Which team can win it all? Well, maybe Ohio State or Georgetown or Missouri. Perhaps Toledo or Virginia Tech or Texas A&M. I've got all kinds of wide-open ideas for the wide-open new season, and another magnificent all-name team too: Job Hung of Whittier, Singh Guram of Jacksonville, Nayron Monk of Drake, Forrest Junck of Coastal Carolina, Dud Tongal of Fordham. You can look 'em up.
During my sabbatical from the college game I missed all this scramble and speculation, all these dark horses and names. I missed Al McGuire's farewell. I missed Larry Bird and Magic. I even missed Bobby Knight. The other day I called up Curtis Franklin, the Boot Head from Indiana State, to ask him about his famous silver clodhopper. I told him he was my idol, my hero. I told him I use the phrase "Boot 'em outta here" all the time now, which I do. I told him he was my favorite alltime fan since the Duke guy who used to dress up as Bozo the Clown and harass Maryland's red-haired Bozo lookalike, Jim O'Brien, during the warmups.
Boot Head said that was all very wonderful but that he had been graduated from Indiana State last spring. Oh no, I said. Not to worry, Boot Head said. As Indiana State's President Richard Landini gave him his diploma, Boot Head handed over the boot to the president to use again this season. Right there at graduation the senior class chanted "Boot Head! Boot Head!" for a solid minute.
I thanked Curtis Franklin profusely and hung up, because now everything was quite perfect. Great heavenly days, the silver boot was back in college basketball. And so was I.