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Little Ten Ripe for a Merger

THE COLLEGES

The Bottom Ten and the Big Ten, two organizations that house the winless, have announced plans to merge into the newly created Bot/Big Ten, pending approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The dramatic move was announced in the wake of four opening day defeats by Big Ten schools, most illustrious of which was Wisconsin’s 14-24 setback to Western Michigan. Meanwhile, Iowa vacationed in Hawaii, 24-27; Illinois was clubbed, 7-44, by merciless Washington State; and Northwestern . . . well, you know Northwestern.

The proposed merger angered Southern factions of the Bottom Ten, which had expected to see the top ranking go to Texas A&M; (Agriculture and Misery), the losingest team in the nation at 0-2.

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Many Eastern voters, on the other hand, had urged the No. 1 ranking be conferred on Florida State (0-1), which is being outscored by an average of 31 points per game this year. But Seminole Coach Bobby Bowden seemed to agree with his team’s No. 12 rating, commenting, “Obviously, we didn’t know how to handle being No. 1.”

The Rankings:

Team, Record Last Loss Next Loss 1. Wisconsin (0-1) 14-24, W. Mich. Healing 2. Iowa (0-1) 24-27, Hawaii Kansas St. 3. Illinois (0-1) 7-44, Wash. St. Arizona St. 4. N’western (0-1) 21-31, Duke See No. 1 5. Ohio St. (0-0)* Idle Syracuse 6. Michigan (0-0) Idle Notre Dame 7. Mich. St. (0-0) Idle Rutgers 8. Indiana (0-0) Idle Rice 9. Minnesota (0-0) Idle Washington St. 10. Purdue )0-0) Idle Washington

11. Texas A&M; (0-2); 12. Florida State (0-1); 13. BYU (0-1); 14. Tennessee (0-1); 15. North Carolina (0-1); 16. Texas Tech (0-1); 17.-18. Pentagon (excluding Air Force and Navy) (0-0); 19. Clemson (1-0)**; 20. Idle.

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*Ohio State Coach John Cooper complains: “These are the guys I have to play and I can’t get up in the morning and check the wire to see who’s on waivers or make any trades. I have to play them.” (And you thought Ohio State was a pro team!)

**Though winning 40-7, Clemson lost in the all-important time-of-possession category, 27 minutes to 33 minutes.

ROUT OF THE WEEK: Rutgers (0-0) over Michigan State (0-0).

CRUMMY GAME OF THE WEEK: BYU (0-1) vs. Texas (0-0).

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FIGHTING WORDS: “Pitt, to be honest, is a little higher regarded team than we should probably be playing,” Northern Iowa Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby said. “Year in and year out, the Kansas States of the world are a little more our style.” Yes, the next bitter rivalry--Northern Iowa vs. Kansas State!

QUOTES YOU NEVER THOUGHT YOU’D READ: Illinois Coach John Mackovic: “Washington State outmanned us.”

THE PROS

Washington and Denvelway, two struggling teams searching for reliable quarterbacks, showed a flair for making costly fumbles, getting sacked and throwing deflections as well as interceptions to take up joint tenancy in the Bottom Ten’s NFL doghouse.

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Substitute defensive end Dexter Manley of the ‘Skinned was so disappointed that he announced afterward that he was jumping to the PTL. However, PTL co-Commissioner Jim Bakker could not be reached for comment.

Elsewhere, No. 3 San Diego fell to the Irwindale Raiders, 24-13, in 108-degree weather before 39,029 first-time fans (all of whom were there because the season-ticket holders who live next door to them didn’t want to attend). The Chargers attributed their defeat to the fact that they were caught looking ahead to this week’s America’s Cup competition in San Diego.

Meanwhile, Phoenix (0-1) displayed a remarkable resemblance to the old St. Louis Cardinals, and Dallas’ 27-year-old expansion franchise continued to founder. In Miami (Fla.), Coach Don Shula moaned, “This is about as low as I can feel about this football team.” (But, Don, you still have four notches lower to move!)

The Rankings:

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Team, Record Last Loss Next Loss 1.(Tie) Wash. (0-1) 20-27, N.J. ‘Ants Pitt 1. Denvelway (0-1) 14-21, Seattle San Diego 3. San Diego (0-1) 13-24, Irwindale Denvelway 4. Phoenix (0-1) 14-21, Cincinnati Dallas 5. Dallas (0-1) 21-24, Pitt Phoenix

6.-8. Bays and/or Beaches (Green, 0-1; Tampa, 0-1; Miami, 0-1); 9. Atlantis (0-1); 10. N.J. Jets (0-1).

CRUMMY GAME OF THE WEEK: Dallas (0-1) at Phoenix (0-1).

ROUT OF THE WEEK: Buffalo (1-0) over Miami (0-1).

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LOSER OF THE WEEK: The Harrisburg Patriots of the Continental Interstate Football League were supposed to debut a $1.38 million stadium this year, only to find out that they didn’t have any seats because the Southern Bleacher Co. of Graham, Tex., shipped them to the wrong city. The Patriots opened in a nearby baseball park instead while they awaited arrival of their seats.


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