Whistling in the Dark
Given enough time—in this case, two days—Big Ten officials are sure to make the proper call. On Sept. 12 the conference admitted that its officials had erred in awarding Stanford running back Mike Mitchell a touchdown during the Cardinal's 41-41 tie at Northwestern two days earlier. Mitchell had clearly fumbled short of the goal line.
A week earlier Big Ten officials had taken some well-deserved heat for a few other calls: In the Cincinnati-Indiana game Bearcat wideout James Scott was unfairly flagged for excessive celebration (he raised his arms after a catch); and two questionable fumble calls against Boston College abetted Michigan's cause. In both games the Big Ten school won.
Thus last week's admission of guilt was refreshing. It showed that Big Ten officials, while flawed, are at least impartial in their incompetence.
The New Cradle
For years Miami of Ohio—which nurtured Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler and Ara Parseghian, among others—has been called the cradle of coaches. But now it seems that Snohomish (Wash.) County, on the shores of Puget Sound, has supplanted it.
This season Washington coach Jim Lambright will match headsets with three fellow graduates of Snohomish high schools. "Makes you wonder, doesn't it," says Lambright, Everett High '61. The Huskies' trip to Miami on Saturday pits Lambright against fellow Everett alum Dennis Erickson ('65), and later this season he'll face Cal, coached by Keith Gilbertson (Snohomish High '66), and Washington State, coached by Mike Price (Everett '64).
"How about the hatchery of college coaches?" suggests Pink Erickson, who would be the warden of the hatchery: He was backfield coach at Everett when Lambright played there; Price was his assistant when Pink was freshman coach at Washington State; and Gilbertson and Pink were on the staff at Idaho under head coach Dennis Erickson, Pink's son.
"Dennis always wanted to be a coach," says Pink. "Mike's and Keith's dads were coaches too. Jim's dad was a fisherman. but Jim was easily the most authoritative and accomplished of the four."
Still, Lambright, the eldest, was the last of the four to become a head college coach, taking over in Seattle in August 1993, when Don James stepped down. "You can't figure these things," says Pink. "Dennis has won two national championships. And yet I remember when he was in high school thinking to myself, I hope he does well enough to be a high school coach himself one day."