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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Without a Playoff, There Will Be No Payoff

September 13, 2003|Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

Don't expect a playoff system in Division I-A college football anytime soon.

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, considered by some the most powerful man in college football, spoke at the Pasadena Quarterbacks Club luncheon Friday and was asked what the chances were of playoffs in the next 10 years.

"Zero," said Delany, in town for today's UCLA-Illinois game at the Rose Bowl.

When it was pointed out that playoffs could generate big bucks, he said, "Give us credit for not chasing the money."

Asked about paying college players, Delany said, "Pay for play will come after a playoff system."

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Trivia time: What year did UCLA begin playing home games at the Rose Bowl?

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Name game: Jeff Miller of the Miami Herald offers this as a name of a player who might be full of himself -- Keith Toogood, Texas Tech kicker. A name that suggests a humble player is Bragg Knott, Troy State quarterback. Toughness? How about the Bigrigg brothers, Mike and Nick, of Kent State?

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He's my brother: Speaking of football names, when Lawrence McCutcheon began playing for the Los Angeles Rams in 1973, his name sometimes appeared in print as Larry. "My name is Lawrence," McCutcheon informed reporters. "My brother's name is Larry."

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Sounds logical: Howard Cole, writing for BaseballSavvy.com, says, "When I was a kid, I thought Al Kaline was responsible for the Alkaline battery."

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Bathroom humor: TBS has a novel way of promoting its college football. The network has placed flat-screen TVs in men's rooms at sports bars in 12 cities, including Los Angeles. When someone approaches the urinal, the TV is activated and he sees and hears a promo.

"I've got a line here that sounds a lot like, 'Must see TV,' " KFWB's Bret Lewis said, "but I've got a career to protect."

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Quick quip: Mal Florence, the longtime Times sportswriter who died in May, will be honored in a pregame moment of silence at today's USC-Hawaii game at the Coliseum, along with longtime statistician Dennis Minishian, who died in June.

Florence was known for his quips, and the line by Lewis reminds us of one.

A few years ago, Florence was playing golf at Griffith Park with his friend Bill Sharman, the former USC All-American, Boston Celtic great and Laker coach. Afterward in the coffee shop, a patron got excited and animated about meeting Sharman.

"Better not tell him who I am," Florence said, "he might wet his pants."

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Trivia answer: 1982. UCLA's current seven-year contract with the Rose Bowl expires at the end of the season. A new agreement is being discussed.

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And finally: A Philadelphia bumper sticker referring to former Flyer goalie Bernie Parent -- "Only God Saves More than Parent" -- was mentioned in Friday's Morning Briefing.

Reader John Lehr was among those who offered this Boston bumper sticker about Phil Esposito: "Jesus Saves ... and Espo scores on the rebound."

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Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com

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