Shamu was neither impressed or biased. With one flip of his fin he drenched the two football players serving as his honorary trainers. One was Bobby Griffits, a defensive back who plays for BYU. The other was Joey Galloway, a wide receiver for Ohio State.

More proof positive that no matter how many times the Holiday Bowl parades its teams to Sea World, the killer whales are yet to show much interest in football.Thursday night's BYU-Ohio State matchup in Jack Murphy Stadium will be the 16th annual Holiday Bowl and yesterday's outing was the 16th annual Team Day at Sea World. Some things never go out of style, they just play to different teams and newer players.

Perfect weather and free food greeted the Cougars and Buckeyes for their day at Sea World. The combination was not without its problems, however. Much of the rest of Southern California, not to mention Japan, also decided to descend on the park to take advantage of such pristine conditions.

Consequently, the lines to get food were not short.

Some Ohio State players resorted to extreme steps in their search for fast food: They ate at restaurants that DID NOT honor their free meal coupons and, hence, had shorter lines.

No Cougar players were seen following suit, however.

Shamu and Namu and six other killer whales put on a special show for BYU and Ohio State at 1 p.m. in the big pool. There were no outward problems having Thursday night's opponents in such close surroundings, although the atmosphere did seem a little more charged than usual.

Ohio State's swagger was quite apparent. The Buckeyes, who have never been accused of being demure and deferential, did not disappoint. No one has ever said they'll inherit the earth. Woody Hayes isn't their patron saint for nothing.

It was obvious by the way the Buckeyes ordered their churros that they are not unimpressed by themselves. By the way they barely reacted when Shamu drenched them. By the way they roamed the park, looking for more food.

"Yeah, I guess you'd have to say they have a certain arrogancy about them," said BYU linebacker Todd Herget.

The first time BYU came face-to-face with such Ohio State arrogance was 11 years ago in this same theme park. The Cougars and the Buckeyes were combatants in the 1982 Holiday Bowl and were first formally introduced at Sea World, where the Ohio State players - much like yesterday - barely acknowledged the presence of the Cougars.

"Certain programs have certain characteristics," said Herget. "You don't want to generalize and say everyone in the program is a certain way. But there's definitely a feeling that comes from the top - like with the Raiders - and it filters down. I don't know any of the Ohio State players that well so I can't say much about them individually. But just walking around, they're not friendly like Iowa was two years ago (in the Holiday Bowl) or like Kansas was last year (in the Aloha Bowl)."

BYU coach LaVell Edwards said there may be a very good reason why Ohio State is walking around like it owns the place. "They're very good," he said. "This is a very good team. I'd put them in the same class as that team we played in '82."

Edwards said he couldn't remember if the '82 Buckeyes walked around like they owned Sea World. "My memory doesn't go back that far," he said. But he could recall quite vividly the 47-17 nightmare that ensued when they met in the bowl.

"That Ohio State team may have been the best team in the country at the end of the year," said Edwards. "And the same may be true of this team. No question this is one of the toughest tests we've ever had."

"We haven't done much differently this time except we've prepared longer and harder," said Edwards, which should count for something.

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"We used to only practice three days at home," he said, remembering back to '82. "And that was usually indoors. Now, we're basically practicing right through."

"This time, we're going to be as ready as we can be," he said. "We won't be using that as an excuse."

"We're as ready as we can be and we're healthier," added Herget. "You never know, they might be underestimating us."

After Monday's meeting the only thing you did know is that they aren't overestimating the Cougars.

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