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Schools have long scheduled likely wins for old grads' weekend, a team such as Northwestern, for instance, serving as the opposition for as many as four or five Big Ten homecomings in a single season. As one Wildcats player once put it, "At least we get to see the best-looking girls on campus [the queen and her court]."
The Terps still lead the ACC in total offense, 458 yards per game, and that's without the benefit of going against the conference's most porous defense, its own. The Seminoles are averaging 30 points a game, and Maryland has been giving that many to lesser teams.
* Maryland isn't the only team walking around with a lousy record (2-7) thinking that with a break or two it could be respectable, maybe even a contender for a bowl bid. Take Virginia Tech (2-5-1), for instance.
"We got tied on the last play of a game, lost in the last minute and lost in the last minute and a half," coach Frank Beamer said of VPI stumbles against North Carolina State, East Carolina and Louisville.
Last weekend's horror show at Rutgers was the real killer, though. "I was in shock the whole next day," Beamer said. Which is probably a good thing because he was wiped out on the sideline during a punt return play and figured to be mighty sore.
Tech led its Big East foe 28-7, and was perhaps thinking ahead to 10th-ranked Syracuse (7-1) this week when big plays began arriving by the bushel. "Just about the time we'd do something and you'd start feeling good, something else would happen and I'd ask myself, 'Now how could that have happened?' "
Rutgers, similar to what Maryland did at Duke the week before, went nearly the length of the field in 14 seconds and two pass plays, the last resulting in a touchdown after time expired. The scene was such that the Scarlet Knights didn't even get a chance to try for the extra point in the 50-49 donnybrook.
"The problem with winning a game like that," Rutgers coach Doug Graber said, "is everyone will be talking about the Virginia Tech game all week, and we have to go play in Cincinnati Saturday."
These guys are never satisfied, right?
* Six bouts will be included on the "Fight Night '92" card, which benefits children's charities at the Washington Hilton Nov. 12. The best figures to be former world champ Carlos DeLeon defending his IBC cruiserweight title against Vincent Boulwaare, artist from Harrisburg. Another IBC crown on the line has Washingtonian Kenny Baysmore testing unbeaten David Sample at 135 pounds. Roberto Duran, at the start of his umpteenth comeback, was scheduled, but sustained a hand injury (no doubt mistaking a couple of his fingers for a double cheeseburger).
* Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is nothing if not truthful. Regarding the Seminoles' ACC title, he says, "All we've done is about what they said we'd do, except we didn't dominate as much." To everyone's surprise, State beat Clemson by four points, Georgia Tech by five and Virginia was in it all the way before losing, 13-3.
* If and when the NFL decides to get rid of its posturing commissioner Paul Tagliabue, a good replacement would be Randy Cross. The ex-49ers center, now calling games for CBS, has some nifty ideas, including, "A two-point conversion to add some excitement . . . domed teams being required to spot visiting teams seven points . . . and each team being required to have at least five guys with personality, and they must be willing to show them."
* Fighters always insist what's written and said about them just rolls off their backs. It's generally bull. With Evander Holyfield, you can believe it. "I see my fight against Riddick Bowe [Nov. 13] as a no-lose situation," the champ said. "People think he's equal to me or better. This is the young guy that's supposed to come along and give me trouble. All I have to do is win. If I win, I won't care what anybody thinks. I would like to get as big a victory as possible, but I never lose sight of the first priority, winning. That's why I've never lost."
The pay-per-view charge for this one, incidentally, is $38.
* Hey, Maryland basketball makes it back to national TV for the first time in what seems like a decade, but maybe not like you expected. CBS announced its schedule the other day and it's the Lady Terps getting the call, taking part in a doubleheader at Ohio State Jan. 2: Maryland vs. Purdue; Virginia vs. O-State. Perhaps the nets didn't notice Gary Williams' young wizards are off sanctions.
* Did you notice that in the (PGA) Tour Championship at Pinehurst last weekend, the 30th and last-place finisher Steve Pate walked off with a check for 30 Gs after finishing 11 shots over par? Obviously, just as it never rains on the golf course (a saying), recession never shows up there either.
* It looks bad for an already-approved $1.5 million Silver Spring-to-downtown D.C. bike trail now that the Citizens Against Government Waste folks have honed in on the project. "While we have nothing against cyclists and bike trails," said a CAGW spokesman, "the question is, why should taxpayers across the country pay for a bike trail in Washington?"
* NPSL rules say a goalie can throw a ball over three lines legally, so look for netminders in the league to come up with as many as a half-dozen goals this year. The Spirit would seem to be all set in this department since Cris Vaccaro is the all-time scoring leader among MSL goalies with eight goals and 64 assists in 12 seasons.
* The Wrestling Independent Network show at Martin's North Point Nov. 15 (7 p.m.) benefiting the Ronald McDonald House will feature Ivan Koloff taking on Lucifer, "Knight of the Road," and the team of A.C. Golden and Nikolai Volkoff trading dirty tricks with Don Muraco and Axl Rotten. Ringside is $12, general admission $8.