COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S VERSION of the Starship Enterprise - Rice-Eccles Stadium - lifted off Saturday night, warp factor nine. Spiffy new digs, cool night and an ever-so-sweet win over John L. Smith. Does it get any better?
Actually, yes.There's this one eensie-weensie problem: The Utes didn't sell out.
OK, so they only had about 1,500 empty seats. But if they
don't fill the place on First Night, when?
BYU sold out its first 72 games after expansion - in a 65,000-seat stadium.
But who's counting?
COMINGS AND GOINGS: So Picabo Street is thinking of moving to the Salt Lake area. Hmmmm. Good idea. We could give her the keys to the city. While we're at it, how about the keys to the Mailman's house?
We understand he's thinking of moving.
COME AGAIN: In the goofy quote department, there's this from Auburn coach Terry Bowden, after his season-opening loss to Virginia: "You can open up with a Virginia or a Florida State and there's a 50-50 shot you're gonna lose and you're gonna have everybody saying, `Oh, my gosh, what's happening? What's wrong? This is a program that's going down.' Or we can open up with Kent, Southwestern Louisiana, Ball State, The Citadel, BYU, and we'd have a chance to be 1-0 right now."
BYU in the same breath as The Citadel? Ball State? Ouch.
Maybe the Cougar program is going downhill.
Either that or Bowden's memory.
FOOTLOOSE: LaVell's post-game radio show? What else you gonna do in bumper-to-bumper traffic at midnight?
But Saturday a caller actually had something worthwhile, pointing out that if kicker Owen Pochman had missed all his field goals and PAT's, and ASU made all of its, the Sun Devils would have won, 13-12.
So that's why they keep those guys around.
WHAT A RUSH: BYU ran a whopping 56 rushing plays and passed only 21 times on Saturday.
So much for the rumors that LaVell was under strict orders to start passing more.
WHO SHOT J.R.? Heisman candidate J.R. Redmond, 28 yards rushing?
Must have been the attitude, er, altitude.
LONG-TERM PLANNING: Edwards passed Bo Schembechler for the No. 7 spot on the all-time coaching wins list on Saturday. He needs four more to pass Woody Hayes.
The top winner of all time, though, is Bear Bryant. To pass The Bear, all LaVell has to do is win 10 games a year for the next nine years.
Maybe he should just concentrate on beating Utah.
BRAIN CRAMP: ASU coach Bruce Snyder, asked if he was shell-shocked after being drubbed by BYU: "Shell-shocked? I don't know what that is."
Here's a hint: You start playing dumb.
HEAD GAMES: BYU's Brad Martin played Saturday's game with seven stitches in his head, following a car accident. Nevertheless, he started the game and ended up with six tackles.
What can you say about a performance like that?
Nice work, Dr. Frankenstein?
HARUMPH!: Apparently Weber State coach Jerry Graybeal was upset with his team's play Saturday. "Sick to my stomach," is the way he put it.
And that's after moving to 2-0 with a 41-12 win over Humboldt State.
What if he'd lost?
Better radio for backup, Dan-o.
CRITIC'S CORNER: And finally, there's BYU's Rob Morris, who pooh-poohed the loss to Alabama last week by saying "it must be boring to be a critic."
Naw. Just lucrative.