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Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 1990

COLORADO RATED BIGGEST SURPRISE

November 21, 1990

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Here's a retrospective on the Big Eight football season while wondering if anybody cares who wins Friday's Nebraska-Oklahoma game.

MOST SURPRISING TEAM Colorado. Did anyone really believe Colorado would repeat as Big Eight champion? Now for the second year in a row the Buffs are one win away from the national title.

WORST FIFTEEN MINUTES Nebraska led Colorado 12-0 after three quarters, then gave up 27 points to the Buffs in the fourth quarter. At home.

DR. JEKYLL-MR. HYDE AWARD Missouri. Nobody could figure how the Tigers would perform from one week to the next. How could they lose at home to TCU (20-19), lay an egg at Oklahoma State (48-28) and go belly up at Indiana (58-7), then defeat Colorado (sort of)?

MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT The Columbia Seven. Not a single one of the Big Eight officials assigned to the Colorado-Missouri game realized they'd awarded the Buffs the fifth down that enabled CU to win 33-31 on the last play of the game.

MOST RIDICULOUS COMMENT Bill McCartney. Asked if he would consider forfeiting the win over Missouri because of the officials' gaffe, the Colorado coach said his team deserved to win because of the poor condition of the artificial turf at Faurot Field.

BEST SECOND-STRING QUARTERBACK Missouri's Phil Johnson. Pressed into duty when starter Kent Kiefer suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, Johnson, a red-shirt freshman, guided the Tigers to victories in their last two games.

MOST DESTRUCTIVE VISIT TO LAWRENCE SINCE QUANTRILL Missouri wide receiver Linzy Collins caught nine passes for a Big Eight record 229 yards in a 31-21 victory at Kansas.

HE'S NO BARRY SANDERS, BUT Oklahoma State senior tailback Gerald Hudson came on so strong late in the season that he could become the first player to lead the nation in rushing and not even finish in the Top 10 of the Heisman Trophy balloting.

FICKLE FINGER OF FATE Blaise Bryant. Touted as a potential Heisman candidate after rushing for 1,516 yards last season, Iowa State's tailback missed two games with a knee injury and hobbled to a 753-yard season.

DULLEST GAME I SAW Colorado 41, Kansas 10. The Jayhawks did absolutely nothing worth writing about.

MOST EXCITING GAME I SAW Kansas 31, Oklahoma State 30. It wasn't over until Cary Blanchard's field goal attempt flicked off the upright with a couple of ticks left, and it featured a stirring Kansas combeback.

EASIEST SCHEDULE Kansas State. The Wildcats wouldn't have won five games without it.

MOST IMPROVED TEAM Kansas State. Even with the cushy schedule, the 'Cats weren't a doormat. Ask Iowa State and Oklahoma State.

OFFENSIVE FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR Nebraska tight end Johnny Mitchell. He's not even listed among the Big Eight's top receivers because he has only 11 catches. However, he has more TD receptions (7) than anyone in the league.

BEST THIRD-STRING TAILBACK Chaka Johnson. When Tony Sands and George White were hurt, the Kansas red-shirt sophomore rushed for 120 yards against Nebraska and 105 against Missouri.

PICKY, PICKY, PICKY KU's Dan Eichloff can't win the Big Eight punting championship officially because he averaged only 3.54 punts a game. The NCAA's bottom line is 3.6.

BEST BIVOUAC Kansas offensive co-ordinator Golden Pat Ruel lived in a tent on the practice field during two-a-days.

WORST BIVOUAC Kansas chancellor Gene Budig suffered from numerous bug bites after spending a night in Ruel's tent.

HISTORICAL FOOTNOTE YOU WON'T SEE ON JEOPARDY Kansas and Missouri, the two oldest football rivals west of the Mississippi River, both posted 4-7 records during their 100th season of football KU in 1989, MU in '90.

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