.3993 78
68 Colorado State 3 2 -0.0039 0.568 0.3961 80
69 New Mexico 3 2 -0.0126 0.561 0.3874 84
70 West Virginia 3 1 -0.0150 0.560 0.2350 128
71 Utah State 3 2 -0.0169 0.558 0.3831 86
72 Arizona State 2 3 -0.0268 0.551 0.5732 5
73 Ole Miss 2 2 -0.0322 0.547 0.4678 39
74 Northern Illinois 2 2 -0.0376 0.543 0.4624 40
75 Arkansas 2 2 -0.0473 0.535 0.4527 48
76 Wyoming 3 2 -0.0499 0.533 0.3501 95
77 Boise State 2 2 -0.0516 0.532 0.4484 50
78 Louisiana Tech 3 2 -0.0538 0.530 0.3462 97
79 Appalachian State 2 2 -0.0581 0.527 0.4419 55
80 LSU 3 2 -0.0598 0.526 0.3402 102
81 Iowa State 2 2 -0.0673 0.520 0.4327 59
82 Northwestern 2 2 -0.0800 0.511 0.4200 68
83 Cincinnati 2 3 -0.0898 0.503 0.5102 27
84 Pittsburgh 2 3 -0.1035 0.493 0.4965 33
85 Illinois 2 2 -0.1257 0.476 0.3743 92
86 MTSU 2 3 -0.1529 0.456 0.4471 51
87 Eastern Michigan 2 2 -0.1541 0.455 0.3459 98
88 New Mexico State 2 3 -0.1564 0.453 0.4436 53
89 Florida Atlantic 2 3 -0.1572 0.453 0.4428 54
90 Idaho 2 2 -0.1607 0.450 0.3393 103
91 Arkansas State 1 2 -0.1699 0.443 0.4968 32
92 UNLV 2 2 -0.1719 0.442 0.3281 108
93 Miami-OH 2 3 -0.1751 0.439 0.4249 63
94 Temple 2 3 -0.1805 0.435 0.4195 69
95 Akron 2 3 -0.1859 0.431 0.4141 71
96 Old Dominion 2 2 -0.1983 0.422 0.3017 112
97 Southern Miss 2 2 -0.2295 0.399 0.2705 119
98 UAB 2 2 -0.2377 0.392 0.2623 122
99 Air Force 1 3 -0.2414 0.390 0.5086 28
100 Arizona 2 2 -0.2529 0.381 0.2471 125
101 Hawaii 2 3 -0.2535 0.381 0.3465 96
102 Oregon State 1 4 -0.2622 0.374 0.5378 14
103 Ball State 2 3 -0.2622 0.374 0.3378 104
104 Western Kentucky 2 2 -0.2622 0.374 0.2378 127
105 Central Michigan 2 3 -0.2623 0.374 0.3377 105
106 Rutgers 1 4 -0.2665 0.371 0.5335 15
107 Kent State 1 4 -0.2698 0.368 0.5302 16
108 LA-Monroe 2 2 -0.2703 0.368 0.2297 129
109 Syracuse 2 3 -0.2814 0.360 0.3186 110
110 Tulsa 1 4 -0.3112 0.337 0.4888 35
111 Missouri 1 3 -0.3268 0.326 0.4232 65
112 North Carolina 1 4 -0.3430 0.313 0.4570 46
113 BYU 1 4 -0.3753 0.289 0.4247 64
114 South Alabama 1 4 -0.3846 0.282 0.4154 70
115 Other 9 81 -0.3882 0.280 0.5118 24
116 Texas State 1 4 -0.3895 0.279 0.4105 75
117 Georgia State 1 2 -0.3901 0.278 0.2766 118
118 San Jose State 1 5 -0.3955 0.274 0.4379 57
119 Rice 1 4 -0.4245 0.252 0.3755 91
120 Connecticut 1 3 -0.4288 0.249 0.3212 109
121 LA-Lafayette 1 3 -0.4413 0.240 0.3087 111
122 East Carolina 1 4 -0.4594 0.226 0.3406 101
123 Kansas 1 3 -0.4841 0.208 0.2659 121
124 Georgia Southern 0 3 -0.4858 0.206 0.5142 23
125 Baylor 0 5 -0.4999 0.196 0.5001 30
126 UTEP 0 5 -0.5429 0.163 0.4571 45
127 Coastal Carolina 1 3 -0.5652 0.147 0.1848 130
128 Nevada 0 5 -0.5699 0.143 0.4301 61
129 Bowling Green 0 5 -0.6371 0.093 0.3629 94
130 Charlotte 0 5 -0.7040 0.043 0.2960 114
131 Massachusetts 0 6 -0.7607 0.000 0.2393 126

Given these rankings, and the reality of conference champions and such – who are the Final Four?

  • Well, let’s assume that you’d need a very good reason to pass over a conference champ – and four of the Top 5 are from different conferences – TCU, Clemson, Michigan and Alabama get the playoff slots.  We have a TCU/Alabama Sugar Bowl and a Clemson/Michigan Rose Bowl.
  • The Orange Bowl guarantees an ACC team – so Miami-FL is next team up.  They play either an SEC team, a Big Ten team or Notre Dame.  So Georgia goes here.
  • Washington gets the Pac-12’s automatic bid here, while San Diego State is the automatic Group of 5 rep.
  • The other 4 at-large positions?  Oklahoma, Navy, Penn State and Maryland.  It is unlikely Navy AND UCF would get spots since they are in the same conference and would end up playing each other at some point.
  • The Bowls if the season ended today?
    • SUGAR BOWL (National Semifinal): TCU vs Alabama
    • ROSE BOWL (National Semifinal): Clemson v Michigan
    • ORANGE BOWL: Miami-FL vs Georgia
    • COTTON BOWL: Oklahoma v Penn State
    • PEACH BOWL:  Maryland v Navy
    • FIESTA BOWL: Washington v San Diego State

2017 College Football Rankings #1

(Note: This does not include the results of yesterday’s 17-7 win by Texas at Iowa State)

Finally, after four weeks of football, and a lot of schedule reshuffling due to the devastating hurricanes in the South. (A list of ways to pitch in to help that horrific situation in Puerto Rico can be found here).  Among the more trivial results of this delay was a long time before each of the college teams played twice – thus allowing for a legitimate strength of schedule metric.  Of course, as we learn about the teams, the SoS numbers will get cleaner.  Here is a further explainer of the method.  So what does the first ranking hold for us?  Voila!

W L Pts Scale SOS Rank
1 UCF 2 0 0.5476 1.000 0.5476 7
2 Michigan 4 0 0.5460 0.999 0.5460 8
3 Oklahoma 4 0 0.5238 0.982 0.5238 14
4 TCU 4 0 0.5228 0.981 0.5228 15
5 Alabama 4 0 0.5172 0.977 0.5172 19
6 Georgia 4 0 0.5122 0.973 0.5122 20
7 San Diego State 4 0 0.5009 0.964 0.5009 26
8 USC 4 0 0.4997 0.963 0.4997 27
9 Navy 3 0 0.4790 0.948 0.4790 32
10 Clemson 4 0 0.4439 0.921 0.4439 47
11 Texas Tech 3 0 0.4329 0.912 0.4329 53
12 Washington 4 0 0.4282 0.909 0.4282 56
13 Wake Forest 4 0 0.4223 0.904 0.4223 60
14 Wisconsin 3 0 0.3871 0.877 0.3871 75
15 Penn State 4 0 0.3766 0.869 0.3766 81
16 Duke 4 0 0.3545 0.853 0.3545 89
17 UTSA 3 0 0.3233 0.829 0.3233 97
18 Ohio State 3 1 0.3068 0.816 0.5568 6
19 Utah 4 0 0.2979 0.809 0.2979 108
20 Minnesota 3 0 0.2938 0.806 0.2938 111
21 Louisville 3 1 0.2829 0.798 0.5329 10
22 Maryland 2 1 0.2746 0.792 0.6080 4
23 Notre Dame 3 1 0.2672 0.786 0.5172 18
24 Memphis 3 0 0.2440 0.768 0.2440 124
25 Florida 2 1 0.2418 0.766 0.5751 5
26 Miami-FL 2 0 0.2283 0.756 0.2283 126
27 Iowa 3 1 0.2241 0.753 0.4741 33
28 Virginia Tech 4 0 0.2224 0.752 0.2224 127
29 Oklahoma State 3 1 0.2107 0.743 0.4607 39
30 Mississippi State 3 1 0.2076 0.740 0.4576 40
31 South Florida 4 0 0.2037 0.737 0.2037 128
32 Washington State 4 0 0.2027 0.737 0.2027 129
33 California 3 1 0.1865 0.724 0.4365 50
34 SMU 3 1 0.1840 0.722 0.4340 52
35 Vanderbilt 3 1 0.1793 0.719 0.4293 54
36 Kentucky 3 1 0.1679 0.710 0.4179 64
37 NC State 3 1 0.1522 0.698 0.4022 69
38 Indiana 2 1 0.1507 0.697 0.4840 31
39 Oregon 3 1 0.1478 0.695 0.3978 70
40 Colorado 3 1 0.1437 0.692 0.3937 72
41 FIU 2 1 0.1382 0.687 0.4715 34
42 South Carolina 3 1 0.1378 0.687 0.3878 74
43 LSU 3 1 0.1278 0.679 0.3778 79
44 Troy 3 1 0.1053 0.662 0.3553 88
45 Houston 2 1 0.1050 0.662 0.4383 49
46 Ohio 3 1 0.0917 0.652 0.3417 91
47 Auburn 3 1 0.0807 0.643 0.3307 94
48 Tennessee 3 1 0.0682 0.634 0.3182 100
49 Toledo 3 1 0.0676 0.633 0.3176 101
50 Virginia 3 1 0.0627 0.630 0.3127 103
51 Texas A&M 3 1 0.0599 0.628 0.3099 105
52 Northern Illinois 2 1 0.0503 0.620 0.3836 77
53 Michigan State 2 1 0.0444 0.616 0.3777 80
54 Marshall 2 1 0.0430 0.615 0.3763 82
55 Illinois 2 1 0.0392 0.612 0.3726 84
56 Iowa State 2 1 0.0372 0.610 0.3706 85
57 Cincinnati 2 2 0.0349 0.608 0.5349 9
58 Tulane 2 2 0.0261 0.602 0.5261 13
59 Arizona State 2 2 0.0219 0.598 0.5219 16
60 Army 2 2 0.0100 0.589 0.5100 22
61 Stanford 2 2 0.0085 0.588 0.5085 23
62 Purdue 2 2 0.0081 0.588 0.5081 24
63 West Virginia 3 1 -0.0028 0.580 0.2472 122
64 Ole Miss 2 1 -0.0085 0.575 0.3248 96
65 Appalachian State 2 2 -0.0290 0.560 0.4710 35
66 Northwestern 2 1 -0.0377 0.553 0.2956 110
67 Utah State 2 2 -0.0382 0.553 0.4618 38
68 Southern Miss 2 1 -0.0427 0.549 0.2906 114
69 Nebraska 2 2 -0.0430 0.549 0.4570 41
70 Buffalo 2 2 -0.0458 0.547 0.4542 43
71 Eastern Michigan 2 1 -0.0480 0.545 0.2854 116
72 Fresno State 1 2 -0.0550 0.540 0.6117 3
73 North Texas 2 2 -0.0591 0.537 0.4409 48
74 Georgia Tech 2 1 -0.0674 0.530 0.2659 120
75 Colorado State 2 2 -0.0743 0.525 0.4257 57
76 Boston College 1 3 -0.0751 0.524 0.6749 1
77 Louisiana Tech 2 2 -0.0786 0.522 0.4214 61
78 UCLA 2 2 -0.0808 0.520 0.4192 62
79 Western Michigan 2 2 -0.0820 0.519 0.4180 63
80 Kansas State 2 1 -0.0865 0.516 0.2469 123
81 MTSU 2 2 -0.0896 0.513 0.4104 66
82 Temple 2 2 -0.1044 0.502 0.3956 71
83 Wyoming 2 2 -0.1115 0.497 0.3885 73
84 Boise State 2 2 -0.1139 0.495 0.3861 76
85 New Mexico State 2 2 -0.1363 0.478 0.3637 87
86 New Mexico 2 2 -0.1465 0.470 0.3535 90
87 Air Force 1 2 -0.1565 0.462 0.5101 21
88 Texas 1 2 -0.1610 0.459 0.5057 25
89 Idaho 2 2 -0.1677 0.454 0.3323 93
90 Miami-OH 2 2 -0.1724 0.450 0.3276 95
91 Old Dominion 2 2 -0.1795 0.445 0.3205 99
92 Arkansas State 1 2 -0.1822 0.443 0.4845 30
93 Ball State 2 2 -0.1895 0.437 0.3105 104
94 Hawaii 2 2 -0.1979 0.431 0.3021 106
95 Arizona 2 2 -0.2031 0.427 0.2969 109
96 Western Kentucky 2 2 -0.2064 0.424 0.2936 112
97 Central Michigan 2 2 -0.2077 0.423 0.2923 113
98 UAB 2 2 -0.2183 0.415 0.2817 117
99 Arkansas 1 2 -0.2186 0.415 0.4480 46
100 Kent State 1 3 -0.2201 0.414 0.5299 11
101 Florida Atlantic 1 3 -0.2235 0.411 0.5265 12
102 Syracuse 2 2 -0.2271 0.408 0.2729 119
103 Pittsburgh 1 3 -0.2294 0.407 0.5206 17
104 UNLV 1 2 -0.2620 0.382 0.4047 68
105 Akron 1 3 -0.2932 0.358 0.4568 42
106 Oregon State 1 3 -0.2982 0.354 0.4518 44
107 North Carolina 1 3 -0.3003 0.352 0.4497 45
108 BYU 1 3 -0.3137 0.342 0.4363 51
109 Rice 1 3 -0.3209 0.337 0.4291 55
110 Rutgers 1 3 -0.3255 0.333 0.4245 58
111 Texas State 1 3 -0.3329 0.328 0.4171 65
112 Florida State 0 2 -0.3401 0.322 0.6599 2
113 Tulsa 1 3 -0.3408 0.321 0.4092 67
114 LA-Monroe 1 2 -0.3444 0.319 0.3222 98
115 Missouri 1 3 -0.3665 0.302 0.3835 78
116 South Alabama 1 3 -0.3760 0.295 0.3740 83
117 San Jose State 1 4 -0.3773 0.294 0.4227 59
118 Other 9 80 -0.4048 0.273 0.4941 28
119 Georgia State 1 2 -0.4137 0.266 0.2530 121
120 LA-Lafayette 1 3 -0.4346 0.250 0.3154 102
121 East Carolina 1 3 -0.4496 0.238 0.3004 107
122 Kansas 1 3 -0.4615 0.229 0.2885 115
123 Connecticut 1 2 -0.4666 0.225 0.2001 130
124 Coastal Carolina 1 2 -0.5056 0.196 0.1611 131
125 Baylor 0 4 -0.5127 0.190 0.4873 29
126 Georgia Southern 0 3 -0.5338 0.174 0.4662 36
127 UTEP 0 4 -0.5378 0.171 0.4622 37
128 Bowling Green 0 4 -0.6361 0.096 0.3639 86
129 Nevada 0 4 -0.6665 0.073 0.3335 92
130 Charlotte 0 4 -0.7245 0.028 0.2755 118
131 Massachusetts 0 5 -0.7618 0.000 0.2382 125

Well, clearly we saw THAT coming!  How is Central Florida #1 so far?  Well, as I will probably note a million times over the season, the rankings only know about this season.  The modeling does not know preseason rank – or whether a team should be good?  So Central Florida, with a big win at Maryland, who was unbeaten against the rest of its schedule, which included a win at Texas – has done enough to claim the top spot for now.  Now, as the season goes along, we will know more about how good the Maryland win really WAS – and Central Florida will continue to have games to win.  In reality, they probably do not have enough schedule power in the future to stay here.  But for now, yippee!!

 

Every #1 Song of the 1980s – Series 8

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

Wow, it has been a while.  But – I am trying to not make this a throwaway exercise, hopefully the September entries will come sooner.

“Magic” by Olivia Newton-John (1980) – Apparently this song was featured in a movie – which I was not aware of. (Xanadu) I was equally unaware that Newton-John was in it. This is her 2nd entry in the 1980s list here – and the more forgettable one. It is definitely emblematic of that 70s-80s pop transition, but it is really hard to remember anything about this song, or to generate any real feeling. (28 points)

“Sailing” by Christopher Cross (1980) – Among the many pleasures of Sirius XM is the Yacht Rock Radio channel, devoted to the best of soft rock from the 1970s and 1980s. A lot of this music is dreadful – and a lot of it seems to fit in the “white guys playing jazz sort of” category. (Boz Scaggs leaps to mind) But some of it is good – even if it is a little ironic (like basically everything involving Michael McDonald) – and it is a good station to put on as background noise. Christopher Cross’ first number one song is the epitome of the smooth, easy listening sort of thing – and it’s even yacht related! Even with this stuff going, it’s not very good – all the negative qualities of soft rock and simpering ballads crashing together. (22 points)

“Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield (1981) – This is one of the best rock songs ever made – and one of the very best pure songs on this list. And of all the great 1980s songs – perhaps this is the most coverable. I remember one of my co-workers who was in a band observing how often he rocked out to it while doing shows. Lyrically, the sentiment is something everybody who has ever been single can at least cop to at some point. It was the song which was #1 on my sister’s birthday in 1981 too, which doesn’t hurt. (50 points)

“Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie (1981) – From a film of the same name, this would be Diana Ross’ biggest solo hit, and the first #1 in Richie’s remarkable run in the 1980s. To call this sentimental would be a wild understatement. I do try to be fair to these songs – to not show a systemic bias against slow ballads. But I am nodding off typing this. (23 points)

“Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr (1984) – Who doesn’t know this song? If you are talking to someone my age, the answer is “nobody” – but I’d like to think it extends further than that. It is almost hard to evaluate it as a piece of music anyway – does anyone ever really feel like listening to this song? That said, as a theme song to a Hollywood blockbuster, it’s as indelible as any John Williams movie theme. There is a cheesy cuteness hearing it now – but really the ranking here is do to its ubiquity as a cultural artifact. (34 points)

“Shout” by Tears for Fears (1985) – The other #1 from the Songs from the Big Chair album, this is one of the most effective hooks of all the songs on this list. “Shout, shot, let it all out” bores into the skull indelibly every time I listen to this song. I don’t like it quite as much as “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, but they are both of a piece as high quality 80s entries. (36 points)

“The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News (1985) – A lot of what applies for “Ghostbusters” applies here – Back to the Future is one of the most successful, well known movies from the decade – and of course this was the big soundtrack song. Unlike Parker’s song – this one still holds as a song … the movie is not necessary for this song to have value. Of course, Huey Lewis’ music is a little cheesy – with its roots in bar band and doo-wop music. But, on the other side, the band never pretends it is anything else, and it does work on that level. (40 points)

“Glory of Love” by Peter Cetera (1986) – Everything about Peter Cetera is genuinely funny – the vacant eyes (like he joined Scientology), the simpering ballads, his performance in videos, especially when he is showing himself getting into a song. This is a really terrible song, but the video of him makes me laugh every time? How to reconcile? So we split the difference. (27 points)

“Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna (1986) – The second single from Madonna’s True Blue album, this is a pretty good example of the sort of more “issue oriented” pop songs of the time. Of course, this song is about abortion, which certainly did not make it less controversial at the time. And the story oriented videos are always more dated looking now. I do have to give a bonus for a Danny Aiello guest starring role. This is not the best of her mid 80s stuff, but it has managed to still not sound dated compared to other songs on this list. (37 poins)

“Higher Love” by Steve Winwood (1986) – Winwood’s first #1, I remember seeing this all the time on VH1, back when they played videos – and were the grownup alternative to MTV. (oh those were the days) This is one of those songs which is frankly better than it has to be. I enjoy the more interesting percussion choices used – the sort of thing which got fairly popular during that time period, with Graceland and Peter Gabriel’s eventual direction. This is just generally solid. (34 points)

“Shakedown” by Bob Seger (1987) – There is something kind of sad that THIS is the song which got Bob Seger his only #1. The guy who populated classic rock and various truck commercials throughout the 70s and 80s, the guy who did one of my favorite rock songs of all time (“Night Moves”) – ended up having his biggest pop hit in a disposable opening song to the very disposable sequel to Beverly Hills Cop. It’s not even the best song from the movie. (that’s “I Want Your Sex”) This is decidedly dated now, especially the weirdly hair-band sounding guitar solo. I have no real issue with the song – but come on. (33 points)

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2 (1987) – It is hard to approach this song fresh. Who doesn’t know it, and really who can separate it from “With or Without You” or “Where the Streets Have No Name”. The Joshua Tree album is every bit the iconic 80s piece that London Calling, Purple Rain, and Thriller are. This is a great song I have seen performed live, and even today it’s operatic scale still works as intended. If I do not give it the highest possible score, it is only because there are songs I just like better. (48 points)

“Who’s That Girl?” by Madonna (1987) – Really, this encapsulates a ton of time capsule aspects of the 1980s. You have a movie soundtrack providing a number one. Even better, the movie is on of Madonna’s several failed forays into movie acting – and this movie was one of the universally panned ones. That the title song would hit the top was basically preordained, as preordained as her going brunette when she wants to look serious. I also somewhat guiltily enjoy her silly co-opting of latin sounds for this. It is fun to listen to this song as a energetic trifle. (34 points)

“La Bamba” by Los Lobos (1987) – “La Bamba” is a fun song, very easy to sing along with – and certainly a worthy artifact of Ritchie Valens’ all too short life. It was good that Los Lobos, one of the best bands America has produced in the last 30 years, got the crack at it. Like “Shakedown”, it is a bit unfair that this was the band’s biggest commercial success, but there you go. Here is a better example of what Los Lobos CAN do.

Either away, I am still glad to have this version. (42 points)

“Monkey” by George Michael (1988) – If you thought I would look down on this song, you have not been following these missives. This is the final #1 from George Michael’s masterpiece album, and undoubtedly the silliest. Apparently, Paula Abdul choreographed the video, which makes me laugh, since the dance sequences here all make me snort when I watch. It takes a heart of stone to resist an up-tempo dance song wondering why you can’t set your ummm, monkey free. I might have to play this again. (41 points)

“Batdance” by Prince (1989) – Price having his own Youtube channel gives me some mixed feelings. It is great to finally be able to post some pristine videos from his greatest hits. Of course, this never happens if Prince were still alive. “Batdance” (no points for guessing the movie) is the song on this list which has grown in stature the most over time for me. It is not a song for everybody – and I did not fully appreciate it as a kid. But over time, especially with some exposure to rave and industrial and various related forms, it resonates more. It is amazing to see Prince essentially put a bunch of songs and movie clips into a blender and come out with something that works so well. The driving groove carries all of the seemingly discordant pieces and movie dialogue in a way where it fits a coherent whole, somehow. It’s an amazing achievement which only Prince could have done. (48 points)

“Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx (1989) – One of 1989 biggest hits, this is the better of Marx’s two chart topping ballads. It is mushy. I have a hard time really breaking down the ballads – they are all simpering, but some are better. One of the plusses of songs like this is that it is a bit more accessible as far as love songs go. I enjoy “Bump and Grind” as much as anybody, but it is nice that songs like this are there – you get a warm sentiment without necessarily an anatomy class. In some ways, I think, it allows songs like these to be accessible for more flavors of love, as it were. (32 points)

The big board …

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

Every #1 Song of the 1980s – Series 7

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

As summer gets going in full force and just after Murika! celebrated its birthday – we make the turn in every #1 song of the 1980s. Looking at the 22 songs which hit number one during this month – there are some of the really emblematic songs of the MTV era in particular. A couple of these songs stink, and the end of decade is much more wobbly in retrospect – even if it was the wheelhouse of my pop culture awakening.

“It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” by Billy Joel (1980) – The first of Billy Joel’s three number ones in the decade, this is one of those super early 80s songs which do not really resemble the decade at all. It also – especially in the video – is very dated obviously. What I found interesting is that the guitar and general tone is somewhat similar to more outwardly rockabilly stuff, particularly The Stray Cats when they hit a couple of years later. That was a lot cooler though. (27 points)

“The One That You Love” by Air Supply (1981) – Interrupting two stints totalling 9 weeks at the top for “Bette Davis Eyes”, this was Air Supply’s one number one – although they had a long list of simpering soft love songs around that time. This song is fairly typical of the duo’s ouevre – it’s the sort of combination of earnestness and execrable quality which really allows them and Peter Cetera to glow in the dark a bit here. I had never seen the video until I sat down to type this – so I am tempted to give this a higher score due to – let’s just say a wee bit of camp – but I refrain. (20 points)

“Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League (1982) – This is definitely one of the defining videos and songs of the early MTV 80s. This sort of synthesizer laden pop would be a fixture in the decade clearly, and this is one of the better versions of it. Everything, including the video works here. (38 points)

“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor (1982) – By the time Rocky III rolled around, the heroic archetype of the first two films had evolved into a formula with the comic book villains (Clubber Lang, hello!). Thankfully, we got Rocky Balboa and Creed to give Rocky some soul at the end – but that does not mean Rocky III was not fun on its own. It also spawned a theme which is every bit the iconic equivalent of Bill Condi’s classic theme for the original. This song has survived – and still works for that purpose of getting the gang amped up. It is clearly way up on any list like this. (44 points)

“Every Breath You Take” by The Police (1983) – This was the #1 song of 1983, and one of the top wedding songs of the decade. As everybody knows by now, that was not what Sting intended. This has always amused me of course, although in a sense when art goes into the domain – it’s value is defined somewhat by what the audience things and interprets, no? I certainly have always found it more haunting than romantic – but who am I? It is not my favorite Police song (“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” is better, although “Roxanne” is not), but it certainly deserves to be mentioned on the list. (44 points)

“When Doves Cry” by Prince (1984) – This is pretty clearly beyond reproach. The famous song without a bass – the legendary opening riff … from one of the decade’s very best albums. It was sampled in MC Hammer’s highest charting song, and it is a song which has remained timeless. It has every reasonable argument to be #1 on this list – but I prefer “Kiss” funky minimalism from the Prince (and one of his other number ones has grown a ton as I’ve gotten older). Game, blouses. (49 points)

“Sussudio” by Phil Collins (1985) – This was a song I enjoyed quite a bit in my youth – I have given positive views on Phil Collins before more gently. At the same time, this song has not aged particularly well. It has not done anything bad – it’s not a bad song. It just has more of a blah feel now. A good, albeit thoroughly unremarkable up tempo. (33 points)

“A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran (1985) – The band’s other number 1 song – the trivia note here is that it is one of the biggest hits of the Bond themes. Only “Nobody Does it Better” and “Goldfinger” itself can claim a seat at the table. Certainly it is the most silly delightful video of any song associated with the franchise. I have pointed this out, but John Taylor has largely defeated aging. (38 points)

“Everytime You Go Away” by Paul Young (1985) – You have to admire the rock solid mulletude in the video. This is one of those easy listening sort of ballads which is a little better than the simpering worst of Peter Cetera (though lacking in the unintentional comedy). There are songs which deserve more space in this missive. As a tip, I am a big fan of Young’s Chi-Lite’s cover, “Oh Girl”. Listen to that instead. (29 points)

“There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)” by Billy Ocean (1986) – Of Ocean’s biggest hits, this is the one you probably forgot. I know I did. It really does feel like you had to have one of these ballads if you were a big star in the decade. It is slightly better than you’d expect – but just slightly. (28 points)

“Holding Back the Years” by Simply Red (1986) – This is the sort of song which time helps out. This is a better song than I remember when I was younger. This is squarely in the adult contemporary space (to use industry jibber jabber) and one of the better songs of that ilk on this list. It is not the form which will score too high for me, but this is distinctly better than some of its peers. (32 points)

“Invisible Touch” by Genesis (1986) – Genesis is one of the weakest bands to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Seriously. What is funny is that the band is hailed as a progressive rock icon – which certainly describes their 4-man incarnation I suppose. But the Genesis who was actually successful happened after Gabriel left and Phil Collins took over the lead. Can you name anything Genesis did with Peter Gabriel? Now Genesis was extremely successful in the post-Gabriel incarnation, with this being their biggest hit. But a good, cheeky, pop band is not the sort of thing I’d call legendary. Nobody is putting Toto in the Hall either. But that has nothing to do with this song, which is never unpleasant to encounter. (34 points)

“Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel (1986) – Ah, but Peter Gabriel DID leave Genesis for his super interesting solo career. Gabriel has always done his own thing, always interesting – sometimes intersecting with mainstream pop, but not necessarily. What is there to say about “Sledgehammer”? It’s one of the most recognized (and best) videos ever made – it was one of the earliest Ardman Animation gigs (Wallace and Gromit), and really one of the best uses of the medium. The song itself still holds up as well. (42 points)

“Alone” by Heart (1987) – Heart and Chicago are very similar sort of arcs to me. Both of them had these cool, frankly kind of kick-ass rock bands in the 1970s – there are entries which come on classic rock or whatever and still work great. But the bands biggest commercial successes took place in the 1980s via balladeering and clear corruption to satisfy Top 40. This is a perfect example, and not surprising it was one of the biggest hits of 1987. Ann Wilson’s voice salvages whatever can be salvaged ultimately here. (32 points)

“Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson (1988) – Look, he’s gone hard! It is a sign of Jackson’s pull, like how he got Eddie Van Halen to a solo on “Beat It”, that he got Billy Idol’s guitarist for this. This is one of Jackson’s more atmospheric, interesting songs – it stands outside of his more danceable or softer songs. Like Janet Jackson did in 1990 with “Black Cat” this sort of interpretation of a hard rock song is not one of the songs which is easily remembered, but it works out to be one of his better ones. (37 points)

“The Flame” by Cheap Trick (1988) – Sometimes, when it comes to the “monster ballads” it’s just personal taste. This is objectively not as good a song as, say, “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”. But this is distinctly better than some of the similarly mawkish soft rock songs which made it big. Of course, like Heart, some of their earlier work colors my thinking here. (35 points)

“Hold On To the Nights” by Richard Marx (1988) – The first #1 for one of the great mullets of the decade. He had another similar ballad in 1989. That was better. (29 points)

“Roll With It” by Steve Winwood (1988) – When I was a kid, Michelob was advertised a lot on TV. Not Michelob Ultra (there was no Michelob Ultra). In 1988, Michelob was selling themselves as the beer of the night – and they used classic rock guys among the pitchmen. It helped Eric Clapton make a return and helped promote Steve Winwood’s Roll With It album. The title track, one of the biggest hits of 1988, is one of my favorite songs of the decade. I do think the video helped – it really does fit the style the song evokes. Just a genuinely excellent rock song. (45 points)

“Baby Don’t Forget My Number” by Milli Vanilli (1989) – As I had talked about in the Number 2s piece, Milli Vanilli’s music would absolutely play on Top 40 stations now. They are one of those bands who have been erased from the record due to that scandal – but honestly, if you look at the music produced, you have to admit that it’s largely solid silly dance pop. (34 points)

“Good Thing” by Fine Young Cannibals (1989) – Interestingly, “She Drives Me Crazy” has probably survived better, and it probably should have. The falsetto, the video – it is a distinctive song. This song, their second #1 is significantly more “normal” – less interesting but a better song in the vein of a “Roll With It”. I like the piano solo – which was not something you got much of in the decade. (33 points)

“If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Simply Red (1989) – Simply Red was covered earlier. Squarely in the adult contemporary zone here, this Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes cover was the band’s second #1. This song did not improve on the Melvin version – and while perfectly okay, is certainly not as good as their other #1. (30 points)

“Toy Soldiers” by Martika (1989) – I can’t believe this happened. As I have pointed out before, my pop culture awareness occured around late 1988-1989. I knew this song was bad even then. Wikipedia tells me this song is about her friend’s cocaine addiction – which is more poignant if you are trying to get me to change my mind. Whatever heft it gives the lyrics – there is a lack in lots of other areas, singing, guitar solo – that musically it sounds like umpteen other ballads. (20 points)

After 7 months, the big board:

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