TALLAHASSEE, FLA., OCT. 1 -- Howard University, on a 10-game winning streak and off to its best start since 1973 at 3-0, is ranked No. 1 in Division I-AA offensive statistics, but is unranked nationally because of an administrative foul-up.
Howard is rated No. 1 in total offense, averaging 575.3 yards a game; No. 1 in rushing, averaging 387.7 yards, and No. 2 in scoring, with 44.7 points a game. The Bison are No. 2 in the Sheridan Poll for black colleges, but are not listed in the national Division I-AA poll.
It seems that no one at Howard sent in the proper form in preseason, so the school was not on any of the computer lists from which voters select. In short, Howard did not exist.
Howard's form apparently was misplaced after reaching the office of Athletic Director William Moultrie. "The rankings are not our No. 1 priority, but they are important and are a necessary evil," said Moultrie. "It is a formality which got lost in transmission."
"I'm sure if they could have voted for us, some would," publicist Ed Hill said, adding Howard should be ranked by next week.
LSU's Williams: Loose Lips
Louisiana State tailback Harvey Williams has been spoken to about his manner of speaking. In the last few weeks, Williams has talked enough trash to fill up a New Jersey barge, and now Coach Mike Archer has told him to hush.
First, Williams proclaimed himself the best running back in the Southeastern Conference, including Alabama's Bobby Humphrey. Then he said the linebackers he works against in practice, second stringers, are as good as Ohio State all-America Chris Spielman.
His latest outrageous remark came on the subject of Florida, which LSU hosts this week. Williams says that in a footrace, he can beat Emmitt Smith, the Gators' freshman running back who has gained 522 yards and scored seven times on just 74 carries.
"You line me up with him and I'll beat him by 20 yards," Williams said. "In the 40, the 100, whatever."
His comments on Smith were posted in the Florida locker room this week, and the upshot is the Gators have promised to shut him up, and down. Williams, who alternates with Eddie Fuller and Sam Martin, has gained 363 yards on 46 carries.
"He can't run through 11 guys," Florida linebacker Gerold Dickens said. "We know who he is."
The result is that first-year coach Archer, outspoken himself, has become concerned.
"To be honest, I've talked to Harvey," Archer said. "He has great God-given ability, and fortunately, or unfortunately, he will tell you all about it himself. He just needs to know what to say and what not to say."Miami's Show on the Road
Home field advantage may be a disadvantage when No. 4 Florida State hosts No. 3 Miami.
The Hurricanes have the nation's longest regular season winning streak at 23 games, and haven't lost a road game since 1984. Under Coach Jimmy Johnson, they are 18-1 on the road, their last traveling loss coming against Michigan, 22-14, on Sept. 8, 1984. According to Johnson, the Hurricanes are more than just lucky on the road: they are actively trained in the art of spoiling home crowds' advantage.
"We try to program our people that it's fun to play on the road," he said. "That's part of why they came here, because it's fun to go to Tallahassee, to Notre Dame, places like that. And not just because of the atmosphere. But because it's fun to win in front of those crowds."
Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden is calling it the "biggest game ever" in the state. With the Hurricanes, Gators and Seminoles, the state has three nationally ranked teams.
"It used to be you had to go out of state to find you an Oklahoma," Bowden said. "Now you've got an Oklahoma right down to Miami, and another one in Gainesville. I just hope you can find you one in Tallahassee." Rutgers' Strike Discount
Rutgers is out to win some new fans who may be disillusioned by the NFL strike. The school has offered New York Giants and Jets fans a discount deal if they will come to Rutgers' game with Duke this weekend at the Meadowlands.
Jets or Giants fans who show tickets for either of the NFL games this weekend at the box office can purchase a Rutgers-Duke end zone game ticket for just $5. Normally, the end zone seats go for $13.