Joe Jares' article (When It Came To Pass, UCLA Knew How, Jan. 12) provided a valid sum-up of the Buckeyes' panic operation in the second half of the Rose Bowl game. I felt the factors that really upset Ohio State were UCLA Coach Dick Vermeil's halftime adjustments, superior conditioning of the Bruins and lack of Buckeye contingency planning for "catch-up" football. A coaching coup for Vermeil!
FRANK R. WYNNE
Los Alamitos, Calif.
Hopefully, the next time the Big Ten loses in the Rose Bowl it will occur to you to describe it as something besides an upset. Each year we see the same old thing: Michigan and Ohio State take turns pummeling weak Big Ten teams, soar to the top of the polls, then play each other in their annual one-game season, which Michigan invariably loses. We then see Ohio State coming out here, ranked just above Attila the Hun and the Afrika Korps, where they are "upset" by a Pac-8 team that wasn't supposed to show up without the Red Cross.
Pay attention, now. The Big Ten has lost in six of its last seven Rose Bowl appearances. Ohio State has lost in four of its last five visits. In fact, the Big Ten has lost 11 of the last 17 Rose Bowl games played.
Do you spot a trend?
JOHN R. HUDSON
As unbelievable as this may sound, I could have sworn that I saw a major bowl game between Arkansas and Georgia on Jan. 1, 1976.I think it was called the Cotton Bowl. I swear I can see it just as plain as day—a magnificently improved Arkansas team coming from behind, causing turnovers, executing beautifully and generally stomping a pretty good Georgia team. But since it didn't appear in your bowl game coverage, I assume that I was just dreaming.
Uh, oh. Wait a second. Here's something. Under College Football in FOR THE RECORD: "Arkansas rallied from a 10-0 deficit...." Four whole lines. Thanks, fellas.
RALPH B. PATTERSON
Little Rock, Ark.
For once I agree with Bear Bryant (Win a Battle, Lose a War, Jan. 12). "Playing one game for the national title" does put "too much pressure on the player." That "one game" was the season's opener, when Missouri, the fourth-best team in the Big Eight, beat Alabama handily. The remainder of the Tide's perennially easy schedule was a disgrace. If Coach Bryant wants a national title so badly, I have one for him, the "National Scheduling Championship!"
DEREK H. DETJEN
Presque Isle, Maine
THE HARDY BOY
SI picked Bruce Hardy of Utah as the best high school athlete in 1974 and ran his picture on the cover. Perhaps you are unaware that he was in another picture in SI (Jan. 5), holding the football for Dan Kush to kick the winning field goal in Arizona State's 17-14 win over Nebraska in the Dec. 26 Fiesta Bowl.
Hardy started the 1975 season as a quarterback for the Sun Devils but made the switch to tight end when Coach Frank Kush felt he could be used better there.
THOMAS E. STAPLETON JR.
While William Leggett failed to cite the worst sports announcer for 1975 (Year of Highs and Hypes, Jan. 12), I'm sure I speak for millions of fans in nominating Curt Gowdy for that honor. His constant irrelevant or just plain incorrect comments about the sports he covers are no longer even funny. My friends and I used to bet on how long it would take Curt to make his first blunder. We never waited too long. His fumbling attempts to get attention after someone else has made a statement reveal his lack of expertise and detract from an otherwise very fine sports presentation by NBC.
Allow me to make the first nomination for this year's "Ah, We Remember It Well" category: Jim Simpson's repeated description of No. 18 as "the most sagacious hole on the course" during NBC's coverage of the Tucson Open.
In nominating Simpson I must note that No. 16 seemed equally wise and No. 15 also showed sound judgment upon occasion.
THE 17 STEPS
We were surprised at your hasty acknowledgment of Oklahoma as the top team in the country (Ohio State Folds, It's Oklahoma's Pot, Jan. 12). You have overlooked the obvious method for determining the national champion and have thus overlooked the obvious national champion as well—Williams College. Had you examined the results of the 1975-76 season more closely, you, too, would have recognized Williams claim. In just 17 short steps the undefeated Williams Ephs have established a convincing victory over the Oklahoma Sooners, previously considered the top team:
1. Williams 22, Bowdoin 7
2. Bowdoin 19, Bates 6
3. Bates 25, C. W. Post 22
4. C. W. Post 21, AIC 0
5. AIC 33, Springfield 18
6. Springfield 17, New Hampshire 12
7. New Hampshire 35, Lehigh 21
8. Lehigh 38, Colgate 6
9. Colgate 16, Citadel 0
10. Citadel 13, Furman 9
11. Furman 30, Appalachian St. 23
12. Appalachian St. 19, Wake Forest 17
13. Wake Forest 30, No. Carolina St. 22
14. No Carolina St. 15, Penn St. 14
15. Penn St. 7, Pitt 6
16. Pitt 33, Kansas 19
17. Kansas 23, Oklahoma 3
Your Jan. 12 issue contains a mistake that I feel should be rectified. You said that the Cowboys were the first wild-card team to win a title and go to the Super Bowl. Wrong. The Kansas City Chiefs won the AFL title j in 1969 and participated in Super Bowl IV even though they finished second in the Western Division to Oakland.
•Wrong. The wild card was not in the deal until 1970 when the entire playoff format was changed.
With baseball's reserve clause up in the air (SCORECARD, Jan. 5), I have a modest suggestion for a replacement. A player would be allowed to play out his option. However, there would be a limit on the number of players who have played out their options with other teams that any one club could sign in one year. For example, if fewer than 10 players in the majors played out their options, no club could sign more than two players. If the number was between 10 and 20, the limit would be three, and so on. This would ensure that the richer clubs could not sign up all of the better players.
This proposal would give more freedom to the players and still preserve the structure of the sport.
NFL ALIGNMENT (CONT.)
Regarding your suggestions in SCORECARD (Dec. 22-29), if we overcome our prejudices as to who belongs in which conference, the following NFL lineups appear logical:
This arrangement could accomplish a number of things. For example:
1) The many local rivalries would create more intense fan interest, resulting in increased attendance.
2) Less travel would mean fresher players and better-quality performances—not to mention the resultant savings in energy and travel expenses.
3) Draft policies might become more locally oriented. Teams might select local talent to capitalize on fan identity and, not incidentally, to increase ticket sales. If this were to happen, it is just possible that players would carry over some of the "old college spirit" that many people say is lacking in the pros.
On the other hand, players might be reluctant to join teams in the NFC East or in either central division because of the cold climate in the late season. But to counteract this, league rules could be revised to eliminate the requirement that teams in the same division play each other twice. By having them meet once, the rotating the balance of the schedule around the league, the NFL could give local fans a look at more teams each year, and we could all be spared the boredom of watching the Rams beat up on the Saints twice or the Raiders trying their best to stay awake during two games with the Chargers.
After we resolve the NFL lineup situation, which has plagued the country for years, we can all turn our efforts toward helping Congress alleviate some of our lesser problems.
JOSEPH S. SHULL
San Ramon, Calif.
I was thinking that even nostalgia isn't what it used to be, until I read J. D. Reed's delightful article on modeling (It's a Small World, Jan. 5). What beautiful memories it resurrected! Like being able to purchase all the tubes of glue (Did I say "glue"? We called it "model cement") you wanted without automatically being suspected of sniffing the stuff. And telling your mother you were going out to buy some more "dope" and attracting only an "All right, honey, but don't get it on the carpet."
Many of my models were constructed while I faithfully listened to Mutual's game of the day. (You can still tell by my shaky paint jobs the points where Duke Snider homered or Carl Furillo threw a Dodger foe out at the plate at Ebbets Field.) The models and my collection of Topps baseball cards now repose together in a quiet corner of the attic. Thanks for helping to re-create a forgotten diorama of youthful bliss.
ROY A. JONES II
Although you mentioned cars, planes, ships and a variety of military and other models, I noted a lack of emphasis on truck models. There are many truck modelers who are into detail and accuracy just as the military modelers are. I've recently completed a model truck that I detailed as the "Spirit of' 76."
J. D. Reed's article was as delightful to read as artist Sheperd Paine's models were to look at.
Come on, who are you kidding? A feature article on the "sport" of model building? Now I suppose in the next few months we'll have a feature article on the "sport" of building an electric train set. Give us genuine sports enthusiasts a break. Stick to articles on real sport.
After reading your Jan. 5 SCORECARD item on John Jay Wilheim's game, I began to wonder:
If the Colts played the Broncos, would both teams go into a stall?
If the Bulls played the Bears, would the public take any stock in it?
If the Pirates played the Raiders, would they let a Kidd in free?
If the Hawks played the Padres, would the game hinge on a wing or a prayer?
If the Oilers played at Detroit, would the Pistons reciprocate?
If the Tigers played the Lions, would they allow the reserve claws?
If the Stingers played the Spurs, what would be the point?
WILLIAM H. B. HOWARD
If the Stingers played the Hornets, would it be a honey of a game?
If the Whalers played the Dolphins, would anyone bet a fin on the outcome?
If the Vikings played the Celtics, would Howard Cosell have the Gaul to broadcast the game?
GEORGE H. KIRSCHBAUM
If the Lions played the Colts, would it be the mane attraction?
If the Oilers played the Pistons, would Detroit play rings around them?
JOHN F. MACGREGOR, M.D.
If the 49ers played the Nuggets, would the game pan out?
If the Fighting Saints played the Angels, would the game have much spirit?
If the Astros played the Rockets, would the game be out of sight?
If the Oilers played the Seahawks, would there be a slick outcome?
If the 76ers played the Patriots, well, that's the way it was 200 years ago today.
L. A. JAY
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