From the Sidelines

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 21, 1998

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 21, 1998

Notes to ponder while waiting for today’s college football action to kickoff.

How soon do you think after Tulane’s victory over SMU Sayurday do you think Tommy Bowden got on the phone to his dad, Bobby, and his brother, Terry, and asked “Who is the only undefeated Bowden?” If a month ago you would have said Tommy at Tulane would be after the second week of the season, the reaction probably would have been “Yeah, right, and the Saints will open the season 2-0.” For all you LSU fans out there (especially the ones who called in the post game show) criticizing the Tigers’ performance against Arkan-sas State, get a life.

A win is a win. It was the first game of the season, the defense is playingunder a new system and the coaching staff was not going to go deep into the playbook, not with Auburn coming up. Besides, did it ever occur thatArkansas State, granted not one of the premier teams in the country, may still be better than most people gave them credit for? Those who want to complain when the Tigers win need to remember the days of Curly Hallman. Let’s wait until after today’s game against Auburnto pass judgment on this team.

And then there were two. Slamming Sammy Sosa caught up with Big MacMark McGwire at 63 home runs Wednesday. This race is similar to anotherunbreakable record, Walter Johnson’s career strikeout record, when Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan took turns passing each other.

And as these two have proved over the past weeks, if the best man was to win, it would finish in a tie. Both are examples of what a professionalplayer should be all about.

Remember the days when teams celebrated winning a divisional title in baseball? Now they barely spray champagne on each other. With thewildcard and the extra round of the playoffs, teams reserve their celebrations until they actually win the pennant.

This just in, Michigan State has scored again on Notre Dame. Is there amore overrated team in the country than the Irish? What other team can win its first game of the season (against a team that would go 0-2, no less) and rise 14 spots in the poll? And what other team can get completely dominated by an 0-2 squad and stay in the Top 25? Florida State is almost the same way. The Seminoles get upset by NorthCarolina State and barely fall out of the Top 10. And because the lossoccured early in the season, they still have a shot at the national title.

Speaking of the national championship, the prediction here is that the champion this season will have one loss. No team has really dominatedthis season.

And a sleeper pick could be UCLA which looked extremely impressive against Texas.

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