DUM QUOTE OF THE WEAK
Kansas defensive end Phil Forte on the quality of play in the Big Eight, which this season is worse than the Illini-Badger Conference but marginally better than the Little Three Conference: "The Big Eight is the second-best league in the country; the best are the boys that play on Sunday."
RUFFLING THE KICKER
Stanford field goal kicker Dave Sweeney recently had a miserable afternoon against Washington. He blew two attempts, one from 39 yards, the other from 40. Then late in the game, with Washington ahead 17-14, the Cardinal faced fourth-and-one at the Huskies' five. Coach Jack Elway elected to try for the first down rather than to endure another Sweeney adventure. Stanford was stopped, Washington took over, drove the field and emerged a 24-14 winner.
After the game Sweeney stormed into the locker room and flung his helmet at the wall. The helmet bounced and hit tight end Eric Snelson in the head, delivering a gash that required three stitches. Snelson, who gets this week's Good Guy Award, said magnanimously, "I understand, but ouch."
REALITY SETS IN
It's the time of year when most coaches come to grips with the cruel fact that, once again, they have pretty average teams. Still, they persist in acting as if their players are only a minibreak away from starry things. Coaches always hope.
For example, at 2-4 Oklahoma State, Pat Jones told his players after they were mauled 30-10 by Nebraska a fortnight ago: "We had ample opportunity to get slaughtered and we didn't." Somewhere somebody might believe that. At Wake Forest, coach Al Groh had a more realistic view of his team's 0-3 ACC record: "One of these days, one of these teams is not going to play so good and we'll win." And lo and behold, that day came on Saturday when the Demon Deacons beat Maryland 27-21.
While excessive rancor between opponents is marring too many games, at the recent meeting of South Carolina and Nebraska in Columbia, the P.A. announcer twice thanked Nebraska farmers for contributing 12,973 bales of hay to drought-ravaged South Carolina during the summer. Both times the crowd of 73,000 gave a standing ovation.... Word is, Jim Walden may leave Washington State, which means somebody is going to get a premier coach who knows how to build and win in adversity.... Arkansas guard Freddie Childress weighs, oh, 330 or more, and he's doggone tired of having the subject discussed. Says Childress, "It's like hearing Brenda Lee on the radio all the time. You wish she'd shut up."...North Carolina noseguard Tim Goad who comes from tiny (pop. 25) Claudville, Va., says his hometown does have "one stoplight down by the school. But in all honesty, it's just used for drivers' education."...It's difficult to recall a more pallid rushing effort by two teams than the one on Saturday, when Montana State beat Northern Arizona 27-19. The winner ran for 12 yards and the loser for—1.... When Arizona State beat Southern Cal 29-20 after having defeated UCLA two weeks earlier, it marked the first time that a school has beaten both teams in Los Angeles in the same season.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]