Article: 19891001078

Title: Playboy's Pigskin Preview

Playboy's Pigskin Preview
HMH Publishing Co., Inc.
Have you noticed that they don't show many of those great old crime movies on TV anymore--Cagney in Angels with Dirty Faces, Paul Muni in Scarface or our personal favorite, 10,000 Years in Sing Sing? Our theory is that the networks believe that the public's appetite for this kind of stuff is being satisfied by the sports report on the late news. You know the stories. An East Coast football player accused of murder. A coach down South up on tax evasion. A couple of linemen out West charged with rape. An offense lost to drug busts: simple possession. Possession with intent to sell. Conspiracy.
Gary Cole

Have you noticed that they don't show many of those great old crime movies on TV anymore--Cagney in Angels with Dirty Faces, Paul Muni in Scarface or our personal favorite, 10,000 Years in Sing Sing? Our theory is that the networks believe that the public's appetite for this kind of stuff is being satisfied by the sports report on the late news. You know the stories. An East Coast football player accused of murder. A coach down South up on tax evasion. A couple of linemen out West charged with rape. An offense lost to drug busts: simple possession. Possession with intent to sell. Conspiracy.

In case you missed the TV news, there was the Sports Illustrated cover featuring Oklahoma's Charles Thompson. Not Thompson the option quarterback in his orange Sooner jersey but Thompson the accused drug dealer in his orange jail jump suit. Cagney just doesn't hold up against this kind of stuff.

Our first reaction to these stories is disenchantment. Then anger. Who's to blame? The N.C.A.A.? The coaches? Sports agents? College presidents? The truth is that college athletes are no better or worse than any broad spectrum of Americans; no greater percentage of college athletes flout the rules than do businessmen on Wall Street or politicians in Congress. At least the athletes can plead youth.

While we hope for the day when the sports report will be all scores and no jail sentences, let's take a look at the brighter side of college football--the action on the field. Here's how we rank the winners and the losers.

1. Notre Dame

Believe it or not, Notre Dame will have a better football team this season than last. Coach Lou Holtz, of course, understands that that doesn't guarantee another national championship. The Fighting Irish were good, but they were also lucky, eking out victories over Michigan (19--17) and Miami (31--30). Notre Dame's offense revolves around quarterback Tony Rice, who passed for 1176 yards and rushed for 700 yards last season. Perhaps the only notable Notre Dame weakness is the lack of backup for Rice. When asked to detail his strategy in the event that Rice is injured, Holtz answered, "Punt and then pray." Ricky Watters has been switched from flanker to tailback, his original rookie-year position, where he'll alternate with Tony Brooks. Sophomore tight end Derek Brown is one of the best young receivers in the nation and Raghib Ismail, a flanker and kick returner, is a burner. On defense, the Irish lost four starters but have an abundance of talent to fill the holes. Linebacker Michael Stonebreaker. the team's leading returning tackier (105), is questionable because of a dislocated hip suffered in an off-season auto accident. Holtz is fond of saying, "Everybody's 0 and 0 right now." With a wee bit of luck, the Irish could be undefeated again come January. 12--0

2. Miami

There's not much argument that Miami has been the dominant team in college football this decade. With 41 victories under Howard Schnellenberger and 52 wins and two national championships under Jimmy Johnson, the Hurricanes have come to epitomize prostyle-passing sophistication and aggressive defense. When Johnson left to replace Tom Landry at Dallas, Hurricanes athletic director Sam Jankovich skipped the obvious successor, assistant coach Gary Stevens, and picked Dennis Erickson, a man Jankovich described as "the best possible coach to take Miami into the Nineties." Erickson, who had performed quick program turnarounds at Idaho, Wyoming and, most recently, Washington State, obviously relished the thought of coaching a team in the running for the national championship year in and year out. The departure of star quarterback Steve Walsh, who passed up his final year of eligibility in favor of the N.F.L.'s supplemental draft, did little to dampen Erickson's optimism. He promptly designated Craig Erickson (no relation) as heir to the hallowed Q.B. spot previously occupied by Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde and Walsh. Jimmy Johnson and the Miami recruiting machine also left Erickson with a defense made up of great athletes who, as Erickson says, "like to run all over the field." The national championship may very well be decided when Notre Dame goes to Miami on November 25. 10--1

3. Michigan

Michigan has a chance to be the first school in N.C.A.A. history to win back-to-back national championships in basketball and football. To accomplish that feat, coach Bo Schembechler and his Wolverines must find a way to beat Notre Dame in the season opener at Ann Arbor on September 16, then pull off a win in Pasadena, where they'll meet UCLA. It's a tall order, but the Wolverines are loaded with talent, returning 17 starters from last season's 9-2-1 squad. Michigan has two of the finest running backs in the nation in Tony Boles and Leroy Hoard. Schembechler also has two talented quarterbacks (Michael Taylor and Demetrius Brown), plus Playboy All-America receiver Greg McMurtry. Greg Skrepanek, a 6′8″, 322-pound junior offensive tackle, is the most physically awesome football player in Michigan now that Tony Mandarich lives in California. 10--1

4. Nebraska

This is Nebraska's centennial football season and coach Tom Osborne's 17th. Each of Osborne's teams has finished in the top ten and gone to a bowl game. The Cornhuskers have won or tied for seven Big Eight titles in that time, including last year's conference crown. As usual, Nebraska is loaded with talent. Playboy All-Americas Jake Young and Doug Glaser anchor one of the biggest and best offensive lines in college football. Running back Ken Clark, who rushed for 1497 yards last season, is back for his senior year. Expect some fall-off at quarterback, where Gerry Gdowski will replace Steve Taylor. Not even the loss of seven starters from last season's defensive unit should keep Osborne's talent-deep Huskers from winning big. 10--1

5. Florida State

If it weren't for Miami, Florida State would be laying claim to the title "Team of the Eighties"--or at least the late Eighties. The Hurricanes are the only team to have beaten FSU in its last 24 outings (they did it twice). The Seminoles, who had stars in their eyes and lead in their pants when they lost 31--0 to Miami in last season's opener, were dominating the remainder of the season. This year, forgoing the pre-season hype, they may be even more dangerous. Quarterback Peter Tom Willis returns to lead the offense; on defense, watch for nose guard Odell Haggins. The schedule, featuring home games against Miami and Auburn and away games against Syracuse and LSU, is tough. 9--2

6. Southern California

Coach Larry Smith set some challenging goals for his Trojans team last year: Be a class team (it was), beat UCLA (it did) and win the Pac 10 championship (it did). However, Smith's dream of a national championship came to an (continued on page 154)Pigskin Preview(continued from page 110) abrupt halt when, after starting 10--0, his team fell to Notre Dame and then again in the Rose Bowl to Michigan. Southern Cal and Smith have the talent to resurrect their dreams again this year. The Trojans' biggest problem will be finding a replacement for departed quarterback Rodney Peete. Junior Pat O'Hara and redshirt freshman Todd Marinovich have only seven collegiate career passes between them. The heart of this Southern Cal team is its defense, where ten of 11 starters return. This dominating unit was number two versus the run and tenth in total defense in the nation. 9--2

7. Louisiana State

Last year, coach Mike Archer guided Louisiana State to a share of the Southeastern Conference crown and an 8--4 record while playing one of the toughest schedules in the country. With a slightly easier schedule and a lot of offensive firepower returning, the Tigers could fare even better this year. Senior quarterback Tommy Hodson will likely become the S.E.C.'s all-time leader in passing yardage and passing touchdowns by season's end. Flanker Tony Moss is the conference's best receiver, and tailback Harvey Williams, who missed the entire 1988 season with a knee injury, appears to be fully recovered. 9--2

8. Syracuse

After Syracuse's great 1987 season, when quarterback Don McPherson led the Orangemen to a perfect 11--0 regular-season mark, most people, us included, thought Syracuse would fall back into the middle of the pack after McPherson graduated. But Syracuse found a new set of heroes and finished 10--2 last year, giving it the best back-to-back seasons (21-3-1) of any team except Miami (23--1) and Florida State (22--2). Syracuse's victory run doesn't appear to be over. Coach Dick MacPherson has one of the best offensive lines in the country, two outstanding wide receivers in Rob Moore and Bobby Carpenter and a defense that may be better than the 1987 squad. 9--2

9. Auburn

Last year, Auburn's defense led the nation in rushing defense and total defense, allowing opponents only a fraction more than a seven-point average per game. Since eight starters have departed, to be that good on "D" again, the Tigers need an entirely new cast. The offense, led by quarterback Reggie Slack, is good enough to keep Auburn in the win column until the defense acquires some experience. The S.E.C. championship could be decided on October 14, when Auburn takes on LSU. 9--2

10. Alabama

When running back Bobby Humphrey and defensive back Gene Jelks were lost last season to injuries, the Tide had a perfect excuse to fold its tent. But coach Bill Curry rallied his forces and led them to a 9--3 record, good enough to quell the 'Bama boo birds so abundant in the post--Bear Bryant era. Alabama's premiere player this season is Keith McCants, the heir apparent to the linebacking legend started by Lee Roy Jordan and most recently continued by Cornelius Bennett and Derrick Thomas. 8--3

11. Houston

The Houston Cougars will definitely be on the prowl for the Southwest Conference championship and a national ranking. Coach Jack Pardee's team, which finished 9--3 last year, returns a full complement of starters. Junior quarterback Andre Ware is back after setting a Southwest Conference season record for touchdown passes (25). Running back Chuck Weatherspoon, who averaged eight and a half yards a carry, also returns. Houston's potential Achilles' heel is the injury bugaboo, since the Cougars have little depth. 8--3

12. Oklahoma

To say that it has been a year of turmoil for the Oklahoma football program just doesn't do the situation justice: stories of a machine gun fired on campus, steroids, a three-year N.C.A.A. probation for multiple violations, the shooting (not fatal) of one teammate by another. Three players were charged with committing a dormitory rape; the team's star quarterback pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. It appeared for a while that coach Barry Switzer, referred to on campus as "the king," would miraculously survive the storm. However, the fourth-winningest coach in college football history (157-29-4, including three national titles) finally resigned in June, saying, "It's just not fun anymore." The university promptly named defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs as new head coach. Gibbs inherits a team that was banned from TV and post-season play, lacks a quarterback and has every excuse to turn in a bad season. However, the Switzerless Sooners still have a ton of football talent, including a strong group of linemen and a speedy crew of running backs headed by sophomore Mike Gaddis. If Gibbs can find a new Q.B. to run the option, Oklahoma will make headlines on the sports page for a change. 8--3

13. Ucla

The Bruins and coach Terry Donahue set a college football record last season when they won their seventh consecutive bowl game, a 17--3 win over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. Even with golden-boy quarterback Troy Aikman gone to the Dallas Cowboys, the Bruins will likely get a chance to add to their bowl streak at the end of this season. While there is little experience at quarterback, talented running backs and receivers are in abundance. The defense lost six starters from last year but still figures to be strong. Playing four of their first five games in the friendly confines of the Rose Bowl should get the Bruins off to a good start. 8--3

14. Penn State

The Nittany Lions, after suffering their first losing season (5--6) ever under coach Joe Paterno, are not likely to repeat the mistake. Paterno, who has been a coach at Penn State since Harry Truman was President, cracked the whip in spring drills, and the Lions appear ready to respond. Running back Blair Thomas, who missed last season with a knee injury, hopes to return to his form of 1987, when he gained 1772 all-purpose yards. Penn State's always-solid linebacking corps is headed by Andre Collins and Brian Chizmar. Tough games against Alabama, West Virginia and Notre Dame are all at Beaver Stadium. 8--3

15. Texas A&M

Texas A&M coach R. C. Slocum is the new, improved breed of Southwest Conference coach. A man of simple words and simple clothes, R. C. stands in sharp contrast to the urbane image of Jackie Sherrill, the coach who resigned in the midst of an N.C.A.A. probe. Formerly the Aggies' defensive coach, Slocum has understandably devoted much of his recent attention to the offense, where he has installed drop-back passer Lance Pavlas as quarterback. He need not worry too much about the Aggies' ground attack because of Playboy All-America running back Darren Lewis, second only to Barry Sanders in yards gained rushing last season. 8--3

16. Colorado

Coach Bill McCartney has his best team in his eight-year tenure at Colorado. The Buffaloes have a Heisman candidate in junior running back Eric Bieniemy (1243 yards last season) and lots of muscle up front. McCartney has switched the Colorado offense to a power-I scheme that he thinks will give the Buffaloes a better passing attack than they had out of the wishbone. Quarterback Sal Aunese, fighting a life-threatening battle with stomach cancer, has not yet surrendered his starting spot to backup Darian Hagan. A rough nonconference schedule that includes Illinois, Washington and Texas will prepare Colorado for the Big Eight battles but will hold down its national ranking. 8--3

17. Clemson

Coach Danny Ford's Clemson Tigers have won the Atlantic Coast Conference title and a bowl game and have been rated in the top 20 for three consecutive years. The loss of 13 starters will make a repeat of that hat trick tough. Ford's first problem is deciding on a quarterback; he has three candidates. He also has to replace several talented linemen, plus fill the shoes of Playboy All-America defensive back Donnell Woolford. Luckily for Clemson fans, Ford's well of talent is deep. The Tigers' best returning players are junior running back Terry Allen and receiver Gary Cooper, who has already collected more than 1000 career reception yards. 8--3

18. Arkansas

Last year, Arkansas was undefeated until its last regular-season game, when the Razorbacks pushed Miami to the brink before falling 18--16. While coach Ken Hatfield's squad has lost eight starters on defense, there's enough offensive talent back to keep Arkansas in the national-championship picture until the end of the season. Junior quarterback Quinn Grovey, who Hatfield thinks is the best option Q.B. in the nation, will be joined in the Razor-backs' backfield by running backs Barry Foster and James Rouse, who hopes to regain his 1000-yard-plus form of 1987, before he suffered a series of injuries. Defensive tackle Michael Shepherd will anchor a talented but inexperienced defense. The schedule, with almost all the tough opponents going to Arkansas, is definitely in the Razorbacks' favor. 8--3

19. Wyoming

Paul Roach has turned in one of the best coaching jobs in the nation at Wyoming the past two years. The Cowboys have not lost a conference game on their way to consecutive Western Athletic Conference championships. They've made two Holiday Bowl appearances and garnered a top-ten ranking. Now Roach's problem is to keep the Cowboys winning. Last year, he pulled quarterback Randy Welniak out of a hat and Welniak promptly responded with 2791 passing yards and 21 touchdowns. The candidates for the job this year are understudies Bobby Fresques and Tom Corontzos and transfer Peter Rowe. The Cowboys must find help on the offensive line and at several defensive positions. Roach has proved that he knows his magic. 9--2

20. West Virginia

Last season was the fulfillment of more than 20 years of effort as a coach for West Virginia's Don Nehlen. Until the Mountaineers' Fiesta Bowl loss to Notre Dame, everything went perfectly as Nehlen's charges, led by Playboy All-America quarterback Major Harris, racked up 11 straight victories. Even the loss to the Irish didn't dampen Nehlen's enjoyment of his team's achievements. This year, however, he admits, "We're starting over." Harris, still only a junior, is back, as is 6′6″ wide receiver Reggie Rembert. But the entire offensive line has graduated, as have several key players on defense. Nehlen has a solid core of young talent, however, and the step down from last year's success may not be as big as most people expect. 8--3

Here are some other teams that have a chance to break the top 20:


Ray Goff, Georgia's new head coach, must wake up in the morning wondering what he has got himself into. At only 33, he has been chosen to replace Vince Dooley, a guy who won 201 games in 25 years with the Bulldogs and who people assumed was leaving his post to run for governor. Dooley then declined to run, evidently deciding governing wouldn't be as challenging as trying to win football games in the S.E.C. He also left Goff a little less experience than the Bulldogs are used to, with only ten starters returning from last season. Sophomore Greg Talley is Goff' s best bet to take on the quarterbacking duties. Georgia's most potent offensive weapon is tailback Rodney Hampton, who was probably the nation's best backup rusher (to Tim Worley) in 1988. Nose guard Bill Goldberg and cornerback Ben Smith are Bulldog standouts on defense. 8--3

North Carolina State

While coach Jim Valvano and North Carolina State's basketball team get all the national publicity, football coach Dick Sheridan has quietly slipped the Wolfpack into national contention as a football power. Last season's squad went 8-3-1, finishing the year with a 28--23 win over Iowa in the Peach Bowl. Sheridan has lost about half his starters to graduation but has enough talent to keep the Pack in contention for another bowl bid. The best players from the nation's eighth-ranked defense return, as well as dual starting quarterbacks Shane Montgomery and junior Charles Davenport. 8--3

Brigham Young

The fans at Brigham Young are still having a hard time accepting the fact that the Cougars, perennial W.A.C. champs, have failed to win the championship the past two years. Last year, not only did Wyoming knock them off for the second year in a row but BYU also fell to Utah and San Diego State. It's not that the Cougars aren't as good as they usually are; it's just that, as coach Lavell Edwards says, "Everyone else seems to be getting better." However, this year's team, led by the quarterbacking tandem of Sean Covey and Ty Detmer, is improved. If Edwards can fill holes on the offensive line and in the secondary, BYU may teach those upstarts a lesson. 8--4


Hawaii coach Bob Wagner has a winning formula: Schedule as many games as possible at home and lull the opposition to sleep with swaying palm trees, hula skirts and lots of Don Ho tunes. The Rainbows are up to their tricks again this year, with ten of 12 games on the slate at Aloha Stadium. And, to top it off, Hawaii has a good football team. The Rainbows return nine starters on defense, plus kick-return specialist Larry Khan-Smith. If Wagner can find a quarterback and solidify the offensive line, Hawaii may find the bowl bid that eluded it last year. 8--4


Coach Steve Spurrier has one of the best offensive minds in college football. Last season, he took Anthony Dilweg, a fifth-year senior who had previously started in only two games, and turned him into the A.C.C. Player of the Year. This year, he'll try to work the same magic with Alabama transfer Billy Ray. And with Playboy All-America wide receiver Clarkston Hines to throw to, Ray will likely succeed. Duke's problem remains a weak defense. If Spurrier figures out defenses as well as offenses, look for Duke in a bowl game. 7--4

Boston College

The Boston College Eagles are accustomed to playing one of the nation's toughest schedules, regularly taking on Penn State, Notre Dame and the like. They aren't, however, accustomed to winning only three games, a career low for nine-year coach Jack Bicknell. With 13 starters returning and Notre Dame off the schedule, the Eagles and Bicknell should turn it around this year. However, BC will need the quick development of some young linemen in order to crack the top 20. 7--4


Last season, Washington lost five football games by a total of 15 points. The result was that the Huskies failed to receive a bowl bid for the first time in nine years. Washington has been accustomed to having its way with the bottom half of the conference, but now that the Pac 10 is the toughest in the nation, the Huskies have to worry about more than USC and UCLA. Coach Don James may have a secret weapon this year in quarterback Cary Conklin, a 6′4″ strong-arm passer in the mold of former Huskies standouts Chris Chandler and Steve Pelluer. However, Washington returns no proven running backs or wide receivers. The defense, last in the conference against the rush last season, will rely on Playboy All-America tackle Dennis Brown. 7--4

Arizona State

If you play in the tough Pac 10 and aren't one of the two conference dominators (USC and UCLA), how do you get an advantage? How about eight home games? That's the schedule that coach Larry Marmie's Sun Devils team is looking at this season. Last year, Arizona State managed a 6--5 record despite losing 23 players to injury for part or all of the season. At one point, Marmie played a safety at linebacker because five linebackers had been sidelined. This year's squad hopes to have better luck. The defense is led by Shane Collins, a 6′4″, 272-pound tackle who is only a sophomore. Mark Tingstad at linebacker and Nathan LaDuke at defensive back are also standouts. 7--4


Illinois coach John Mackovic earned his Big Ten Coach of the Year Award last year. He took over a losing program (7-14-1 the previous two seasons) on the brink of scandal and turned in a 6-5-1 record and a third-place finish in the Big Ten. Illinois rewarded Mackovic by making him athletic director as well as coach. Now he is faced with the challenge of equaling or bettering last season's success. On the plus side, he has returning quarterback Jeff George. The much-heralded and well-traveled Q.B. finally found a home in Champaign last year and seems ready to fulfill his earlier press releases. However, the Mini passing attack will suffer from the graduation of running back Keith Jones, who gained 1108 yards and kept opposing defenses honest. 7--4


There's not much doubt about Indiana's being able to score points this season. Quarterback Dave Schnell (1877 yards and nine T.D.s passing) and wide receiver Rob Turner (36 catches for 814 yards) add up to a potent aerial attack. And Anthony Thompson, the first Hoosier consensus all-America in 43 years, will try to surpass last season's awesome stats (1686 yards rushing and 26 T.D.s). But the offense, which averaged 33 points a game last year, actually has to better those totals, since the defense has lost ten of 11 starters. If coach Bill Mallory can get a young defense to gel, the Hoosiers could surprise. 7--4

Southern Mississippi

Not many college football fans up North follow the fortunes of Southern Mississippi. But after the Golden Eagles went 10--2 last season, losing only to Florida State and Auburn, they may want to start. Junior quarterback Brett Favre, rated very high by those teams that played against him, returns to lead an offense that averaged almost 29 points a game. Some new faces on defense and a tougher schedule will cut down the wins, but coach Curley Hallman's team still bears watching. 7--4

South Carolina

The South Carolina football program has suffered a number of setbacks in the past year: the Sports Illustrated story about player Tommy Chaikin's steroid abuse, the indictment of four assistant coaches (three subsequently pleaded guilty to lesser charges, one was acquitted) and the passing of coach Joe Morrison (Playboy Coach of the Year in 1985). New coach Sparky Woods inherits some talented position players in quarterback Todd Ellis, who has already passed for 8579 career yards, and running back Harold Green, who is capable of a 1500-yard season. The Gamecocks are not deep, particularly on defense, so staying healthy is a priority. 7--4

Oklahoma State

When the N.C.A.A. placed Oklahoma State on probation at the end of last season, it cost the Cowboys more than TV and bowl appearances. It cost them the best running back in college football, maybe ever, because Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders decided it was better to play for the money in the spotlight of the N.F.L. than in the obscurity of a blacked-out program in Stillwater. OSU still has an abundance of good football players, headed by quarterback Mike Gundy, who is only 800 yards short of becoming the Big Eight's all-time passing leader. Sanders' heir apparent is junior Gerald Hudson, who rushed for more than 100 yards in each of three spring scrimmages. 7--4


Louisville's Howard Schnellenberger is fond of saying, "The most exciting thing today in college football is happening in Louisville." The head coach's hyperbole may not be completely unfounded. The Cardinals were 8--3 last season, and the entire defensive team is returning. But Schnellenberger's dreams of glory for this team may be spoiled because of the lack of a trigger man. Five candidates wait in the wings to replace departed quarterback Jay Gruden, but none as yet have caught the coach's fancy. Nevertheless, Schnellenberger predicts a top-20 finish and a major-bowl bid for his team. 7--4


Coach Mike Gottfried thought he finally had all the pieces this year to put together a big season for the Panthers. His highly touted recruiting classes of the past three years were reaching maturity. Players such as defensive tackle Marc Spindler and center Dean Caliguire are ready to provide Pitt with solid line play. East Independent Rookie of the Year Curvin Richards (1228 yards) is one of the best sophomore backs in the nation. But then last season's starting quarterback, Darnell Dickerson, was ruled academically ineligible and backup Q.B. Larry Wanke transferred, leaving the Panthers with a lot of horses but no jockeys. 6--5


Coach Bruce Snyder is high on quarterback Troy Taylor, giving him a chance to be the best in the country and linking his name with guys such as Joe Montana. High praise, but Taylor will surpass the Q.B. records of Golden Bears alums Craig Morton and Steve Bartkowski by season's end. While Snyder may have the man he needs at quarterback, he is still looking for running backs and an offensive line, positions that will have to be filled by freshmen and junior college transfers. If California can survive an early schedule that includes Miami and UCLA on the road, it may develop into one of the surprise teams of the Pac 10. 6--5


Arizona is another of the tough Pac 10 teams hoping to finish third behind USC and UCLA. But in this competitive league, one key injury can drop a team several notches, because the rest of the league is so closely matched in terms of talent. The Wildcats' strength is their running game, best in the Pac 10 the past two seasons. The offensive line will be inexperienced, while the defense, which lived through six sophomores in the starting line-up last season, should be improved. 6--5

Ohio State

When coach John Cooper took over the Ohio State program after the dismissal of Earle Bruce, he expected to have a tough first season. He was bringing in a new system and the Buckeyes had graduated a host of talented seniors. Cooper, however, didn't anticipate that Ohio State would go 4-6-1, its worst finish since pre--Woody Hayes days. Cooper's team was beset by injuries and ineligible players. This year's team, led by tailback Carlos Snow and junior quarterback Greg Frey, should get back on the right side of .500, though there aren't as many Big Ten patsies as there used to be. Cooper needs another year or two to get his program and recruits in place. 6--5

Syracuse and West Virginia appear to again be strong contenders for top-20 honors this season. Penn State will almost certainly rebound from an uncharacteristic losing season, as will Boston College. Pittsburgh, its top-20 aspirations stymied by the academic ineligibility of star quarterback Darnell Dickerson, still has a lot of talent. And Army, under coach Jim Young, promises to continue its winning ways. The three remaining East Independents will fight through tough schedules in search of winning seasons. Rutgers had some big moments last season, knocking off Michigan State and upsetting Penn State, the Scarlet Knights' first win over the Nittany Lions in 70 years. Quarterback Scott Erney, who holds virtually every Rutgers passing mark, returns for his senior season. Temple coach Jerry Berndt is unhappy with an Owls schedule that features seven road games. "We're sort of a traveling road show," he quipped as he was trying to find the same magic that he used to turn around Penn's football program in the early Eighties. Navy's chances for a successful season may have sunk during spring drills, when a rash of injuries struck the Midshipmen. Fortunately, Navy's best player, free safety Bob Weissenfels, was held out of the drills because he was still recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered last season. Coach Elliot Uzelac's prescription for winning: "We have to be overachievers."

Pennsylvania got back On top of the Ivy League last season with a 9--1 mark. Coach Ed Zubrow, who led the Quakers to two league titles in three years and a record of 23--7, resigned to take over the antidrug and drop-out-prevention programs for the Philadelphia public school system. Assistant Gary Steele stepped in as head coach. Although Penn lost 13 starters from last season's squad, it still has an excellent chance to win the league title because of returning players such as running back Bryan Keys (116.5-yard average per game) and quarterback Malcolm Glover. Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens has done a good recruiting job the past two years and his team has spent a lot of the off season in the weight room. Quarterback Mark Johnson has a strong arm and good mobility. Ivy League co-champion Cornell has a new coach, Jack Fouts, and only seven starters returning from last season. The Big Red hopes it can pick up enough experience in early out-of-league games to have another run at the title by the time the league schedule begins. Princeton coach Steve Tosches lost quarterback Jason Garrett to graduation but still has his running-back brother Judd. Tosches also has most of his starters back on defense, led by linebacker Franco Pagnanelli. The Tigers are on the upswing but still a year away from contending. Brown would like to find the winning feeling it had back in 1987, when it finished 7--3. Last season's 0-9-1 record was a downer. Coach John Rosenberg is hoping that the playing time he gave to underclassmen last year will pay dividends this season. The situation appears grim for the Yale Elis, who managed only a 3-6-1 record last season and have since graduated their three best players: linemen Art Kalman and Jeff Rudolph and running back Buddy Zachery. Quarterback Bob Verduzco, who was lost in the opening game last year because of a knee injury, will try a comeback. Last year, we predicted that Harvard would win the Ivy and that coach Joe Restic would get his 100th career win. Harvard fell on its face and left us red in the face. The Crimson won a paltry two games and Restic is still three wins short of 100. Columbia broke college football's longest losing streak and appears to have enough talent not to start another one. Running back Solomon Johnson was Ivy League Rookie of the Year last season.

Louisiana State and Auburn, co-champions of the S.E.C. last year, could repeat the feat again this season. They both have experienced quarterbacks, explosive offenses and excellent coaching. Alabama has the defensive weapons but may lack offensive punch. Georgia has a new coach and a young, inexperienced team. Florida has some great players, such as Playboy All-America running back Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Stacey Simmons. However, the Gators lost a lot of talent and experience on defense to graduation. Kentucky has its strongest team in coach Jerry Claiborne's eight-year tenure. Lack of experienced players at quarterback and punter, plus a tough schedule, will stop the Wildcats' bid for a winning season. They should, however, pull off at least one major upset along the way. Tennessee suffered through a Jekyll-and-Hyde season last year, losing its first six, winning its last five. Coach Johnny Majors will look to Sterling Henton to replace the departed Jeff Francis at quarterback. Vanderbilt continues to recruit well under coach Watson Brown. The Commodores should be tougher on defense this season with the return of eight starters. The offense will shift to a drop-back pro-style attack to utilize the strong arm of quarterback John Gromos. Mississippi is still chasing the memory of its 1986 campaign, when it finished 8-3-1. Coach Billy Brewer will install John Darnell at quarterback and look to some young players to supplement Todd Sandroni, the S.E.C.'s interception leader the past two seasons, in the defensive backfield. Mississippi State coach Rockey Felker revamped his staff, bringing in seven new assistants. Top running back David Fair has recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of the line-up last season, but the Bulldogs don't have much of an offensive line to open holes for him.

Clemson again appears to have enough talent to dominate the conference, though North Carolina State could surprise. Virginia has the next best chance for a winning season. It has 18 starters returning from its 7--4 team of last year, including outstanding offensive guard Roy Brown. Duke's defensive weaknesses will cost it in its crunch games with the Tigers and the Wolfpack. Georgia Tech was better last year than its 3--8 record would indicate. Coach Bobby Ross's charges lost six games by a total of 32 points. This year's team will fare better if Ross can find a quarterback. Redshirt freshman Kevin Battle, already dubbed "The new Refrigerator," will make his 6′5″, 332-pound presence felt at nose guard. Wake Forest will have trouble equaling last season's 6-4-1 record because of the loss of quarterback Mike Elkins and a veteran secondary. Watch for tailback Anthony Williams to make an impact in a more conservative game plan. The Demon Deacons have a weaker schedule than last year but a weaker team to go with it. Maryland returns an almost-intact high-impact offense, including quarterback Neil O'Donnell, who has a better completion percentage than former Terp Boomer Esiason. Its biggest problem is a schedule that includes Penn State, Clemson and Michigan. Last year, North Carolina was simply too inexperienced defensively to stop anyone. A tough early schedule shattered the young team's confidence and it never recovered, finishing 1--10. This year's team has more experience but still lacks over-all speed and depth. Playboy All-America offensive guard Pat Crowley is one of the nation's best.

Not only are Miami and Florida State the strongest teams of the South Independents, they are as good as any other football team in the country. South Carolina has great talent but a new coach and less depth. Southern Mississippi will fare well against all but top-20 competition. Virginia Tech returns 19 starters and hopes to improve on last season's 3--8 record. Quarterback Will Furrer will try to cut down the interceptions (16 last year). Memphis State has to regroup after coach Charlie Bailey's resignation amid reports that one of his players was overpaid for a summer job by a school booster. The Tigers' best player is free safety Eddie Moore, who was second in the nation last season in pass interceptions. At East Carolina, new coach Bill Lewis hasn't very high aspirations: "I just want an offense like Florida State's and a defense like Georgia's." Lewis has a lot of successful recruiting to do before that can become a reality. The bad news at Tulane is that quarterback Terrence Jones has graduated after leading the Green Wave to three consecutive record-setting seasons. More bad news is that most of the defense that allowed an average of more than 30 points per game over the past two seasons is back.

The Big Ten has been much maligned in recent years, failing to win impressively in its early out-of-conference schedule or in bowl games. Michigan took a major step toward rectifying that situation by finally winning the Rose Bowl last season against a strong Southern California team. Michigan again looks like the class of the league, with Illinois and Indiana having a legitimate shot at the number-two spot. Ohio State should get on the right side of .500 this year under the guidance of coach John Cooper. Michigan State, which has been one of the Big Ten's top rushing teams over the past two seasons (271.2-yard average per game), will feel the loss of five of six starting offensive linemen. Coach George Perles is intent on developing a better passing game, utilizing new quarterback Dan Enos. The Spartans have a tough early schedule with games against Notre Dame, Miami and Michigan. Hayden Fry's Iowa team is looking at a down year because of the graduation of 13 starters, including quarterback Chuck Hartlieb, tight end Marv Cook and linemen Dave Haight and Bob Kratch. Tom Poholsky will try to fill Hartlieb's shoes, while linebacker Brad Quast will lead the defense. Minnesota boasts a few great players, such as Playboy All-America running back Darrell Thompson, receiver Chris Gaiters and linebacker Jon Leverenz. But questions at quarterback and on both sides of the line will plague the Gophers. Purdue has switched defensive linemen to offense in an effort to improve an anemic ground attack. Flanker Calvin Williams is a deep threat but is often double-covered. A strong 1988 recruiting class will help but probably not until next year. Wisconsin coach Don Morton has abandoned his much hyped "veer" offense after the Badgers finished ninth last year in the Big Ten in offense and won only one game. Morton's problems were compounded when quarterback Tony Lowery opted to drop football in favor of basketball. The Badgers have the unwelcome duty of opening against Miami. Northwestern's reputation as the Ivy League school of the Midwest will not be tarnished by a winning record from its football team. Coach Francis Peay has recruited some better talent for the Wildcats, but they are still a couple of years away from being able to contribute. NU has some beautiful S.A.T. scores, however.

The Mid-American Conference doesn't get as much air time as the other Division I football conferences and it doesn't turn as many college players into pros. It does, however, feature well-coached and closely contested games every week of the season. Three teams appear to have a strong shot at the conference title this year. Ball State, 8--3 last season, lost 12 starters but still has a solid nucleus of talented players led by linebacker Greg Garnica and tailback Bernie Parmalee. The Cardinals have tough out-of-conference games against West Virginia and Rutgers. Central Michigan would be the strongest team in the conference if running back John Hood were not questionable because of a knee injury. Tailback Donnie Riley, all-M.A.C. last season, will have to carry the load alone. Western Michigan, last year's conference champion, will have trouble replacing conference M.V.P. Tony Kimbrough at quarterback. The best part of the Broncos' game will be their defense, which returns eight starters. Toledo coach Dan Simrell is talking aggressive defense because of the return of eight starters on that side of the ball. The Rockets' best offensive weapon is tailback Neil Trotter, who rushed for 783 yards last year. Ohio University coach Cleve Bryant is gradually turning around a losing program. Last season, the Bobcats finished 4-6-1, a record they might have improved upon this season were it not for nonconference road games with Iowa State, Vanderbilt and Louisiana State. Eastern Michigan also returns the bulk of its defense, but the Hurons' top player is offensive tackle Eric Towe (6′6″, 280 pounds). Bowling Green has two of the best receivers in the conference in Reggie Thornton and Ron Heard. The big question for the Falcons is whether or not quarterback Rich Dackin will be completely recovered from the broken wrist that sidelined him last season. Kent State, which was a pre-season conference favorite last year, suffered a rash of injuries that left it at 5--6. This season may be even tougher with the loss of running back Eric Wilkerson, now with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the questionable status of quarterback Patrick Young, who may not return for his junior year. Miami of Ohio, which suffered through a 0-10-1 season last year, faces Purdue, Michigan State and Cincinnati in its first three games this year. It promises to be a long season for the Redskins.

Notre Dame is, of course, the best team of the Midwest Independents and probably in the entire nation. Louisville will have another fine season, though a more difficult schedule and the lack of an obvious starting quarterback could hurt its cause. Northern Illinois will miss Marshall Taylor, its wishbone-wizard quarterback, who has graduated after starting for four seasons. Fullback Adam Dach, who gained 906 yards as a freshman last season, will carry the rushing load on his shoulders, which shouldn't be too big a burden, since Dach (six feet, 200 pounds) can bench-press 336 pounds. The Huskies will get a brush with the big time when they play Nebraska at Lincoln in September. Tim Murphy takes over a beleaguered Cincinnati football program. The Bearcats, 3--8 last season, return just four starters from last year's offense, plus they face some scholarship restrictions for N.C.A.A. rules violations. Murphy hasn't experienced a losing season in ten years as an assistant or head coach. This year will likely break his string.

Nebraska has the edge this year in the Big Eight, as Oklahoma will feel the loss of quarterback Charles Thompson. This could be the year Colorado will upset one of the big two. Oklahoma State has another excellent team, but it is probably not good enough to finish higher than fourth. New Missouri coach Bob Stull will bring the prostyle attack he used so successfully at Texas--El Paso. He inherits some reasonable talent from Woody Widenhofer's regime, but it will take time to switch the Tigers over from their wishbone habits. Missouri's first-half schedule, with games against Indiana, Miami, Arizona State and Big Eight opponents Colorado and Nebraska, is murderous. Iowa State will miss the talents of running backs Joe Henderson and Curtis Warren. Cyclone place kicker Jeff Shudak (29 out of 33 from 49 yards or closer) is a factor in tight games. Kansas coach Glen Mason says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it's broke, try anything." That's what Mason and the Jayhawks, 1--10 last season, will do. The problem is that Mason doesn't have enough talented players with whom to try. The situation may be even more critical at Kansas State, which failed to win a game last season. New coach Bill Snyder must be an optimist just to take the job. Both Kansas schools will point to October 28, when they meet, knowing at least one of them will come away with a victory.

Houston, Arkansas and Texas A&M are the Southwest Conference's strongest teams. Baylor will rely on its defense, which coach Grant Teaff thinks can be the best in the conference, in its bid to improve on last season's 6--5 mark. The Bears will also try to stay away from injury, which caused 33 of its 44 best players to miss at least part of last season. Coach David McWilliams continues his rebuilding efforts at Texas. The Longhorns return 15 starters from last season and should improve over last season's 4--7 record. Texas Tech will miss quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver, now with the San Diego Chargers. Tolliver set 16 school records on offense in his career. Sophomore quarterback Jamie Gill will try to fill the void. Texas Christian coach Jim Wacker has amended his run-and-shoot offense and renamed it the "triple shoot." It's supposed to give the Horned Frogs a better passing attack. The problem is that TCU is short on good quarterback talent. Rice has the unenviable position of holding the nation's longest current Division 1-A losing streak (18). Last year, the Owls had so many problems on defense that starting quarterback Donald Hollas was switched to safety. "This year, we're going to forget he ever played defense," vows new coach Fred Goldsmith. The Southern Methodist football program is reborn this season after suffering through an N.C.A.A. death penalty for repeated infractions. Coach Forrest Gregg, who became well acquainted with adversity as coach of the Green Bay Packers, faces another awesome challenge, as the Mustangs have only 41 players on scholarship, 39 of whom have never played in a college football game. In an effort to put football back into an appropriate perspective at SMU, the Mustangs will play their home games at renovated Own-by Stadium, capacity 24,576.

Lack of national-television exposure is the major reason that the nation's media constantly overlook and underrate the Pac 10. After a selection of late-morning and early-afternoon East and Midwest contests, the airwaves and viewers' eyes east of the Rockies are exhausted. Too bad, because the Pac 10 is clearly the nation's strongest football conference, boasting a combined nonconference record last season of 29--7. Last year's conference champ, Southern California, should win again based on its superior defensive unit. UCLA, Washington, Arizona State, California and Arizona all have strong teams and will take turns beating one another after they have pummeled their nonconference competition. Oregon returns its offense almost intact, including quarterback Bill Musgrave, who returns after suffering a broken collarbone last October. The Ducks also return tailback Derek Loville, who rushed for more than 1200 yards last season. Washington State, coming off a spectacular 9--3 season, has lost 14 starters, including quarterback Timm Rosenbach, plus coach Dennis Erickson, who cross-countried to the University of Miami to replace Jimmy Johnson. New coach Mike Price will try Brad Gossen at quarterback and stay with Erickson's wide-open offensive style. Dennis Green, former receivers' coach for the 49ers, takes over the reins at Stanford. He has already landed an impressive recruiting class and Cardinals fans smell a winner. Stanford, however, has a bummer schedule that includes Notre Dame as well as conference bullies UCLA and USC. Oregon State is easily the nation's best team picked to finish last in a conference. Coach Dave Kragthorpe has three candidates vying for the quarterback position vacated by graduated Erik Wilhelm. The Beavers will fill the air with footballs regardless of which one takes the snaps.

While Wyoming, Brigham Young and Hawaii have identified one another as the enemy, Air Force will try to use its wishbone offense to capture the conference crown. Ironically, the Air Force's forte is its ground game, second last season (377.5-yard rushing average per game) only to Nebraska. The Falcons' problems were and still are on defense, where they yielded opponents an average of 32.7 points and 462.8 yards per game. Texas--El Paso will try to recover from the loss of coach Bob Stull, who took over at Missouri, and nine assistants and the graduation of starting quarterback Pat Hegarty and UTEP all-time rushing leader John Harvey. New coach David Lee, formerly an assistant at Arkansas, will have a hairy first year. Utah returns the nation's leader in total offense (4299 yards) and passing yards (4322), junior quarterback Scott Mitchell. The 6′6″ southpaw already has pro scouts drooling. The big story at Colorado State is, of course, its new coach Earle Bruce. Unceremoniously dumped by Ohio State after years of winning, Bruce perched temporarily at Northern Iowa before migrating to CSU. He doesn't have much talent to work with but has already introduced the Rams to discipline, both on and off the field. If he stays put, it will take him three years to turn things around. San Diego State has two big candidates for its quarterbacking position: Junior Dan McGwire, the brother of Oakland As first baseman Mark, is a 6′8″ transfer from Iowa; freshman Cree Morris is 6′7″ and still growing. First-year coach Al Luginbill's biggest concern will be improving an Aztec defense that held only three opponents under 30 points last season. If that statistic doesn't improve, the Aztecs might consider challenging opponents to a game of hoops. Lack of depth is New Mexico's number-one problem. The talent-thin Lobos have fewer than 80 players currently on scholarship. Coach Mike Sheppard will look to the junior colleges for help.

This year's race in The Big West could wind up a carbon copy of last year's. Fresno State, conference champion and winner of the California Bowl (35--30 over Western Michigan), is a heavy favorite to repeat. Coach Jim Sweeney's Bulldog team will be led by quarterback Mark Barsotti, who, as a freshman last year, rang up nearly 1800 yards and nine T.D.s. Barsotti will look to wide receiver Dwight Pickens and backs Myron Jones and Aaron Craver, a junior college transfer with 4.29 speed in the 40. Linebacker Ron Cox may be the best defensive player in the conference. Cal State--Fullerton coach Gene Murphy has been busy raiding the junior colleges for football talent to try to rebuild a defense that graduated all but three starters. Since J.C.s can't participate in spring drills, Murphy's success can't be measured until fall. Running back Mike Pringle, who rushed for more than 100 yards against West Virginia last season, is the Titans' most potent offensive threat. Nevada--Las Vegas will likely move up in the conference standings. Coach Wayne Nunnely's team returns 17 starters, including Tony Rhynes, whose 44.02- yard average makes him the second leading returning punter in the nation. Nunnely has yet to decide which of three underclassmen will take on the quarterbacking duties. San Jose State has the hands-down offensive player in the conference in running back Johnny Johnson. Johnny Jr. will likely surpass the rushing records of his San Jose State alum dad, Johnny Sr., before the end of the year. Johnson nearly became the first player to average in double figures in two sports when he walked on to the Spartans' basketball team after the midseason defection of a number of players. He averaged 11.2 in basketball, 9.7 points in football. The Spartans should finish second in the conference, though their over-all record will suffer because of tough nonconference games against Miami, Stanford, California and Arizona State. Utah State has the problem of finding replacements for both its departed quarterback Brent Snyder and Big West Offensive Player of the Year Kendal Smith, one of the nation's premiere receivers last year. Smith's departure will mean double coverage for the Aggies' other talented receiver, Patrick Newman. A murderous nonconference schedule includes Southern Cal and Illinois. Cal State--Long Beach shifts gears as run-oriented quarterback Paul Oates replaces graduated three-year starter Jeff Graham. What the 49ers do on offense won't matter much unless they can shore up a defense that allowed 385 points last year. New University of the Pacific coach Walt Harris will switch the Tigers from a wishbone attack to a pro-set offense that will feature more passing. Unfortunately, Harris doesn't have an experienced quarterback around whom to build the offense. New Mexico State has won jusl five games in the past four years, including last season's lone victory over Kansas (42--29). Place kicker Dat Ly, a Vietnamese refugee, set school records for accuracy and field goals made (17 out of 21) last year.

Here's hoping your team wins.

Top 20 Teams

1. Notre Dame.......... 12--0

2. Miami ..........10--1

3. Michigan ..........10--1

4. Nebraska ..........10--1

5. Florida State ..........9--2

6. Southern California ..........9--2

7. Louisiana State ..........9--2

8. Syracuse ..........9--2

9. Auburn ..........9--2

10. Alabama ..........8--3

11. Houston ..........8--3

12. Oklahoma ..........8--3

13. UCLA ..........8--3

14. Penn State ..........8--3

15. Texas A&M ..........8--3

16. Colorado ..........8--3

17. Clemson ..........8--3

18. Arkansas ..........8--3

19. Wyoming ..........9--2

20. West Virginia ..........8--3

Possible breakthroughs:Georgia (8--3), North Carolina State (8--3), Brigham Young (8--4), Hawaii (8--4), Virginia (8--4), Duke (7--4), Boston College (7--4), Washington (7--4), Arizona State (7--4), Illinois (7--4), Indiana (7--4), Southern Mississippi (7--4), South Carolina (7--4), Oklahoma State (7--4), Louisville (7--4).

Special thanks to the Sheraton Bal Harbour Hotel, Bal Harbour, Florida

The Playboy All-Americas

Playboy's College Football Coach of the Year is Don Nehlen from West Virginia University. Now beginning his tenth year with the Mountaineers, Nehlen has a career record of 69-36-1. Last year, West Virginia recorded a perfect 11--0 record before losing to Notre Dame in the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl. Nehlen is the recipient of numerous coach-of-the-year awards, including the prestigious Bobby Dodd Award for "a higher and more noble aspect of college coaching."


Major Harris--Quarterback, 6′1″, 207 pounds, West Virginia, junior. East Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Passed for 1195 yards and 14 T.D.s; had highest passing-efficiency rating in N.C.A.A.

Darren Lewis--Running back, 5′11″, 207 pounds, Texas A&M, junior. Southwest Conference Offensive Player record 1692 yards last season.

Emmitt Smith--Running back, 5′10″, 205 pounds, Florida, junior. Reached 2000 rushing yards in fifth game of last season, second earliest of any sophomore back in collegiate history (first was Herschel Walker).

Darrell Thompson--Running back, 6′1″, 220 pounds, Minnesota, senior. First Big Ten player to rush for more than 1000 yards in each of his first two seasons.

Clarkston Hines--Wide receiver, 6′1″, 170pounds, Duke, senior. Caught 68 passes for 1067 yards and ten T.D.s last season. Should set all-time A.C.C. record for receptions.

Greg McMurtry--Wide receiver, 6′3″, 197 pounds, Michigan, senior. Caught 27 passes for 470 yards last season, Greg is not pictured because he was playing for the Wolverines in the Big Ten baseball play-offs at time of photo.

Pat Crowley-- Offensive lineman, 6′5″ 280 pounds, North Carolina, senior. Led the way for two 1000-yard rushing backs in three years as starter.

Doug Glaser-- Offensive lineman, 6′7″, 295 pounds, Nebraska, senior. Part of line that paved the way for the Cornhuskers' national rushing title (382.3 yards per game).

Jake Young-- Center, 6′4″, 270 pounds, Nebraska, senior. Referred to by his coaches as "the finest technician we've seen at his position." Also an Academic Big Eight.

Mike Pfeifer-- Offensive lineman, 6′7″, 305 pounds, Kentucky, senior. Should be back at full strength (bench-presses 465 pounds) after knee injury last season.

Bob Kula-- Offensive lineman, 6′4″, 282 pounds, Michigan State, senior. Switched from left guard to left tackle to replace Tony Mandarich.

Chris Oldham-- Kick returner, 5′9″, 180 pounds, Oregon, senior. Led nation in kickoff returns last season with 29.4-yard average.

Robbie Keen--Place kicker, 6′3″, 215 pounds, University of California, junior. Kicked 21 out of 25 last season, 11 of 12 from 40 yards or more.


Tim Ryan--Defence lioneman, 6′5″, 250 pounds, Southern California, senior. Fourth year as starter; had 75 tackles, 13 for losses last season.

Dennis Brown--Defensive lineman, 6′4″, 300 pounds, Washington, senior. Already ranks fifth at Washington in career tackles for losses (29).

Lester Archambeau--Defensive lineman, 6′5″, 260 pounds, Stanford, senior. Second-team Pac Ten last year; one of most improved defensive linemen in nation.

Aaron Wallace--Linebacker, 6′4″, 230 pounds, Texas A&M, senior. All--Southwest Conference last season; already has 31.5 career sacks.

Keith McCants--Linebacker, 6′5″, 252 pounds, Alabama, junior. In mold of former 'Bama linebackers Cornelius Bennett and Derrick Thomas; has 4.5 speed in the 40.

Percy Snow--Linebacker, 6′3″, 240 pounds, Michigan State, senior. All--Big Ten last season; finished in top five for Butkus Award for best linebacker.

James Francis--Linebacker, 6′4″, 236 pounds, Baylor, senior. Had 82 tackles last season, including eight for losses.

Robert Blackmon--Defensive back, 5′11″, 195 pounds, Baylor, senior. All--Southwest Conference last season, second year in a row.

Adrian Jones--Defensive back, 6′0″, 184 pounds, Missouri, senior. All--Big Eight two years in a row; 44 unassisted tackles last season.

Mark Carrier--Defensive back, 180 pounds, Southern California, junior. Had 114 tackles last season and 17 pass deflections.

Alonzo Hampton--Defensive back, 6′0″, 190 pounds, Pittsburgh, senior, Second-team all-America last year; 14th nationally in punt returns.

Bobby Lilljedahl--Punter, 6′5″, 220 pounds, Texas, senior. Ranked sixth in nation last season with 42.6-yard average.

Rest of the Best

Quarterbacks:Scott Mitchell (Utah), Tommy Hodson (Louisiana State), Tony Rice (Notre Dame), Todd Ellis (South Carolina), Troy Taylor (California), Jeff George (Illinois), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), Cary Conklin (Washington), Neil O'Donnell (Maryland), Brett Favre (Southern Mississippi)

Running Backs:Anthony Thompson (Indiana), Tony Boles (Michigan), Blair Thomas (Penn State), Rodney Hampton (Georgia), Eric Bieniemy (Colorado), Ken Clark (Nebraska), Steve Broussard (Washington State), Mike Mayweather (Army), Blake Ezor (Michigan State), Carlos Snow (Ohio State), Chuck Weatherspoon (Houston), Johnny Johnson (San Jose State), Jon Volpe (Stanford), Terry Allen (Clemson), Harold Green (South Carolina), Derek Loville (Oregon), Jerry Mays (Georgia Tech), Curvin Richards (Pittsburgh), Tommie Stowers (Missouri)

Receivers:Reggie Rembert (West Virginia), Tony Moss (Louisiana State), Tony Jones (Texas), Derek Brown, Raghib Ismail (Notre Dame), Calvin Williams (Purdue), Chris Gaiters (Minnesota), Charles Arbuckle (UCLA), Tim Stallworth (Washington State), Patrick Newman (Utah State), Marcus Cherry (Boston College)

Offensive Linemen:Frank Cornish (UCLA), Dean Caliguire (Pittsburgh), Eric Still (Tennessee), Ed King (Auburn), Tim Grunhard (Notre Dame), Jeff Davidson (Ohio State), Joey Banes (Houston), Roy Brown (Virginia), Mike Sullivan (Texas Christian), Sieve Tardy (Rutgers), Charles Odiorne (Texas Tech), Mark Tucker (Southern Cal), Steve Slay (Wyoming), Grant Lowe (East Carolina), David McKinnon (Cal State-Long Beach)

Defensive Linemen:Odell Haggins (Florida State), Chris Zorich (Notre Dame), Mike Lodish (UCLA), Bill Goldberg (Georgia), Shane Collins (Arizona State), Greg Mark (Miami), Morris Gardner (Illinois), David Rocker (Auburn), Oliver Barnett (Kentucky), Rob Burnett (Syracuse), Ray Agnew (North Carolina State), Ray Savage (Virginia), Mitch Donahue (Wyoming), Michael Shepherd (Arkansas), Joel Smeenge (Western Michigan), Pellom McDaniels (Oregon State)

Linebackers:Brad Quast (Iowa), Mark Sander (Louisville), Terry Wooden (Syracuse), Kanavis McGhee (Colorado), James Williams (Mississippi State), Huey Richardson (Florida), Maurice Crum (Miami), Lamar Lathon (Houston), Jon Leverenz (Minnesota), Darrin Trieb (Purdue), J. J. Grant (Michigan), Jeff Mills (Nebraska), Loranzo Square (Temple), Mitch Lee (Cornell), DeMond Winston (Vanderbilt), Rob Hinckley (Stanford), Brian Chizmar (Penn State), Michael Stonebreaker (Notre Dame), Kevin Singleton, Chris Singleton (Arizona)

Defensive Backs:Cleveland Colter (Southern Cal), Todd Sandroni (Mississippi), Ben Smith (Georgia), Nathan LaDuke (Arizona State), James Lott (Clemson), Jesse Campbell (North Carolina State), Eddie Moore (Memphis State), Reggie Cooper (Nebraska), Bob Weissenfels (Navy), Patrick Williams (Arkansas), Alton Montgomery (Houston), John Hardy (California), Gene Jelks (Alabama), Junior Robinson (East Carolina)

Place Kickers:Jeff Shudak (Iowa State), Collin Mackie (South Carolina), David Browndyke (Louisiana State), Pat O'Morrow (Ohio State), Alfredo Velasco (UCLA), Roman Anderson (Houston), Carlos Huerta (Miami), John Ivanic (Northern Illinois), Cary Blanchard (Oklahoma State)

Punters:Tony Rhynes (Nevada--Las Vegas), Shawn McCarthy (Purdue), Simon Rodriguez (Houston)

Anson Mount Scholar/Athlete

The Anson Mount Scholar/Athlete Award recognizes achievement both in the classroom and on the football field. Nominated by their universities, the candidates are judged by the editors of Playboy on their collegiate scholastic and athletic accomplishments. The award winner attends Playboy's pre-season All-America Weekend--this year held at the Sheraton Bal Harbour Hotel in Bal Harbour, Florida--receives a bronzed commemorative medallion and is included in the team photograph published in the magazine. In addition, Playboy awards $5000 to the general scholarship fund of the winner's university.

This year's Anson Mount Scholar/Athlete Award in football goes to Don Davey of the University of Wisconsin. Davey, a starter in the Badgers' defensive line for the past three seasons, is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering. His over-all grade-point average is 3.81; last year, it was 3.98. Don hopes to earn a master's degree in biomedical engineering.

Honorable mention: Pat Jackson (Bowling Green), Jeff Hunsaker (Utah State), Jon Volpe (Stanford), Louis Riddick (Pittsburgh), James Edwin Lyle (Auburn), Todd Sandroni (Mississippi), Curt Lovelace (Illinois), Andy McCarroll (Vanderbilt), Donzel Leggett (Purdue), Ira Adler (Northwestern), Eric Still (Tennessee), Chris Willertz (Michigan State), Mark Kamphaus (Boston College), Bill Musgrave (Oregon), Mark Tingstad (Arizona State), John Jackson (Southern California), Mark Fryer (South Carolina), Smith Wilson Holland (Kansas), Greg Garnica (Ball State), Donald Wayne Hollas (Rice), Sean Mulhearn (Western Michigan).

All--East Independent: Wooden, Burnett, Moore, Flannery, Bednarz, Bavaro (Syracuse); B. Thomas, Collins, Chizmar, Duffy, Schonewolf (Penn State); Harris, Rembert, Turnbull, Haering, Whitmore (West Virginia); Cherry, Lowe, Caesar, Labbe, Kamphaus (Boston College); Hampton, Caliguire, Richards, Tuten, Riddick, Spindler, Siragusa (Pittsburgh); Mayweather, Miller, Barnett, Thorson, Frey (Army); Erney, Tardy, McQueen, Udovich (Rutgers); Square, Johnson, Haynes, Beck, Rush, Armstrong (Temple); Weissenfels, Grizzard, Kirkland, Lowe (Navy).

All-Ivy: Keys, Johnson, Glover, Moshyedi, Whaley, Poderys (Pennsylvania); Johnson, Clark, Casturo, Hibbard (Dartmouth); Lee, Mannings, Parks, Monago, McNiff, Field (Cornell); Garrett, Pagnanelli, Lutz (Princeton); Geroux, Clark, Burke, Tauber, Harrison (Brown); Reese, Huff, Brown, Perks, Verduzco, Callahan (Yale); Reidy, Gicewicz (Harvard); Paschall, Pollard, Bess, Johnson (Columbia).

All-Southeastern: Hodson, Moss, Browndyke, Rodrigue, Fuller, H. Williams, Dunbar, Boutte (Louisiana State); King, Rocker, Ogletree, Riggins, Slack, Danley, Lyle (Auburn); McCants, Jelks, Ozmint, Mangum, Wyatt, Doyle (Alabama); Hampton, Goldberg, Smith, Lewis, Mull, Douglas, Marshall (Georgia); E. Smith, Richardson, Francis, Simmons, Durden, Miles, Paulk, Fain (Florida); Pfeifer, Barnett, Massey, Holleran (Kentucky); Still, Hobby, Warren, Woods, Harper, Kline, Elmore (Tennessee); Winston, Gromos, Law, McCarroll, Reese, G. Smith (Vanderbilt); Sandroni, Bennett, Cobb, Coleman, Green, Childers, Pritchett (Mississippi); J. Williams, Fair, T. Robertson, Logan (Mississippi State).

All--Atlantic Coast: Lott, Allen, Hammond, McDaniel, Gardocki, Cooper (Clemson); Agnew, Campbell, Davenport, Adell, J. Johnson, Vinson, Houston (North Carolina State); Brown, Savage, Covington, Finkelston, McMeans, Moore, O'Connor, Toliver (Virginia); Hines, Boone, Colonna, Metts, Peterson, Port (Duke); Mays, Jenkins, Lester, Thomas, Burks, Swilling (Georgia Tech); Proehl, Hoyle, Ferguson, Mayberry, Lingerfelt, Young (Wake Forest); O'Donnell, Agent, R. Johnson, Saylor, Webster (Maryland); Crowley, Martin, Gray, Hollier, Dorn (North Carolina).

All--South Independent: Mark, Crum, J. Jones, Maryland, Sullivan (Miami); Haggins, K. Smith, Carter, Willis, Lewis (Florida State); Ellis, Mackie, Green, Hinton, Price, Brooks (South Carolina); Favre, Williams, Bradley, King, Tillman, Watts, Ryals (Southern Mississippi); Moronta, Hill, Roger Brown, Pavlik, Jeffries, Richardson, Cockrell (VirginiaTech); Moore, Epps, Wilson, Pryor (Memphis State); R. Jones, A. Thompson, Robinson, Lowe (East Carolina); Price, Pierce, McIntosh (Tulane).

All--Big Ten: McMurtry, Skrepanek, Boles, Grant, Brown, Taylor, Walker, Hoard, Welborne (Michigan); George, Gardner, Brownlow, Primous, Agee (Illinois); A. Thompson, Schnell, Turner, Vargo, Dumas (Indiana); Ellis, Snow, Davidson, O'Morrow, Staysniak, Dumas, Brown, Gurd (Ohio State); Snow, Kula, Ezor, Davis, Langeloh, Vanderbeek, Barnett (Michigan State); Quast, Stewart, Anderson (Iowa); D. Thompson, Gaiters, Leverenz, Herbel (Minnesota); Trieb, Williams, Kelson, Jackson, McCarthy (Purdue); Pierce, Magazzeni, Banaszak, Hunter, White, Davey (Wisconsin); Christian, Vest, Griswold, Adler (Northwestern).

All-Mid-American: Riley, Parmalee, Garnica, Stucker (Ball State); Dennis, D. Johnson, Wierenga, Bender, Riley (Central Michigan); Smeenge, Agema, Kraus (Western Michigan); Spidel, Saunders, Trotter, Evans (Toledo); Garrett, Terry, Cross (Ohio University); Wyka, Towe, Foster, Sullivan, Schmidt, Gordon (Eastern Michigan); Thornton, Shale, Addie, Wilson (Bowling Green); Massimiani, Harmon, Hartman, Stratton, Stroia (Kent State); Ondrula, Hanks, Napoli (Miami of Ohio).

All--Midwest Independent: Rice, Grunhard, D. Brown, Ismail, Alm, Zorich, Bolcar, Stonebreaker, Terrell (Notre Dame); Sander, Douglas, Fortune, Alexander (Louisville); Delisi, Dach, Ivanic, Tucker (Northern Illinois); Bruscianelli, Traut, Bowman (Cincinnati).

Corruption In College Athletics: Cole's Quick Fix

Too Many Colleges bribe their star athletes. Drive by the football-team parking lot full of Jags and ZXs next to the practice field. Check out the Rolexes and gold chains some of the players wear. Call the bank to see if the mortgage on the family home was paid off just after the blue-chip football prospect decided which college to attend. Count the college players who have agents before the season has even begun.

Not all standout players take money in even the dirtiest of programs. There are still some people in the big-time game of college athletics who play by the rules. But their numbers dwindle as big money corrupts some of the nation's most gifted athletes.

The system needs to be changed. First, pay the players. Give them a fair living allowance in addition to their tuition, room and board, so that they can pay for a movie, buy clothes, make a car payment or send money home, if that is where it is most needed. The allowance need not be high--$500 a month, or $6000 a year, to a prescribed number of athletes at each school. A percentage of gate and television receipts should be set aside by the N.C.A.A. to create a fund for these payments. Second, throw the cheaters out of the game. If clear violations of the rules are proven, the perpetrators--players, coaches, college administrators, alumni--must be banned from further contact with the sport.

What is at stake is not the game of college football. It thrives remarkably well in terms of attendance figures and TV ratings. What is at stake is the integrity of too many young men who are taught by the system men who are taught by the system that cheating is OK, that the rules apply only to the less talented. The players deserve a system that offers them some minimum compensation and a better opportunity to remain honest.

All--Big Eight: Young, Glaser, Clark, Mills, Wells, Cooper, Gregory, Calienco (Nebraska); Evans, Perry, Manning, Gaddis (Oklahoma); Bieniemy, McGhee, Williams, Young, Vander Poel, Walker, Muilenberg (Colorado); Gundy, Blanchard, Green, Colbert, R. Smith (Oklahoma State); A. Jones, Stowers, Bruton, Miller, MacDonald, L Johnson (Missouri); Shudak, Busch, Shane, Sims, Robertson (Iowa State); Donohoe, Q. Smith, Lohsen (Kansas); Washington, Yniguez, Henry, Miller (Kansas State).

All-Southwest: Lathon, Montgomery, Banes, Ware, Weatherspoon, Oglesby, Forsythe, Rodriguez (Houston); Shepherd, Grovey, Mabry, R Williams, Foster (Arkansas); Lewis, Wallace, McCall, R. Wilson, Webb, Washington, G. Jones (Texas A&M); Francis, Blackmon, Bass, Turnpaugh, M. Jones, Kinne, Welch (Baylor); Lilljedahl, T. Jones, Cunningham, B. Jones, Richard, Clements (Texas); Gray, Odiorne, Harris, Simmons, Richburg (Texas Tech); F Washington, Sullivan, Darthard, Crump (Texas Christian); Hollas, Brigance (Rice).

All--Pac 10: Ryan, Carrier, Colter, Tucker, Ross, Jackson, Holt, Galbraith, Emanuel, Owens, Gibson, Chesley (Southern California); Cornish, Lodish, Velasco, Arbuckle, Turner, Farr, Meyer, Davis, Darby, Moore (UCLA); D. Brown, Conklin, Burkhalter, Brostek, Lang, Harrison (Washington); Collins, LaDuke, Tingstad, Justin, McReynolds, Perkins, Underwood (Arizona State); Keen, Taylor, Ortega, Hardy, Ford, Tagaloa (California); C. Singleton, K. Singleton, Brandom, Greathouse, Eldridge, McGill, Lewis (Arizona); Oldham, Loville, Musgrave, Obee, Kearns (Oregon); Broussard, Stallworth, Hanson, Savage, Gray (Washington State); Archambeau, Hinckley, Volpe, Papathanassiou, Hopkins, Tunney, Grant, Scott (Stanford); Chaffey, Ross, McDaniels, Bussanich, Tuaolo, Bailey (Oregon State).

All--Western Athletic: Donahue, Slay, Dawson, Fleming, Gilmore, Harris, Addison, Schlichting (Wyoming); Covey, Detmer, Davis, Bellini, Whittingham, Elewonibi (Brigham Young); Khan-Smith, Maeva, L. Jones, Roscoe, Tresler, Directo, Briggs, Elam (Hawaii); Dowis, G. Johnson, Bell, Gladney, Walker (Air Force); Sale, Morgan, Barrett, Iakopo (Texas--El Paso); Mitchell, D. Smith, Harris, Edwards (Utah); Thompson, Epley, Willis (Colorado State); Gilbreath, Fortin, Mao, Rowe (San Diego State); Bell, Leach (New Mexico).

All--Big West: Cox, Pickens, J. Williams, Jones, Ruggeroli, Martin, Craver (Fresno State); Pringle, Palamara, Schaffel, Speltz, Redding (Cal State--Fullerton); Rhynes, Jackson, Reinoehl, Wise (Nevada--Las Vegas); J. Johnson, Evans, Muraoka, Moss, Rasnick, Colar (San Jose State); Newman, Hunsaker, Clark, Lyles, Hansen (Utah State); McKinnon, D. Washington, Ryan, Jenkins (Cal State--Long Beach); Koperek, Brown, Hampton, Thompson, Barlow, Williams (University of the Pacific); Ly, Dickey, Thomas, Singleton (New Mexico State).

Photography by Richard Izui
Quarterback Tony Rice, a leading candidate for this year's Heisman Trophy, will lead Notre Dame in its attempt to win back-to-back national championships.
Photography by Richard Izui
The 1989 Playboy All-America Team Offense Left to right, top to bottom: Mike Pfeifer (75), offensive lineman, Kentucky; Robbie Keen (10), place kicker, California-Berkeley; Jake Young (68), center, Nebraska; Darrell Thompson (39), running back, Minnesota; Doug Glaser (70), offensive lineman, Nebraska; Pat Crowley (51), offensive lineman, North Carolina; Clarkston Hines (12), wide receiver, Duke; Don Nehlen, Coach of the Year, West Virginia; Bob Kula (63), offensive lineman, Michigan State; Darren Lewis (25), running back, Texas A&M; Chris Oldham (2), kick returner, Oregon; Major Harris (9), quarterback, West Virginia; Emmitt Smith (22), running back, Florida.
Photography by Richard Izui
The 1989 Playboy All-America Team Defense Left to right, top to bottom: Lester Archambeau (72), defensive lineman, Stanford; James Francis (38), linebacker, Baylor; Bobby Lilljedahl (14), punter, Texas; Dennis Brown (79), defensive lineman, Washington; Tim Ryan (99), defensive lineman, Southern Cal; Don Davey (91), Anson Mount Scholar/Athlete, Wisconsin; Percy Snow (48), linebacker, Michigan State; Mark Carrier (7), defensive back, Southern Cal; Robert Blackmon (21), defensive back, Baylor; Keith McCants (86), linebacker, Alabama; Adrian Jones (2), defensive back, Missouri; Aaron Wallace (23), linebacker, Texas A&M; Alonzo Hampton (3), defensive back, Pittsburgh.