In what other sport do two teams share the national championship?
JEFF DOYLE, Rochester Hills, Mich.

CO-CHAMPIONS

College football is the only sport left that almost demands
perfection to win the national title (It's Debatable, Jan. 12).
A championship for being the best team over the course of the
season means much more than one won in a playoff does.
SAM N. SHAH, New Canaan, Conn.

Once again the battle for the so-called national championship
has been decided in the polls and not on the field. There's a
demand for a real national championship game, but the NCAA
doesn't want to put the bowl people out of business. Thanks,
NCAA, for another anticlimactic season.
GREG OWENS, Wheaton, Ill.

Not wanting to hurt the bowls is a common argument for not
instituting college football playoffs. Declining attendance
indicates that the Alliance already has hurt bowls. The
solution: Have playoffs in bowls. The lure of money and public
demand eventually will bring about playoffs. Why wait any longer?
BILL WOODSIDE, Whitney, Texas

A flaw in the system is that teams are rewarded for scheduling
pushovers and penalized for playing tough games.
SHARON GUICE, San Diego

That a national champion is decided differently in college
football than in other sports does not mean the system is wrong.
The pressure of the regular season separates this sport from
others. If your school's goal is the national championship, you
play for the title at least 12 times a year.
JIMMY STEIN, Mobile, Ala.

I was mortified to see the players and coaches for both
undefeated "champions" stand at their respective microphones and
plead their cases for No. 1 votes. The game should be above all
this. I, for one, will never complain when my team is the odd
one out, because it gives me the right to argue that my team
would have won anyway.
ED SHULTZ, Cincinnati

You pointed out Missouri's loss in the Alamo Bowl but forgot to
mention that the six bowl teams Michigan beat during the regular
season were winless and got outscored 180-65. Meanwhile, the
bowl teams that Nebraska beat were 2-2 and outscored their
opponents 133-105.
ANDREW ALBRECHT, Aviano AFB, Italy

I would like to remind Nebraska fans that the Cornhuskers showed
little interest in sharing the national title with Penn State
when the tables were turned in 1994.
K. WAYNE ROBISON, McMurray, Pa.

Ivan Maisel went 13-2 in his bowl predictions (INSIDE COLLEGE
FOOTBALL, Dec. 29-Jan. 5). He rightly picked Michigan to defeat
Washington State in a close game. He correctly picked Arizona
State over Iowa. And he boldly picked Colorado State over
Missouri. Kudos to Maisel.
MARK J. FINCH, Chicago

PISTOL PETE

Wilt Chamberlain, who once made 28 foul shots in an NBA game,
was mentioned as the runner-up to Pete Maravich (who had 30 in
an NCAA game) for most free throws (SCORECARD, Jan. 12). Was Bob
Cousy's 30 for 32 against Syracuse in the playoffs discounted
because of the four overtimes it took to complete?
WILLIAM B. HYNES, Worcester, Mass.

--No, it was because regular-season and playoff records are kept
separately. --ED.

Reading of Pete Maravich's record reminded me of 6'9" Clarence
(Bevo) Francis of tiny (2,000 students) Rio Grande (Ohio)
College. He averaged 46.5 points per game in 1953-54 and scored
113 points against Hillsdale (Mich.) College.
CARROLL L. SOLLARS, Mansfield, Ohio

COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER [Ted Simmons batting]

CATCHERS FOR THE HALL

I agree with Tom Verducci that Gary Carter belongs in the Hall
of Fame (SCORECARD, Jan. 12), and so does former St. Louis
Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers catcher Ted Simmons (right), who
should have been elected when he became eligible in 1994.

Simmons is the career leader among catchers in hits, with 2,472.
He had 483 doubles (Carlton Fisk is the only other backstop with
more than 400) and eight 90-plus RBI seasons (Carter, had five).
Furthermore, to use Verducci's measuring stick of a 10-year
prime, from 1971 to '80 Simmons batted .300 while averaging 17
home runs and 90 RBIs.

The shame of Simmons's exclusion is that under the Hall's rules
he can never be elected because he failed to gain the 5% of the
votes in his first year of eligibility needed to remain on
future ballots.
STEPHEN RANDOLPH, St. Louis

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)