The University of Miami's football team is off to a spectacular start via Monday's 20-18 conquest of top-ranked Auburn, an outcome similar to Miami's shocking upset of No. 1 Nebraska in last January's Orange Bowl. The Hurricanes won the Kickoff Classic in the New Jersey Meadowlands with a new coach, too, Jimmy Johnson, the former Oklahoma State mentor who stepped in when Howard Schnellenberger resigned several months ago to take a pro job with the USFL's Washington Federals.
Schnellenberger is suddenly looking for work, though, because an attempt to buy the Federals and move them to Miami fell through. Meanwhile, as for Johnson, one win does not a season make - and in fact the 'Canes hardly catch their breath before playing two more big games, against fierce rival Florida in Tampa on Saturday and against Michigan in Ann Arbor on Sept. 8.
* Although Dallas coach Tom Landry has resolved his quarterback situation for now by naming Gary Hogeboom to start the Cowboys' National Football League opener this weekend, the problem is not likely to go away quite that easily.
Hogeboom, of course, has been the backup man behind veteran starter Danny White for the last four seasons, and in fact has never started a game since entering the league in 1980. He is brimming with potential, though, and was growing impatient sitting and waiting - factors that undoubtedly weighed in the decision.
Landry says he will reevaluate the situation each week, but switching quarterbacks is a tricky proposition that often results in confusion. Landry, therefore, will probably be inclined to stay with Hogeboom unless things really get bad, a situation that could elicit ''trade me'' talk from the unhappy White.
* If seven-footer Sam Bowie isn't the basketball player the Portland Trail Blazers think he is, the franchise could catch a lot of flak. Fans and reporters undoubtedly will be comparing him to 6 ft. 5 in. Michael Jordan, whom the Chicago Bulls selected right after Sam with the third overall pick in June's NBA draft. Jordan convinced a lot of people at the Olympics that he will make a terrific pro with his electrifying moves. Bowie, whose college career at Kentucky was disrupted by injuries, passed up an opportunity to play for the US team.
* Since Los Angeles just hosted the Games of the XXIII Olympiad, one may ask why there have been only 20 Olympics. The answer is that Olympiads are four-year periods into which the Games fall, not the actual competitions. Due to wars, the Olympics were cancelled in 1916, 1940, and 1944.
* Holding the US Outdoor Diving Championships after the Olympics might have seemed an anticlimax, but Greg Louganis managed to make them a memorable event. Louganis, of Mission Viejo, Calif., not only swept the 3-meter springboard and platform competitions in Santa Clara just as he did in L.A., but also captured the 1-meter crown, which is not an Olympic event. That gives him 29 national titles, breaking the total compiled by Cynthia Potter, who supplied the Olympic diving commentary for ABC-TV.