SI Vault
December 22, 1997
To declare any all-white team that competed before full integration as "the best in history" is dead wrong.MATT CHANEY, WARRENSBURG, MO.
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December 22, 1997


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To declare any all-white team that competed before full integration as "the best in history" is dead wrong.

The Best Team
Thank you for Paul Zimmerman's nostalgic story about the Notre Dame football teams of 1946 and '47 (The Golden Boys, Nov. 24). I was born in '67 and have lived in Nebraska all my life. If not for such articles, I would be brainwashed into believing that college football started in 1970, with the Cornhuskers' first national championship.

The 1947 Notre Dame team may be the best ever, but Frank Leahy ranked his '49 team as the best he coached. It had many of the same players as the '47 team and also won a national championship. From '46 to '49, Notre Dame went undefeated and won three national titles.
JACK MEANEY Santa Barbara, Calif.

A seldom-mentioned fact about the 1946 scoreless Army-Notre Dame game is that it was the only one in the history of college football in which four Heisman Trophy winners, past, present and future, played: Army's Doc Blanchard (Heisman '45) and Glenn Davis ('46), and Notre Dame's Johnny Lujack ('47) and Leon Hart ('49).
JOHN TWOMEY, North York, Ont.

I disagree that the Notre Dame teams of 1946 and '47 were the best college football teams ever. Michigan had the best team ever in '01. That year, the Wolverines went 11-0, outscored their opponents 550-0 and even forced Stanford to quit the first Rose Bowl game (with eight minutes remaining) because it was being beaten 49-0. To prove this wasn't a fluke, over the next four seasons Michigan outscored its opponents 2,271-42, while amassing a 44-1-1 record.

The question Zimmerman should have addressed was whether Oklahoma's 1955 or '56 team was the best of all time. Each was undefeated, won a national championship and contributed to the Sooners' record 47-game winning streak.

College Basketball
I realize that Cincinnati may have been a little overrated last season and may be rebuilding, but to ignore the Bearcats in your field of the 64 best teams is ridiculous (Scouting Reports, Nov. 17).

When your rankings came out, No. 52 Princeton had already beaten No. 43 Texas and No. 38 North Carolina State. The Tigers should have been included at least in the top 50.
MARC F. LOVECCHIO, Williamsport, Pa.

I can commiserate with Arizona guard Miles Simon over his car accident and all the lost time and illness but not over his self-inflicted academic woes (Simon Says, Nov. 17). As a professor of English I have athletes begging me to save their eligibility. I wish that student-athletes would learn that most professors expect only that they attend class regularly, turn in assignments on time and master some basic skills. In other words, I'd like my students to give my class a tenth of the effort that they, like Simon, give their sports.

Missing Pippen
For some reason, people like to forget that the season after Michael Jordan left the NBA to play baseball, Scottie Pippen led the Bulls to more than 50 wins (Hurry Back, Nov. 24), and they barely lost to the Knicks in the second round of the playoffs.
MIKE HIDER, New York City

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