A DIFFERENT KICK
Governor Bill Clements of Texas missed Saturday's homecoming game at Southern Methodist. According to an aide, the governor, class of '39, had to fly to New York that afternoon on business. If he had been at SMU, he would have seen his beloved Mustangs start 11 field goal kickers, all of them wearing quarterback numbers, against nearby rival Texas Christian in a rickety campus stadium. SMU won, too, 2-1, though the sport was soccer, not football.
This is the season of the Death Penalty at SMU. Addison Cutler, '45, wearing a 1983 Cotton Bowl sweatshirt—the Mustangs beat Pitt 7-3 in that one—said at the homecoming picnic on the Quad, "I compare it to Pearl Harbor." After Doak Walker and Kyle Rote, Craig James and Eric Dickerson, after four Cotton Bowl appearances and even a national championship (1935), it's hard to sing SMU's fight song—to the tune of She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain—while watching a bunch of guys in short pants play kickball.
"We were wrong," said Cy Barcus, '27. "We made a terrible mistake in paying football players. We did it, and we had to clean our house."
A stranger asked him if he were going to the soccer game, which would draw 3,077 fans, most of whom wouldn't know a corner kick from a throw-in. "No, I'm going home," said Barcus.
There's an enthusiastic spirit on campus but also an undercurrent of anger being directed at Clements and his alumni cronies who created, condoned, continued (after an NCAA record of six probations in the past 15 years) and then tried to cover up a $400,000 annual fund to pay athletes. A recent editorial in the school newspaper reflected both points of view. "SMU has had enough mourning," The Daily Campus said. "Thanks to a new administration, a new athletic director and a charismatic Top Eight soccer team, SMU is ready to move on. So if Bill Clements is listening, stay home because we don't need you to help us celebrate anything. We are just fine without you."
Of course, not everyone regarded a soccer game as an occasion for celebrating. "I never go to the soccer games," said Ellen Dedman, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. "I used to go to all the football games. I never knew who won, but I went."
Observed Martha White of Kappa Alpha Theta, "I bet it's strange to be crowned homecoming queen at a soccer game." That honor went to Virginia Thompson, a Pi Beta Phi from Houston.
Next year's homecoming queen will probably also be crowned at a soccer game, because Mustang football won't return until 1989. Almost all of last year's players have moved on to other schools. (Taking this punishment thing far too seriously, defensive end John Robinson transferred to Columbia.) To play the likes of Oklahoma, Texas, Notre Dame and Arkansas in '89, there will be just 25 scholarship players and a passel of walk-ons.
The last time a group of Texans faced similarly hazardous duty, they recruited a great defender from Tennessee by the name of Davy Crockett. And the last time SMU was in this sort of position was in 1916, when the Mustangs, during their second season, lost 74-0 to Texas, 62-0 to Texas A & M, 61-0 to Baylor and 48-3 to TCU And 146-3 to Rice. Yup. Seven years later Southern Methodist won the Southwest Conference championship.
Meanwhile, there is still the soccer team, which finished its regular season 13-3-1 and was ranked fifth in the nation. If soccer is the game of the moment for the Mustangs, at least they play very well. And apparently they play it by the rules, Governor.
San Diego State quarterback Todd Santos. Santos became the Division I career passing leader when he completed 19 of 38 attempts for 248 yards in a 38-21 loss to BYU. His career total of 10,661 yards surpassed by 38 yards that of Kevin Sweeney, who played for Fresno State through last season.
Wisconsin placekicker Todd Gregoire. Gregoire, a senior, kicked field goals of 43, 42, 42 and 41 yards—the last the game-winner—in a 26-24 upset of Ohio State.
Wyoming quarterback Scott Runyan. Runyan, a senior, passed for a school-record six touchdowns as the Cowboys stayed undefeated in the WAC by beating New Mexico 59-16. He completed 23 of 39 passes for 385 yards.
...AND SATURDAY'S GOATS
The Texas offense. As bad as the Long-horns' defense was in a 60-40 upset by Houston, Texas was actually undone by the generosity of its offense. It rolled up 601 total yards but lost three fumbles and threw five interceptions, four of which were returned for touchdowns.
Unnamed players on the Ohio State offense. When things started going poorly for Buckeye quarterback Tom Tupa during their 26-24 loss to Wisconsin, his teammates turned on him. "They were screaming at each other" says Badger defensive end Dan Batsch. "Then they started getting on Tupa, yelling at him. I can't repeat what they were saying."
THE BOISE BLUES
When Utah coach Jim Fassel took a gander at Boise State's football field on Halloween he exclaimed, "Jiminy Christmas, it looks like a lake out there!" His observation was accurate, if not original. Since the school replaced its frayed green AstroTurf rug with a bright blue one in 1986 (SCORECARD, June 23, '86), locals have called Bronco Stadium's field Lake Boise.
That's funny to the fans. But for ducks and geese on the Pacific Flyway, the resemblance of the stadium surface to a lake has had unfortunate consequences. Two geese attempted to take the plunge into Lake Boise even as the new turf was being installed. The school's facilities director, Randy Mayo, says, "Some people insist that several dead ducks were seen on it," though he won't actually confirm that fouled-up waterfowl have really met their maker at midfield.
So why the blue carpet? Well, one of Boise's colors is blue. (The other is orange; the Broncos had to switch to orange jerseys at home because their blue ones didn't show up against the turf.) Boise State's synthetic track is also royal blue. Furthermore, Mayo says, "Any publicity we get, without making a complete joke of it, would be good for the school." Tell it to the ducks.
Alabama's 22-10 upset of previously unbeaten, but once-tied, LSU preserved two unusual streaks: The home team hasn't won in the series since 1980, when the Tide beat the Fighting Tigers 28-7 in Tuscaloosa, and 'Bama hasn't lost in Baton Rouge since '69.... Some big records were set in games between smaller schools. Howard University's Harvey Reed scored three touchdowns in a 54-7 win over Morehouse College of Atlanta to give him 43 touchdowns for his career, a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference record. James Ashley caught his NAIA record-tying 20th touchdown pass of the season for Southwest State of Minnesota. And Tom Zenner scored his 29th touchdown of the year for Normandale (Minnesota) Community College. In two seasons he has 50 touchdowns, which is a national junior college record.
These SMU homecoming fans had a good horselaugh.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Iowa quarterback Chuck Hartlieb and wingback Quinn Early hooked up for 10 completions and four touchdowns in a 52-24 win over Northwestern. Early's 256 yards receiving and Hartlieb's seven TD passes both set Big Ten records.
Houston cornerback Johnny Jackson established an NCAA mark by returning three interceptions for touchdowns, on runs of 31, 53 and 97 yards, in a wild 60-40 upset of Texas. "This kind of thing only happens in your dreams," he said.
Arkansas State's Scott Roper and Georgia Southern's Tim Foley kicked 63-yard field goals to help their teams beat North Texas State and James Madison, respectively. They now share the Division I-AA record for longest field goal.