The half-ton Ralphie II had been feeling poorly this year. She missed Colorado's home opener against Oregon, and veterinarian Jim Cook allowed her to see only limited action the next week against Stanford. She didn't lead the charge out of the tunnel but was on the sideline, snorting effectively, as the Buffaloes won 31-17. That night she died of heart failure. "I'm told Ralphie died with a smile on her face," says McCartney. "Her last game was a victory."
Two-year-old Ralphie III, which Colorado had been grooming for next season, is slated to make her debut on Oct. 17 against Kansas (a ringer from a stock show filled in Saturday against Washington State), but McCartney fears that the rookie has not yet developed the same animalistic animus against Big Eight superpowers Nebraska and Oklahoma that her predecessor had. "We're going to have to teach her to hate red," McCartney says.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Sometimes a game is over before it's over. Actually, before it has even begun. Take Long Beach State at Michigan—please. "Let's face it, it's a game we should win," warned coach Bo Schembechler before his Wolverines destroyed the Forty-Niners 49-0. Or take Murray State at Louisville. The Cardinals beat their Division I-AA nonrivals 34-10.
We know the reasons that big schools schedule smaller ones: to fill an open date with a walkover, to fill a gap left by the demise of SMU, etc. But why do the little guys agree to get beat up? "You want to play one I-A team a year for the check," said Murray State athletic director Mike Strickland. "We'll get some major improvements for our weight room out of this game."
VERY LATE FLAG
Who says replays aren't used to check up on referees in college football? Tulsa coach George Henshaw was reviewing films of his team's 30-15 loss on Sept. 19 to Arkansas when, he says, he "just went crazy." Henshaw had seen one of his guards, Billy Vardaman, cut the legs out from under Arkansas defensive tackle Wayne Martin while Martin was being blocked high by another Tulsa lineman. The illegal chop block, which went undetected by officials, sent Martin to the sidelines with a knee injury that kept him out of Saturday's 51-7 loss to Miami. He may miss three more games.
In an unusual and gracious gesture, Henshaw called Arkansas coach Ken Hatfield to apologize—and promised to reprimand Vardaman. "I'd love to be able to sit him down for a game, suspend him," said Henshaw. "We just don't have enough players in the offensive line to do it." Which Tulsa proved in losing 65-0 to Oklahoma on Saturday.
This time a year ago, Florida running back Octavius Gould was riding high. Gould, a freshman out of Browns Mills, N.J., got his first starting assignment against Mississippi State in the fourth game of the season and ran 18 times for 72 yards. He went on to lead the Gators in rushing with 562 yards on 156 carries.