Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems it has been years since the national championship and the Heisman Trophy have been so lacking in likely winners this late in the fall.
Indeed, it seems that darned near anyone can win the national championship.
If Notre Dame beats Colorado . . .
If Auburn beats Alabama . . .
If Alabama beats Miami . . .
If USC beats Michigan . . .
With the exception of Colorado, everyone's hopes depend upon something someone else does.
Why not consider what \o7 has\f7 happened instead of what \o7 might\f7 happen and take a twisted look at this national championship picture?
Let's see . . .
SDSU beats Utah by 11, Utah beats Stanford by 3, Stanford beats Cal by 10, Cal beats Arizona by 1, Arizona beats Oklahoma by 3 and Oklahoma loses to Colorado by 17. The calculator thus concludes that SDSU is 11 points better than Colorado.
Since SDSU's season is over, nothing that happens from here on out should disturb its reign as better than the best in the land.
No wonder Al Luginbill got a new three-year contract.
If Alex Spanos could possibly grab his hair, he would be pulling it out about now.
Four weeks remain in this dismal football season. The final game will be Dec. 24. Poor Alex will awaken Christmas morning looking for a fall guy.
Fortunately, he has candidates.
He has a quarterback who cannot run an offense.
He has a coach who can neither design nor orchestrate an offense.
He has a general manager who cannot generally manage.
Patience and continuity are considered sensible approaches to the operation of National Football League franchises, unless patience and continuity promise to produce merely more of the same.
A good bet will be that Spanos will do to his football team what his barber does to his hair. He will trim it at the top. Severely.
What? BYU again?
Isn't everyone getting tired of Brigham Young University \o7 always \f7 being in the Holiday Bowl?
Hold on. Unbelievably, it has been five (count 'em) years since the last time the Cougars were here for the game. They have not made an appearance since they beat Michigan, 24-17, to win the 1984 national championship.
In essence, it was getting to be a matter of whether the Cougars would \o7 ever\f7 get back to the bowl game they veritably owned for the first seven years of its existence.
For the Holiday Bowl, it is "Back to Its Past VIII."
Tony Gwynn's timing on a baseball field may be incomparable, but he can't seem to make solid contact when it comes to contract negotiations.
Though not exactly in danger of landing in a soup kitchen, Gwynn has to be wondering what he might be worth if he happened to be on the free-agent market in this most maniacal of off-seasons.
Gwynn's contract calls for him to make a base salary of $5 million over the next three years. That's not bad, of course, except it seems like petty cash compared with the $9 million Rickey Henderson and Kirby Puckett will be making over the same period of time.
Consider also that Pittsburgh just signed \o7 Walt Terrell\f7 to a three-year contract for $3.6 million.
Don't expect to hear Tony Gwynn complaining.
The Sockers may be stumbling a bit, as they usually do this time of year, but the fact that they are 5-5 should be encouraging rather than discouraging.
They have five players out with injuries--Brian Quinn, Ralph Black, Zoran Karic, Damir Haramina and Ben Collins--who would, as a unit, be a contender for the Major Indoor Soccer League championship. Mix them in with the guys who are already holding their own, and you have the makings of starting the new decade with an eighth indoor championship.
What's more, the Sockers will be stronger in the long run because injuries have allowed their younger players to gain experience.
By the end of the year, this will be the best and deepest team in the franchise's history.
The price of finishing second?
The Padres cut up 22 full shares of post-season loot at the rate of $8,032.21 each. San Francisco distributed 33 shares at $83,529.26 each.
Even in these days of ridiculous salaries for grown men playing little boys' games, a difference of $75,000 is worthwhile incentive.
Not that these guys play the game for money . . . or anything as ugly as that.