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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Bugel Call for This Job Shouldn't Cause a Stampede

January 09, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Tim Keown of the San Francisco Chronicle, commenting on the firing of Oakland Raider Coach Joe Bugel, who couldn't survive a 4-12 season:

"They're lining up for the job now, to hear the Raiders tell it. And, when you get right down to it, who wouldn't want to coach football's most successful franchise?

"The job comes with a whole host of attractive bonuses: unreal expectations, a bizarre fixation on the past and the haunting specter of Al Davis hovering over one or both shoulders."

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Trivia time: Wayne Gretzky has recorded 100 or more assists 11 times in a regular season. Who are the other players to break 100?

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The real No. 1: It has been reported that Nebraska would be at least a one-touchdown favorite over Michigan if the teams were to meet.

However, there's another school that might be better than Michigan or Nebraska, according to an oddsmaker.

John Avello, race and sports book director at Bally's in Las Vegas, said: "The best team in the country might be Florida State. They could probably beat Nebraska two out of three times."

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The Leaf bandwagon: Todd Phipers in the Denver Post: "Peyton Manning? Charles Woodson? Andre Wadsworth? No doubt great prospects all, but I wouldn't want to be the NFL personnel guy who passed on [Ryan] Leaf for anybody."

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Spree for free: What is a Latrell Sprewell card worth these days? Not a thing at Collectors Realm in Berkeley.

"We've taken every Sprewell card we had and we're giving them away," said Bob Kurtz, co-owner of the shop. "We're getting great response. People have torn them up right in front of us."

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Late surge: Texas Tech set an NCAA Division I record in its 99-94 victory over Nevada on Dec. 27 by scoring 27 points in overtime, two more than the record held by three teams.

If the Red Raiders had played at the same pace in regulation, they would have scored 216 points, 30 more than the record held by Loyola Marymount.

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Too late now: Peter Vecsey in the New York Post, on whether Knick forward Charles Oakley can help make up for Patrick Ewing's absence: "At this stage of his career, it's doubtful he can expand his selection of flagrant fouls."

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Looking back: On this day in 1942, Joe Louis knocked out Buddy Baer with four seconds left in the first round to retain the world heavyweight title at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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Oh, happy day: Indiana's Charlie Miller, who scored 12 points in 12 second-half minutes of an 80-62 victory Tuesday against No. 17 Michigan:

"We executed and once you execute, everybody's going to be happy because Coach [Bob Knight] is happy. When he's happy, everybody's happy."

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Cellar classic: From Caught on the Fly in the Sporting News: "Speaking of sorry NBA teams, Fly's dream matchup: UnRaptors vs. No-guts."

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Trivia answer: Mario Lemieux, with 114 in 1988-89, and Bobby Orr, 102 in 1970-71.

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And finally: Bill Laimbeer, the former bad boy of the Detroit Pistons, wants no part of politics; it's too rough for him.

He rebuffed efforts to recruit him as a Republican congressional candidate in Michigan, saying politics "is too ugly of a sport--dog eat dog, and getting worse every day."

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