Football fortunes hit an all-time low last week for the Western Athletic Conference.
Guaranteed proceeds for the WAC championship in Las Vegas were cut from $1 million to $250,000, and berth possibilities in the Cotton and Holiday bowls were kept on hold as other conferences were courted. And then there were the on-the-field WAC woes.WAC teams played in - and lost - eight nonconference games Saturday. In fact, Utah and Air Force were the only WAC teams to log wins - and they beat opponents from their own league.
So far in nonconference games, the WAC is 13-21 (.382). That includes a winning record so far against just two Division I-A conferences - the ACC (1-0) and the Big West (3-2) and the two I-AA leagues of the Big Sky (2-0) and Gateway (1-0).
There is a chance that the WAC may beef up its nonleague wins this weekend, considering the competition includes the Big West trio of Boise State, Nevada and New Mexico State, a tandem of Division I-A independents in Arkansas State and Louisiana Tech and Division I-AA's Murray State.
- COACHING THE LOVELORN: Two years ago, University of Houston head coach Kim Helton went to a Houston radio station to do his football show. A relationship counselor was scheduled to be host for a call-in program the next hour. When the counselor didn't show up, the DJ jokingly asked Helton to answer the callers' questions.
Helton did just that, and the phone lines lit up. He was an instant hit, and has been giving advice to the lovelorn ever since in a weekly segment known as "The Love Coach."
- HUSKIES AND HUSKERS: As No. 9 Washington visits No. 2 Nebraska Saturday, remember the last team to beat the Huskers in Lincoln were the Huskies, who won 36-21 on Sept. 21, 1991. Nebraska's home winning streak stands at 44 in a row.
Last year in Seattle, Washington was ranked No. 2 and Nebraska No. 7. But the Huskies were unable to cope with the Cornhuskers' option attack, which exposed Washington's defense in a 27-14 victory.
- POSITIONING PROGRAMS: The University of Washington has five quarterbacks and five tight ends on NFL rosters, more than any other school at either position. The five QBs are Jacksonville's Mark Brunell, Seattle's Warren Moon, New Orleans' Billy Joe Hobert, Atlanta's Chris Chandler and Miami's Damon Huard.
Notre Dame has more alumni playing in the league than any school in the nation with 40, even though it doesn't dominate at one position. The rest of the top 10 schools sending players to the NFL are: Florida State , Penn State Tennessee , North Carolina , Washington , Miami , Ohio State , Colorado and Nebraska .
Other position leaders in the NFL: Penn State has six running backs and eight offensive guards. Ohio State has six wide receivers, while Florida State leads defensively with seven linebackers and seven defensive ends.
- WAC NOTES: Utah's Omar Bacon was the only WAC back to break the 100-yard rushing barrier last week, gaining 125 against Hawaii . . . . CSU tailback Damon Washington is climbing the WAC's career rushing ladder. In 14th place with 3,027 yards, he needs 13 to tie BYU's Jamal Willis for 13th and 191 to tie Utah's Eddie Johnson for 12th . . . . Air Force is perfect in the red zone so far this season, coming away with 13 touchdowns and three field goals.