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September 07, 1995 - Image 45

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-07
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22 - The Michig'an Daily -Kicof '95- Thursday, Sepember i, 195
Rice gives running backs something to think about

By Scott Burton
Let's say you're a Division I run-
ning back. Your quarterback hands
you the ball and you bust through the
line thinking you're one man away
from slipping into the endzone.
Then you notice this 6-foot-5 line-
backer standing in your way, a man
named Simeon Rice.
What do you do?
A) Drop your shoulder and try to
pop through him
B) Do your little shake
and bake thing7
C) Turn around and run 1111
away really, really fast
For any sane soul who
wishes to keep their esopha-1
gus after a run-in with the Il-
linois linebacker, the answer
is C. For those who have a 1994:z
little more bravado, the an- Sep
swer is A or B, though you Michig
should know that it probably __ ino
won't make a difference -
- what you do - you're
gonna get tackled either way.
"Rice can make plays that very few
players can make," Michigan coach
Lloyd Carr said. "He can run, he's a
big guy, he's a great pass rusher and
creates all sort of problems for you."
Indeed, Rice has proven to be such
a dominating force in his three years of
collegiate ball that many felt that he
would have been a early first-round
pick had he entered last year's NFL
As it is, he and fellow linebacker
Kevin Hardy form one of the most
dominating linebacker corps in the na-

tion. Rice had 16 sacks last year while
Tepper calls Hardy the most complete
linebacker he has ever seen.
Tepper warns however that the rest
of the defense may not be as solid as
everyone assumes it is.
Yes, the Illini were the top-ranked
defense in the Big Ten last season, but
they return only five starters and they
are not as big and physical as Tepper
would like.

ented tailbacks in Ty Douthard, the
Illini's feading rusher in 1994, and
sophomore Robert Holcombe.
"I don't know if you would say we
have alarming running backs, but we

are going to have two guys who are
very competitive," Tepper said.
The question marks start with an
offensive line decimated by gradua-
tion. The Illini do return Chris

Koerwitz and Ken Blackman, two of
the meatiest lineman around, but
Tepper will have to find some other
live bodies to make the offense pro-

4-4, 7-5
pt. 2:
gan 38,
ois 14

"We will be the smallest
defense perhaps in the
league," Tepper said.
The offense doesn't
have the same reputation as
the defense and finished
last in the Big Ten in rush-
ing yards and eighth in
points per game last sea-
Even more telling to the
problems, Tepper hired his
third offensive coordinator
in four years with the addi-
tion of Paul Schudel.

However, Illinois returns more le-
gitimate stars to its skill positions than
they have in years, starting with quar-
terback Johnny Johnson. The senior fi-
nally found some consistency in his
game and finished third in the confer-
ence in total offense.
"I have a lot more experience. I'll
probably be a lot calmer," Johnson
said. "There were times before when I
was worried about other outside fac-
tors that I couldn't control. This year
I'm not at all worried about that. I'm
just going to go out and do my best."
Illinois also features a pair of tal-

While other college football teams are fighting for their spots in the bowl alliance, the Big Ten champion will appear in
the Rose Bowl for the 50th consecutive year. The conference has other tie-ins with the Florida Citrus, Outback, Alamo
and Sun Bowls.
Big Ten marks 50th straightyear
of roses, stays out of new alliance

The Michigi D*
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big game!


By Antoine Pitts
There is a new bowl alliance de-
signed to decide the national champi-
onship, but in the long run it could be
just as confusing and useless as the old
version. The Rose Bowl could still
come in the way of any No. 1 vs. No. 2
matchup as it did last year.
For the next six seasons the na-
tional championship game will be ro-
tated between the Fiesta, Sugar and
Orange Bowls, beginning with this
year's Fiesta Bowl.
What it means is that all of the con-
ferences have given up their traditional
bowl tie-ins, except for the Big Ten
and Pac-10. Those two conferences are
secondary alliance members. Here's
how it works:
The Fiesta will host the two top-
ranked teams from the conference
champions pool which are the Big
East, Big Eight, Southwest, Southeast-
ern and Atlantic Coast conferences
plus Notre Dame.
If the champion of one of these
leagues or Notre Dame does not have
eight wins and at least a top-12 rank-
ing, they will be replaced by a second
place team from one of the other con-
Those other conferences include
the Big Ten and Pac-10. For instance,
the No. 2 Big Ten team can qualify for,
the No. 2 and 3 alliance bowls if it

meets the qualifications, but the con-
ference champion still must go to the
Rose Bowl.
The Rose Bowl agreement, cel-
ebrating its 50th anniversary, conse-
quently could keep the two confer-
ences on the outside looking in once
There could be a repeat of last
year's situation - a undefeated team
not being able to play for the national
championship because it has to play in
the Rose Bowl.
"I think the alliance is good for col-
lege football," Penn State coach Joe
Paterno said. "I think in the long run
the alliance is a good thing.
"I think as long as we in the Big
Ten keep an open mind and understand
that we would like to eventually come
to where the alliance can match one
and two consistently.
"If the Big Ten feels left out then
we better start thinking about what we
can do to accommodate the best inter-
est of the conference. "
The Big Ten has been insistent in
opposing any alteration to the
conference's Rose Bowl deal. The
league also has tie-ins to the Florida
Citrus, Outback, Alamo and Sun
Bowls could net more than $6 million.
With the Rose Bowl now paying out
$8.1 million per team - the Pasadena
Tournament of Roses rais'd ticket

prices from $47 to $79 - opting for
another deal may not be as lucrative.
"This conference has opposed an
NFL-style college football playoff,"
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany
said. "This conference supports and
will do everything in its power to
maintain a healthy bowl environment.
"Also, the Big Ten-Pac 10 Rose
Bowl has been an important game in
the bowl constellation."
The second Big Ten selection will
appear in the Citrus Bowl against the
No. 2 selection from the SEC on Jan. 1
in Orlando.
The Outback Bowl - formerly
known as the Hall of Fame Bowl -
will host the Big Ten's No. 3 and the
SEC's No. 3 selections Jan. 2 in
Tampa, Fla.
New in the Big Ten alliance this
year are the Alamo and Sun Bowls.
The No. 4 teams of the Big Ten and
Big Eight/Southwest Conference (in-
cludes members of the future Big 12
conference) meet Dec. 28 in San Anto-
nio, Tex.
The Sun Bowl features No. 5 from
the Big Ten and No. 3 from the Pac-10
Dec. 29 in El Paso.
The national bowl alliance and
Rose Bowl agreements are scheduled
to expire following the 2000 season.
The interested parties will then havetto
decide which road to follow.

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