THE COLLEGES A crucial shoedown. A must-lose game. Two teams that can rest on rest on their laurels (and Hardys). Die-easy fans.
Yes, Saturday's game between Kansas (0-8) and Kansas State (1-7) boasts all the elements required for the true connoisseur of ineptitude. After all, Kansas has lost to Nebraska by 52 and Oklahoma by 61, while K-State has lost to Nebraska by 53 and to Oklahoma by 49.
This may be the closest fans get to a Bottom Ten Bowl, considering the inexplicable refusal of the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. to sanction a sudden-death (naturally) tournament with Sectional Crummies played in Death Valley, Calif., White Sands, N.M., Flushing Meadow, N.Y., and the Tijuana Bull Ring, Tijuana, Mex.
One Southern representative could be Tulane, despite a 4-4 record. The Green Ripple's problem is that it can't hold a lead. Saturday, Tulane ran up a 7-0 lead over Florida State but still wound up losing, 14-73.
Team, Record Last Loss Next Loss 1. Kansas (1-15)* 17-127, Okla.** Each other 2. Ga. Tech (2-6) 14-48, Duke Virginia 3. Houston (1-6) 7-35, TCU*** Texas 4. N. Car. St. (3-5) 0-48, S. Carolina E. Tenn. State 5. Tulane (4-4) 14-73, Fla. St. Ole Miss State 6. Other Rams (1-7) 15-20, Wyoming Hawaii 7. N'western 6-29, Michigan Iowa 7. Ohio St. (5-2-1) 7-13, Mich. St. Wisconsin 9. Near Miss (3-6) 13-42, LSU Idle 10. Stanford (3-5) 13-23, Arizona USC
11. Tie between Bill & Mary (3-5) and Jim & Tammy (0 for 1987); 13. Nevada (Circus Circus) (2-5); 14.-17. Pentagon (Army, Navy, Air Force, VMI) (11-19); 18. Lehigh (4-4; on Saturday became first team to trail Columbia in a game this season); 19. Arizona State (5-3); 20. Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer, who complained after a 71-10 win over Kansas that if not for a wet turf "we probably could have run a lot better."
*Kansas and Kansas State.
**Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
***Inadvertent asterisk; please disregard.
ROUT OF THE WEEK: Wisconsin (2-5) over Ohio State (winless in November).
CRUMMY GAME OF THE WEEK: Kansas (1-7) at Kansas State (0-8).
QUOTEBOOK: Washington State Coach Dennis Erickson, asked afterward if one of his teams had ever thrown long into the end zone with a few seconds left while leading by 35 points, as USC did Saturday: "I've never been in that position."
DISHONORABLE MENTION: To the Bottom Ten editor, whose interview with ESPN was not aired on its "Game Day" show. (Well, what did ESPN expect--GOOD jokes from the Bottom Ten?)
The Rams got rid of their "distraction"--that is, the distraction of worrying about playoffs the rest of this decade. Minus Eric Dickerson, whom they traded for two unknowns and six draft choices, they were trampled by San Francisco, 10-31.
Whether the six draft choices will see action against New Orleans Sunday isn't known.
Meanwhile, it was another crushing week for Gatorade, as former customer Harry Carson and the rest of the New York Ants were squashed again. Teams have stopped pouring the drink on coaches since the Ants' decline, possession of Gatorade now seen as a jinx ranking just below a spot on Sports Illustrated's cover or being picked to win by Jimmy the Greek.
Bottom Ten selectors, who customarily leave games with a few minutes left to play, on Sunday unanimously picked Cincinnati to meet San Francisco in the Super Bowl.
Team, Record Last Loss Next Loss 1. Rams (1-6) 10-31, San Fran. New Orleans 2. N.Y. Ants (1-6) 24-33, Dallas New England 3. Maladroit (1-6) 0-34, Denvelway Dallas 4. Raiders (3-4) 23-26, New Eng. Minnehaha 5. St. Louis (2-5) 23-28, Phil. Bay (Tampa)
6. Mylanta (2-5); 7. Kansas City (1-6); 8. N.J. Jets (3-4); 9. Minnehaha (3-4); 10. John McEnroe's next comeback bid.
CRUMMY GAME OF THE WEEK: Irwindale (3-4) at Minnehaha (3-4).
STOP THIEVES!: After his team was humbled by the Indianapolis Dolts, Jet Coach Joe Walton was overheard in the locker room screaming at his players: "You're stealing money!"
QUOTEBOOK: John Strege of Orange County Register, characterizing Los Angeles, namesake of the Rams, Raiders, Dodgers, Kings, Clippers and Coliseum Commissioners: "A town full of losers." (And the Bottom Ten salutes you all!)