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The Class of '98
Ivan Maisel
December 21, 1998
Our picks for the best and worst from a most unpredictable season
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December 21, 1998

The Class Of '98

Our picks for the best and worst from a most unpredictable season

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Most Valuable Player

The Heisman goes to the most outstanding player, not necessarily the most valuable one, and so it was only fitting that Texas running back Ricky Williams was handed the trophy last Saturday. Perhaps there should also be an award for less-than-Heisman-caliber players who stand between their teams and a poor record. This year's most deserving candidates:

1. Jarious Jackson, Notre Dame. The senior quarterback got hurt on the last play of his team's 10th game. The next week, without him, the Irish lost 10-0 to USC and failed to secure a $12 million bowl berth.

2. Torry Holt, North Carolina State. The Wolfpack beat Florida State and Syracuse thanks to the senior wide receiver, who caught 15 passes for 267 yards in the two games. Without those wins North Carolina State wouldn't have qualified for a bowl game.

3. Joe Hamilton, Georgia Tech. Despite a sprained right knee that limited his effectiveness, the junior quarterback led a 21-point comeback against Virginia. He also kept the Yellow Jackets competitive with Florida State until a bruised left hip forced him out in the third quarter. Georgia Tech, 9-2, shared the ACC title and has won 12 of its last 16 games.

Did the Most With the Least

1. Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin. How to go to the Rose Bowl: Pound Ron Dayne into the line, play defense, control the clock, avoid Ohio State.

2. Tommy Bowden, Tulane. Two years removed from 2-9, the Green Wave went 11-0, all but one win by at least a 10-point margin. Bowden removed himself to Clemson.

3. Mike DuBose, Alabama. With a freshman quarterback and with no depth as a result of a three-year NCAA probation, the Crimson Tide, who will be able to offer the maximum 25 scholarships in 1999, cobbled together a 7-4 record.

Did the Least With the Most

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