Cooper's Loss: It's a Tradition

THE COLLEGES

What were the odds that Notre Dame would lose on the same day as Miami, Alabama and Wake Forest? There was no surprise, though, in the game touted beforehand as the Bottom Ten's Rout of the Week: Michigan (7-4) crunched previously undefeated Ohio State, 28-0. And Buckeye Coach John Cooper thus prolonged one of the strangest streaks in college football.

Cooper is winless in 11 consecutive traditionals dating to 1982. He is 0-5-1 vs. Michigan. As coach of Arizona State before that, he was 0-2-1 vs. Arizona. And as coach of Tulsa before that, he lost his last two games (in 1983 and '84) against Oklahoma State.

Cooper's feat nearly overshadowed the Bottom Ten race. With Maryland and the Pitts suffering untimely victories, and Temple losing by only 10, the top spot was taken over by the University of Texas at El Headed-Off-at-the-Paso.

But there's still one week left. If No. 2 Houston (1-8-1) can put together an especially disastrous loss against Rice, it could grab the title--and a piece of history. Houston quarterback Jimmy Klingler and Cincinnati Bungles' quarterback David Klingler could then become the first set of brothers to top the college and pro Bottom Ten standings in the same year.

Sad Sack (Record) Last Loss Next Loss 1. UTEP (1-10) 29-35, N. Mexico BYU 2. Houston (1-8-1) 7-58, Texas Tech Rice 3. Temple (1-10) 18-28, Pitts Next year 4. San Jose State (2-9) 20-24, Pacific Next year 5. The Genius (4-7) 17-46, Cal Next year 6. Ark. State (2-8-1) Def. Nevada, 23-21 Next year 7. E. Carolina (2-9) 14-34, Cincinnati Next year 8. Wake Forest (2-9) 32-33, Maryland Next year 9. Purdon't (1-10) 17-24, Indiana Next year 10. J. Cooper (0-9-2)* 0-28, Michigan TBA

11. Ole Southern Miss (2-8-1); 12. Northwestern (2-9); 13. Maryland (2-9); 14. (Choose one) Yale (3-7) or Columbia (2-8); 15. Iowa State (3-8); 16. Oklahoma State (3-8); 17. Ole Miss State (2-6-2); 18. Pentagon (Air) (4-8); 19. Idle; 20. Traveler (0-1) (USC mascot threw its rider during loss to UCLA).

* Record in last 11 traditionals as coach of Ohio State, Arizona State, Tulsa.

Rout of the week: Ole Miss (5-5) over Ole Miss State (2-6-2).

Anyone but Michigan: Ohio State's John Cooper said: "I'm going to stand right here and . . . bring on UCLA . . . bring on Tennessee, or Florida, or Alabama . . . or any of those West Coast teams."

THE PROS

More and more it seems obvious that Randall Cunningham will be named the NFL's most valuable player. Philadelphia's record leaves no doubt. With Cunningham sound, the Beagles were 4-0. With Cunningham injured, they're 0-6.

Washington (2-8), on the other hand, has no injury excuses. The Redskins' passing game has been so miserable that offensive lineman Raleigh McKenzie was penalized five yards for making contact with the ball Sunday. It wasn't really McKenzie's fault. He was hit in the back of the head behind the line of scrimmage by a pass from Rich Gannon.

Meanwhile, the American Indians Issues and Action Committee is pushing for Washington to change its nickname. That should be no problem.

Deadskins would be more appropriate, anyway.

The rankings:

THE UNWON

Loser (Record) Last Loss Next Loss 1. Cincinnati (0-10) 12-17, N.J. Jets L.A. Raiders 2. Philadelphia (0-6)* 3-7, N.J. Giants Washington 3. Cleveland (0-2)** 20-27, Houston Atlanta 4. New England (1-9)*** 13-17, Miami N.J. Jets

* Since QB Randall Cunningham's injury

** Since QB Bernie Kosar's axing

*** Since Bill Parcells became coach

BAYS, SPEEDWAYS AND LAKES DIVISION

Team (Record) Last Loss Next Loss 1. Tampa (3-7) Def. Minnesota, 23-10 Green 2. Indianapolis (3-7) 9-23, Buffalo San Diego 3. Minnehaha (5-5) 10-23, Tampa Old Orleans

Will his rubber ducky be next? A chest of drawers that belonged to Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman as a boy sold for $650 at an auction in Dallas.

We told you so: Before the Monday night game against the 49ers, New Orleans cornerback Toi Cook said the team desperately needed a win to overcome its image for late-season choking. "If we lose this game," Cook said, "everybody will say, 'I told you so.' " The Saints lost, 7-42.

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