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
win at Colorado probably can be attitributed to having
one eye on this week's showdown with Oklahoma State.
||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.
||The Frogs are third because
they're the worst among the three Division I unbeatens.
That puts them ahead of everyone else.
||After back-to-back impressive
road wins, Trojans get to come home and face Washington
State for the Pac-10 lead.
||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.
||FLORIDA STATE (7-1)
||Pulled away late against a
solid Wake Forest team. Not many true tests remaining
on the Seminoles' schedule.
||Back-to-back lethargic efforts
against inferior competition drop the Dawgs down.
They'll have to play better to win the SEC.
||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.
||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.
||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,
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.