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During the baseball season he caught a Friday night pitchers' duel between the Mets' Tom Seaver and the Cardinals' Rick Wise in St. Louis, an Angels-Royals game in Kansas City on Saturday and a Cardinals-Cubs doubleheader in Chicago on Sunday.
What is it about sport that gets him? "Electricity," he says. "A buildup of things that make the game important." This Sunday he plans to attend the Grey Cup, the big final game in Canadian football, although he still did not have tickets as of last week.
"I'll show up about 1:20," Kelly told Jim Kernaghan of the Toronto Star. The game starts at 1:30. "I'll get in. There's no such thing as a sellout and there never has been. Somebody out front always has tickets, and somebody always has one or two left over, no matter what the game. Except for my season tickets, I rarely arrange anything in advance. There's a way to buy a ticket at the right price."
YOU'RE THE TOP
The No. 1 team in college football, unlike its counterpart in college basketball (page 70), varies from year to year, but almost invariably it comes from a tiresomely familiar list of colleges. Any halfway knowledgeable fan can predict the most likely contenders for the national championship two, three, four years from now. Almost certainly, it will be the same old gang. Last week's Top Ten, for example, included only one team, UCLA, that had not finished in the exclusive list at least twice in the past five years; since 1969 a small cluster of 20 teams has monopolized every rung in the Top Ten.
The most frequent member of the group has been Michigan, which has not missed in five seasons. Next are four-timers Ohio State, Nebraska and Penn State. With three appearances each are Texas, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Southern California, Alabama, Tennessee and LSU. Seven of these 11 perennials were still unbeaten after last Saturday's games, and the other four had lost only four games among them—if you don't count games played with each other. From these 11 teams have come the national champions in each of the last 12 years and in 22 of the last 27.
As Woody Hayes of Ohio State has said, "In college football, success attracts the best athletes. Success leads to success." And the rich get richer, the schedules get softer and, except for the few times a season when the Best play the Best, the games get duller.
Frank Broyles of Arkansas, who commented last spring on this concentration of talent (SCORECARD, June 4), suggested a week or so ago that the NCAA cancel all football schedules two or three seasons from now and realign the teams. As it is now, Broyles argued, the top teams each season "play four, five, six schools that can't compete with them. The alumni don't want to support a university whose football team gets beat 40-0 and 50-0." He proposed that the perennial top teams be grouped together and play only one another.
"I think something drastic has to be done," said Broyles, "or a lot of schools are going to drop football entirely in the next few years."