Your article on Alabama's victory in the Sugar Bowl (The Rising of the Tide, Jan. 8) was great, and the cover picture was one of the best ever taken. But the final UPI ratings—USC No. 1, Alabama No. 2—have cheated Alabama out of a second national title. Last year in the Sugar Bowl, No. 3 Alabama defeated No. 9 Ohio State, while No. 2 Oklahoma lost to No. 6 Arkansas in the Orange Bowl and No. 5 Notre Dame beat No. 1 Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Notre Dame was given the national title.
This year No. 2 Alabama soundly whips No. 1 Penn State, while No. 3 USC beats No. 5 Michigan on a terrible call by an official, and USC ends up with the national title. It's just not fair.
Your Sept. 18 article on the shortcomings of the college football polls (To the Polls, Weakly) has just been made more valid. UPI's No. 3 team beats the No. 5 team and moves up to No. 1. Strange.
Here is a question for the esteemed UPI board of coaches: If USC was voted No. 1 because it beat Alabama earlier in the season, why was USC not ranked No. 2 before the bowl games, instead of Alabama?
DORIS S. SEALS
After reading your coverage of the Rose Bowl and Charles White's phantom touchdown, I could not help but recall the title of your Nov. 20 article on USC tailbacks, It's Not Just a Run of Luck.
USC tailbacks are faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings at a single bound. They are also able to score a touchdown without the football.
It is beyond me how USC can "defeat" Notre Dame and Michigan on two very controversial calls and still move from No. 5 to No. 1. Maybe it is a run of luck.
RICHARD T. McKENNA
Perhaps you should rename your magazine SPORTS INSIGHT. In your Rose Bowl preview (Dec. 25-Jan. 1) you have a sketch showing an official's arms extending out of a rose. Could that be line judge Gilbert Marchman signaling the phantom touchdown by Charles White on New Year's Day?
It seems to me that it was unworthy of you to give Woody Hayes the back of your hand (SCORECARD, Jan. 8). I would think you could show some sympathy for this fine and decent man who has had his great career end in this very sad way.
RALPH R. BAYER
Your SCORECARD item on Woody Hayes seemed rather one-sided. There was no mention of Woody's trips to Vietnam during that conflict, or of his visits to servicemen's families after he returned from those trips, visits he financed out of his own pocket. This is only one example of his humanity. Let's face it. Whoever replaces Wayne Woodrow Hayes as coach of Ohio State follows a legend, whether he likes it or not.
THOMAS E. HILL