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BCS (Bob's College Summary)
By Bob Cunningham
October 7, 2003
 

Before you begin badmouthing me for yet another lousy week picking against the spread, consider that: Michigan led at Iowa for nearly 40 minutes out of 60, Texas failed to cover by a scant two points, and USC trailed at one time 17-10 at Arizona State. Also, I nailed the final scores of the Wolverines and Tennessee right on the nose! (OK, I'm kidding about the significance of that last claim).

Guess I should start making picks based on halftime results, ey?

Bob's Top 10

1. OKLAHOMA (5-0) Showdown with arch-rival Texas is first true test of 2003. Sooners are arguably nation's most complete Division I-A team.
2. MIAMI (5-0) Considered dropping 'Canes down after close call against W.Virginia, but I'll let their play at Florida State this week determine their short-term future.
3. LSU (5-0) Perhaps catching slumping Florida at the right time... or, the worst time, because the Gators are going to be a tad riled.
4. OHIO STATE (4-0) Buckeyes will have to play better than they have to date if they're going to maintain winning streak at sturdy Wisconsin.
5. VIRGINIA TECH (4-0) Battles with Syracuse used to be highly-anticipated, but oddsmakers have installed Hokies as nearly three-touchdown favorites.
6. FLORIDA STATE (4-0) Beating Miami at home this weekend could propel Seminoles back to the level of their national title days of the 1990s (and jump them in my ratings).
7. ARKANSAS (4-0) Never a break in the SEC. All Razorbacks have to deal with this week is an Auburn team that was a consensus preseason top 5.
8. NEBRASKA (5-0) Missouri, which plays host to the Huskers this week, is improved about as much as any squad in the country.
9. MINNESOTA (5-0) OK, the Gophers have earned a spot in my rankings. But can they beat Michigan at home in a nationally-televised Friday night showdown?
10. (tie) TCU (5-0) and Northern Illinois (5-0) Neither is really on the same level with the top nine, but I didn't want either to be relegated to the dreaded "also considered" all by their lonesome.
Also considered: None.

2003 PREDICTION RECORDS:
Straight-Up -- 27-18 (60%)
Against-The-Spread -- 19-26 (42%)

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

Week 7 Schedule (the top games of the week)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9

BYU (-2) 31, Colorado State 27 -- The Rams, coming off an impressive home win over Fresno State, are more balanced but BYU is a good homefield team. Both clubs, interestingly enough, are a mediocre 3-3 going in.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10

Michigan (+1) 28, No. 9 Minnesota 19 -- I'm sticking with my assertion that the Golden Gophers, while deserving of recognition for their 5-0 start, haven't really played anyone. Heck, they almost lost to Penn State. The Wolverines have had two nasty road tests - at Oregon and Iowa - losing both, but almost winning each time. Michigan is the superior squad... if it has anything left in the tank.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11

No. 1 Oklahoma (-6 1/2) 33, Texas 17 -- This annual clash is at Dallas, so there's not really a homefield edge, and so the Sooners' defense is the deciding factor in a game that is likely to be fairly close for about a half. Texas is performing similarly to many of their previous clubs -- dynamite against overmatched foes, but not ready for a major step up in competition.

No. 2 Miami (+6) 27, No. 6 Florida State 24 -- Both are unbeaten, both are legit national title contenders. The Seminoles have won four of the last five meetings at home, but Miami won the last clash there in 2001 and prevailed, 28-27, in last year's meeting at Miami. Ultimately, I gotta take those six points when everything else appears relatively equal.

No. 3 LSU (-9) 42, Florida 20 -- Not an easy call here, because Florida had played pretty well until stumbling against Ole Miss. LSU, however, is as good as its unbeaten record suggests, especially at home.

Wisconsin (+2 1/2) 23, No. 4 Ohio State 20 -- Finally, a team catches up with the Buckeyes and snaps their extended winning skein. The Badgers typically play everyone tough at home, and they live for beating Ohio State and/or Michigan.

Auburn (+5 1/2) 30, No. 7 Arkansas 27 -- Another upset pick, because maybe Auburn is as good as the preseason hype after all. Sure looked that way against Tennessee. And the Razorbacks barely survived two weeks ago against a mediocre Alabama team. This one, of course, could go either way.