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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Notre Dame Is No. 1? Oh, He of Little Faith

October 07, 2002|Mal Florence

Rick Morrissey in the Chicago Tribune: "Notre Dame football is a matter of belief this season, and right now I'm an agnostic waiting for the next flight out to atheism.

"Notre Dame, a team with trace levels of offense and an opportunistic defense, is 5-0.

"The Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN each rank the Irish ninth, and the New York Times computer rankings have them first, proving that computers are just as susceptible to substance abuse as humans.

"If Notre Dame is the best team in the nation--or the ninth-best team in the nation--then I'm on People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People list."

Trivia time: Who holds the UCLA record for yards rushing by a quarterback in a game?

Ole Miss awakens: David Whitley in the Orlando Sentinel , commenting on Mississippi's victory over Florida on Saturday: "You want to give [Florida Coach] Ron Zook the benefit of the doubt. Then you are almost decapitated by a goalpost.

"Mississippi fans tore one down. The Rebel band played 'Glory, Glory, Hallelujah.' Grown men did cartwheels. Grown women cried rivers of mascara.

"The Rebels haven't celebrated like this since they got indoor plumbing. Of course, that was only 10 years ago."

Coaching record: Bud Geracie in the San Jose Mercury News: "Running down the field to scream at an official after Penn State's loss to Iowa, Joe Paterno, 75, was clocked at 4.4 in the 40."

* "Three years ago he had an astonishing fall for the Atlanta Braves. Now, released by the Texas Rangers, John Rocker has completed an astonishing fall."

* "If his name wasn't already Strange, it would be after the way he managed the U.S. Ryder Cup team."

Yanks unravel: Adrian Wojnarowski of the Bergen (N.J.) Record on the demise of the Yankees: "The Angels stripped the aura swing by swing, pitch by pitch, leaving the Yankees naked and numb....

"The embarrassment wasn't losing the AL division series to the Angels, but the way they lost the three straight games to end the season--the fraying, the folly, the foolishness."

Opinion: Bill Conlin in the Philadelphia Daily News: "When I'm King of the World.... Postseason performances will count toward baseball's biggest awards: MVP and Cy Young. Baseball Writers Assn. of America voters currently must mail their ballots before the postseason begins.

Looking back: On this day in 1939, UCLA defeated Washington, 14-7, in Seattle. The Bruins had an unusual season--six wins, no defeats and four ties, including the season-ending scoreless tie with USC.

Trivia answer: John Sciarra, 178 against Tennessee in 1974.

And finally: Dan Le Batard in the Miami Herald: " 'Shock,' 'upset' and 'surprise'--these words should be immediately banished from the NFL vocabulary.

"The winless, dreadful Lions beat the undefeated Saints. The inept-since-1995 Chargers beat the unbeaten, defending-champion Patriots.

"The Rams, the league's most talented team, a two-touchdown 'favorite,' whatever that means in today's NFL, fall to 0-4 by losing at home to a Dallas team that had just lost by 31 points."

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