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NOTEBOOKfrom page 9
doesn’t border on revenge,"
Snyder said. “We want to win
the game for all the obvious rea
Iowa State and Texas Tech
must now play the waiting game
after closing out their regular
seasons on Saturday. Both are
bowl-eligible but most likely
won't find out their destinations
until after the conference cham
pionship on Dec. 2.
Texas Tech Coach Mike
Leach said that while he is
extremely pleased with going 7
5 in his first campaign and
becoming bowl eligible, his
team could have been better.
“We had some missed
opportunities this year," said
Leach, referring to close losses
to Texas A&M, Texas, Kansas
State and Oklahoma. “There are
at least four games that we
would like to have over."
Leach received a one-year
contract extension last week for
his efforts this season.
Baylor Coach Kevin Steele,
who also received a recent con
tract extension, said being
scared is one way to cure losing
* something the Bears have
done a lot of lately.
“Fear is good as long as it
doesn't turn into panic," he said.
In other BU matters, Steele
said, he would like to know the
NCAA ruling on a medical red
shirt for quarterback Greg
Cicero as soon as possible.
Cicero, a junior college transfer,
broke his collarbone against
Minnesota in Baylor's second
game and the Bear offense
struggled mightily without him.
“We would like to know for
recruiting,” Steele said. “There is
a big difference in having your
quarterback for one or two
College football lovers will
have plenty to be excited about
besides leftover turkey and
stuffing the day after
Thanksgiving with two Big 12
rivalries back to back.
Nebraska and Colorado play
at 11 a.m., and Texas and Texas
A&M will kick off at 2:30 p.m. in
a game that marks the first
anniversary of the bonfire
tragedy at A&M.
“It’s Nebraska week,” CU
Coach Gary Barnett said. “That’s
all you have to say to get excited
Oklahoma State quarter
back Aso Pogi helped send
Cowboy Coach Bob Simmons
out a winner as OSU beat Baylor
50-22. Pogi was named the Big
12 Offensive Player of the Week
for his efforts after rushing for
four touchdowns and passing
Kansas State swept the
defensive and special teams
conference awards this week
with defensive end Chris
Johnson and fride receiver
Aaron Lockett getting the hon
Johnson forced a crucial
fumble and had four sacks in a
four-point win at Mizzou, while
Lockett had 59 yards total on
two punt returns. ’■
Compiled by Joshua
Larry Smith refuses
to resign,fired by MU
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Larry Smith remained true to his word, choos
ing to be fired as Missouri’s football coach rather than retire or resign.
Athletic Director Mike Alden said Sunday that he gave Smith die
option to resign after a 28-24 home loss to Kansas State on Saturday
finishing a 3-8 season. It was Missouri’s second straight losing season
after two consecutive bowl appearances.
Smith, who had three years left on his contract, said after the
game that he would not step down. He instead talked optimistically,
saying he thought Missouri would have a "great team” next year and
discussing recruiting priorities.
Alden met with Smith about 8 p.m. Saturday and informed him
he planned to make a change.
In a statement released by the school, Smith said he was given no
reasons for the dismissal.
"I am very proud of what our program has accomplished,” Smith
said. "It appears that what counts to this administration is only win
ning and losing.”
Alden said he would move swiftly to find a new coach, hoping to
fill the position in two to three weeks.
Speculation in Columbia has Florida State offensive coach Marie
Richt, Texas Christian coach Dennis Franchione and South Florida
coach Jim Leavitt at the top of Alden’s list
Smith was 33-46-1 in seven seasons at Missouri. His career record
is 143-126-7 in 24 seasons, with previous stops atTVdane, Arizona and
Alden listed four reasons why Smith was removed: a losing
record, particularly the last two years (7-15); an uncompetitive show
ing during that period; deficiencies in the personal development of
players; and poor recruiting after the two bowl seasons.
Missouri lost all five games it played this year against Top 25
teams. Smith was 1-27 against Top 25 teams while at Missouri.
In 1997, after 13 consecutive losing seasons at Missouri, Smith
guided the Tigers to a 7-5 record and the Holiday Bowl, and was hon
ored as Big 12 coach of the year by The Associated Press.
The next season, Missouri beat West Virginia in the Insight.com
Bowl, the school’s first bowl victory since 1981, and finished 8-4. The
consecutive bowl trips were the first for the school since 1980-81, and
Smith became one of only four coaches to take four different teams to
battle for Texas pride
BY SAMUEL MCKEWON
Texas A&M Coach R.C. Slocum and Texas Coach Mack Brown are
in lockstep agreement on Friday’s 2:30 p.m. Aggies-Longhoms clash,
often a Thanksgiving tradition.
It’s Lone Star-state big, and despite neither team representing Big
12 South Division in the Championship game this year, the enormity
of the friendly rivalry has not dimin
“It’s a real show for the type of foot- “We think it’s real
ball we play here in Texas,” said Brown, tn f
who has his UT squad back to No. 12 in lULK/ lu
The Associated Press polls. through the
doMn’tgetany^better^haifthis."Um "** SCOSOn With One
For fans on either side of the game, guarterback.
Slocum's right UT-A&M doesn't contain That’s why We’ye
the bubbling blood of the Texas- , , 7
Oklahoma game, but a hard-hitting, Piayea tWO this
pride-filled contest more about cele- season."
brating the game in the state. The previ
ous two games were down-to-the-wire, M . R_own
won by the home underdogs and sur- "r1* Browf
prise- filled. _Texas coach
In 1998, miming back Ricky Williams
broke the all-time NCAA rushing record against A&M with a long
touchdown run. Then, he made up for a late fumble by playing a key
role on a game-winning drive in a 26-24 win.
For Slocum, the emotions of last year’s game will be hard to
match, as the Aggies overcame a week of tragedy for victory. Twelve
A&M students had died earlier that week during the erection of the
biannual bonfire for the UT game at home. The Aggies were then
playing not only for the tradition of the school but for those that died
in its wake.
“There was a feeling that we had to come away with a win,”
Slocum said. “I felt a tremendous obligation.”
And despite having been pummeled by Nebraska and Oklahoma
in recent weeks, A&M, behind a good day from Ja’Mar Toombs, pulled
out a 20-16 win.
“It did have an uplifting effect to it,” Slocum said.
This matchup has no such implications, though the winner
would be assured a better bowl spot. The Aggies could land in the
Cotton Bowl with a victory, whereas a loss almost assures they drop
to the insight.com Bowl UT is not expected to make a third consecu
tive trip to Dallas but has an outside shot at the BCS, and a 9-2 record
would look good against a likely top( five opponent Orego n State in
the Holiday Bowl.
But the Longhorns have uncertainty at quarterback, as they haye
most of the season, while Major Applewhite practices with injury.
The same process occurred last year, and while Chris Simms started
that game, he was eventually replaced by Applewhite in the loss.
Brown said Applewhite may or may not play in the contest
Saturday and that practices later in the week will figure heavily into
“We think it’s real lucky to get through th® season with one quar
terback,” Brown said. “That’s why we’ve played two this season.”
Notes likely in title game
TOE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Florida State jumped ahead
of Miami into second place in
the Bowl Championship Series
standings, moving the
Seminoles a giant step closer to
playing in a national tide game
in die Orange Bowl.
The Seminoles (11-1), who
completed their season with a
30-7 victory over then-No. 4
Florida on Saturday night, have
a .51-point lead over Miami (9
1) but were well behind first
place Oklahoma in the stand
ings released Monday.
The Hurricanes (9-1), who
beat Florida State earlier this
season, also won convincingly,
defeating unranked Syracuse
26-0. But the eight computer
rankings used in the standings
to determine who plays in a tide
game were more impressed
with the Seminoles’ win.
“This is the way it is. I either
make it or I don’t,” Florida State
coach Bobby Bowden said.
For three weeks, Oklahoma,
Miami, and Florida State have
been ranked 1-2-3 in The
Associated Press media poll and
USAToday/ESPN coaches’ poll.
If Miami fails to get into the
BCS tide game, the Hurricanes
can still become national cham
pions in the AP media poll, in
which sports writers and broad
casters vote independently of
the BCS. The coaches’ poll
would automatically crown the
winner of the Orange Bowl.
Though he’d be disappoint
ed if the Hurricanes didn’t play
in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3,
Miami coach Butch Davis said,
! “We beat the No. 1 and No. 2
teams (at the time) and two or
three others who are bowl eligi
ble. If we end up going 11-1,
we'll have beaten someone very
good in a BCS game. And you
never know how they (writers)
If Oklahoma (10-0) wins its
final two games, against
Oklahoma State on Saturday
and Kansas State in the Big 12
title game on Dec. 2, Miami
would have little chance to over
take Florida State in the final
BCS standings Dec. 3.
Miami closes its season on
Saturday against Boston
“On its own, it doesn’t look
like there’s anything Miami can
do to pass Florida State, maybe,”
said Jerry Palm of Chicago, who
operates a Web site that closely
monitors the BCS standings.
“Miami’s best chance is to
either have Oklahoma lose, or
have Oklahoma do well enough
to regain some No. l's it lost to
Florida State in the computer
NU players say there's
much to play for vs. CU
PRIDE from page 10
team will be motivated - mostly by
"11118 team doesn't want to be
known as the team that laid down,
but as the team that bounced
bad: against Colorado and in the
bowl game coming up,” said
Alexander, who had 180 yards
rushing and three touchdowns
against CU last season.
"You want to go out with a
bang and make sure that you are
remembered and not forgotten.”
Walker and fullback Willie
Miller expressed their desire to
win and look good doing so.
“Everybody wants to go out a
winner and go out the right way,”
Miller said. “That is done by hav
ing it not even be close.”
Said Walker. “With us not hav
ing a good year, that will make us
take out our anger on diem.”
Following NU’s first loss of die
season to Oklahoma, die Huskers
*Everybody wants to
go out a winner and
go out the right way.
That is done by
having it not even be
trounced Kansas 56-17 behind
493 yards rushing.
Nebraska's ground game
struggled against the Sooners and
did again two weeks laterinitsloss
to Kansas State, although NU did
move the ball late against the
Wildcats. Alexander and Miller
said to expect another renewed
commitment to the rush.
"I could see that happening
-going back to the good old bread
and butter and take it to them,"
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Truth told, media
bears bad news
MCKEWON from page 10
standards as one week, the idea
of football is simply too compli
cated for the basic sportswriter
to comprehend. The next, say
after the Kansas State loss, the
sport has been boiled down by
both Solich and his players to "a
In Nebraska, this double talk
is rarely jumped upon because
it’s akin to playing with fire.
Here, because NU is the No. 1
game in the state, the old rules
can still apply. A rip is a risk,
unless the mistake has the name
of Lawrence Phillips.
Many journalists and
columnists even openly suggest
it would be foolish to question
NU outright. Ironically, I have
nearly read at times, Who are we
to question them about a game
they understand far better?
Which is unfortunate
because football, boiled down,
is often the guessing game
described above. It's about
blocking and tackling, passing
and catching. It’s about passion
and motivation. If it were so
hard to grasp, would it be so
Everyday fans can under
stand the illogical reasoning
behind Solich’s decision to ask
Eric Crouch to throw long pass
es downfield and hope for com
pletions when he has a hurt
shoulder. Or the hypocrisy that
NU has a hard time running
option football in bad weather
when an entire Husker nation
has been told for years that such
an offense is supposed to thrive
And yet, Solich was staunch
ly defended Sunday in a local
paper for doing the job mini
mum: taking blame, winning
nine games. A 29-7 record was
cited as an affirmation of his
ability. Now, really, who among
those Husker coaches, and
many of the best high school
coaches in the state, could not
have achieved the same?
That question above is the
type of commentary that Smith
claimed “buried” his regime at
Missouri, the commentary that
pointed out his woeful record
against top 25 teams or his lack
of class during the end of last
Smith is right about one
thing: The bad stuff doesn’t get
reported by the in-house mar
keting staff. A check of Smith’s
press conference quotes on the
MU Web site won’t reveal any
comments on the media. They
must’ve been down the hall
I dislike “the media is a
watchdog” phrase because per
sonal experience has taught me
that sports media members
baric at some things, not at oth
And we bang on cheap
drums too long. And occasion
ally, out of fear of reproach,
some drums aren’t banged at all.
As far as I have read, only the
Daily Nebraskan has dared to
speak an ill word on the Husker
I-backs this season.
Still, the media is more reli
able than a coach because our
self-interest quotient is lower.
The truth that Troy State stinks
as an opening opponent next
season doesn’t serve Athletic
Director Bill Byrne too well
when he announces it
Nor does the fact that NU
must play a dog like that
because it refuses to relinquish
revenue for a home game sorely
needed to feed the ever-growing
mouths of indulgent smaller
sports entirely dependent on
But it is the truth nonethe
less. And it should be reported
in some form. And often, the
media lives up to its end of that
Smith's venom on the media
showed up in every major
Missouri newspaper the next
MU’s own Web site decided
not to print it. That, quite sim
ply, is a textbook example of the
Keep the newsprint off your fingers.
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