Now that the Big Eight football season is over -- unless Missouri and Hawaii are still playing this morning -- it's time for a retrospective. To wit:
Best scheduling -- Missouri. When you haven't had a winning season in a decade, what could be more pragmatic than playing the finale in Hawaii?
Worst scheduling -- Kansas State. Hawaii yes, Nevada-Las Vegas no.
Biggest surprise -- Rashaan Salaam. Everybody knew Colorado's tailback was good, but nobody suspected he was the second coming of Barry Sanders.
Biggest surprise II -- L.T. Levine. Everybody thought June Henley was Kansas' best running back, but Levine took over when Henley hurt a shoulder and rushed for 803 yards and 11 touchdowns. Compare, too, his 6.3 yards per carry average to Salaam's 6.9.
Smallest surprise -- Jim Walden. Everybody knew before the season that Iowa State's coach was history and, of course, he was.
Smallest surprise II -- Walden. Everybody knew he was asking for trouble by ripping the officials, and the Big Eight finally made him pay by suspending him for one game.
Biggest copout -- Doug Tucker. He's the Kansas City-based sports writer for the Associated Press. Tucker sent out so few ballots that the AP's All-Big Eight team had a ridiculous tie at quarterback between Colorado's Kordell Stewart and Kansas State's Chad May.
Best coaching job -- Pat Jones. Oklahoma State's coach won three games with no talent. Compare to Walden who won no games with no talent.
Most confusing development -- Colorado's Bill McCartney resigned and Iowa State hired a Wisconsin aide named Dan McCarney.
Best idea -- The Boulder deli owner who advertised a sandwich called the Rashaan Salami. That's free enterprise at its ... oops, the deli owner had to change the name because it's an NCAA no-no to use a student-athlete's name in conjunction with a commercial enterprise.
Worst idea -- Bill Byrne. Nebraska's athletic director rejected an ESPN offer to televise the Kansas-Nebraska game because he didn't want to shift it to a night game. That arbitrary decision cost Kansas and Nebraska $140,000 apiece and the other six league schools $70,000 each.
Best game -- Colorado's thrilling 27-26 victory at Michigan.
Best game II -- Oklahoma's exciting 30-29 win at Syracuse.
Worst game -- Kansas' 72-0 win over Alabama-Birmingham, an NCAA Div. I-AA school playing its first game at the major leavel.
Worst game II -- Missouri's 42-0 loss to Illinois. The Tigers barely managed a first down that afternoon.
Best players with the same last name -- Colorado quarterback Kordell Stewart and Nebraska linebacker Ed Stewart.
Best running backs without a first name -- Kansas' L.T. Levine and Kansas State's J.J. Smith.
Best quarterback on a bad team -- Iowa State's Todd Doxson.
Best quarterback who should have received another year of eligibility -- Nebraska's Tommie Frazier.
Player of the year -- Hint: A sandwich was once named after him and his name will soon be on the Heisman Trophy.
Rookie of the year -- Andre Richardson. Oklahoma State's freshman running back gained 774 yards and averaged 6.4 yards per carry. Not that many people noticed.
Fireman of the year -- Nebraska quarterback Brook Berringer.
Coach of the year -- Are there any left?