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William F. Reed
September 04, 1989
No doubt you, the serious fan, are intensely interested in how the Miami Hurricanes will do without Jimmy What's-his-name on the sidelines and whether it bothers Michigan's Bo Schembechler that he's now one national championship behind his school's rookie basketball coach. You may even be intrigued by the knowledge that Dixie's best team will once again not come from the proud Southeastern Conference and that Nebraska's schedule is a joke. Of course, you've probably noticed that Oklahoma has become State Pen U while Penn State U has become Rutgers, or something, that West Virginia quarterback Major Harris could be demoted to private behind this year's offensive line and that Notre Dame's Tony Rice might be only the second-most-serious Heisman Trophy candidate in his own state, behind Indiana's splendid tailback Anthony Thompson.
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September 04, 1989

Top 20

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Syracuse has been somebody for the last two seasons, finishing 21-2-1, and the Orangemen won't slip far. Heavy backfield losses on both sides of the line should be offset by a solid line-backing corps, a veteran offensive line and a fine runner in Michael Owens, older brother of basketball whiz Billy Owens. The Orangemen have won 15 straight in the Carrier Dome, but the streak is in peril as both Florida State and Penn State (in its last Dome appearance after canceling the 67-year rivalry) will visit. Another Syracuse streak likely to fall, considering the ban on kicking tees, is its national record of 260 straight regular-season extra points, dating back to 1978.

While Syracuse is used to being among the nation's elite, the experience is new for Southern Mississippi, which had the quietest 10-2 record in the nation last season. With eight returning offensive starters, including quarterback Brett Favre and wide receiver Alfred Williams, the Golden Eagles may be ready to step up to a midlevel bowl, assuming they can handle the most challenging schedule (Florida State, Auburn, Alabama and Texas A & M, to name four opponents) in the school's history.

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