High-profile quarterback "controversies" - or situations, circumstances or whatever name coaches and players are calling them this week - are not unique to BYU of late.
The Spurrier Shuffle will continue at the University of Florida, as Steve Spurrier will stick with his strategy of rotating quarterbacks Jesse Palmer and Doug Johnson until one of them gives the coach of the eighth-ranked Gators a reason to stop."I think it's beneficial to both Jesse and Doug," said Spurrier, who considers the arrangement a positive, not a distraction. "They know they're going to play the game. They know neither one of them is going to get benched if they do something bad."
Spurrier seems content to split time between a pair of solid quarterbacks, neither of whom has distinguished himself as a clear No. 1.
ADD DUELING QBS: Seventh-ranked Penn State, which visits No. 1 Ohio State on Saturday, is also platooning quarterbacks, and sophomore Rashard Casey is venting his frustration with the system.
Casey said he was told that he and junior Kevin Thompson would each play two quarters of every game. But Thompson has started each game and taken the majority of the second-half snaps.
"I'm disappointed and I hope it changes around," Casey said. "That's all I can ask for right now." His remarks weren't inflamatory but seemed out of character at a school where the players are taught to publicly toe the official line.
"When I get in there, I have to turn something on right away. I get a couple of series, and if we're not clicking, that's it. Then I wait till the fourth quarter. If it's a close game, then I wait till the next game."
Thompson has thrown 49 passes, while Casey has attempted only 14 for Penn State, whose offense rates fourth in the Big Ten at 387.7 yards a game.
Coach Joe Paterno, who has rarely alternated quarterbacks during his career, has admitted that he's not sure his system is fair. "I'm not sure we're handling it properly or not, but we're trying," Paterno said.
BOWL MADNESS: With the addition of the second game in Hawaii on Christmas as part of the Jeep Aloha Christmas Football Classics and the new Music City Bowl in Nashville, there are now 22 bowls. That's 44 teams out of the 112 at the I-A level that make the postseason (39.2 percent). In basketball, only 20.9 percent of I-A teams even make March Madness.
The Bowl Championship Series guarantees 25 of those 44 invitations to teams from the SEC, Big 12, ACC or Pac-10, which means 56.8 percent of teams from those power conferences are guaranteed bowl trips, bowl exposure and bowl money.
AVOIDING HURRICANES: Remember Saturday's scheduled UCLA-Miami game, which was canceled because of Hurricane George? The fourth-ranked Bruins are coming up with reasons not to reschedule a time to meet the football-team Hurricanes.
"There is nothing in our contract that says if the game is canceled because of an act of God, it has to be rescheduled," said UM athletic director Paul Dee, who nonetheless wants the game rescheduled in the Orange Bowl on Dec.5, the only date available for both teams.
UCLA's "cons" against rescheduling include playing two weeks after the traditional regular-season final against USC, having to change players' Thanksgiving plans for more practice, having to start bowl preparations two days later on Dec. 7, missing recruiting opportunities and not allowing the players some off time for academics.
TWO-MINUTE WAC DRILL: San Diego State has moved its Oct. 10 game at Qualcomm Stadium up a day to Oct. 9 to avoid a possible conflict with the San Diego Padres, who could be playing in the National League championship series at home on Oct. 10 . . . Nine months after playing in their first bowl game in 36 years, New Mexico is 2-2 and back to its old woes - missing tackles, dropping passes and losing big. The Lobos have lost back-to-back games to New Mexico State and San Jose State . . . As for Texas Christian, 10 months after going 1-10, TCU sports a 2-1 record, a win over Top-25 Air Force and a No. 13 - yes, 13 - ranking in The New York Times' weekly computer rankings. Meanwhile, the new-look Horned Frogs are wearing black jerseys and dark-purple pants in home games this seaon . . . Starting Saturday and for the remainder of the season, SMU players will be wearing No. 37 helmet decals in honor of Doak Walker, a three-time All-American who won both the Heisman and Maxwell trophys during his 1947-49 career with the Mustangs . . . Tulsa QB John Fitzerald became the third quarterback in Tulsa history - all under coach Dave Rader - to pass for more than 5,000 career yards . . . With two returning 1,100-yard rushers, CSU finally had its first 100-yard rushing performance this season and Kevin McDougal gained 117 yards against UNLV . . . Air Force's Qualario Brown became the first Falcon in four years to catch two TD passes in a game . . . Fresno State running back Jaime Kimbrough is in the top 20 in six WAC statistical categories: all-purpose yards (third), rushing (fourth), receptions (eighth), receiving yards (14th), scoring (15th) and total offense (17th) . . . San Jose State has won three straight WAC games dating back to the end of the 1997 season . . . San Diego State is 0-3 for the first time since 1960 . . . Prior to last weekend's 20-0 home loss to Arkansas State, Hawaii was last shut out 23 years ago - a 59-0 rout by Oregon.
Compiled from Deseret News staff and wire reports.