A devout fundamentalist who has appeared on evangelist Pat Robertson's TV shows, Arkansas coach Ken Hatfield used to open his own Sunday TV program with a quotation from the Bible. After last season's last-second 16-14 loss to Texas, for example, Hatfield came on the air and said plaintively, "Jesus wept." To many fans, that was almost as objectionable as his inability to win big games. "He's always preaching at us, and he can't beat Texas!" complained one Arkansan.
Well, today that fan should be in Hog Heaven, so to speak. Not only has Hatfield dropped scripture from his show—at athletic director Frank Broyles's behest—but he has also made amends for last season's excruciating loss to the Longhorns by directing the Razorbacks to a 27-24 victory on Saturday in Austin. It was only the second time in 22 years that Arkansas has won on its most hated rival's field.
That gave the Razorbacks a 6-0 record and kept the Hogs on track for what would be only their third Cotton Bowl trip since 1965. The Razorbacks, the least celebrated of the seven remaining unbeatens in Division I-A, were led by quarterback Quinn Grovey, who passed and ran for 212 yards. Nevertheless, Arkansas fans had better wait before making plans for a Jan. 2 trip to Dallas. In their final two games the Razorbacks meet defending Southwest Conference champ Texas A & M and defending national champion Miami.
At least the win over Texas may have taken some of the chill off Hatfield's relationship with Broyles. Then again, maybe not. When told recently that Broyles was negotiating with LSU for a home-and-home series if the NCAA expands the college season to 12 games, Hatfield said, "Like anything else, it's an athletic director's decision, and it's based on money.... They would schedule 17 games if they could."
Amen, coach, amen.
When the Effigy Bowl was held in Knoxville, Tenn., last Saturday, the stakes were depressingly clear. To the winner would go a week's reprieve. To the loser would go a cigarette, a blindfold and maybe a rock thrown through the office window, which is what Alabama coach Bill Curry found the day after the Tide's 22-12 upset loss to Ole Miss the week before.
When 'Bama rebounded with a 28-20 win over Tennessee, running the Vols' alltime worst start to 0-6, it was Johnny Majors, Curry's opposite number, who found himself twisting slowly in the wind. As Majors walked off the field, two fans with bags over their heads screamed unprintable invitations for him to seek new employment. "It doesn't take a lot of guts to put a bag over your head," said Majors. "That's kind of like the Ku Klux Klan."
One wag had observed that the rock that shattered Curry's window was thrown so accurately that the suspects couldn't have included Jeff Dunn or Vince Sutton, the backup Tide quarterbacks who called signals against Ole Miss and didn't complete a pass. Of course, it was just Tennessee's luck that David Smith, Alabama's first-string quarterback, who had been out with an injury since Sept. 10, was ready to go against the Vols. Smith restored the forward pass to the Tide attack by completing 10 of 18 attempts.
On the very day that Notre Dame was rewaking the echoes with its victory over Miami (page 28), former Irish coach Gerry Faust found himself in over his head at Auburn. Fortunately for Faust, Tiger coach Pat Dye took it easy on the Zips, relatively speaking: Akron, which got a bad case of stage fright over playing the nation's No. 8 team before 61,300 witnesses in Jordan-Hare Stadium, lost by a mere 42-0.
Early in the game, after Akron field goal kicker Bob Dombroski missed from 50 yards, Faust called him over to remind him to "just keep your head down and kick." When Dombroski replied that he'd had to hurry his boot because of the heavy Auburn rush, Faust was forced to break the news that there had been no rush to speak of.
"He just thought the rush would be there," Faust said later. "That's what happens when you play a team the caliber of Auburn." Besides picking up a nice check for $175,000, the Zips, who moved up to I-A only a year ago, got what they came for—a taste, however unsavory, of big-time football.
Who could have ever guessed that Penn State, that bastion of integrity and fairness, could ever become Penn $tate? Yet, sadly, it has come to pass. The Nittany Lions have decided to end their 66-year rivalry with Syracuse—which upset them 24-10 on Saturday—for no reason other than cold, hard cash. The series will cease after the 1990 game.
"I understand what Penn State has to do," says Syracuse athletic director Jake Crouthamel, "but perhaps athletic institutions across the country ought to rethink their positions when we get to a point where a pure business decision interrupts a traditional series."
Since 1922, the teams have essentially played home-and-home, with 33 games at Penn State, 31 at Syracuse and two at neutral sites. The current controversy began when the Lions told the Orangemen that, of the 10 games the schools were trying to schedule between 1991 and 2000, six would have to be played at Penn State and four at Syracuse. Syracuse said no thanks.
"We really need that additional home game as a revenue source," said Penn State spokesman Budd Thalman, pointing out that a home game means about $1 million to the university. "We have to support 28 sports with football revenue. Syracuse doesn't have to support that many sports, and besides, Syracuse has basketball revenue. Our basketball program has not been a revenue generator."
In fact, Penn State won't be getting an additional home game, even after dropping Syracuse. The Lions will replace the Orange with Miami in 1991 and '92 and Southern Cal in the eight years thereafter. Both rivalries will be home-and-home, pretty much the arrangement that Penn State had with Syracuse. The real explanation for the switch is that intersectional games with schools like Miami and USC figure to be bigger TV attractions.
Whatever the reason, the Lions are out of line in asking Syracuse to accept a scheduling inequity in what has been one of eastern football's main rivalries.
Not long ago Howard Schnellenberger, the coach of Miami's 1983 national champions, was struggling to build the program at Louisville, which has produced a ton of pros (Johnny Unitas, Joe Jacoby and Marc Clayton, for example) but only 16 winning seasons and three minor bowl trips since the early 1950s.
However, after Saturday's 30-28 victory over Virginia, the Cardinals stand 4-3 and already have more victories than in any of the four years of the Schnellenberger era. They may even be on the way to their first postseason appearance since they lost the 1977 Independence Bowl to Louisiana Tech 24-14. Don't laugh. With only Tulane (3-3), Cincinnati (2-4), Virginia Tech (2-5) and Division I-AA Western Kentucky (5-1) left, Schnellenberger's team has a shot at an 8-3 record.
While Schnellenberger has improved what had been a woeful defense and running game, it's the passing attack that makes any Schnellenberger team go. At Louisville, the heir to the Jim Kelly-Bernie Kosar-Vinnie Testaverde tradition that Schnellenberger established at Miami is senior Jay Gruden, who already holds almost all the passing records at Unitas U.
Against Virginia, which only the week before had battled powerful Clem-son to a standstill before losing 10-7, Gruden had 26 completions in 45 attempts, for 268 yards and three TDs. He also directed a 60-second, 42-yard scoring drive that culminated in Ron Bell's game-winning field goal from 39 yards with 10 seconds remaining.
Eric Metcalf had 149 total yards, but Texas fell three points short against Arkansas.
James Joseph's 73-yard TD run zapped the Zips.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: Utah quarterback Scott Mitchell, a sophomore, completed 36 of 60 passes for five touchdowns and a WAC-record 620 yards and fell only one yard short of the NCAA's single-game passing yardage mark, as the Utes lost to Air Force 56-49.
DEFENSE: Andre Thomas, a senior free safety at Georgia Tech, intercepted two passes, returning one 51 yards for a TD, and made nine tackles as the Yellow Jackets upset South Carolina 34-0 to end a 15-game losing streak against Division I-A teams.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Chris Jacke of UTEP, a sophomore placekicker, booted four field goals, of 47, 48, 26 and 27 yards, making him 14 of 15 for the season, and two extra points as the upstart Miners ran their record to 6-1 with a 34-14 victory over Colorado State.