Patience is needed but is nonexistent at Alabama, which has won seven national championships since 1936. The Crimson Tide—talent, inexperience and all—is 3-1 as it prepares for Florida. The defeat of Arkansas has put Alabama in position to win the SEC West. If the Tide does it, DuBose might even remain employed.
Florida State's Big Foot
As North Carolina coach Carl Torbush prepared his Tar Heels to face No. 1 Florida State last week, he noted that Seminoles junior Sebastian Janikowski had kicked off 26 times in three games this season and that 20 of the kicks had resulted in touchbacks. "Everybody will think this is funny," Torbush said, "but there's not a whole lot of use in working on kickoff returns this week, unless another storm is coming in." Sure enough, Janikowski kicked off seven times in Florida State's 42-10 victory. North Carolina didn't return one kick.
East Carolina Is 4-0
Nomad Pirates Upset Miami
At the Tar River Estates apartment complex near the East Carolina campus in Greenville, N.C., floodwaters wrought by Hurricane Floyd rose waist-deep on the morning of Sept. 17. Eighteen Pirates, including starting quarterback David Garrard and stalling split end Arnie Powell, were driven from their apartments in the complex. Roads were flooded, the campus shut down, and the team, which had traveled to Columbia, S.C., for what it thought would be a one-day trip, was forced to stay put for six more.
Amid that turmoil, coach Steve Logan tried to prepare East Carolina last week to play No. 9 Miami. What would have been a home game for the Pirates was moved to Carter-Finley Stadium at North Carolina State, some 85 miles away in Raleigh. Because none of the Pirates' coaches or players had packed for more than an overnight trip before going to Columbia, Logan jocularly advised his players last week, "Real men don't wear underwear."
Somewhere among practices at someone else's indoor facility in jerseys donated by the Carolina Panthers, workouts at the Gold's Gym in Columbia and nightly excursions to the movies, the mall or the bowling lanes, Logan told the Pirates, "As of right now, we have the possibility of going 3-8. Or we have the possibility of going 11-0. You can give up and give in to the emotional situation. We've got to be focused week to week."
East Carolina spotted the Hurricanes a 23-3 lead and roared back behind the passing of Garrard and the running of Jamie Wilson to win 27-23. Pirates fans tore down the goalposts, yet another unplanned expense for East Carolina. The week in Columbia, where the Pirates stayed in a Ramada Plaza hotel, ate up a healthy chunk of the $250,000 check East Carolina received for playing there.
Southern Miss's Road Wars
Not Worth the Money
The most significant thing about Southern Mississippi's grueling back-to-back road games against then No. 4 Nebraska on Sept. 18 and No. 5 Texas A&M last Saturday isn't that the Golden Eagles played the games, or even that they played the first one close. Rather, it's that they don't plan to do anything similar anytime soon.