Attaboy, Rick Reilly, for your piece on the wimpy schedules that major colleges are playing (It Only Hurts For A Little While, Nov. 24). The Miami Hurricanes would be reduced to a tropical depression if they played LSU, Notre Dame, Penn State and Michigan on consecutive Saturdays.
This season's bowl matchup between Miami and Penn State will carry about as much weight in determining the "real" national champion as the cream-puff opponents these two sandbaggers have played this season. A playoff system is the only way to go.
Comstock Park, Mich.
I feel a flag should be thrown against you for roughing the Gators. True, Florida played Kent State and is dropping Miami from its schedule. But you failed to mention two important facts: Kent State was the Gators' homecoming game, for which everyone schedules a cream puff, and Florida is dropping Miami because the Southeastern Conference is expanding its required games from six to seven per season.
Since the SEC is surely one of the toughest conferences—if not the toughest—Florida's playing another SEC team could easily be considered an equal trade-off for dropping the Hurricanes.
After reading the story, I continued through the rest of the issue, certain that once again SI had touched the guilty consciences of the football pollsters.
Then what did my wondering eyes see but the SI Top 20, with Miami and Penn State right there at the top! Obviously, you guys don't subscribe to what you say.
Why don't you put some teeth into the vaunted SI mouthpiece?
PETER N. KAFKALAS
Reilly's criticism of Penn State for supposedly arranging a cream-puff schedule is nothing new. Pollsters all but ignored undefeated Nittany Lion teams in 1968, 1969 and 1973 for the same reasons.
But this time the jab is unwarranted. Where were the critics when Penn State went 6-5 in 1984, playing eight of the same teams on this year's schedule? Four of those '84 opponents went to bowl games—and that didn't even include Alabama.
Since NCAA football schedules are drawn up years in advance, it's ridiculous to hold Penn State accountable for the collapses of programs at Boston College, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Syracuse and Notre Dame, all of which seemed fairly robust a few seasons ago.