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October 12, 1979 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-12

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, October 12, 1979-Page 11

In-Sahn-ity B Billy

Gopher rushers
challenge Blue'

Woire service polls

0 . .

. how fair are they
TH E AP TOP TWENTY, the UPI Top Twenty... What and why are
ey and who decides the teams to be listed in this elite group?
Every week during the regularly scheduled college football.season, a
select group of sports writers covering NCAA football and the College Board
of Coaches vote respectively on their picks for the top teams in the nation,
always in division I of the NCAA. In addition, the pollsters are in action once
prior to the start of the season and then once more in January, after the last
bowl game has been recorded.
In a sense, the polls are a guide. They signal to the public an important
game when two top-rated teams compete against each other. For example,
this weekend number three Oklahoma (AP and UP) clashes with Texas
(Number four in AP, five in UP). According to the polls, this game is a
significant national contest because both teams are in the top five, the elite's
-Well, that's great for Texas and Oklahoma, especially since ABC also
agrees - the game will be nationally televised. And for the two teams ahead
of Texas and Oklahoma, things are even better.
USC, Tide reap benefits
Southern Cal and Alabama, numbers one and two, are sitting pretty.
Their task is as simple as can be: win every game and your status quo will-
remain the same. In other words, Southern Cal was handed the golden scep-
ter of number one in the pre-season poll.
* If the Trojans remain undefeated despite narrow victories over op-
ponents such as LSU, they will be awarded the title come January. Likewise,
Alabama can retain its number two position. Yet the Tide, not given a chan-
ceto knock heads with the Trojans, may not even be co-champs as it was last
year-when UPI favored Alabama and AP Southern Cal.
, Other misleading characteristics about the polls are borne out by the Big
Tn teams. Michigan State, with two big losses to Michigan and Notre
Dame, is just about through for the season. They dropped out of the top twen-
tthis week in the coaches' poll, but remain number 19 in the writers' poll.
- Consider Michigan's position. Currently, the Wolverines are secure
owners of number 11 rights in both polls. They should have cracked the top
ten this week with the big win in East Lansing, but the "wise" football minds
thought otherwise. Instead, they chose Ohio State as the Big Ten represen-
.tative. The Buckeyes are eighth in the nation according to both tallies. Can
Vichigan move up?
Can Michigan move up?
What will it take for Michigan to crack the top ten? Of the games left for
the Wolverines, it's Purdue and OSU which pose threats for their run at the
Big Ten crown.
-, If Michigan beats Purdue, will it crack the top ten? Probably not, since
Purdue, who lost to Minnesota is currently 20th according to AP and not even
worth rating according to UPI. Like MSU, the Boilermakers have lost two,
their first being to UCLA. After all, why should a team move up by beating a
tam that's not even rated?
Hence history does repeat itself in this scenario. It's the Ohio State game
the following week which holds all the beans in the pot.
The poll system lacks the necessary dynamic to make it of any value.
It's a cosmetic device which holds relatively little meaning for the teams in-
volved. Publicly, however, it's a marketable item, especially with the media
and press.
Jim Young, the Purdue coach agrees. "I don't think coaches or players
pay much attention to the polls," Young Said. "They're specifically designed
for the public and the fans. Pehaps a team playing well and defeating tough
opponents should move up in the polls as a sort of reward."
Perhaps, but how can you measure a team's toughness? Suppose a point
system was introduced, rating games each week on a scale and thus awar-
ding more points for "tough" victories.
"I think conducting a foolproof method of running a poll is next to im-
possible," remarked Young. "How, for example, could coaches in the Big
Ten really know how good a team in Florida is, and how do coaches in
Florida know how good team in the Big Ten are," continued the coach of the
The point is, as Young concurs, you really can't expect coaches busy
-with their conference schedule to be overly concerned with teams in a dif-
,ferent part of the nation. Certainly, it's much more beneficial to Bo Schem-
_ echler if he places his vote for Ohio State and USC, two teams in his near
future. And writers covering major teams will vote for their team or at least
their conference, simply because it makes better copy.
This is an artificial system. The current process is not very valid and
practically meaningless. The "mythical" national champion therefore is an
artificial high in the world of college football.
But the inherent bias remains. A team that loses early in the season is
--hackled thereon. Once you're down, it's extremely difficult to rise again.
nhere is simply too much emphasis placed on surviving a season without any
losses, no matter who you play. As a result, the mentality of teams is to
naturally win.
Ili One more point: Another bothersome quality of these polls is the fact
#that it's the same teams, year in and year out, that occupy nearly the same
position. USC just about owns the rights to the thing.
Let's get some variation, writers and coaches. Far-fetched maybe, but
-.Idiana is undefeated in the Big Ten after three conference games. But I
guess it'll take a victory over OSU for them to see the limelight. Boy, will
that ever mess things up.

Saturday, when the Minnesota
Gophers invade Ann Arbor for the bat-
tle of the Little Brown Jug, they will
have one thing on their mind - UPSET.
Do not bother telling first-year Coa'ch
Joe Salem that Michigan dominates the
series between the two teams. Do not
bother to tell him what happened last
year in Ann Arbor (the Wolverines an-
nihilated the Gophers 42-10).
Gophers stand 3-2 this season, 2-1 in
conference play. The Gophers left their
mark on Purdue last week with a 31-14
thrashing. They should have defeated
Ohio State after dominating most of the
game, but lost a 21-17 heartbreaker. In-
stead of being 3-2 the Gophers would be
4-1, certainly contending for first place
in the Big Ten.
Thus, you can bet Coach Bo Schem-
bechler is worried about, the Gophers,
even though the visitors are a 15-point
underdog. Some of Bo's fear, however,
can be alleviated since the. Gophers
must play before 105,000 screaming
fans where they have not won in 17
game, Bo remarked, "I said earlier
Minnesota would be a team to watch.

They have a good offense with good
people at the skilled positions."
The good people at the skilled
positions Schembechler was referring
to are quarterback. Mark Carlson and
running backs Marion Barber and
Garry White. Carlson has proved him-
self worthy of being the Gophers' num-
ber one quarterback. His only
weakness has been the inability to
throw deep.
The double threat of Barber and
White is the best running tandem yet to
face the Blue defense. Barber is the
best running back in the Big Ten, but
should the Blue defense key on him,
White will keep them honest.
After Minnesota''swin over Purdue,
Salem said, "Let's hope we have
another good week of practice. We had
a great week getting ready for Purdue.
I felt all week that our attitude was ex-
cellent and if it carried over, we could
win. It did carry over and the results
are history."
Conversely he stated, "We had a
lousy week of practice before we went
to the West Coast and the results were
an embarassment. We still have to
learn to win on the road and Ann Arbor
is a tough place to get an education."

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Hoosier D'excels

A look at the Big Ten standings this
week reveals that the Indiana Hoosiers
are tied for first place with Michigan
and Ohio State. Interestingly, however,
the standings are for football, not
Indiana Coach Lee Corso explained
the Hoosiers' early season success this
way. "We (Indiana) have a good team.
We don't have any great players, but
we get great performances each week
by different individuals."
The reason for the sudden upsurge,
according to an IU sports official, is the
improving defense which starts eight
sophomores. Second-year linebacker
Craig Walls leads the team in tackles
with 37, and the only senior starter,
Randy Willhite, has made 35 stops from
his linebacking post. The young Indiana
defense has allowed only 66,points in
five games, and recorded a 3-0 shutout
against Wisconsin last Saturday.r
THE HOOSIER offense, which runs
out of various formations, is guided by
junior quarterback Tim Clifford, who
has completed 64 of 103 passes (62 per
cent) for 811 yards over the first five
games. His main target has been Bob
Stevenson (19 receptions), who is filling
in at tight end for Dave Harangody.
Harangody, who suffered a knee injury
in Indiana's opening game with Iowa, is
expected to return to action soon.
Running backs Lonnie Johnson and
Mike Harkrader give Indiana a solid
ground game which it used successfully
in its victory over Wisconsin. Corso said
after the game last Saturday that he
believes establishing a running game
wins Big Ten football games.
The Hoosiers feel that although they

don't have enough depth to win the Big
Ten crown, they do have an outside
chance. When asked about his squad's
chances this year, Corso, replied, "I
couldn't tell you; it's like a golf match.
Weve won two holes, but we've got six Rock and Roll with
holes left."
The first two "holes" that Corso
referred to were-the conference wins
over Iowa and Wisconsin, while the last r '
six holes are the six conference games appearing thru Sunday
left to play - Ohio State, Northwestern,
Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, and Pur-
due. - Sunday:,
All six should be tough tests for the
young Hoosiers, as the Big Ten has im- - H&S dNg
proved as a whole. This is evident by
the rise of Indiana, Minnesota, and
Iowa, while Northwestern gave Ohio for more info call 994-5350
State a scare before bowing to the
Buckeyes, 16-7.
Four more reasons to get
your Hewlett-Packard calculator
at Ulrich '5:

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Linda Cam pos
Pocket Billiord Champion
in a
See her Thurs. Oct.25
at 4 pm and 8 pm

HP-33E-Programmable Scientific
Choice-of $5.00 Application Book

HP-29C-Advanced Programmable
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Choice of $7.50 Application Book


Don't forget to submit your
Gridde picks to the Daily before
midnight tontight. Winners
receive a small, one-item pizza
from Pizza Bob's; losers receive
the satisfaction of knowing they
competed with Ann Arbor's
- foremost Gridmasters.
1. Minnesota at MICHIGAN
(pick score)
2. Michigan St. at Wisconsin
3. Indiana at Ohio State
4. Illinois at Purdue
5, Iowa at Northwestern
6. Oklahoma vs. Texas (Dallas)
7. Arkansas at Texas Tech

Persons interested in officiating In-
tramural football should contact Moby
Benedict in person at the IM Building.
No experience is necessary.

Are Your Organization Members
Laughing at You?
Do You Have Problems Under-
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Then RUN don't walk to
Tuesday, October 1 6th's workshop


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