Compliments are in order for Dan Jenkins for his fine article about the opening college football season (This Year the Fight Will Be in the Open, Sept. 11) and for his correct prediction of the No. 1 team, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
Your College Football 1967 analysis was pretty good, except for a few small items. Certainly, Notre Dame will be No. 1. But, really now, Georgia (No. 2) over Alabama (No. 5)? Let's hope Georgia does meet 'Bama in some bowl—any bowl. The red the Crimson Tide sees will be splattered all over Georgia's jerseys.
GARY L. HUDSON
I read with interest your selections of the Top 20 college teams for 1967. I couldn't help but wonder about the schools who will be unfortunate enough to face these powerhouses Saturday after Saturday this fall. I went through the schedules of your Top 20 selections, giving each team scheduled to play Notre Dame 20 points, those teams slated to meet Georgia 19 points and so on down the line. Based on that evaluation, it turns out that the following teams have the toughest schedules this season:
1) Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech earns the No. 1 spot by having to play Miami, Notre Dame and Georgia (your Nos. 3, 1 and 2 selections) on successive Saturdays, in addition to facing Tennessee earlier in the year. USC is No. 2 because it plays five of your Top 20 picks this year.
And what about the Top 20 themselves? Besides USC and Mississippi, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Purdue, and Texas A&M have tough schedules. The softest? That honor goes to Army, scheduled to meet none of your other top 20 selectees.
WILLIAM H. WHITE
Your omission of Georgia Tech from your predicted Top 20 college football teams surely is not without reason. Why, last year Coach (now athletic director) Bobby Dodd himself was not expecting much of a season. Tech's record was awful indeed. Nine wins and one loss in the regular season and a trip to the Orange Bowl is something to be truly ashamed of.
If Purdue's defense is poor because it gave up 154 points, "more than Notre Dame would give up in a decade," may I call a seemingly obscure fact to your attention? In the immediate past decade ('57 through '66) Purdue alone scored 213 points against Notre Dame, while the Irish were able to score only 175 points against Purdue.
P. K. CONNELLY
West Lafayette, Ind.
I read your summary of Michigan State's football chances with wry amusement. My poor alma mater! To so lack gridiron talent that her plight drives your writers to tears! No MSU fan will cry over this year's team. Certainly not with your predictions.
Since it seems beneath your august gaze to review the Missouri Valley football conference in your issue of September 11, I must assume that this conference is not worthy of note. Scratch one SI subscription renewal.
When was the Yankee Conference disbanded?
LIEUT. JG MICHAEL FIRST, USN
Thanks for a great look at college football! Behind the backfield are the fans, and they can tell you a thousand reasons why "their" team is tops. It is difficult to rate teams and keep everybody happy but, thanks to SI, readers have an inside look on who to watch and why.
In your September 11 college football issue it was stated that Terry Hanratty can throw a 50-yard pass "without letting it rise more than 10 feet off the ground." If you assume that he releases the ball at the goal line from a point 6½ feet above the ground and merely hits the 50-yard line without allowing the ball to rise higher than 10 feet—and even neglect air resistance—then the ball still must be thrown at 255 mph at an angle of 7° to the horizontal. This is more than twice the speed that anyone has ever thrown anything. Please try to stick to meaningful assertions and let Notre Dame's performance attest to its players' superhuman capabilities.
East Lansing, Mich.
•Terry Hanratty throws hard, but not that hard.—ED.
Curry Kirkpatrick's appraisal of Stratford, Conn.'s Raybestos Brakettes gave long-overdue recognition to the headline-starved sport of women's Softball (Nobody Beats the Brakettes, Sept. 11). I know of no other set of athletes who exhibit the bubbling enthusiasm and pure, heartfelt love for their sport that the girl softballers do. However, the author made one generalization that was, I feel, completely unwarranted. He says that "there isn't much girl watching at a women's Softball game," and he scorns authority Morris Bealle's statement that many girl softball players "could enter any beauty contest in the land and finish in the upper brackets." I wonder what Mr. Kirkpatrick has to say now that Debra Dene Barnes, a beautiful first basewoman from Kansas, has been crowned Miss America of 1968.
FROM THE BOOK
Jack Nicklaus is a very heavy-handed rules man. Would he really charge two strokes if my ball moved accidentally after address (Standing Firm in the Pines, Sept. 11)? I would argue with him. Rule 27:1c calls for a one-stroke penalty.
JOSEPH C. DEY JR.
New York City
•Mr. Dey, Executive Director of the USGA, is one stroke up on SI.—ED.
What a delightful, nostalgic story for every Buckeye scattered throughout the land (Say It Isn't So, Woody, Sept. 11)! There were only three bits of memorabilia Robert Cantwell omitted that must be included in any history of Ohio State: 1) the year Maudine Ormsby, a cow, ran for Homecoming Queen; 2) the OSU-Notre Dame game of 1935, which Notre Dame won by two touchdowns in two minutes; and 3) the famous dressing-room statement by one of our coaches, Francis Schmidt, that Michigan players were just like any other men—they put on their pants one leg at a time!
After having read the article Say It Isn't So, Woody, I am very proud to be a coed at Ohio State University, and I am also very proud to be a grade-A fan of the Buckeyes. I am sure that your story brought many tears to the eyes of alumni, who fondly remember walks by Mirror Lake and Saturday football contests in the horseshoe stadium. It is hard to put into words the excitement that can be felt on a football weekend in Columbus, but your article did it! Incidentally, our victory bell is located in the southeast tower of the stadium and not in Orton Tower. The latter bells are located on the Oval, and ring out with the time.
Your excellent article on Ohio State football overlooked one very important example of the de-emphasis of football at Ohio State. Although all Big Ten schools have been permitted to play 10 games a season for the past several years, Ohio State has never scheduled more than nine games—the only Big Ten school to do so. This was an administration decision—one that obviously costs the school another 80,000 crowd, or some $100,000 in revenue. But it was decided that the academic stature was more important.
JAMES J. BEHR
Being a charter subscriber to SI and the "Ambassador of the Ohio State Buckeyes," I want to take issue with various statements in your recent article. If you think interest is diminishing in Ole Columbus Town, try to get a ticket to the Purdue encounter: If we ever eliminate the running track and sink the playing field 30 feet, the resultant 100,000-seat stadium will sell out for every stellar attraction.
Now that Jack Fullen has retired and Rose Bowl bans have been lifted, recruiting has provided the greatest frosh team assembled since Paul Brown's '42 wonders. Just for the record, Francis Schmidt was at the helm for seven years, with a 39-16-1 record.
For 35 years I have enjoyed the OSU hysteria, and nothing breeds interest like victory! Check our record over the years since the Little College in the Cornfield entered the Big Ten in 1912. It is blessed with successes!