A quick review of some of the best and worst in college football this season:
Best I Told You So: Oklahoma's David Vickers after the Sooners' 17-7 upset of Nebraska: "They said we hadn't played anybody. I guess we still haven't."
Biggest Home Field Advantage: Texas Christian's Amon Carter Stadium, where crickets tormented Brigham Young. The bugs crawled down shirts, into helmets and generally distracted players. It's a common, annual problem in north-central Texas.
Biggest Fade: Oregon, which started 4-1 with upsets of Colorado and Southern California, but then lost four straight Pacific-10 games and finished 6-5. Or Clemson (9-2), which had one of the weakest schedules in the country and eight home games, but still lost to North Carolina State and South Carolina.
Best Coaching Jobs: Notre Dame's Lou Holtz, for guiding the Fighting Irish through the transition to an option running offense after starting quarterback Terry Andrysiak was injured. Or Oklahoma's Barry Switzer, for regrouping his offense without starters Jamelle Holieway and Lydell Carr.
Best Stadium Sign: At Columbia, where a child held the hand-lettered plea: "Please win before I grow up."
Ugliest Sportswear: Clemson, which donned shiny orange pants to go with dull orange jerseys against Georgia. Or Ohio State, whose silly red shoes clash with scarlet jerseys.
Best Helmet: As always, Michigan.
Worst Helmet: Earle Bruce's Homberg.
Most Idle Player: Oklahoma tight end Keith Jackson, one of the finest receivers in the country, has languished in the Sooners' wishbone. When asked how to get Oklahoma to throw more, he replied, "Sign a petition."
Most Painful Coaching Decision: Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden's choice to go for the victory rather than the tie against Miami. A two-point conversion pass failed, and Miami won, 26-25, possibly costing the Seminoles a chance at the national championship.
Truest Words: Miami Coach Jimmy Johnson on his efforts to clean up the Hurricanes' image: "Under the coats and ties, they're the same guys."
Most Underrated Team: Syracuse.
Most Overrated Team: Tie between Michigan and Washington.
Most Maligned: Columbia, for merely playing like an Ivy League team should. It's the others who were out of line.
Oklahoma fullback Lydell Carr, who strained knee ligaments in the Sooners' game two weeks ago, against Oklahoma State, and missed their 17-7 victory against Nebraska, may be ready for the Orange Bowl and a national championship meeting with Miami. The initial prognosis following Carr's injury was that he probably would miss Oklahoma's bowl game. But following the game against Nebraska, Switzer told him, "Get in that weight room." Carr was Oklahoma's second-leading rusher before he was injured. "He's a strong, tough hammer," Swizter said. "He can be ready."
When Texas Christian running back Tony Jeffery's career was halted one game early last week for trafficking with an agent, his progress in the record books also was stopped. Going into TCU's last game, against Texas A&M last Saturday, he was 24 yards from becoming No. 3 on the Southwest Conference's all-time career rushing list, ahead of Southern Methodist's Reggie Dupard and behind Eric Dickerson and Earl Campbell. Even though he has played in just 10 games, Jeffery was the nation's fourth-leading rusher this season, with 1,353 yards. He had 3,749 career yards in his career.
Two Mr. Smiths
College football's two most famous Smiths meet Saturday when Florida and Emmitt Smith play Florida State and Sammie Smith. Both are among the nation's best rushers this season; both are young, and both should contend for the Heisman Trophy next season.
Emmitt, a freshman, has gained 1,241 yards on 209 carries; Sammie, a sophomore, has gained 1,114 yards on 155 carries. Emmitt averages 124.1 yards per game, seventh best in the country; Sammie averages 123.7 yards, eighth best; Sammie, however, averages 7.2 yards every time he touches the ball while Emmitt averages 5.9.
Ohio State's New Coach
While Earle Bruce and Ohio State President Edward Jennings argue over Bruce's $7.44-million wrongful dismissal lawsuit, new athletic director James Jones is in charge of hiring a successor, hopefully by Jan. 1.
Jones would not say who he is considering, but he said he has begun making a list of names and will begin interviews soon. Some of those rumored to be candidates are: Mark Duffner of Holy Cross; Jack Bicknell of Boston College; Mike Gottfried of Pittsburgh; Glen Mason of Kent State; Indianapolis Colts assistant coach George Hill, a former assistant to Woody Hayes; Don Nehlen of West Virginia and Howard Schnellenberger of Louisville.
Although Jennings has told Jones he would like to have a coach by Jan. 1, Jones said that isn't an inflexible date. "I'm more interested in being thorough," he said. "Some of the coaches we're looking at may be involved in bowl games on Jan. 1, and we would want to wait on that."