PROAPHERNALIA: A total of 197 Grambling alumni have played pro football. Twenty former Jackson State players and 18 from Grambling are currently in the NFL.
After a rebuilding season in '81, Baylor has 16 regulars hungry for some more glory and a schedule that serves up Houston, SMU, Arkansas and Texas at home. Junior Halfback Alfred Anderson moves into the running-back spot left vacant by Walter Abercrombie, the Steelers' No. 1 pick, but Coach Grant Teaff needs more people like Split End Gerald McNeil to make it back into the SWC first division. At 5'7", 137 pounds, McNeil wasn't a starter a year ago, but he came on to catch 44 balls for a 16.9-yard average.
For the first time since 1966, Rice will play in dark blue pants and helmets. The sartorial inspiration was provided by TCU, which, in 1980, donned the purple helmets of its glory days and beat Texas Tech for its lone win of the season. Then, last year, the similarly clad Horned Frogs upset Arkansas. In addition to its uniforms, TCU can call on Split End Stanley Washington (49 receptions) and John Thomas, the No. 3 punt returner in the nation, with 14.4 yards a pop.
MEET JOHN DOE: Texas Tech can't help but dominate the conference in exotic cognomens. Confronted with Offensive Tackle Pat Hrncir, the defensive unit of tackles Hasson Arbubakrr, Willie Reyneveld, Linebacker Kerry Tecklenburg, Safety Greg Iseral, and Cornerback Greg Womble, their opponents will be spellbound.
Here's the wild and woolly WAC, starting from the...well, bottom, where it isn't all that wild. In fact, it's downright predictable, thanks to Texas-El Paso. Over the past decade, the Miners have a 14-98 record, the worst in all of major-college football. And then there's Colorado State, which last season lost all of its 12 games.
When New Mexico played Brigham Young two years ago, the Lobos blitzed Jim McMahon on almost every down, for six sacks and a 25-21 win. New Mexico has been blitzing ever since, and nobody does it better than Linebacker Johnny Jackson. Last season he had 14 sacks...as a freshman.
After a season of teaching his imported-from-BYU passing attack to San Diego State, Doug Scovil has decided that it's so simple, that maybe a freshman can run it. Some observers expect a recruit from La Mesa, Calif. to replace Matt Kofler (now with the Buffalo Bills). The great hope is named, aptly enough, Jim Plum.
THIS AIN'T NO PARTY: The Colorado State-Wyoming game on Sept. 11 in Fort Collins may not be crucial to the conference championship, but if it follows precedent, it will be decidedly emotional. Four years ago, for instance, the Rams didn't show up at Hughes Stadium until the Wyoming captains were already at midfield for the coin toss. Only then did the Rams pour out of a bus and run down through the stands, onto the field. Wyoming's bench took offense, and a donnybrook ensued.