The Big 12 (including Nebraska and Oklahoma, above) is the only conference that had three teams ranked in your top 10 and four in your top 15, and one of only two that had five teams in your top 25, yet you rated it the fourth-best conference, behind even the downtrodden Big Ten.
Scott Johnson, Boise, Idaho
?Each conference was listed by the average ranking of all its teams. The 11 teams in the Big Ten averaged 39.73, while those in the Big 12 averaged 39.83—ED.
We Can't Get No Respect
What am I supposed to whine about now that you've finally overrated Oregon's and Oregon State's football teams (Scouting Reports, Aug. 13)? As an Oregon student who grew up in Corvallis, I've spent countless enjoyable hours complaining about how Pac-10 football gets little attention from the national media, and now you've given my beloved Ducks and the evil Beavers more than they deserve. Thank you for at least having the courtesy, as you do every year, to grossly overrate the Texas Longhorns.
Zach Mull, Corvallis, Ore.
Oregon State as No. 1? The stuff you are smoking is banned by the NCAA.
Phil Wojtalewicz, Grand Island, Neb.
Oregon and Oregon State on the cover? Since when do you publish your April Fools' Day issue in August?
Matt Norling, Yakima, Wash.
As a Kent State football fan—yes, such a thing exists—I am dismayed you rate us as the 109th best college team in the country. The Golden Flashes are at least a 104.
Chris Wilson, Austintown, Ohio
The Son Also Rises
Your article on Texas quarterback Chris Simms (Steer Crazy, Aug. 13) underscores a harsh reality of athletics these days-playing time isn't based on talent or accomplishments. Instead it's based on your last name and how much influence you have. If that's not the case, why is the son of former NFL star Phil Simms the Longhorns' starting quarterback instead of Major Applewhite? Simms's career numbers entering this season, which include nearly as many interceptions (8) as touchdown passes (10) in 16 games, pale in comparison to Applewhite's 7,974 yards, 57 touchdowns and 27 interceptions over 33 games.
Scott Nanney, Paris, Tenn.
I was glad to see that you included a picture of Gene Conley in THE LINEUP (Aug. 13), but how could you not include him among the best of the tall pitchers (Tall of Fame)? In his 11-year career he won 91 games with an ERA of 3.82, finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 1954 and struck out Al Kaline, Mickey Vernon and Al Rosen in the 12th inning of the '55 All-Star Game (and became the winning pitcher when Stan Musial homered to win it). And all while moonlighting as a center for the Boston Celtics.
Bill Henry, Glenwood, Md.
I was disappointed you did not cite my cousin, 6'6" Dick Hall. A reliable reliever known for his excellent control—he had only one wild pitch in more than 1,200 innings pitched—he spent much of his 19 years in the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles, who in 1989 inducted him into their hall of fame. He won 93 games, and he's a great guy.
Thomas S. Hall, New Providence, N.J.
Korey, We Hardly Knew Ye
Like Steve Rushin, I knew little of Korey Stringer as a player or as a person (AIR AND SPACE, Aug. 13). I don't follow the Vikings, but I haven't ever been as affected by the passing of a public figure as I was by Korey's. Everything I've read depicts him as the sort of person all people should have in their lives and the sort of person many people should aspire to become. Like Rushin, I feel privileged to "have met him."
Brian Anderson, San Francisco