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September 22, 1989 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-22

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Page 14 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 22, 1989
.b*tg viw -f'. the2 sprig viws the stpotmg( viws
Ss spor in -evvs trfin view No playoff makes early
sporting ie. the sporting ws - the sport pre dictions possib e

by David Hennes
Daily Sports Contributor
And then there were three.
Three teams left.
Of the 134 major college football
programs that started the season with
national title hopes, three, count
'em, three, have a legitimate title
shot remaining. Three out of one
hundred and thirty four. Amazing
isn't it?
As the first few weeks of the '89
season have proved, getting beat is
the thing to do if .your team is a
bona fide Top 20 power.
Michigan, UCLA, Penn State,
LSU, Florida State, USC, Illinois,
Oklahoma.
This list could be the beginning
of the Associated Press Preseason
Top 20. It's far from it. These foot-
ball powers are out of title con-
tention.
BECAUSE of the lack of a play-
off system, and the scheduling .of
many one-sided contests, it becomes
relatively easy to forecast a national
champ from the narrowed field.

What suspense!
What drama!
Notre Dame, Miami and Nebraska
have the inside track at the title.
Raghib Ismail took care of Mich-
igan. Cincinatti did the same to
Penn State. Illinois upset Pac-10
favorite USC; Colorado defeated the
Illini. Florida State lost twice before
upending once-beaten Louisiana
State, and Tennessee voluntarily
knocked UCLA out of title
contention.
Thanksgiving Weekend, rather
than New Year's Day, should decide
the National Championship for the
sur-vivors. On November 25th, the
Fight-ing Irish travel to Miami to
face the Hurricanes in the Orange
Bowl. Both teams should steam
undefeated into the second No. 1 vs.
No. 2 matchup of the season.
Only Michigan State and Florida
State figure a chance to blemish Mi-
ami's clean slate. The Hurricanes
have scheduled guaranteed wins in
the form of San Jose State, East
Carolina and San Diego State.

Though Notre Dame's path to the
Turkey Day match-up is more dif-
ficult, they too should remain un-
defeated. The Irish must travel to
Penn State and entertain a USC
squad that will be looking to avenge
last year's defeat.
NEBRASKA, whose schedule
includes everybody except Columbia
University, should end up facing the
winner of the Miami-Notre Dame
game in the Orange Bowl on January
1st. The only serious obstacle Neb-
raska faces is a road match against
Colorado.
Three teams.
Notre Dame, Miami and Ne-
braska.
Arguments, however, can be
made for teams such as Clemson,
Auburn and Colorado. Both Tiger
teams are perennially in the Top;
Ten, but have not.been in contention
for the championship since Clemson+
won it in 1982. Colorado will;
certainly go bowling, but not for the
title.
Michigan, USC, and the other

schools with one defeat have lost
control of their own destinies. They
must rely on others to knock off one
of the 'big three' in order to remain
in contention.
Miami, with the new Erickson
duo-Coach Dennis and Quarterback
Craig, have looked impressive so far
in crushing weak Wisconsin and
California. Miami, like USC, looks
to avenge the Irish for a defeat last
year.
ALTHOUGH they dispatched
Vir-ginia with relative ease, and the
Wol-verines with a big rocket, the
Irish are vulnerable. Its secondary
has appeared susceptible. Miami will
expose this fatal flaw and turn it into
a victory for the Ericksons and their
pro-style offense.
Only the Cornhuskers will stand
in the way of the Hurricanes.
By virtue of a schedule that Tom
Osborne should be embarassed
about, Nebraska is headed towards a
New Year's Day matchup with Mi-
ami to decide the mythical national
championship.

Asocoi*d Pre ,,
Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz and quaterback Tony Rice smile even though
the Hurricanes of Miami loom in the not so distant future.

Flashback, 1984.
New Year's Day.
A completed two-point con-
version by the Cornhuskers is all
that stands in the way of a National
Title in Lincoln.
It fails. Miami wins.
This year's game will not even be
close. The Hurricanes will rule the

college football world once again.
Should it be that easy? Are we
allowed to call the Miami-Nebraska
matchup the Cupcake Bowl instead
of the Orange Bowl? 4
Three teams.
Two games into the season.
Should make for a suspenseful
season.

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