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September 08, 1979 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-08

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Page 10-Saturday, September 8, 1979-The Michigan Daily

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MASS MEETING
7:00 p.m. Monday
September 10
Michigan Union
Anderson Roonti

By GEOFF LARCOM
If this year's Big Ten football season
lives up to its advance billing, con-
ference football buffs can count on an
autumn of unusual excitement.
Gone, according to the preseason
dopesters, are the days when the Big
Ten season boiled down to one confron-
tation between Michigan and Ohio State
to determine the conference champ and
the Rose Bowl representative.
INSTEAD, FOUR teams appear to
have their foot in the door leading to
conference honors. Along with
Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and
Ohio State are receiving the brunt of the
attention as favorites for this year's
number one spot.
The Big Ten skywriters selected that
quartet to finish first through fourth for

the '79 season, in one of the tightest
forecasts ever done by that group. In
addition the first UPI poll finds
Michigan in the number six spot,
followed by Purdue, ranked eighth and
Michigan State and OSU at tenth and
18th respectively.
In the initial AP ranking, Purdue was
tabbed sixth, Michigan a notch behind
at seventh, with the Spartans nailing

down the tenth spot.
MEANWHILE, THE six other teams
are waiting and hoping that the
preseason hoopla will go to the conten-
der's heads, while visions of upsets
dance in the heads of three of the
remaining six Big Ten squads this
week. However, all must do so away
from home, as Wisconsin travels to
Purdue and Illinois journeys to

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WHILE EARLE. BRUCE has received tremendous attention in his first
year at the football coaching helm at Ohio State, two more newcomers to
the conference mentorial ranks debut today. Hayden Fry (left) brings his
wizardry from Southern Methodist to Iowa, while Joe Salem attempts to
make Minnesota into more than just an also-ran.
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Michigan State in addition to today's
Northwestern-Michigan battle.
The only other conference matchup
pits Iowa hosting Indiana in Hawkeye
coach Hayden Fry's debut. The two
non-conference games find Ohio State
entertaining Syracuse and Minnesota
playing host to Ohio U.
Two other Big Ten coaches join Fry
in his initial conference bloodying. Fir-
st appearances will be made by Joe
Salem, who will direct the Minnesota
Gophers in Memorial Stadium against
Ohio University, while former Buckeye
player and assistant coach Earle Bruce
will attempt to begin building a legend
of his own in the wake of Woody Hayes'
dismissal last year.
SYRACUSE, COACHED by former
Michigan assistant Frank Maloney,
will have to deal. with the revamped
Buckeye offense, as Bruce has vowed to
throw with more frequency, much to
the delight of sophomore signal-caller
Art Schlichter. Schlichter suffered
through Hayes' "three yards and a
hunk of astroturf" philosophy last year.
Another squad relying on offensive
firepower in the early stages of the
season will be Lee Corso's Indiana
team. Corso calls his defense "my
youngest ever" and thus hopes passing
ace Tim Clifford and tight end Dave
Harangody can team up with tailback
Mike Harkrader to produce much
needed Hoosier points.
THE TOUGHEST assignments
besides Northwestern's today,
however, belong to Wisconsin and
Illinois. The Badgers must deal with
Boilermaker gunner Mark Hermann in
the not-so-friendly confines of Ross-Ade
Stadium, while a near sellout is expec-
ted in Spartan Stadium to watch Illinois
attempt to atone for last year's 59-19
blowout by MSU.
Despite the Spartans having lost theii
prolific quarterback Ed Smith to
graduation along with All-American
end Kirk Gibson, they again look ready
to make a strong title run, with two of
the Big Ten's best receivers Mark
Brammer and Eugene Byrd ready to
receive quarterback heir apparent Bert
Vaughn's missiles.
But while the Badgers and Fighting
Illini's chances can't exactly be
described as good today, perhaps Bo
Schembechler summed up the
favorites' opening play pessimisrp best
when he, answered who the most
threatening team in the Big Ten was to
him at this point.
"Northwestern," Schembechir said
emphatically.

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