Which conference can most reasonably claim to be the best? It has to be the Pac-10, no matter how much the Big Ten and the Southeastern Conference maintain otherwise. And not just because the Pac-10 representative has won the Rose Bowl 16 of the last 18 years.
Consider that when the NCAA put its computer to the task of figuring which teams have the toughest schedules this season, six of the Top 10 turned out to be from the Pac-10: Oregon State (2), UCLA (4), Washington State (5), California (6), Oregon (9) and Stanford (10). (Toughest: Notre Dame.)
Taking on such formidable opponents apparently produces quality players, because the NFL drafted 45 players from the Pac-10 this year, four more than from the runner-up SEC. There are 43 more former Pac-10 players on NFL rosters than there are from any other conference. Against regular-season nonconference opponents last year, the league was 25-11, with no conference holding an edge over the Pac-10. Are there any challengers?
DUM QUOTE OF THE WEAK
Iowa coach Hayden Fry, after his Hawkeyes edged Dick Tomey's Arizona Wildcats 15-14: "I know Dick has assembled a fine staff from all parts of America and Hawaii."
Doug Flutie, who put Boston College on the football map, might be interested to hear what his brother Darren, the Eagles' senior wide receiver, says of current BC quarterback Mike Power: "He has great talent, probably more than anybody who's played here." We'll see, but Power did throw a 65-yard TD pass to Flutie as the Eagles swamped Temple, 28-7.... When Texas, under new coach
, lost 22-17 to BYU, it was the first time the Long-horns have started 0-2 in 20 years. But things are looking up; after an off week, the Longhorns get to play hapless Oregon State.... While nobody can prove that former Florida State halfback
has convinced a single player to attend his alma mater, coach
says he knows one constituency Reynolds has definitely impressed: "We've gotten a lot of mothers." ...The University of Central Florida Knights call their defense the Knightmares.... When new Purdue coach
was asked last week if he had mixed emotions about his first game being against No. 9-ranked Washington, he said, "I don't have any mixed emotions. I wish we were playing somebody else." The Boilermakers lost 28-10.... Evaluating his Miami of Ohio team that lost 33-17 Saturday to Eastern Michigan, coach Tim Rose said, "Whatever I thought we could be, we are better than I thought we would be at this time, probably." ...Wouldn't you know that the new slogan at brainy Berkeley is High Velocity Football? ...Cheating seems to be an accepted part of the game in the Southwest Conference, where four of the nine football programs are currently under some sort of punishment. At Arkansas, which is not on probation, athletic director
explains how spiteful the member schools can be: "We get investigated by the NCAA all the time. We turn everybody in, and to get even, they find something silly to turn us in for." ...Say it ain't so, Joe. Listen to what noted Penn State disciplinarian
says about his senior linebacker Trey Bauer: "With Trey, you don't talk, you listen. He tells me when he wants to practice." Somehow, we have a hard time believing that.... Baylor coach
has been on the job longer than his counterparts at the eight other Southwest Conference schools combined (15 years to 13). During Teaff's tenure, the Bears' rivals have had 31 coaches.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]