College football's upper crust shows no signs of flaking

Reading time, two minutes If you conclude the college football polls end up looking strangely familiar year after year, maybe it's because they do. The current 1-6 cast of Miami, Washington, Florida, Michigan, Florida State and Penn State finished 3-9-6-13-8-10 last year. And there are only three new visitors to the AP's top 15.

* Hall of Fame ballot: Tom Seaver, Tony Perez (first-timers), Jim Kaat, Rollie Fingers, Ken Boyer, Orlando Cepeda, Vada Pinson, Ron Santo, Rusty Staub, Joe Torre. Justifications provided upon request.


* Here are some of the names on the losing side of games reported in the newspapers the other day: B.C. Panionios (Greece), Russian National All-Stars, Cuba, Netherlands National, Rep. of Russia, Lithuania, Bayeuth (Germany), Norway Ammenrud, Trenon (Czechoslovakia), Stockholm Capitals. European soccer? No, early-season college hoops.

* Numbers: The NFL had about 160,000 no-shows over a recent weekend and some contests have been running in the 3:20-3:40 time range consistently. Does this worry anyone in the league office? . . . How come no one outside Des Moines, Iowa City, Davenport and Dubuque has mentioned the Hawkeyes and they're 10-1 and ranked fifth in the college polls? . . . Temple uses the Vet in Philly as its home field and the Owls drew just 5,183 for their finale vs. Akron . . . Miami isn't required to split TV loot with its Big East partners this year and the 'Canes raked it in, appearing on ABC three times and ESPN twice, not to mention the upcoming Orange Bowl windfall.


* The new guy running the Women's Tennis Association, Gerry Smith, must have failed to notice the TV sports advertising market these days. While the networks are welcoming no-risk, buy-the-time programming like dog shows, skins games, etc., Smith wants to create 10 women's tourneys with $1 million purses each with one of the nets picking up most of the tab. Good luck.

* One of the problems St. John's coach Lou Carnesecca had with the Big East-ACC Challenge currently raging is "in the early season, coaches would rather play the Sisters of the Poor." Speaking of which, the Redmen are 34-0 after 17 years of their Joe Lapchick Memorial tourney, playing teams with 6-3 centers mostly.

* The more things change the more they remain the same dept.The Midwest Division of the Continental Basketball League Quad City, Fort Wayne, Rockford and LaCrosse -- sounds a lot like the NBA's Western Division, circa 1949-50.

* The alleged stadium Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke is building in Washington will have 150 luxury boxes going for $100,000 a season, and he won't have to give a nickel of the proceeds to visiting teams. So give the city the parking, Jack.

* It phases Claremont-Mudd not a bit that its footballers went 0-9, including two losses to arch-rival Whittier (Tricky Dick's school), not so long as its water polo squad registered its 100th straight conference victory.

* At a biggie baseball card show in California last week, Ted Williams' autograph headed the list at $40 a pop and Thumper wouldn't sign bats. Steve Carlton drew $18 per signature, which should help to pay for his media relations classes.

* Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson runs the risk of having his players look up his NBA statistic of having been credited with just 19 assists in 74 games played over two seasons. Especially after a couple hours of him yelling to pass the ball.

* Rocky strikes again! Remember in the movie "Rocky," when Sly Stallone steps into the ring to fight Apollo Creed with a robe advertising a slaughterhouse? Come Dec. 15, when he goes against Mike McCallum, IBF middleweight champ James "Lights Out" Toney will be sporting a robe and trunks bearing the Kayo (collector cards) logo. No doubt tattoos are on the way.


* Donny Lalonde, you might recall, quit the ring shortly after making a killing while serving as a Sugar Ray Leonard punching bag. Obviously, he had his fingers crossed, because Donny's fighting 10-rounders in Memphis tonight, Nashville on Saturday and in Winnipeg Dec. 17.

* College hoops junkies with a spare 10-spot might like to avail themselves of a Final Four 1992 calendar, featuring photos of memorable NCAA title games, by calling 1-800-735-NCAA.