1) Penn State. "You get the feeling that after winning the national championship, Joe Paterno's stock rose faster than the Dow Jones industrial average." The Nittany Lions got such blue chippers as running backs Tim Manoa, "a 220-pound manchild by way of American Samoa," and D.J. Dozier of Virginia Beach, Va., "the premier runner on the East Coast." They also got a trio of quarterbacks "rugged enough to lift a semi...the usual number of man-eating linebackers and some legitimate sleepers who carry the Good Housekeeping seal of approval."
2) USC: "Was that a Trojan horse I saw parked on junior-college campuses from Sacramento to San Diego? You bet!" Traditionally reliant on transfer talent, Southern Cal grabbed Tim Green of El Camino Junior College in Torrance, Calif., "considered by many to be America's best juco quarterback.... But Green is only the tip of the Troy iceburg [sic]. It's the studs in the trenches that are most likely to sink the Titanics of the Pac-10." Line recruits include Gaylord Kuamoo of Santa Rosa J.C. (6'4", 280), Golden West College's Jeff Benson (6'6", 275) and Mike Lilly, who at 6'6", 295 pounds "is definitely not the little old lady from Pasadena."
3) Notre Dame: Gerry Faust's "exhausting, non-stop speaking engagements" secured Robert Banks, "a 6'4", 220-pound talent out of Hampton, Va., who could start at defensive end early in the '83 campaign," and Defensive Lineman Mike Griffin of Cleveland Heights, Ohio ("I did not see a more aggressive player on film all year"). The Irish also "landed the Mutt and Jeff of high school receivers," 6'4" Alvin Miller of suburban St. Louis and 5'9" Alonzo Jefferson of West Palm Beach, as well as Quarterback Steve Beuerlein of Fullerton, Calif.
4) Oklahoma: "Sooner or later, Oklahoma's gonna corral the good ones, and, as a group, they may have lassoed enough upper-echelon linemen to build a proper conga line for the Duprees and Wilsons or whomsoevers who carry the football." Terranova singles out Caesar Rentie of Hartshorne, Okla. and Jeff Pickett of Texarkana, Texas as stanchions of an offensive line whose potential nickname is, you guessed it, "The Pickett Fence."
5) Texas A&M: "The people in the Southwest Conference feel the Aggies signed 15 of the top 45 players in the Lone Star State. In fact, the Aggies' talent runs deeper than the U.S.S. Ohio." Recruiting out of the school's Learjet, Jackie Sherrill lured Tailback-Defensive End Rod Bernstine, Defensive Back James Flowers, Tight End Sylvester Morgan and passing quarterbacks Craig Stump and Jay Hess, all from Texas high schools.
Finishing out Terranova's Top 10 are 6) UCLA: "To his credit Terry Donahue is one of a growing number of coaches who doesn't believe that football bears the same relation to education that bullfighting does to agriculture"; 7) SMU: "Despite plenty of last minute suspension-tension, the Mustangs landed themselves a class on par with the Dickerson-James class of 1979"; 8) Auburn: "A line that averages 255 pounds per behemoth and two great running backs with national credentials"; 9) Pittsburgh: "The best group...and that's the key word...of defensive players in the country"; and 10) Miami: "You gotta believe that Howard Schnellenberger knew something when he turned down a lucrative contract offer from Kentucky to remain in South Florida."
Will the U.S.S. Ohio hit a Troy iceberg and sink? Will that corralled conga line turn into a Pickett Fence before our very eyes? Can the Dow Jones industrials find happiness with the Good Housekeeping seal? We gotta believe.
THE BENJAMIN THEOREM (CONT.)
As reported in this space in our Dec. 6, 1982 issue, a certain Alan L. Benjamin had propounded in a letter to the Chicago Tribune the interesting theory that American football causes winter. Benjamin reasoned that countries where football isn't played, such as Mexico, Jamaica and Egypt, don't have cold weather, while in Canada, where football teams have an extra man, winters are unusually harsh. He also noted that the weather was uncommonly mild during last fall's NFL strike. Last week we received in the mail a copy of our item on the Benjamin Theorem accompanied by the following message:
I had to shovel seven inches of snow from my driveway this morning, April 20,1983.