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THE BOTTOM TEN / STEVE HARVEY

Orange County a Tough Place for No. 1 Trojans

September 02, 1993|STEVE HARVEY

THE COLLEGES

Picking up where they left off against dreaded Fresno State, USC's Trojans fell into the Bottom Ten lead on the strength of their 9-31 stomping by the sky-high 'Heels of North Carolina. The Trojans, led by Willie (Defense 'Em Where They Ain't) McGinest, were obviously outclassed.

USC's latest Anaheim Stadium disaster reflected two curious jinxes plaguing the school. First, John Robinson became the sixth consecutive USC coach to fail to win in his debut. (Candidates to succeed Robinson should keep this in mind as they're interviewed by school officials over the next few weeks.)

Second, USC still has not won in Orange County since 1907, when it whipped Santa Ana High, 51-0. That win was sweet revenge, by the way. Santa Ana had beaten USC, 5-2, in 1902.

The rankings:

School, Record Last Loss Next Loss 1. USC (0-1) 9-31, North Carolina Houston 2. Kansas (0-1) 0-42, Florida State W. Carolina 3. LSU (0-0) Idle Texas A$M 4. UTEP (0-0) Idle Arizona 5. Oregon St. (0-0) Idle Wyoming 6. Duke (0-0) Idle Florida State 7. Pitt (0-0) Idle Southern Miss 8. Ohio St. (0-1)* 14-21, Georgia Rice 9. Arkansas (0-0) Idle SMU 10. Purdon't (0-0) Idle N.C. State

11. Fumblerooskie (outlawed by NCAA); 12. Cal (0-0); 13. Clemson (0-0); 14. Tulsa (0-0); 15. Vanderbilt (0-0); 16. Minnesota (0-0); 17. Houston 0-0); 18. Tulane (0-0); 19. Arkansas State (0-0); Washington (0 for 1993).

* Jan. 1 Citrus Bowl loss.

Rout of the Week: Florida State (1-0) over Duke (0-0).

Crummy Game of the Week: USC (0-1) vs. Houston (0-0).

Spoken like a true Bottom Ten contender: LSU Athletic Director Joe Dean, on Coach Curley Hallman: "People write me and ask how many games does Curley have to win. He doesn't have to win any. He'll be here in '94."

High school confidential: Wendy Sisneros went out for the freshman football team at Hondo (Tex.) High but decided to become a manager, instead. "She's a great kid, but I was worried about her," said Coach Dean Herbort. Wendy, who stands 5-1, tipped the scales at 70 pounds.

THE PROS

Boomer Esiason--rhymes with "arm is gone"--led his new team, the Jets, to an 0-4 record in the preseason. And there's no indication the New Jersey club will begin winning during the regular season.

The Jets rank as the favorites to crawl away with the Bottom Ten title. But they can't afford to ignore the L.A. Lambs, though most everyone else can. The Lambs' problems can be traced, as usual, to the erratic play of Jittery Jim Everett, who's a threat to sack himself anywhere on the field.

Seattle, meanwhile, ran into trouble with Commissioner Paul Tagliabue by offering rookie quarterback Rick Mirer a contract with several allegedly easy bonus provisions--such as the Seashocks increasing their win total from two to three. Obviously, the commish doesn't know how much it would mean to Seattle to win three games.

Cleveland was ranked No. 10, if only because it obtained Vinny Interceptaverde and because brainy owner Art Modell says its the best Brown team in years.

The rankings:

Team, Preseason Record Worst '92 Loss Next Loss 1. N.Y. Jets (0-4) 3-24, New England Denver 2. Rams (0-4) 14-37, New Orleans Green Bay 3. Seattle (2-2) 0-19, Raiders San Diego 4. Tampa at Bay (2-2) 7-38, Detroit New England 5. Raiders (2-3) 3-27, San Diego Minnesota

6. New England (1-3); 7. Phoenix (3-1); 8. Sacramento (2-7)*; 9. Detroit (4-0)**; 10. Cleveland (2-2).

*Canadian Football League team; this is not a joke.

**Don't forget: Jets were undefeated in preseason last year, then went 4-12 in regular season.

Quotebook: Dallas wide receiver Michael Irvin, on tight-fisted owner Jerry Jones: "Every time he puts a dollar across that table, he sees that dollar and he's squeezing that George Washington and making him yell, 'Let me go, Jerry. Let me go.' "

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