The cleats snagged, the knee gave, now
Regarding his Heisman prospects, Dixon went from
The Heisman, that most irritatingly inexact of prizes, goes to the nation's "most outstanding" player. That elastic, opaque phrase has meant, down through the years, "Notre Dame quarterback having a pretty good season" and "best running back or quarterback on a team in the national title hunt." And it has served as an Irving Thalberg Lifetime Achievement Award (where you have gone,
If the Heisman goes, as some feel it should, to the most valuable player on a national title contender, than Dixon earned it in absentia last night. Backup
• He's got grit. Hobbled by a bad ankle, absorbing one ferocious shot after another, Leaf continued to battle, throwing a multitude of errant passes, yes; but also leading the coyote ugly, 17-play scoring drive that brought the Ducks to within a touchdown with 4:30 remaining. (Kudos to the ESPN crew for nailing down a sideline interview with
• Leaf, a drop-back passer whose mobility calls to mind the twilight years of
• Wildcats corner
• For two-and-a-half months, until he left last night's game after collapsing without being touched, Dixon was the most valuable player on a national title contender. He won't win the Heisman now, but he deserves, at the least, a trip to New York.
Ripples from the latest upset in a season so crammed with them that, as I point out in this week's SI, the word has begun to lose its meaning:
• USC, loser to Stanford and Oregon, welcome back to the race for the Pac-10 title!
• West Virginia, which declined to go in the tank following its Sept. 28 loss to South Florida, now stands to reap some serious dividends. The Ducks dispatched, the Mountaineers will bump up to No. 5 -- behind a trio of Big 12 teams who will soon be taking whacks at each other.
Dream scenario for
The fevered musings of the preceding passage are based on the presumption that LSU will win out, a shaky presumption this season.
I was in Lawrence, Kan., as the Ducks went down. Took in a Jayhawks hoops game -- the Rock Chalks roughed up Division II Washburn, 92-60 -- while in town to fill the notebook for the Apocalypse on the Plains: KU vs. Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Lost most years amid accounts of other, better known rivalry games, this year's Border Showdown will pit the No. 2 Jayhawks against the No. 4 Tigers.
Meanwhile, that hissing sound you hear is the steam escaping from The Game, which kicks off at noon in Ann Arbor.
Just don't tell
If Biafra's name is popping up in sports sections, it must be Michigan-Ohio State week. "Illinois is meaningless," he recently told the
On the possibility of
It's all most entertaining. But honestly, I think the bile runs deeper beneath the Kansas-Mizzou set-to, a rivalry with roots reaching back to an actual guerrilla war. This week, Mizzou students have been sporting T-shirts depicting the depredations of
Wow. Kind of makes that old Jayhawk staple, "Muck Fizzou," seem tasteful by comparison.
A few years ago, officials at both Kansas and Mizzou decided to rename the rivalry known for decades as The Border War. "Showdown my ass," growls ex-Jayhawks football coach
Who would have thought we would all love to hate so much?