How you can label Nebraska the best college football team in the land is almost beyond comprehension (Scouting Reports, Sept. 20). Even though an undefeated season may lie ahead, Nebraska will have done nothing more than move through a cream-puff schedule. Honestly now, would you still select Nebraska if Coach Bob Devaney had to prepare his forces for a representative Big Ten schedule which might include such as Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue and Minnesota, along with an outsider like USC or Notre Dame?
HAROLD M. WILSON
The pictures of the Nebraska Cornhuskers on your college football cover and in the corresponding article do show a fine Nebraska football team. However, just to keep things in their proper perspective, we must remind you that the guys in the cardinal shirts and helmets won that particular game (Arkansas 10, Nebraska 7).
J. S. ADAMSON, M.D.
E. H. HARPER, M.D.
Little Rock, Ark.
Congratulations to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED on the College Football Issue and, especially, your pick for No. 1 in the land—Nebraska.
CARL T. CURTIS
The biggest fumble is your failure to give feature billing to the Arkansas Razorbacks in your College Football Issue! Your cover picture screams FULLBACK FRANK SOLICH BREAKS AWAY, but statistics show that in that game he broke away for only 34 yards in 11 carries. Look closely. It seems to me Nebraska's Solich is about to be stopped by two Razorbacks.
Every dog or Hog should have his day, and this is Razorback time!
"Whooee, Pig! Sooey!"
ANGIE MADGE KEITH PAYNE
How did Syracuse get to be No. 19 and LSU No. 9? Syracuse should be in the top 10 and LSU in the top three. I also think it's high time the SEC was recognized as the best football conference in the country.
So Minnesota plays a rushing game! I hope by the end of the season you ignoramuses will learn that the Minnesota passing attack is second to none. The combination of Hankinson to Brown will be known throughout the country.
Who is this John Underwood? How can he or anybody say that college football is more exciting than pro ball (The College Came Is Best, Sept. 20)? In college only a couple of the ballplayers are good, while in the pros they are all the pick of the nation and are trained in a unit to know as much as possible about the game.
If John Underwood wants to see the best football played in the nation with the best fans and the best spirit, put him on a train to Baltimore and have him watch the Baltimore Colts as they win their way to the world championship.
John Underwood's argument is hogwash. The college game is best—when you are in college. But if you are either pre- (as in my own case) or post-college, then college football loses something: its intimacy. I would give Mr. Underwood high odds that most St. Louisans would much rather see the Cardinals vs., say, the Cleveland Browns, than (ugh) the Washington University Bears against the Rolla School of Mines Miners.
No excitement in pro football? What more could there be than knowing that any team in the league can score from anywhere on the field in one play? How many times do you see a college quarterback inside his own five-yard line drop back into his own end zone to throw the long bomb?
I'll put a $3 bill on one of those big-bellied pros against a trim college football player in a one-and-one situation anytime.
DAVID R. MCCOY
At last and thank heaven! Your article is a masterpiece. For years I have watched these "pros" play what passes as football. For years I have been conscious of their fat bellies and short wind. These men are athletes? Pass, pass, pass. Stay in the pocket.
It is my opinion that 50% of the pro fans have never seen a college team play. They only think they are watching football. Actually, it is a money-making scheme, pure and simple. College football has something the pros can never get—atmosphere.
CHARLES F. CLAIRVILLE
My hat is off to John Underwood for his splendid article. I share his preference for the variety and tradition of the college game. And I am somewhat nauseated when pseudofans spoil my lunch with jabber about Z outs and safety dogs.
I cannot promise, however, that I won't resemble Jim Brown next Sunday, knocking down old ladies and ushers on the church steps to avoid missing the kickoff of the NFL TV go. For real fun, though, I'll sit with John Underwood at the Arkansas-Texas or Ohio State-Michigan game.
I agree with John Underwood about the myth of the "great" pass patterns the pros run. Television's isolated camera shows that the pros use the same pass patterns we ran when we were in grammar school, playing tag football in the street.
BRADLEY C. JUDKINS
John Underwood is the biggest idiot in the U.S.
LAWRENCE J. PACE
Rah, rah, Underwood! Great article! Congratulations and thanks from one of your many fellow college football enthusiasts.
BIG ON THE SMALLS
It was quite a pleasant surprise to see that your Scouting Reports gave considerable attention to the small colleges. I spent four enjoyable years at Muskingum College (Ohio Conference) watching a home team of much higher caliber than I saw during my graduate work at Indiana University. The crashing of hard-hitting lines could be heard well beyond the confines of the stadium, and the explosive play of the likes of Bill (Cannonball) Cooper (now of the 49ers) and Roger LaLonde (now of the Lions) made Saturday afternoons in New Concord much more interesting than they were in Bloomington.
I was especially pleased that you included Coach Ed Sherman's outstanding record of 124-41-7. Many Ohioans shudder at the mere thought of "Sherman's Tanks" rolling into town.
DONALD R. CONNORS
Fort Lee, Va.
I greatly enjoyed your article on Arthur Ashe (King for a Day, Sept. 20). I wonder how many people know that Ashe gave tennis fans in Lynchburg, Va. a preview of one of his big matches in the U.S. national singles championships? Ashe was coached in tennis by a Lynchburg physician, Dr. Walter Johnson, who specializes in taking young Negro players and developing them into tennis stars (he also coached Althea Gibson). On August 22 a Dr. Johnson Appreciation Day was held in Lynchburg. Ashe had consented the previous fall to come and play an exhibition match. It was planned for him to play some local talent, but Lynchburg had no one who could offer him adequate competition. Ashe was contacted in Spain at the Davis Cup matches and asked if he could bring his own opponent. He cabled that he would bring Dennis Ralston. At the last minute, however, Ralston was told to rest by the Davis Cup captain, so who stepped off the plane in Lynchburg with Ashe? None other than Manuel Santana, who had just beaten the Americans in Spain. Because of the international goodwill among tennis players, Santana had agreed to accompany Ashe to Lynchburg.
Incidentally, Santana won the match, which was shortened to one set, 13-11. Ashe and Santana also paired with other players in two doubles matches.
I would like to thank you for your good article on the U.S. tennis championships at Forest Hills. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the foresight you showed more than three years ago in publishing an article by Roger Williams entitled Young Man Coming on Strong (April 23, 1962) about Charles Pasarell, then 18 years old.
Charlie has defeated Fred Stolle twice this year and Roy Emerson twice, and seems ready to break into the top ranks of world tennis, along with Arthur Ashe. U.S. tennis will soon be on the upswing again.
New Preston, Conn.