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BCS (Bob's College Summary)
By Bob Cunningham
October 28, 2003
 

Plenty of showdowns on the slate this week, with the Big East and Pac-10 titles likely to be decided as well as one rep in the Big-12 Title Game. Should be a ton o' fun.

On a side note, I'm still predictably getting a lot of e-mail from readers who fail to comprehend my ranking philosophy. I simply prefer to view college football the same way pro sports are tracked -- win-loss records count first and foremost, and things like strength of conference and schedule matter only as tiebreakers. The rankings should be the pecking order for deserving shots at a national championship, not power ratings.

Bob's Top 10

1. OKLAHOMA (8-0) Fairly close win at Colorado probably can be attitributed to having one eye on this week's showdown with Oklahoma State.
2. MIAMI (7-0) Clash with Virginia Tech won't have the same oomph after last week, but it's still a big game where the BCS is concerned.
3. TCU (8-0) The Frogs are third because they're the worst among the three Division I unbeatens. That puts them ahead of everyone else.
4. USC (7-1) After back-to-back impressive road wins, Trojans get to come home and face Washington State for the Pac-10 lead.
5. LSU (7-1) A great many pundits picked the Tigers to lose at home to Auburn, but I keep trying to convince people this is a very fine team.
6. FLORIDA STATE (7-1) Pulled away late against a solid Wake Forest team. Not many true tests remaining on the Seminoles' schedule.
7. GEORGIA (7-1) Back-to-back lethargic efforts against inferior competition drop the Dawgs down. They'll have to play better to win the SEC.
8. WASHINGTON STATE (7-1) Good come-from-behind victory over Oregon State, but defense will have to tighten up if Cougars are to triumph at USC.
9. OHIO STATE (7-1) Only loss is on the road at Wisconsin, and the defending national champs have sucked it up impressively the last two weeks.
10. NEBRASKA (7-1) OK, the Cornhuskers' offense is one-dimensional. But there isn't a defense in the country that is performing any better.
Also considered: Boise State, Bowling Green, Louisville, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech.

2003 PREDICTION RECORDS:
Straight-Up -- 45-22 (67%)
Against-The-Spread -- 32-35 (48%)

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

Week 10 Schedule (the top games of the week)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30

Boise State (-5 1/2) 34, at BYU 27 -- Wow, have times changed. BYU, a home underdog against... Boise State? Yep, and for good reason. The Broncos are explosive. I should have left this game out, because it's a tough one to forecast. But talent wins out over tradition here.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1

No. 1 Oklahoma (-16 1/2) 45, Oklahoma State 24 -- More than two touchdowns -- a lot of points for a rivalry game. But the Sooners are seeking revenge, for back-to-back defeats in this series including a 3-point loss at home two years ago. I say they get it... and some.

Virginia Tech (+3 1/2) 27, No. 2 Miami 24 -- I was really high on the Hokies for this showdown before they stumbled against West Virginia, but that's a bit tempered now. Still, the Hurricanes haven't been all that dominant and winning at Blacksburg is a tall task for any team. Tech is still in line for a major BCS bowl bid, and this triumph assures they get it.

No. 4 USC (-11 1/2) 42, No. 8 Washington State 17 -- No team in the country is playing any better than the Trojans, and a look at how each has fared against common opponents reveals a decided edge for USC. At home, the Trojans will be too much.

No. 6 Florida State 24, at Notre Dame (+11 1/2) 20 -- The Seminoles have the troops to run away and hide early in this one, but the Irish shouldn't go down easily at South Bend. Of course, I said that about Notre Dame when it hosted USC two weeks ago, and the Trojans rolled. Still, I can't help but believe the Irish still has some quality football to come this season.

Florida (+2 1/2) 31, No. 7 Georgia 23 at Jacksonville, Fla. -- In my view, this is a very mild upset pick. It's based on how each team is playing coming in. The Bulldogs barely beat Vanderbilt and UAB the last two weeks -- they're lucky to have only one defeat to this point. Florida won at LSU a few weeks back, beat Arkansas on the road two weeks ago, and has had an extra week to prepare for this one.

No. 10 Nebraska (+6) 23, at Texas 19 -- The Huskers started as 7 1/2-point 'dogs, and that amazes me. Nebraska's defense should limit what the normally potent Longhorns offense can accomplish, and besides Texas rarely comes through impressively against quality opposition. In true tests this year, the 'Horns have lost to Arkansas, squeaked by Kansas State, and been trampled by Oklahoma.

Michigan (-4) 31, at Michigan State 20 -- The Wolverines are on a roll, and not even Michigan State's stud QB, Jeff Smoker, will be able to keep up. Old-style, Big-10, pound-it-down-your-throat will work for the visitors. Going against the historical trend, however, because the Spartans are 4-1 both straight-up and ATS in their last five against Michigan at home.