If this keeps up, there won't be any suspense left in life at all. Besides Paul Zimmerman telling us how NFL teams will fare in next week's draft (page 54), now here's Joe Terranova with his annual revelations as to which college football teams will benefit most from the recruiting wars. Terranova, a marketing researcher for the Ford Motor Company who makes a hobby of keeping tabs on such things, says that these schools came up with the best recruiting crops in '81:
1. Notre Dame. Rookie Coach Gerry Faust signed "a collection of athletes at least equal to the Browner, Fry, Hunter class that led to a national championship in 1977." The Irish landed such blue chippers as Quarterback Ken Karcher, touted as being possibly "another Joe Willie," and running backs Chris Smith, who "may be the only player in America to compare favorably with Herschel Walker (from a pure strength standpoint)" and Mark Brooks, star of Faust's juggernaut at Cincinnati's Moeller High and Ohio's 1980 AAA player of the year.
2. Oklahoma. Among the schoolboy phenoms soon to be Sooners are Greg Sims (no kin to Billy but "probably the best defensive lineman in the state of California"), Tony Casillas ("garnered equal accolades in the state of Oklahoma") and Lawrence Hardin and Keith Stanberry ("vicious hitters and the most highly sought-after defensive backs in the Lone Star State").
3. Michigan. Running backs Rick Rogers ("left scouts drooling") and Brian Mercer ("easy to bring down if you can catch him") are Ann Arbor bound, as is receiver Greg Washington, who as a high school player was "pound for pound the best athlete in Michigan."
4. Florida. "If they ever award one of [Coach Charley] Pell's young line recruits a game ball, he'll probably eat it." The Gators also signed a gifted running back, Greg Bain.
5. Alabama. "David Gilmer (6'5", 255), Hardy Walker (6'4", 270) and noseguard Chucky McCall (6'2", 240) are all possible All-American candidates.... Terry Sanders from Birmingham may very well be the best kicker in the nation."
Rounding out the Top 10 are Florida State, USC, Stanford, Pittsburgh and Texas, all of which may draw inspiration from the fact that Georgia placed no better than eighth in Terranova's poll in 1979 and seventh in 1980, yet emerged last season as the national champion.
SAME GYM, DIFFERENT GENDER
It may say something about the growth of women's intercollegiate sports that there are at least two former major-college men's head basketball coaches now coaching women's teams at their original schools. Sox Walseth, who was the men's coach at Colorado from 1956 to 1976, last season became coach of the Colorado women's team and promptly led the Lady Buffs to a 28-5 record and an AIAW Division I regional championship. Last week Joe Stowell, Bradley's men's coach from 1965 to 1978, was hired to coach its women's team, which he pledged to upgrade from small-college status to AIAW Division I. Considering that Stowell, like Walseth, had been fired as his school's men's coach, it was slightly disconcerting when he said, cheerfully, "I don't think coaching girls will be any different."
A fire at a Boston Edison substation last Wednesday afternoon left Fenway Park without electric power during the Red Sox' 7-2 win over Baltimore before 8,925 shivering fans. Because of the power failure, there were no lights in the public rest rooms, and some players griped that the clubhouses were too icy for them to get properly warmed up, but one spectator, SI reporter Bob Sullivan, had no complaints. Sullivan found that along with Fenway's other renowned charms—cozy dimensions, real grass, etc.—the absence of electricity helped evoke the image of "what baseball must have been like circa 1905." He reports: