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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / GENE WOJCIECHOWSKI : Colorado State Convinces Coach

October 13, 1994|GENE WOJCIECHOWSKI

His heart rate down to medically accepted levels, Colorado State Coach Sonny Lubick issued an apology of sorts Monday to his undefeated and 13th-ranked Rams, who upset heavily favored Arizona, 21-16, last Saturday at Tucson.

In short, Lubick said he was sorry he ever doubted his team.

"They were genuine and they were convinced they could beat those guys," Lubick said. "But I'm still thinking, 'Geez, I hope we don't get blown out.' I mean, that's a great team we were playing. But after a while I'm saying, 'What the hell am I doing? Am I really selling our kids short?' "

If it makes Lubick feel any better, everyone doubted Colorado State's chances of beating the Wildcats. In fact, days later Lubick still can't completely understand how a second-year coach with a Western Athletic Conference team that finished 5-6 a season ago defeated Desert Swarm.

"You ask me for the truth and I'll give it to you: I was surprised," said Lubick, a former Miami defensive coordinator who left Coral Gables for Ft. Collins and a considerable rebuilding project.

So hyped was Lubick after the victory that he stayed up nearly all night watching an ESPN replay of the Hurricanes' victory over Florida State. "I got in bed and my heart was still pounding," he said.

The next day he talked to several Miami assistant coaches and even received a congratulatory fax from the owners of a hole-in-the-wall bar where the Hurricane staff used to go for a few pops.

Meanwhile, Ft. Collins is just now regaining its composure. Police had to be called in during the wee hours of Sunday because of dancing in the streets by Colorado State students and fans.

"We've never had that here," Lubick said.

Get used to it, especially if Colorado State, which already has beaten two ranked teams (Arizona and Brigham Young), can squeeze past No. 21 Utah on Oct. 22 at Ft. Collins.

SPURRIER VS. THE BOWDENS

It doesn't seem that Florida Coach Steve Spurrier is too fond of Auburn Coach Terry Bowden, or the entire family, for that matter.

Spurrier bristled at comparisons between him and Bowden, especially when it came to offensive sophistication. Read between the smug look and here's the translation: Florida's attack is state of the art, while Auburn's is--to steal a line from Howard Cosell--from the age of Magellan.

"It's not real fancy, but they take care of the ball real well," Spurrier allowed, adding later that Auburn runs Florida State's "old" offense.

Spurrier did praise Auburn defensive coordinator Wayne Hall.

"I'm coaching against Wayne Hall this week," Spurrier said. "(Gator defensive coordinator) Bob Pruett will be coaching against Coach Bowden."

No. 6 Auburn, winner of its last 17 games, travels to Gainesville for a Saturday game against the No. 1-ranked Gators. Auburn upset Florida last season, which means Spurrier has lost four of his last five games against Bowdens.

And speaking of the Bowdens. . . .

According to Terry, there is no truth to the report that his mother, Ann, is rooting for Florida to win Saturday, thus keeping alive the possibility of No. 1 Florida against once-beaten Florida State, coached by husband Bobby Bowden.

"My brother and brothers-in-law are coaching on this team, too," Terry Bowden said. "I'd put money on it: She couldn't stand watching us lose Saturday. You're talking about a momma who used to make daddy sleep on the couch when dad wouldn't put me in a game."

Terry used to play for his father.

CLIP-AND-SAVE CHECKLIST

And now, 10 reasons to attend an exciting Pacific 10 Conference game:

1) Chance to root for your favorite Western Athletic Conference team. The Lack-10 is a combined 2-6 against the supposedly lesser WAC.

2) Get really good deal on leftover Sports Illustrated issues naming Arizona preseason No. 1.

3) Make beeline for pregame rummage sale of J.J. Stokes, Steve Stenstrom and Rob Johnson Heisman publicity stills.

4) Submit nickname entry for Washington State defense. Apple Swarm?

5) Calculate possibility of Lack-10 unable to fulfill postseason bowl commitments. There are four bowls available--Rose, Alamo, Freedom and a coalition choice (probably the Hancock)--but might not be enough teams with the NCAA-required six Division I-A victories to qualify. Washington can't go anywhere because of probation. Stanford (1-3-1), Oregon State (1-4), Oregon (3-3, but one of the victories is over Division I-AA Portland State), Arizona State (2-3) and probably UCLA (2-4) are cooked. USC (3-2) is doomed if it doesn't win its next two against Stanford and California. With no Dave Barr, Cal (3-2) becomes a bubble team. The only sure things: Arizona and Washington State.

6) Chance to ask Stanford Coach Bill Walsh if electroshock scene from "Brubaker" is his favorite.

7) Listen to Teflon Coach Terry Donahue explain how a team one season removed from a Rose Bowl can fall to pieces because of no Stokes. Nebraska is down to a third-string quarterback and the Cornhuskers still are winning.

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