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All No. 1 Nebraska and No. 3 Miami have to do Sunday in the Orange Bowl (NBC, 8 p.m.) is approximate the battle they staged in the same surroundings a decade ago. More than a few suggest the Hurricanes' 31-30 victory in 1984 behind quarterback Bernie Kosar over Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier as the Cornhuskers missed a two-point conversion try at the end is the greatest bowl game ever. Yes, it was the "fumblerooskie" game.
* It's positively wonderful listening to smaller boxers detailing their trials and tribulations when it comes to weight.
Orlando Canizales (38-1), who seeks the World Boxing Association junior featherweight title from Wilfredo Vazquez (41-6) on an HBO show Jan. 7, reveals, "I just couldn't handle 118 pounds anymore. In my last [International Boxing Federation] title defense, I wasn't preparing to defend my title, I was strictly losing weight. I'm comfortable at 122. I can't ever see me going up to featherweight ."
Think about it: 118, 122, 126. That's what, a couple of glasses of eggnog and three Christmas cookies?
* There's something to be said for an operation, the Carquest Bowl, that bases the selection of its teams on the willingness of a school to pay for any of its 24,000-seat allotment it cannot unload at $35 per copy. That's what West Virginia (7-4) did for its Jan. 2 tussle with South Carolina (6-5) in Miami.
* You have to love a man like Milton Womack who, as president of the Board of Supervisors at LSU, says, "I'd like to see our new football coach with a four-year contract and specify that he has to win the national championship. We're looking for the best. We think we deserve it." No pretense with this guy.
* This corner's nominee for sportsman of the year is David Feherty, the Irishman who drew a fine on the PGA Tour for marking his ball with a hotel room key during a tournament.
* Basketball coach Billy Tubbs certainly is missed now that he's out of the mainstream,coaching at TCU and no longer at Oklahoma. The man's a quote machine. For instance, after his Frogs had scored 120 points and the fans were going wild, he said, "I didn't realize the school record was that low ."
* A slightly uneasy feeling arose in the pit of the stomach Monday night when the 49ers were playing the Vikings on ABC and it was within their power to determine the final standings of the NFC Central Division title and, further, determine the first-round pairings for this weekend's wild-card playoff round (and a future opponent). And darned if San Francisco's offensive stars weren't pulled when the Minny defense started playing rough.
* Yankees fans of certain vintage will tell you they felt supremely confident when the grizzly "Chief" with No. 22 on his back was on the mound and it was a big game. Allie Reynolds, who died Tuesday at age 77, was already 32 years old when he came to the Yanks in 1947, but he went 131-58 during the next eight seasons while the Bombers were winning six pennants and World Series. He played four sports at then-Oklahoma A&M.
* Quickies: The first of Stu Satosky's five shows planned for Martin's West in 1995 will have Andrew Council (19-3) taking on ** Anthony Ivory (17-12) in a junior-middleweight 10-rounder and Les Johnson (21-3) meeting Glen Odom (12-7) in a 160-pound eight-rounder. Local talent will be featured in six other bouts Jan. (7:30 p.m.) . . . One of the features of the Hot Rod Motor Jam at USAir Arena Jan. 20-21-22 is an appearance by "Dinosaurus Rox," the world's first robotic jet-powered dinosaur that delivers positive messages to wide-eyed spectators of all ages while sparks are flying and he's snorting fire.
* "The Cheerleaders Guide to Life . . . Everything you need to know to be a success in cheerleading -- and beyond!" has been a big seller this holiday season. No, the author was not that mom who put out a contract on another girl's mother to aid in her daughter's winning a spot on a high school cheering squad in Texas.
* What do Ricky Sutton and Rickie Shaw, Hillary Butler and Ferric Collins, Jason Simmons and Shannon Baker, Randy Jordan and Chris Williams, Ernie Logan and Greg Huntington have in common? They are the first players signed by the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars, potentially the first 0-16 team in NFL history. Tampa Bay was 0-14 as an NFL/AFC startup in 1976.
* Jim Phelan gets the cover of the current issue of Eastern Basketball, the monthly newsletter tabbing the Mount St. Mary's coach as "man of the year" as he approaches the 1,100 mark for games coached, second on the all-time list for college mentors. It won't be long before ol' "Bow Tie" will have coached as many games as the Yale football team has played in its history (1,112). This is a roundabout way of telling you the Eli own the most wins among the colleges, 782.