Two things are certain: 1) Somewhere the Bear is chortling over having caused the War Eagles as much trouble now as he did when he was alive, and 2) although there is only smoke now, a fire storm seems apt to erupt soon.
NO CLASS ACT OF THE WEEK
With five seconds remaining and Iowa State leading Missouri 34-14, Cyclone coach Jim Criner called timeout to allow his team to kick a 25-yard field goal. After the 37-14 win, Criner defended his excess by saying that Mizzou coach Woody Widenhofer "runs off at the mouth a little too much." Maybe, but Criner might have remembered how he felt when Iowa poured it on his team 43-7 earlier this year.
HEISMAN VS. EDUCATION
It's sad, even depressing to note that of the last 10 Heisman Trophy winners, only four have their degrees. If we are going to perpetuate the myth of the scholar-athlete, perhaps the time has come to require the Heisman winner-elect's school to certify that he is making normal progress toward a degree and that, in the opinion of the school, he will receive it. Make the president of the institution responsible for this determination. If the player is found to be academically deficient, then we should go down the list until we find a genuine student. If we don't stop until we get to the player who finished 23rd in the voting, so be it.
In the meantime, congratulations to the recent Heisman winners who graduated: Boston College's Doug Flutie, Georgia's Herschel Walker, Oklahoma's Billy Sims and Texas's Earl Campbell. And shame on you guys who chipped away a little more at college football's foundation by your disdain for the classroom: Auburn's Bo Jackson, Nebraska's Mike Rozier, Southern Cal's Marcus Allen and Charlie White, South Carolina's George Rogers and Pitt's Tony Dorsett. As for this season's odds-on Heisman favorite, Vinny Testaverde, well, academics definitely have never been his first love.
Did anyone outside Oklahoma and Kansas watch ABC's telecast of the Oklahoma-Kansas game on Saturday? Our random phone survey of 50 million homes didn't turn up a viewer, but in fairness, a few people weren't home, and several lines were out of order. Anyway, if somebody somewhere did see the game, please give us a call and tell us whether Oklahoma won 100-0 or 200-0.
Penn has won or shared the last four Ivy League titles, so when coach Jerry Berndt left for Rice before this season, many Quaker followers were concerned. But linebacker Bruce McConnell is surely right when he says, "Nothing against Jerry Berndt, but sometimes a coach gets too much credit for what a team accomplishes. It's the players who make the program." Amen and hallelujah. After beating Princeton 23-10 Saturday, Penn was 7-0 and on its way to another Ivy crown.
SEC AND SOFTIES
Though Harvey Schiller just became commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, he has already demonstrated that he is possessed of the proper instincts. For openers, he took one look at the nonconference opponents of most of the league members and groaned. The only one with a nervy schedule is Alabama, which plays Ohio State, Notre Dame and Penn State this year. Says commissioner Schiller, "There's no reason for us to be playing the West Carolinas and Memphis States of the country."
Boy, Harvey, you got that right. Presumably Schiller also means to put the nix to UT- Chattanooga, East Carolina, Kent State, Georgia Southern, Texas-El Paso, New Mexico, Tulane, Arkansas State, Southwestern Louisiana and Richmond—all of which appear on SEC member schedules this fall. Instead, Schiller wants SEC teams to reach north to the likes of Notre Dame and Penn State and west to the likes of Washington and UCLA. Hey, Harvey, you're clearly a fan's kind of commissioner, which makes you our kind of commissioner.