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July 29, 2002 - Image 15

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2002-07-29

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 29, 2002 - 15
Coaches address BCS, 12th team
Evans making abnormal recovery, plans to return for Big Ten grind f

By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Editor
CHICAGO - The Bowl Champi-
onship Series was created four years ago
by college football's governing body to
produce an undisputed No. 1 against
No. 2 national championship game.
But in three out of its first four
years in existence, the BCS has done
exactly the opposite. In 1998-99, many
believed that BCS No. 3 Ohio State
should have been playing No. 1 Ten-
nessee in the Fiesta Bowl instead of
Florida State, which earned the No. 2
spot as the season closed. Two years
later with undefeated Oklahoma
entrenched at No. 1, the Seminoles
received the computers' blessing once
again, getting the
nod at No. 2 over FOOTBALL
Miami, which had
an identical Notebook
record and beat
them earlier in the season. And this
past season, the controversy swirled
like never before, as Nebraska, Col-
orado and Oregon all believed they
deserved a shot at No. I Miami. The
computers shocked the world, select-
ing Nebraska, which did not even win
the Big 12 North Division title and
was shellacked by Colorado, 62-36, to
finish its season.
Aside from 1998-99, the Big Ten has
remained virtually unaffected by the
BCS' selections. Always considered as
one of the top conferences in the coun-
try, it has had no representatives in the
BCS' title game, and there doesn't look
like there is a clear-cut contender to
start this season.
This lack of national presence
prompted a lively debate when Big
Ten coaches met with the media this
weekend to kick off the 2002-03 sea-
son. Should there be a 12th team
added to the conference? Would a Big
Ten conference championship game
improve the likelihood of a team
making the title game?
"A 12th team would help us do a lit-
tle better job of scheduling," Penn State
coach Joe Paterno said. "Eleven is not a
real good number. A couple years from
now, we're not playing Michigan, and
that's not going to go down very well
with our fans.
"As far as the BCS goes, I hope it
disappears. I don't want to do anything
to encourage it. (Big Ten Commissioner
Punchlines
Here are some excerpts of
comic relief displayed by coach-
es at the Big Ten Kickoff Media
Day in Chicago.
Joe Paterno Penn State
"I think Zack Mills was a good red-
shirt freshman. I don't know if he's any
better than that."
Joe Tiller Purdue
"If the receivers could only figure out
their job description - catch the ball
and hang on to it - we'll be better."
Brent Musburger ABC analyst
"Minnesota should be 40 by the time
they get into the Big Ten season"
The Gophers play cupcakes Southwest
Texas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Tole-
do and Buffalo to start the season.

Jim) Delany can take his BCS and do
what he wants with it. I think it's been a
disaster."
While the BCS has failed, the true
disaster was the Big Ten's performance
in New Years' Day bowl games last sea-
son. The conference's top three teams
- Illinois, Michigan and Ohio State -
were all whipped into shape by
stronger, faster and more talented SEC
opponents. Many believe that the Big
Ten has fallen to the fourth slot behind
the SEC, Big 12 and Pac-10, which
joins the Big Ten as the only other con-
ference not to place a school in the title
game. It appears that they were right in
being hesitant to join the BCS when it
was created.
Paterno questioned the decisions of
dominant programs to stay in weak
conferences, such as the Atlantic Coast
and the Big East, and indicated that he
is and has always been in favor of a
playoff in college football.
"Two years ago, we thought we had it
over (the other conferences)," Paterno
said. "We have great rivalries in the Big
Ten. Because of that, nobody can domi-
nate the league. Should we all of a sud-
den make apologies for that? Since
there's a Florida State in the ACC and
there's a Miami in the Big East? Let
them do what they want to do. The BCS
has triggered all of this."
Even though many coaches agree
that a 12th team would be beneficial to
the league's future, Delany said that
there is nothing in the works about the
addition of a new team, and that the last
time it was discussed was when Notre
Dame turned down the Big Ten's offer
three years ago.
RECOVERY TOO SPEEDY?: Wisconsin
receiver Lee Evans, who set the Big Ten
mark for receiving yards in a season
last year with 1,545, tore his left ACL
April 20 when he came down awkward-
ly after running a routine post pattern.
Evans was supposed to be out six to
eight months and was considered a
question mark to play this season, but
just over three months later, he consid-
ers himself at 80-85 percent though. He
has not been cleared for contact and is
not running at full speed, Evans ran
stairs last Tuesday.
"Initially, (taking a redshirt year) was
talked about as a possibility, but I never
really wanted to," Evans said. "I'm very
confident in my decision. I have no
--cr-t "

Evans is expecting to be back in uni-
form before the Badgers' first Big Ten
game against Penn State Oct. 5. The
Wisconsin coaching staff is wary of A.
how fast Evans' recovery has pro-
gressed, but Evans promises he will not
return until he can compete at a tops
level.
"He is going to come back as Lee
Evans, not Lee Evans' brother," Wis-
consin coach Barry Alvarez said.
When Evans returns to the Badgers,
he will combine with the Big Ten's -
leading rusher last season, Anthony
Davis, to form one of the most bal-
anced attacks in the conference, if not
the nation.
OUCH!: Purdue receiver Taylor Stub-
blefield, who was named a fourth-team
freshman All-American last season after
catching 73 passes for 910 yards, fell off A3:
a ladder at a swimming pool earlier thissa t k
summer ad frctued his skull.
"I don't know when I'll be back,"$
Stubblefield said. "They say that the
skull fracture is nothing - it's easier to "0'
come back from than a concussion. But
the problem is that I have some blood DANNY c
on my brain. Purdue receiver Taylor Stubblefield was injured this summer when he fell
"It's not like I have brain damage or ladder and hit his head. ItIs undetermined when he will return to action.
anything."
He has not been cleared for contact DAILY SPORW
and has been taking part in some slight JOIN UP AND INTERVIEW JOEPA IF
conditioning and weightlifting. Stubble-
field will undergo a CAT scan Wednes- THINK HE'S A CHARACTER ON TV, TR
day to search for blood. The doctors OUT IN PERSON.
will follow that up with an MRI once
the blood is gone.
"The doctors tell me there is no way 420 M AYNARD. BE THERE.
to tell how long the blood will stay
there," Stubblefield said. "It could all
be gone right now or it could take up to
three months before I am ready to play
again.
MICHIGAN UPDATEs: Michigan coach Th Best J on Campus!
Lloyd Carr announced that fifth-year
senior tight end Bennie Joppru will
play in the season opener Aug. 31
against Washington. Joppru received a
misdemeanor charge for fighting with
Michigan wrestler Mike Kulczycki,
outside Rick's American Caf6 April 13.
Michigan cornerback Markus Curry,
who was shot in the back May 18 after
leaving a house party with some team-
mates in Ann Arbor, still has the bullet
lodged in his back. Carr does not know
if Curry will be able to play in the
opener.
Daily Sports Editor Steve Jtckson
t (-

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