One of sport's most treasured records--Columbia's losing streak--stood in grave danger at halftime Saturday with the starving Lions leading Villanova, 28-14. Fortunately, Columbia rallied to beat itself, 34-42, and run its string of consecutive drubbings to 28, just six short of Northwestern's magic mark.
Still, the Lions (0-7) could climb no higher than No. 5 in the Bottom Ten, where some selectors are suspected of having an anti-Eastern bias. (It's too easy to lose in the East, so the thinking goes.)
However, Columbia (not affiliated with the Columbia School of Broadcasting, which has a better football team) could pick up support should it succumb to seldom successful Dartmouth (1-6).
Unlike Columbia, former Bottom Ten leader Purdon't (2-6) had the misfortune of winning a game over a school called Northwestern (Northwestern what? ), and thus fell to 13th in the ratings. Tennessee moved up to No. 1. The Volunteers (2-5) were idle but had a bad week in the weight room.
Team, Record Last Loss Next Loss 1. Tennessee (2-5) Idle Memphis St 2. Illinois (2-6) 13-69, Michigan 3. Cal (1-7) 9-27, Oregon Arizona State 4. Texas (3-4) 21-23, Tex. Tech Houston 5. Columbia (0-7) 34-42, Villanova Dartmouth 6. Duke (3-5) 6-34, Ga. Tech Wake Forest 7. Okla. St. (3-5) 14-31, Colorado Kansas State 8. Cherry Bowl Idle Belly Up 9. Houston (1-7) 14-30, TCU Texas 10.Pentagon(15-25)* Sunk, 14-33 Classified
11. SMU Band (penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for drowning out Texas A&M signals with loud music); 12. Nevada (Circus Circus) (4-4); 13. Purdon't (2-6); 14. Brigham Young (5-2); 15. Syracuse (3-5); 16. Penn State (based on Coach Joe Paterno's statement: "We sputtered all over the place"); 17. Morgan State (1-8)**; 18. Maryland Coach Bobby Ross' exits; 19. Notre Dame (3-4); 20. Auburn (tied for worst record in nation in month of November--0-1).
*Army, Navy, Air Force, The Citadel, Virginia Military Institute (Coast Guard still on liberty).
**Faces possible Bottom Ten suspension for ending 29-game losing streak.
ROUT OF THE WEEK: Houston (1-7) over Texas (3-4).
CRUMMY GAME OF THE WEEK: Columbia (0-7) at Dartmouth (1-6).
HONORABLE MENTION: Kansas and K-State were 41-point underdogs last week against Oklahoma and Nebraska, respectively.
QUOTEBOOK: Bumper sticker seen on Santa Monica Freeway:"I ACCELERATE FOR BRUINS!"
The upset of the week--unless you count Dallas Coach Tom Landry rap-singing on the Cowboys' new rock video--was the Los Angeles Lambs' 20-17 win over the No. 10 Dancing Bears before some very interested Fiesta Bowl scouts.
The Lambs were nine-point underdogs even though they didn't have to face quarterback Jim McMahon, who likes three games rest between starts.
Elsewhere, the outlook grew dimmer for Nos. 1 and 3 San Diego and No. 8 Buffalo, which changed coaches but still refuse to fire their owners. And, by the way, isn't it time for No. 4 Green Bay (1-8) to give Bart Starr another chance?
On the happier side, that famous ex-USFL quarterback finally started to pay dividends. That's right. No. 6 Philadelphia fell before the onslaught of wobbly passes thrown by St. Louis' Cliff Stoudt.
Team, Record Last Loss Next Loss 1. Air Saunders (0-1) 23-24, K.C. Denver 2. The Indy 316* 9-24, Cleveland New England 3. Air Coryell (1-7) 7-23, Philadelphia Idle 4. Bay (Green) (1-8) 3-27, Pitt Washington 5. Houston (1-8) 7-28, Miami (Fla.) Cincinnati
6. (Tie) Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) and America's Cup challenger Eagle (5-8); 8. Buffalo (2-7); 9. Detroit (3-6)**; 10. (Tie) Chicago (7-2) and Lost Raiders (5-4).
Other Bays receiving votes: None.
*Sunday's loss marked 316 days since Dolts last won.
**Bad year for Lions everywhere.
CRUMMY GAME OF THE WEEK: Lost Raiders (5-4) at Dallas (6-3).
WE DEMAND A RECOUNT: Indy Coach Rod Dowhower, asked how he would succinctly characterize the season: "One word: Not good."