Coalition Has Helped Bowl Selection ProcessColumn by Mike Duffy
and Andrew Heitner
A hearty Let's Argue welcome back to our faithful readers from their Thanksgiving stuffings. This will be the last column of the semester, but hopefully it will get our followers through until Independent Activities Period. A hearty welcome back also to Alex Medina '92, mastermind of Menudo's Top 5, who returns this morning to Beantown from the Bay City.
Despite all the griping about the bowl selection process, the Bowl Coalition has, in fact, been good for the average college football fan. In years past, bowl match-ups were highly political and decided during the first week of November. If that had been the case this year, Notre Dame would have locked up an Orange Bowl slot with their win over Florida State, while Boston College's win at South Bend (highlighted the day after by the collective moan heard coming from The Heights), West Virginia's victory over Miami, and Florida State's win over Florida would have been meaningless.
Instead, the Bowl Coalition gives us match ups of FSU-Nebraska, Notre Dame-Texas A&M, and West Virginia-Florida/Alabama. Although these pairings are not ideal, it is not entirely the fault of the coalition, because they do not vote in the polls. Match-ups of FSU-Nebraska and West Virginia-Notre Dame would be preferable to the current West Virginia and Notre Dame scenarios. All of this will be moot in a couple of years, however, when Michael "Behind Blue" Eisner and Disney get their proposed "Final Four" playoff system passed. In Eisner's proposal, every 1-A school will receive $1 million and the championship game would culminate two weeks of festivities out in Anaheim.
Magic Johnson must have spent too much time out in LaLa land, as all the orange peel salads that he ate have finally clouded his memory. Magic claims that he could go back to playing in the NBA any time he wants and that he was driven out of basketball not for medical reasons, but because players didn't want LA to win the Pacific Division. Magic says that Phoenix would not have won the crown last season if he were still around strutting his stuff. As we remember it, though, Karl Malone (Utah) and Chris Dudley (Nets) were the first players to publicly express their fears of playing with Ervin, and neither of them were on teams fighting with the Lakers for the title. Cavalier players also cleared the floor when Magic got a cut in an L.A.-Cleveland exhibition game. These incidents were the real reasons behind Magic's second retirement. Magic should be more careful about what he says so that he does not come across as a bitter old ex-player. Then again, maybe he's just juicing up publicity for his Magic Johnson All-Star tour, which visits CBA cities to face such household-name teams as the Hartford Hellcats, Quad Cities Thunder, Tri-City Chinook, and Columbus Horizon.
For their first term report cards, this year's NBA rookie crop gets pretty good grades. Chris Webber (17ppg, 11.4 boards, 3.2 dunks, 1.2 duck walks), Monster Mash (19.5 ppg, 4.7 boards), "Craps" Hardaway (11.9ppg, 5.4 assists), Bobby Hurley (7.8ppg. 6.5 assists in 27 minutes), and Linsey Hunter (9.5ppg, 3.5 assists in 26 minutes) are all contributing heavily for their respective teams, with Mashburn leading Mighty Quinn's Mavs in scoring. Webber has proven that he is a great player, even though he gives away at least three inches in the pivot every night. Mashburn has teamed with Jimmy Jackson to give Dallas a solid, young nucleus. And, as soon as Penny gets moved to the point, the term "Showtime" will have found a new home in O-town. Meanwhile, at the other end of the list, Shawn Bradley, the praying mantis from Utah, has shown signs of improvement, but just because there are pinstripes on a Yugo doesn't make it a Cadillac. At this point in his career, Bradley would still get schooled by the Doctor of Dunk -- your own Mark Heffernan '95.
With the surprising announcement of Jacksonville as the newest member of the NFL, we'd like to express our sympathy to the fans of Baltimore, who definitely got the shaft. Unlike the two or three football "fans" in St. Louis, Colts fans were very loyal and supportive of their team, up to the night the Mayflower moving trucks showed up. In fact, Baltimore still has a Colts marching band and weekly gatherings to talk about the glory days. St. Louis did not deserve a team, even if Walter Payton were part of an ownership group.
With the addition of the Panthers and Jaguars, Paul Tagliabue enlisted the services of your humble scribes to produce a scheme for re-alignment. This scheme maintains traditional intradivisional rivalries, while also introducing new geographic ones, including Cleveland-Buffalo, Houston-New Orleans, and Atlanta-Carolina. Since, unlike baseball, all the teams in the league play by the same rules, swaps across conferences were possible. After many sleepless nights working out all the details, here is our final recommendation to Paul:
Madden Division: N.Y. Giants, Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington, New England.
Norris Division: Lions, Packers, Vikings, Bears, Colts.
Pacific Division: L.A. Rams, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix.
"Prime Time" Chapman Division: Miami, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Carolina.
Trumpy Division: Cleveland, Cincinatti, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, N.Y. Jets.
Gifford Division: Kansas City, Houston, New Orleans, L.A. Raiders, Denver.
As a Christmas bonus, we also serve up our college football post-season awards:
Offensive Player of the Year
1. Charlie Ward, QB, FSU
2. LeShon Johnson, RB, N. Illinois
3. J.J. Stokes, WR, UCLA
4. Heath Shuler, QB, Tenn.
5. Jose DeLeon, RB, MIT
Defensive Player of the Year
1. Derrick Brooks, LB, FSU
2. Willie McGinest, DE, USC
3. Calvin Newman, DB, MIT
4. Rob Waldrop, DT, Arizona
5. Antonio Langham, DB, Alabama
Flops of the Year
Surprises of the Year
1. West Virginia
5. Kansas State
1. BC 41 Notre Dame 39
2. Stanford 41, Colorado 37
3. Ohio State 14, Wisconsin 14
4. BYU 45, SDSU 44
5. Auburn 38, Florida 35
Menudo's Top 5
3. Notre Dame
Some controversial selections, perhaps, but this is the ballot we submitted to the AP polls.
Let's Argue Fan Top 5
This week's list is sent in by Alvin Ramsey G in the Lab for Manufacturing Productivity:
1. San Diego State U.
2. UC San Diego
3. U. of San Diego
4. U.S. Int'l University at San Diego
5. San Diego Chargers
Alvin also notes that the Chargers hold a slight edge in his poll over Southwestern Community College.
Race for Futility
Pussy Cats: 1-10
Temple: 527 points (47.9ppg)
Virginia: 36 points
Cincy and New England are priming for their showdown on Dec. 12. Both teams will be playing for the first pick in the draft, assuming they can both fend off a strong charge from the Redskins. Temple fell 16 points shy of UTEP's record for most points per game given up in NCAA history. A special acknowledgment also goes to the Virginia Cavaliers, who scored only 36 points at home in Monday's loss to UConn.
Mondongo's Hueso de la Semana
Leon Lett becomes the first two-time winner of Mondongos imfamous award, for kicking the ball after the Cowboys blocked Miami's first attempt at a game winning field goal in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. Lett's boner allowed the Fish to recover the live ball and win the game on their second game-winning field goal attempt. Leon must have thought that Don Beebe was chasing him from behind.
Globe Gem of the Week
Normally reliable Ron Borges brings home the bacon this week for mistakenly stating that the Bungles are playing the Steelers Sunday in a tune up for their showdown with the Patsies. Sir Vix correctly notes that it is actually the Patsies who travel to Pittsburgh this week, while Cincy is a 22 point 'dog at the Niners.
You Heard it Here First
Ken Hatfield, former Clemson coach, will go to South Carolina next season to replace Sparky Woods.
Where Are They Now
Former Baltimore Colts. Bert Jones, Johnny Unitas, Earl Morral, Raymond Berry, Art Donovan, Bubba Smith, Lydell Mitchell, Alan Ameche, Jim O'Brien, and Big Daddy Lipscomb.
Trivia Question of the Week
Where were the now-defunct Bluebonnet Bowl, Cherry Bowl, and Tangerine Bowls played? Send answers, comments, and information regarding the whereabouts of Salman Rushdie (aka Sal Bass) to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Remember, because it is the end of the term, the Registrar's official deadline for trivia answers is Monday at noon, but, your humble scribes will accept answers up until Wednesday at 9 a.m.).
Answer to last week's question: Chicago Bulls and Portland Trailblazers. Kudos to Jerome Khohayting and John Springsteen '91 who got it right. They both win a free screening of the "Jim Tewhey Saga" made for TV movie, starring Bob Saggett and Molly Ringwald, when it comes out.
MIT TWIB Notes
Congrats to the men's basketball team, which registered its first win of the season last Saturday with a victory over Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The victory followed a road loss to Bentley and two narrow defeats two weeks ago in the Trinity University Invitational Tournament in San Antonio, Tex. The Beavers, led by Randy "Trigger" Hyun '95, lace 'em up again on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off versus the Eastern Nazzarine Biscuits in The Cage. Come out to support the junior varsity team tonight at 7:30 in The Cage.
Kudos to Javiar Nazario '95 who was named first team Division III All-American in water polo.
Sir Vix Picks
Steelers 31, Patsies 13: New England players caught looking ahead to next week's "Fiasco in Foxboro." Niners 35, Pussy Cats 10: After 11 weeks listening to David Shula, Cincy players spend week trying to preregister for the IAP "How to Survive a Boring Lecture" seminar. Players will then be sharing tips with students planning to take 8.02 next term. J-E-T-S 16, Horseshoes 7: Jets schedule maker must be a Nebraska alum, as New York has played Cincinnati, Pats, and Indy (twice) in last 4 weeks. Chiefs 21, Doves 14: Seattle fans too disappointed that "moshing" no longer permitted in Kingdome to notice whether Montana or Dove alum Dave Krieg is at the helm for the Chiefs this week. Oilers 26, Pigeons 17: Oilers and Rockets have combined to win more games in a row than Pats, Celtics, and Bruins combined have won all year. Lions 13, Purple-Helmeted Warriors 10: Norwegian-Americans upset that there was no Beavis and Buthead Thanksgiving Special. Fish 21, Giants 17: Giants players show up late for game, as they were in line trying to buy handguns before Brady Bill goes into effect. Skins 20, Bucs 0: Craig Erickson lone Tampa player to show up, as LCA puts up sign, "TO GAME ' 44 Skins + 1 Buccaneer" outside the Big Sombrero.
Last week: 4-5
Season to date: 57-32