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Here's a Guide to the Plans of Mice and Men

August 26, 1992|MIKE DOWNEY

Beautiful downtown Anaheim--one of the last remaining cities in America to still use the word pigskin-- will be the site tonight for college football's Pigskin Classic. Well, I suppose that's better than the Leather Oblong Spheroid Classic or the Equipment Made From the Hide of Barnyard Animals Classic.

I wonder what those three little pigs over at Disneyland would make of this. First somebody comes around to blow down their house. Now somebody kicks and plays catch with their old animal-farm playmates. Such cruelty.

Anyway, let's meet the out-of-towners who will entertain us in tonight's guaranteed classic (or your money back), Stanford and Texas A&M, shall we?

Stanford is coached by Bill Walsh, one of sports' many certified geniuses.

I have no idea who coaches Texas A&M, so he must not be a genius yet.

Walsh is whipping back like a boomerang to collegiate athletics after successful engagements as special consultant to Mr. Joseph Montana, NFC, and Mr. Richard Enberg, NBC. He is now happily ensconced at Stanford, a campus simply chock full of little geniuses--or, as I like to think of it, the University of California at Palo Alto, UCPA.

Texas A&M stands for either Texas Agricultural & Mechanical or a regional branch of a West Coast music-industry record label, I forget.

Stanford's teams are called the Cardinal, which is a color, not a bird or a Catholic. There is a movement on campus to change the team nickname to a different color every year until the entire 64-Crayola box is used up, beginning with next year's Stanford Burnt Sienna.

Texas A&M is one of those rare Texas universities where the mascot is not some poor creature such as a longhorn steer, a bear, a cougar, an owl, a mustang or a horned frog. An athlete from A&M is known as an Aggie. I do not know if there are any actual aggies out there who believe this mascot to be politically incorrect.

Stanford's "big game" every season is against California, Cal for short, which the Cardinal has been known to try to cheat. That 4-3-drum-drum-tuba-trumpet defense is still illegal.

Texas A&M's "big game" every season is against Texas, or Tex for short, but the winner is no longer rewarded with a trip to a chicken ranch run by exotically dressed female ranchers, as in past years. I understand the Disney people intend to invite them to the best little mouse-house in Orange County.

Stanford's team is quarterbacked by Chip Micro, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound freshman conceived and created in a basement science lab.

Texas A&M is led by experienced wide receiver Marquis DuSod, a transfer from Texas S&M.

Stanford is ranked No. 26 in most preseason polls, except for the one conducted by the Associated Press. Some little computer hacker on campus broke into the AP rankings and made Stanford No. 1 ahead of Miami.

Texas A&M is also highly ranked, and the Aggies are expected to be serious contenders for a bid to the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl.

Stanford could be caught looking past Texas A&M to its important Sept. 19 home game against Northwestern in the traditional American Dairy Assn. Egghead Bowl. Northwestern has a better than average team this season and expects to make one of those touchdown things the Wildcats have heard so much about.

Texas A&M is expected to meet the survivor of the crossfire between Pat Buchanan and Hillary Clinton in early November.

Stanford also gets to defeat Notre Dame again on Oct. 3, then has more than a month to prepare for the game at USC. At his introductory news conference upon being hired, I seem to recall Bill Walsh saying something along the lines of: "USC! Wow, what a college!"

Texas A&M would be proud to play Notre Dame on the first day of 1993, particularly since those Pasadena people still refuse to let any outsiders into their precious Rose Bowl.

Stanford's top returning rusher and receiver is Glyn Milburn, who hopes to play some day for the Sn Frncsco 49rs.

Texas A&M once offered its head-coaching position to Bo Schembechler, who suddenly finds himself available.

Stanford is accustomed to playing football in Southern California and often can be seen playing pigskin at a gridiron near you.

Texas A&M doesn't drop around very often, so it would be nice to go out there tonight and give 'em a big ol' Big A Gene Autry kind of howdy.

I'm picking A&M by six on a last-minute play, possibly involving the band.

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