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BCS (Bob's College Summary)
By Bob Cunningham
September 30, 2003
  Based on my prognosticating performance to date, I should let the readers pick the games by consensus... because whenever you voice disagreement on my picks, you end up correct.

Ah, but that's another subject. What I really want to talk about now is my first Top 10 poll of 2003. Please bear in mind as you review my rankings each week that my system is based not on my perception of how good teams are, but where they deserve to be ranked based on their performance to date. Win-loss record, among Division I teams, always takes first priority. My rankings are for the purposes of determining my eventual national champion, NOT just power ratings. For instance, Air Force is ranked above Michigan... because the Falcons are unbeaten and the Wolverines have a loss, NOT because I believe the Falcons are a better team.

OK, here goes...

Bob's Top 10

1. OKLAHOMA (4-0) The Sooners get the nod because of the nation's best balance of offense, defense and special teams.
2. MIAMI (4-0) The scare against Florida can be attributed to the rivalry thing. Again, the 'Canes are real good.
3. LSU (5-0) A defense that ranks with the nation's best, and explosiveness on offense as well.
4. OHIO STATE (4-0) Sure, the Buckeyes haven't been dominant. That's why I have them 4th rather than 1st or 2nd.
5. VIRGINIA TECH (3-0) Very much in the tradition of the last several Hokie clubs... great balance.

6. FLORIDA STATE (4-0) Still some big tests ahead of the Seminoles, but so far so good.

7. ARKANSAS (4-0) I'm impressed with the win over Texas, and a tough survival effort at Alabama.

8. NEBRASKA (4-0) Still not much offensive oomph, but the defense is bigtime Big Red.

9. TENNESSEE (4-0) Had them rated higher before needing OT at home to beat South Carolina.

10. AIR FORCE (4-0) The Falcons are perennial early-season power. Winning at BYU a feat, even this year.
Also considered: Louisville (3-0), Minnesota (4-0), Northern Illinois (4-0), TCU (4-0).

2003 PREDICTION RECORDS:
Straight-Up -- 23-15 (60%)
Against-The-Spread -- 17-21 (45%)

LAST WEEK: 3-4 Straight-Up, 2-5 Against-The-Spread

Week 6 Schedule (the top games of the week)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2

No. 2 Miami 34, West Virginia (+27) 14 -- Before the Hurricanes' 45-3 romp two years ago, WVU had covered ATS four straight at Miami. With a road date at Florida State next week, Miami might just get caught looking past the 1-3 Mountaineers.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4

Auburn 24, No. 9 Tennessee 21 -- The Tigers/War Eagles (I still haven't figured that out yet) have got it together, albeit against weak opposition, outscoring their last two foes a combined 93-10. The Vols are 4-0... barely. Auburn is eager to prove the preseason hype it received wasn't misguided -- a win in this one puts AU back on the map.

Michigan (-2 1/2) 27, at Iowa 20 -- The stats point strongly to Iowa here -- the Hawkeyes are 6-1 ATS in their last seven against Michigan despite losing six of those seven straight-up -- but the spread is usually larger than it is this season, and the Wolverines are better.

North Carolina State (-6 1/2) 41, at Georgia Tech 20 -- I considered an upset pick here, but I just can't get myself to go with a squad that lost by 36 points at home to Clemson just two weeks ago. NC State is as explosive offensively as just about any program in the country -- Tech won't be able to keep up.

Texas (-6) 31, Kansas State 16 -- Pardon me for the simplistic view, but no way a team with an offense like the Longhorns' loses a second time at home in less than a month.

Fresno State (+6 1/2) 31, at Colorado State 30 -- My upset special for the week, because the Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS this season and the Rams, losers of two straight, are 1-3.

USC 28, at Arizona State (+11) 19 -- Before the start of the season, I said USC would be hurt by graduation and drop back a notch or two. Then the Trojans got out of the gate like gangbusters, and some considered them the best team in the country. So for me, the loss at Cal isn't a surprise (although I expected a lower-scoring game). The Trojans should bounce back, but winning at Tempe, Ariz. is rarely easy.