As if it weren't painful enough to lose to its hated intrastate rival, Brigham Young also took a beating in the record book. In Utah's 57-28 whipping of BYU, the Utes' sophomore quarterback, Scott Mitchell, set two single-season national records—passing attempts (533) and yards passing per game (392.9)—formerly held by Robbie Bosco and Jim McMahon, respectively, both of whom did their pitching for the Cougars.
Meanwhile, some other Cougars triumphed in another intrastate donnybrook, as Washington State defeated Washington 32-31. The Huskies allowed State's Timm Rosenbach to end his season with 2,791 yards passing, breaking former Cougar Jack Thompson's school record, and 3,155 yards in total offense, a Pac-10 record, formerly held by Stanford's John Elway.
The Cougars' victory earned them the Apple Cup and bragging rights in the Evergreen State, as evidenced by the scoreboard at Washington State's Clarence D. Martin Stadium, which will remain lighted for most of this week—in case any passing Husky fans care to check the final tally.
Texas A & M whipped TCU 18-0 in College Station, but Atonement & Morality took another beating in a bizarre incident that heaped more shame on the Southwest Conference. First came a Dallas Morning News story in which George Smith, a former Aggie fullback who lettered in 1982 and '83, said coach Jackie Sherrill had made cash payments to him. One $500 payment arrived in an air-freight envelope on Sept. 13 of this year, only four days after A & M had been put on NCAA probation. The story said this was "hush money" to guarantee Smith's silence about rules violations that he had known about.
While the university announced an in-house investigation—isn't this where we came in?—Sherrill skipped the game against TCU, purportedly so that his presence would not be a distraction to his players, and turned the Aggies over to assistant head coach R.C. Slocum. Both Sherrill and the school issued denials that he was on the way out. But then, doggone if Smith didn't hold a press conference at which he claimed that he had lied to the Morning News to enhance his chances of earning money from a book deal he had arranged with Morning News reporter Doug Bedell, author of the newspaper's story.
The money was just "a loan," said Smith, who then went on to describe Sherrill as being "like a father." He then signed a statement asserting that his press-conference version was true. Of course, he previously had signed a statement attesting to the veracity of the Morning News article.
After the game—the one on the field—A & M linebacker John Roper said, "We dedicated this game to Coach Sherrill." How touching. And how ironic that while all this was going on, TCU coach Jim Wacker was kicking three seniors off his team for missing a study hall, refusing to complete a disciplinary running drill and general insubordination. "We have some old-fashioned values," said Wacker, putting his finger on exactly what's so obviously missing these days in College Station.