As the Schnellenberger Bowl approaches, the Godfather of both Miami and Louisville explains how he got the ball rolling in South Florida.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Monday Rewind is truly a rewind today. It's time to dust off the VHS or Betamax tapes and go back more than three decades.
Before Miami was Michael Irvin, Warren Sapp and all those national championships, the Hurricanes were Howard Schnellenberger and his bellowing dreams.
Before the University of Louisville was ringing up victories in the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar Bowls, the Cardinals were Howard Schnellenberger and even more outrageous bellowing dreams.
Guess which two programs will play a bowl game in Orlando Dec. 28?
The Hurricanes and the Cardinals (pipe and mustache included).
Guess which coach who turns 80 years old next March deserves a special invitation to the game as well as special recognition when Louisville and Miami play in the Russell Athletic Bowl?
Schnellenberger said that he and the former first lady of U of L football, his wife, Beverlee, would be happy to make the drive of less than three hours from their home near West Palm Beach to attend the game – sitting on the Miami side for one half, the Louisville side the other.
"As the grandfather of both programs, I'd be thrilled to watch my grandsons play each other," Schnellenberger said. "Without all the things that we learned and achieved at Miami, we wouldn't have been able to do the things we did at Louisville. Those lessons were invaluable."
Starting with the lessons of self-promotion. Schnellenberger said that in 1980, his second season with the Hurricanes, he had an 8-3 club that was not certain of a bowl bid. So Howard Hyperbole went to work.
Step One: Invite Miami fans to bring cans of peaches to the Hurricanes' final home game so they could be donated to a charity in Atlanta, home of the Peach Bowl, Miami's target.
Step Two: Rent three double-wing planes and have them fly around Atlanta Fulton County Stadium for several hours, displaying signs that read: "Miami Loves Peaches."
Step Three: Promise to purchase at least 10,000 tickets, knowing Hurricanes' fans would not buy all of them. Donate the leftovers to Atlanta Boys' and Girls' Clubs, plus servicemen who lived in Georgia.
Step Four: Get the bid.
Step Five: Win the game. Miami 20, Virginia Tech 10. Mark it down as the first of six consecutive bowl wins by Schnellenberger. Nobody ever beat The Pipe in a bowl.
"That's the way it used to be done, Schnellenberger said, with a laugh.
WHO'S NUMBER ONE? THE PAC-12, OF COURSE
I hate to interrupt the slobbering love affair between the national sports media and Southeastern Conference football, but here are some final numbers that need to be considered before everybody anoints the SEC as the wind, the rain, the sun, the sand, the universe.
Don't forget this little goody: Washington State, a team that finished 4-5 in the Pac-12, went on the road to play its first game this season. In fact, the Cougars went to Auburn.
Mike Leach's team led 21-15 in the second quarter. The Cougars trailed 28-24 with 10 minutes to play before losing 31-24. They outgained Auburn by 70 yards and had a dozen more first downs.
That's the same Washington State team that lost in Pullman to Stanford by 38 and to Arizona State by 34.
How did each of the six BCS leagues actually perform in non-conference games against teams from other BCS leagues, plus Notre Dame?
I'm going to tell you how, by ranking the best loss and worst/loss records from all six conferences.
1. PAC-12 7-4, .636 winning percentage
Best win: Arizona State over Wisconsin
Worst loss: California to Northwestern
2. Southeastern 10-7, .588 winning percentage
Best win: South Carolina over Clemson
Worst loss: Arkansas to Rutgers
3. Big Ten 9-8, .529 winning percentage
Best win: Michigan over Notre Dame
Worst loss: Illinois to Washington
4. Big 12 4-4, .500 winning percentage
Best win: Oklahoma over Notre Dame
Worst loss: West Virginia to Maryland
5. Atlantic Coast 8-9, .470 winning percentage
Best win: Clemson over Georgia
Worst loss: Syracuse to Northwestern
6. American Athletic 4-10, .286 winning percentage
Best win: Central Florida over Penn State
Worst loss: Cincinnati to Illinois
The folks who run the Heisman Trust have asked voters not to reveal their ballots until the winner is announced Saturday. In fact, when I made my three selections Sunday, I had to click a box pledging not to say who I voted for before submitting the ballot.
So I won't.
But I will say this: Odds are that I didn't vote for the winner.
THE PREDICTION BUSINESS
How well did the folks who vote in the Associated Press college football poll do this season?
Time to compare the results from August against the results from the end of the regular season. The voters did not do as well as Auburn, Michigan State, Baylor and Missouri.
That's correct. Four of the top eight in the final Bowl Championship Series standings did not make the AP pre-season top 25.
Here are the nine teams that were not ranked that made the BCS Top 25:
Auburn (2), Michigan State (4), Baylor (6), Missouri (8), Arizona State (14), UCF (15), Fresno State (20), Northern Illinois (23) and Duke (24).
Here are the pre-season Top 25 teams that disappeared from the BCS rankings:
Florida (10), Notre Dame (14), Texas (15), Michigan (17), Nebraska (18), Boise State (19), TCU (20), Northwestern (22) and Oregon State (25).
Phil Steele reports that not a single website or pre-season magazine had Auburn ranked in its Top 25.
I was busier than Gallup last week, posting four polls. Great response to all. Thanks for your participation. Here are the results:
1. Which local football coach did the best job this season?
Charlie Strong, Louisville, 60 percent
Bobby Petrino, Western Kentucky, 28 percent
Kevin Wilson, Indiana, 6 percent
Mark Stoops, Kentucky, 4 percent
2. Which team will win the Keg of Nails trophy?
Louisville by 7 or more, 50 percent
Louisville by less than 7, 30 percent
Cincinnati by less than 7, 11 percent
Cincinnati by 7 or more, 9 percent
3. What was the best fourth-down play Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater made against Cincinnati Thursday night?
Fourth-and-12 scramble, 69 percent
Sidearm TD pass to Damian Copeland, 30 percent
Fade pass to DeVante Parker, 1 percent
4. Which team should be ranked number one in the new college basketball poll?