3-point stance: Rivalries don't need rankings

1. USC athletic director Pat Haden sounded an alarm this week about the state of his program’s rivalry with Notre Dame. Neither team is ranked, despite their records (USC 5-1, Notre Dame 4-2). It’s true that the game Saturday night doesn’t have the buzz that the rivalry carried in recent years, when USC dominated the game. Haden’s lament overlooked the five years (1997-2001) preceding the Trojan dynasty -- the teams went unranked in four of them. Great rivalries ebb and flow. Only realignment dries them up.

2. If you want to view Missouri’s interest in the Southeastern Conference through the lens of financial security, take a look at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s ranking of athletic spending for the 2009-10 school year. Missouri spent $53.2 million, about half of SEC leader Florida ($105.2 million). That would rank Missouri 11th among the 14 schools. So if Missouri goes, it will make more money and still be undercapitalized, all with one move. How does that create financial security?

3. You think your weekend is hectic? West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck and will attend the Mountaineers’ game Friday night at Syracuse. He and his 13-year-old son Addison also will be in the stands when No. 25 Washington plays at No. 8 Stanford on Saturday evening. That’s about 2,900 miles away, for those of you keeping track of Luck’s frequent flyer miles. He is going to all trouble because his other son is the Cardinal quarterback. You may have heard of him.