Stanford coach Jack Elway, who knows something about two-sport stars—son John played both baseball and football for the Cardinal—wasn't thrilled about Johnson doubling, either, but signed him anyway. Johnson, a sophomore who was a reserve infielder for Stanford's national championship team last spring, began this season third on Elway's depth chart, but when Greg Ennis and Scott Stark were ineffective in the Cardinal's first four games—all losses—Johnson got a chance. In his first start five weeks ago, he led Stanford to a 44-7 rout of Washington State, and then he completed 11 of 22 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns as the Cardinal beat San Diego State 44-40. A week later Johnson led the Cardinal to a 13-10 upset of Oregon, and last Saturday he threw for three touchdowns in Stanford's 38-7 win over Oregon State. Now, says Elway, "I don't give a bleep if the guy's a hockey player."
In his column in a recent Auburn football program, the Tigers' sports information director, David Housel, glowingly described the talents of Joe Mack and Otto Macnab, two high school stars Auburn was recruiting. This seemed to be in clear violation of NCAA and SEC rules that prohibit schools from publicly identifying favored prospects. Anyone breaking the rule is barred from signing the recruits in question.
Sure enough, two of Auburn's conference rivals—the SEC won't say who—quickly phoned the league office and turned the Tigers in. Heh, heh, heh, gotcha!
The last laugh was Housel's, however. He had planted the bogus scouting report to see if any opponent would be foolish enough to fall for what could only have been a foolhardy violation of the rules. The only starting assignments Joe Mack and Otto Macnab ever had were as characters in novels by Louis L'Amour and James Michener.
LSU fullback Victor Jones, who was arrested Nov. 1 for allegedly driving 123 mph, offered an explanation that actually satisfied his coach, Mike Archer: "He told me he was just trying to get some bad gas out of his tank. He had just bought two dollars' worth of gas and his car wasn't running right. I believe him."
...After each of the Notre Dame touchdowns in Saturday's 37-6 win over Alabama in South Bend, students threw oranges onto the field, indicating that they want the Irish to be invited to Miami on New Year's Day to play either Oklahoma or Nebraska for the national championship. In the fourth quarter, after Notre Dame took a 30-6 lead, the Irish were penalized 15 yards, assessed on the ensuing kickoff for their fans' unsportsmanlike conduct. "I'd like to play in the Orange Bowl, but I don't make those kinds of decisions," said coach Lou Holtz, who assumed, along with everyone else, that Miami will get the bid to play the Big Eight champion in the Orange Bowl. The early line has the Irish heading for the Cotton Bowl. Despite those assumptions, rumors persisted that a deal will be worked out that would send Notre Dame to the Orange Bowl should it beat the Hurricanes in its regular-season finale on Nov. 28. One hangup: This year bids are to be extended on Nov. 21, and bowl committees insist there will be no arrangements of the sort made in the past to facilitate the most attractive matchup for the national title....
Speaking of that bid date, it did not stop Sugar Bowl president Jerry Romig from presenting Syracuse coach Dick MacPherson with a sugar cube after the Orangemen beat Boston College 45-17 on Saturday. "I'll be back next week," said Romig, sweetly....
Wyoming coach Paul Roach hoped to get on top of Utah early. "The fact that we hadn't won in Salt Lake City since 1971 was in the back of our minds," he said. "I felt that getting off to a fast start was going to be critical." So why, after he had won the coin toss, did he then choose to kick off? Maybe he just had a hunch. In any case, the Utes' Curt Jones fumbled and the Cowboys' Steve Vana recovered on the one-yard line. Fullback Steve Bena scored on the next play, Wyoming had its fast start, and the Cowboys cruised along to a 31-7 win. Wyoming, 6-0 in the Western Athletic Conference, can clinch the WAC crown with a win at UTEP Saturday.