College Football / Richard Hoffer : Miami’s Players, It Appears, Are Even Crazier Than Bosworth


Not only did Miami prove it was better than Oklahoma last week, it also proved it was crazier. There’s your upset. Those poor Sooners, self-advanced as the Raiders of college football, came across like Casper Milquetoasts instead. The nerds from Norman.

They might have guessed they were in trouble when the Hurricanes started dialing them at the Fontainebleau. Jerome Brown, Miami’s huge defensive tackle, gave Oklahoma quarterback Jamelle Holieway a wake-up call at 7:30 a.m. on game day.

“I think he probably thought, ‘Hey, those guys are as crazy as we are,’ ” Brown said.

Then Miami running backs Melvin Bratton and Alonzo Smith called Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth, who supposedly represents all that is unholy in football as we know it.


“I said, ‘Mr. Bosworth? This is Melvin Bratton and Alonzo Highsmith with your wake-up call,’ ” Bratton said.

“We told Coach (Jimmy) Johnson about it,” Bratton said. “And he couldn’t believe it. He never had players like us. We’re crazy.”

Brown, who maintains that he chilled the Sooners into submission with a stare-down at the coin toss, said the intimidation was immediate.

“When we broke the huddle, it was time to boogie. I looked into the eyes of their offensive linemen, and you could see it. It was like, ‘Damn, I’ve got 30 more minutes of this.’ There was doubt in their eyes.”

As for those quotable Sooners, they didn’t make a peep. Bosworth, who never met a man he couldn’t trash, was absolutely speechless after the game. His reputation was further sullied when Miami center Gregg Rakoczy questioned his credentials as a madman.

“Where’s that stuff come from,” Rakoczy wondered. “Bosworth played with a lot of class.”


OK, that was for the unofficial national championship. But where will it be decided officially? Miami, an independent school, could choose to play for it at home in the Orange Bowl, in the Sugar Bowl or even in the Fiesta Bowl.


It just depends on who’s No. 2 by then and, of course, if Miami wants to play a No. 2 team. The match-ups:

If Oklahoma wins the Big Eight title, Miami might choose a rematch at home, although Orange Bowl officials, committed to the Big Eight champion, are not ecstatic about the prospect. Still, it would be a popular and lucrative game for Miami in that the Hurricanes would have no travel expenses. Neither would their fans.

If Alabama, No. 2 now, continues apace, Miami might choose to play the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl, which has a lock on the Southeastern Conference champion.

But if Penn State, another independent, is No. 2 at bowl filling time, the battle for the national title could be fought in the Fiesta Bowl, one of the richer bowl games.

Miami not No. 1 by then? C’mon. The combined record of Miami’s remaining opponents is 10-18-2, and not a team among them is ranked.

Here’s to the dunces: A month ago, Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer sat in his office, decorated with Heisman Trophies, and explained that Sooner linebacker Bosworth probably wouldn’t be adding one more to the decor because the voters are dunces. “Coaches know that defenses win ballgames,” he said. “If coaches were to vote. . . . “


Miami’s Vinny Testaverde would still win. Among the other things last week’s Miami-Oklahoma game re-established the relative worth of a linebacker as compared to a quarterback.

Bosworth had a sensational game, making 14 tackles, and once taking Melvin Bratton’s helmet off in a colossal pileup. But can anyone argue that he had more impact on the game than Miami’s quarterback?

This is why quarterbacks and running backs win the trophy. Linebackers, no matter how good they are, can not single-handedly control a game.

College Football Notes LSU is pioneering an anti-drug program, putting 16 players on trading cards. The flip side, with the usual statistics and notes, also has the Tiger Tips message: “Good football players take pride in their bodies and make an effort to get stronger and faster. Take pride in your body. Don’t poison it with drugs and other harmful things.” . . . William Humes, North Carolina tailback, has been in enough pain with a knee injury that he has quit the team. . . . Auburn tailback Collis Campbell, who has battled minor injuries and a lack of playing time, has also quit. He was Auburn’s second-leading rusher in 1984, when Bo Jackson was out with an injury. . . . Texas running back Edwin Simmons, whose first start--against Oklahoma in 1983--produced more than 100 yards and 2 touchdowns, was suspended for disciplinary reasons. Simmons missed Texas’ 27-25 win over Missouri last Saturday with an ankle injury. . . . Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler goes for victory No. 200 this week. “All it really means is you’ve been around for a long time,” Schembechler said.