THE TERRIBLE TEN
They began conference play in the Big Ten last Saturday, and, fittingly for a league that had put together an 11-19-1 record over the past four weeks, two of the favorites for the conference title couldn't even beat each other. On a wet, miserable day in East Lansing, Mich., Iowa and Michigan State played to a 10-10 tie in a game notable only for the number of times the teams punted—seven apiece. Things did get exciting in the final seconds, when each school had a chance to steal a victory. First, John Langeloh of the Spartans missed a 45-yard field goal with 22 seconds left. Then, with seven seconds remaining, the Hawkeyes' Jeff Skillett narrowly missed a 51-yarder. The misses were the third of the day for each kicker.
Michigan State's touchdown came when wideout Andre Rison turned a short pass from Bobby McAllister into an improbable 48-yard romp through the arms of Iowa's defense. "Rison made a great run," said Hawkeye coach Hay-den Fry, "but that was the sorriest tackling I've ever seen in the secondary."
Iowa countered with a five-yard touchdown on a halfback option pass from Tony Stewart to Jon Filloon that floated like a wounded duck. "I thought the ball was never going to get there," said Filloon. "That was the longest moment of my life."
For Iowa, now 2-2-1, and Michigan State, 0-3-1, it will be a long season.
DROP THAT NAME
Alabama's roster of coaches includes a Bear (Bryant) and a Wimp (Sanderson), but it won't contain a Chicken (Curry). Curry, first name Bill, couldn't convince anyone three weeks ago that he had canceled the Crimson Tide's game with Texas A & M because of Hurricane Gilbert. So in last Saturday's game at Kentucky he went out and cleared his name with a gutsy decision. Trailing Kentucky 27-24, with eight seconds left, and facing a fourth-and-goal from the Wildcat three-yard line, Curry went for the touchdown instead of a field goal that would have tied the score. Tide quarterback Vince Sutton rolled right and found Gene Newberry all alone in the right corner of the end zone. Alabama, now 3-0, had a stirring 31-27 comeback victory, and Curry was redeemed.
"I couldn't have faced my players if we had settled for a tie," he said.
O.K., we're convinced. After establishing a new standard for I-AA bashing by unloading on Montana State and Indiana State (combined '87 records: 6-16), and after cravenly avoiding its traditional early-season confrontation with Miami, Florida proved its mettle by trouncing LSU 19-6 in Gainesville.