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Trojans Stay in the Hunt for Championship

The Colleges You have to go back to the final year of the Reagan Administration to find when USC last won a football game. Since that flukish victory over UCLA, the flowerhouse Trojans have fallen to Notre Dame, Michigan (in the Rose Bowl) and, now, Illinois.

The only USC fans who felt fortunate Monday night were the ones who showed up in Moscow for the game.

The No. 1 Trojans appear to have a shot to go winless for the first time since the school’s 1896 team posted an 0-3 record and lost to Caltech, 0-22. Needless to say, Troy is a prime favorite to land in the Bottom Ten’s postseason Woes Bowl, tentatively set for Jan. 6 in Leona Helmsley’s front yard.

Still within striking-out distance are the No. 2 Longhorns of the University of Texas at El Austin (0-1), not to mention No. 10 Ohio State. The Buckeyes haven’t played yet but were unimpressive last week on Team Photo Day.

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The Rankings:

Team, Record Last Loss This Week 1. USC (0-1) 13-14, Ill Healing 2. Texas (0-1) 6-27, Colorado Healing 3. LSU (0-1) 16-28, Texas A$M Healing 4. Oklahoma (1-0) 37-105, N.M.St* Baylor 5. N.Mex.St (0-1) 3-73, Oklahoma N. Mexico 6. (Tie) SMU (0-1) 6-35, Rice Healing 6. Fla. St. (0-1) 26-30, S. Miss** Clemson 8. N. Dame (1-0)*** Def. Va., 36-13 Idle 9. Penn St (0-0) Idle Virginia 10. Ohio St Idle Idle

11.-13. The Miamis (of Fla., Ohio, Hawaii) (0-0); 14. Tennessee (1-0, but a three-point winner over Colorado State); 15. Duke (0-1); 16. Stanford (0-1); 17. Maryland (0-1); 18. Clemson (the NCAA investigation continues); 19. Idle; 20. Nebraska (weakest schedule in the nation).

*Poor Oklahoma was outpassed, 105 yards to 37 yards, by New Mexico State.

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**Comedown of the week honors to Florida State, a 20-point favorite over Southern Miss.

***Irish Coach Lou Holtz: “We still have a long way to go before we’re a good team.” (No hurry, Lou!)

ROUT OF THE WEEK: Any Nebraska game.

CRUMMY GAME OF THE WEEK: Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne vs. the book, “Big Red Confidential: Inside Nebraska Football.”

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SPECIAL CITATION: To San Diego State’s defense, which yielded 559 yards on the ground to . . . Air Force.

The Pros

And, so ends the NFL’s annual sham--the exhibition season--when fans pay regular-season prices for tickets to see half-hearted efforts by teams interested in avoiding injuries to their starters while testing dud draft choices.

The ferocious nature of exhibition football was summed up by 49er Coach George Seifert, who said before one game: "(Quarterback Joe) Montana will play a half, maybe not that much. . . . We want to limit the amount of time a player is in the game. . . . so they’ll be ready for the regular season.”

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In that spirit, the Official Lowlights of Exhibition Season ’89:

1. Cincinnati running back Ickey Woods, minus six yards in seven carries vs. Minnesota.

2. Woods, (plus) three yards in six carries vs. Detroit.

3. New Orleans’ quarterback Bobby Hebert, two of seven passes for 24 yards vs. Indy.

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4. New Orleans Superdome fans, penalized four times for excessive noise against Bengals. Cincinnati quarterback Boomer Esiason alternately incited the crowd on the sidelines and hid behind a teammate when officials looked over.

5. The Raiders, threatened with penalties when their opponents complained that the Coliseum fans were eerily quiet.

6. Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly, two of five passes for 11 yards vs. Bay (Green).

7. S.F. running back Roger Craig, 10 yards in five carries vs. Seattle.

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8. Miami quarterback Dan Marino, three of five passes for 49 yards vs. Houston.

9. Indy running back Eric Dickerson, 13 yards in four carries vs. New Orleans.

10. Raiders’ running back Marcus Allen, 0 yards in 0 carries, four consecutive games.

ARENA FOOTBALL DIVISION: Joe Haering was reinstated as the Pittsburgh Gladiator coach after being suspended for punching Arena Football Commissioner Jim Foster during a brawl in Sacramento. Haering had feared he would be suspended for life from Arena Football, or for six months, whichever lasts longer.

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