As a native Arkansan, I was in Hog Heaven when I saw that SI had picked our Porkers No. 1 in its college football scouting reports (Sept. 11). I recall that SI picked Notre Dame No. 1 last fall and that is where the Irish were after the dust had cleared.
Neither Doug Looney's adoring prose nor Lou Holtz' new supply of red sweaters will overcome Alabama's pure talent.
JOHN L. SEER
Come New Year's Day, Lou Holtz and his Razorbacks will be the biggest one-line joke in the country. Penn State will be No. 1.
Arkansas' No. 1 ranking is just what the doctor ordered here in Austin. We're going to hate letting you down on Oct. 21.
Congratulations on a most accurate prediction. Your Big Ten scouting report asked, "Can either team win the Illinois-Northwestern season opener?" The answer is a resounding no—a 0-0 tie!
S. M. BELLER
Through his articles in SI, John Underwood is becoming the conscience of football. In his Sept. 11 piece (Half Would Make It Whole) he has very skillfully struck at the heart of the college game. As an ex-college player ( DePauw) and ex-assistant coach ( U.S. Marine Corps/DePauw), I strongly agree that a return to the one-platoon system would be a tremendous thing for college football and, more important, for its players. In addition, a return to one platoon would enhance the quality of the small-college game, because more class players would be available for the small-college ranks—and everyone knows that the best college-football experience is had at the small-college level!
Moreover, as a father of a very gifted all-round athlete, I wish to see my son spend his college years enjoying other sports, too, not just overdeveloping his football specialty. I hope many college administrators will agree and apply pressure to revive the one-platoon system. I doubt that the impetus will come from the coaching fraternity.
JOHN A. KELLOGG
Director of Admissions
What next? After reading about how Joe Jones was redshirted while in the seventh grade ("I Was Never Sure About Anything," Sept. 11), I think it is obvious that our football priorities need rearranging.
Without downplaying the excellence of some of your earlier series (such as The Black Athlete), I feel your series on Football Brutality (Aug. 14 et seq.) is the finest and most responsible piece of journalism ever published in SI. However, I can't decide which is more revealing—John Underwood's insightful reporting or the readers' reactions to those insights. While SI might have appeared to be a lone voice crying in the wilderness, recent letters to the editor show that more than a few of the fans share Underwood's concern. There won't be an end to violence and brutality until the fans demand it.
The letters of John Blacksher (Aug. 28) and David Deaton and Kyler Foster (Sept. 11) make it clear that excessive violence in football is not simply a result of inadequate rules and misdirected coaching. The problem lies in the very philosophies of many of the players. We need to examine the attitudes that are being fostered by the sport.