In Lincoln, Neb., where temperatures on the field reached 120 degrees, it was so hot that Cornhusker back Tom Rathman walked 60 yards for a touchdown.
His effort wasn’t enough, though. Florida State trudged back for a 17-13 win, and the once-powerful Cornhuskers fell into a first-place tie in the Bottom Ten with equally lowly Georgia.
Meanwhile, Illinois, picked No. 1 in TV Guide’s preseason poll, seemed in danger of being canceled after its first episode, a 10-20, four-interception loss to USC. (The Bottom Ten pollsters got Nebraska and No. 6 Illinois from the Top Ten in exchange for undefeated Oregon State and a crummy game of the week to be named later.)
In tearful reunions, the Bottom Ten was rejoined by two old favorites, Cal State Disneyland and Cal State Queen Mary, as well as Louisville, a 13-52 loser under new Coach Howard Schnellenberger, who was redshirted last year.
The San Jose State-less rankings: Team, Record Last Loss Next Loss 1.(Tie)Nbrska (0-1) 13-17, Fla. St. Idle Georgia (0-1) Idle Baylor 3. Indiana (0-0) Idler Louisville 4. Louisville (0-1) 13-52, W. Virginia Indiana 5. Tulane (0-1) Idlest TCU 6. Illinois (0-1) 10-20, USC S. Illinois
7. Bill&Mary; (0-1) 23-30, W.Forst Nrflk St. 8. Wshngtn (0-1) 17-31, Okla. State BYU 9. CS Disney (0-1) 30-31, Montana Reno 10. QueenMary(0-1) 17-19, UtahSt. SDSU 11. University of Texas at El Why-Did-I-Throw-That Paso(0-2); 12. Northwestern (0-1); 13. Pentagon (Army, Navy, Air Force) (0-1); 14. Rice (0-1); 15. Columbia (0-1); 16. Colorado State (0-1); 17. Hawaii (0-1); 18. Cornell (0-0); 19. Still holding out (but finally showed up in camp); 20. Boston College (1-1).
ROUT OF THE WEEK: Penn State (1-0) over Temple (0-1).
CRUMMY GAME OF THE WEEK: Louisville (0-1) vs. Indiana (0-0 (season’s first crummy crucial.)
SPECIAL CITATION: Navy, a 19-21 loser to North Carolina, had a two-point conversion pass nullified because of a penalty--an illegal player downfield. On a conversion attempt?
Using underwater television cameras and sophisticated sonar devices, divers located the wreckage of the Indianapolis Dolts Tuesday. But members of the Dolt Historical Society declared that nothing appeared salvageable, with the exception of one or two rusted linemen.
The Dolts, once a great football team known as the Baltimore Colts, were sunk by poor front-office leadership. Recently, they were the subject of a best-selling novel, “Raise the Dolts!”
On land, meanwhile, fans in Cincinnati began chanting “Pete! Pete!” during the Bengals-Seahawks game Sunday. But they were too late.
Running back Pete Johnson was no longer available to save Cincinnati, having been dumped years ago, and the No. 6 Bengals were lanced, 24-28.
Elsewhere, New Orleans quarterback Dave Wilson, who had asked to be traded in the off-season, showed the No. 3 Aints why they should have listened, completing 2 of 22 passes in a 27-47 romp.
The Rankled: Team, Record Last Loss Next Loss 1. Indianapolis (0-1) 3-45, Pittsburgh* Miami (Fla.) 2. Washington (0-1) 14-44, Dallas** Houston 3. New Orleans (0-1) 27-47, K.C. Denver 4. Philadelphia (0-1) 0-21, N.J. Giants Rams 5. Miami (Fla.)(0-1) 23-26, Houston Indianapolis 6. Cincinnati (0-1); 7. Cleveland (0-1); 8. N.J. Jets (0-1); 9. San Francisco (0-1); 10. Denver (0-1).
* Louis Lipps Sink Dolts!
**When will Washington get a professional football team?
CRUMMY GAME OF THE WEEK: Indianapolis (0-1) vs. Miami (Fla.) (0-1).
REPEAT AFTER ME, CLEVELAND, “THIS IS NOT 1984! THIS IS NOT 1984!”: The Browns, who lost nine times in the final two minutes, succumbed in sudden-death overtime to St. Louis, 24-27, in their opener.
QUOTEBOOK: Detroit Coach Darryl Rogers, commenting on the rush of several players to the rear of the plane during a flight through a thunderstorm Sunday night: “It was really beautiful to see.”