Kent St Arizona St Football

Kent State battles Arizona State on Thursday in Tempe, Ariz.

Finally, my alma mater Kent State’s football team is ranked No. 1 in the nation. Yeah, baby!

What’s that? No, of course the Golden Flashes aren’t No. 1 in college rankings when it comes to the prospects of winning games. Don’t be ridiculous.

Those kind of rankings belong to the Alabamas and Clemsons of the college football world. 

Kent has a long history of not doing well in football, even back when I was going there in the late 1960s.

How bad were they then? The coaches saw me playing intramural football and actually asked if I would play wide receiver on the varsity team.

I told the athletic director that since I was on a wrestling scholarship, I wasn’t about to take a chance of getting hurt and missing wrestling season.

Besides, I wouldn’t want to play for any team that was so bad they needed me!

Kent State is ranked No. 1 as the team in the nation in the category for what school earns the most money for playing bigger – and better – opponents on the road.

They earned a cool million-and-a-half dollars to play at Arizona State Thursday in the season opener. Of course they were pounded,  30-7.

In all, they will pull in a total of $4.5 million for sacrificing their team’s bodies against tough foes. They also go to Auburn and Wisconsin for big paydays and probably big whippings.

How much fun would that be for the players? Go on the road and get pummeled, maybe even injured.

Anybody understand why I didn’t want to play there? And we weren’t even playing that caliber of teams back then.

But in big-time athletics, money talks, even for a school like Kent.

• The NFL kicks off the new season next week and a lot of eyes will be on the Browns to see if they can live up to the hype. For once the Steelers are not on the radar like usual, which can be a plus considering the turmoil they have faced concerning prima donnas like Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown in recent years.

The best thing is that I think the old rivalry between Pittsburgh and Cleveland will be restored this season. It was difficult to call it a “rivalry” when the Steelers were always winning handily. 

The Browns have become popular across the country in fact. I saw a stat that more people were betting on the Browns and Chicago Bears to reach the Super Bowl than on any other teams. Of course, that is because of the odds which would bring a pretty good bang for the buck if that happens.

• I believe Terry “Tito” Francona is the best manager in baseball, but his ability will be tested down the stretch because of the injuries that have plagued the team. 

The losses of Jose Ramirez and Tyler Naquin are just more of the injury-bug that has bit the team all season. And yet they have hung in. 

It will be interesting to see if the Tribe can hang in with a weak-hitting lineup.

LYNN SATERNOW is sports editor of The Herald and Allied News. He can be reached at lsaternow@sharonherald.com.

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