The real BCS got a little fuzzier
this week, despite the number of showdown games last
weekend. Miami's loss at
Virginia Tech means a whole lot of one-defeat teams are
staking claims to be in the Sugar Bowl (i.e. national
championship game) opposite No. 1 Oklahoma.
For now, USC has the inside track but Florida State,
Virginia Tech, Miami and LSU are all legitimately in
the hunt. See... this is why my national playoff idea
that involves the polls and the bowls in the process
is the only way to go.
Bob's Top 10
||Even more impressive
against rival Oklahoma State than I suspected. Now
heavily favored to go the route unscathed.
|They're obviously not the
second-best team in the country, but if Frogs go
they deserve shot at OU in Title Game.
||Only team in the country right
now with legitimate chance to beat Oklahoma on a
neutral field... such as the Superdome, for instance.
||Well-earned bye this week
before returning to SEC schedule Nov. 8 with a comparatively
easy contest -- at Alabama. Times change.
||FLORIDA STATE (8-1)
||Are the Seminoles improving
that much, or has Notre Dame really fallen that far?
Probably a little bit of both, to be honest.
||VIRGINIA TECH (7-1)
||Leaps back into the top 10
and past Ohio State after ultra-impressive win over
Miami. Another tough one this week at Pittsburgh.
||I predicted the Hurricanes
would fall at Blacksburg, but I never dreamed they'd
get thumped as badly as they did.
||OHIO STATE (8-1)
||True, the Buckeyes won again.
But a missed official's call aided the cause, and
it was ugly. Might fall this week at home to Michigan
|| BOISE STATE (8-1)
||Yeah, I absolutely abhor that
nasty blue turf the Broncos play on at home, but
lopsided victory at BYU impressed me bigtime.
||Get the opportunity to prove
worth with nationally televised showdown at TCU,
probably for the Conference-USA championship.
|| MIAMI OHIO (8-1)
||The best of the Mid-American
Conference after whipping a Bowling Green team Tuesday
which was coming off victory over N.Illinois.
|Also considered: Northern Illinois
2003 PREDICTION RECORDS:
Straight-Up -- 52-23 (69%)
Against-The-Spread -- 38-37 (51%)
LAST WEEK: 7-1 Straight-Up, 6-2 Against-The-Spread
Week 11 Schedule (the top games of the week)
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5
No. 9t Louisville (+2 1/2) 41, at
No. 2 TCU 31 -- The Horned
Frogs may be the most unimpressive 8-0 team to come down
the pike in a quite a spell. Four of their last five wins
have been decided by a TD or less, and their defense is
ravaged with injuries. TCU is 2-6 ATS. The Cardinals, if
not for a 3-point loss at South Florida, would be right
alongside TCU with a perfect mark, and Louisville has been
more impressive overall as well as against common foes.
The Frogs have won each of the last two years, but I like
Louisville to end the run.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6
Arkansas (-7 1/2) 33, South Carolina 20 -- The Lou Holtz
Bowl. Based on their last games, one of these teams figures
to come out flat... maybe both. But the Razorbacks can
secure a bowl berth as they begin a stretch of three straight
home games, and they've owned this series in recent years.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7
Colorado State (-1) 42, New Mexico
34 -- I'm asking for trouble
including this game on the week's slate, because both teams
have been brutally unpredictable. But it's my belief that
the Rams have a little more talent, so that compensates
for the location of the contest.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8
No. 6 Virginia Tech (-3 1/2) 34, at Pittsburgh 21 -- It's
tempting to forecast a letdown for the Hokies after their
huge rout of Miami last week, but they endured their downer
the week before that game, against West Virginia. Besides,
if Notre Dame can win at Pitt, so can VTU.
No. 7 Miami (-13) 38, Tennessee 14 -- The 'Canes won at
Knoxville last season, 26-3, and that Tennessee team was
arguably better than the current version. Also, Miami figures
to be a bit chippy after getting clobbered at Virginia Tech.
Classic bounce-back game for the Hurricanes.
Michigan State (+6*) 23, at No. 8 Ohio State 19 -- I know
how I've been preaching that the Buckeyes are extremely tough
to beat at home, but it will happen this week. Spartans QB
Jeff Smoker gets better with each game and he's the type
of poised talent that can overcome playing at Columbus. The
Buckeyes are running on fumes. Also, Michigan State has covered
ATS in each of its last four games here.
Texas (-3) 27, at Oklahoma State 17 -- OK, the Longhorns
made me pay for doubting them last week against Nebraska.
But can they win two in a row against quality opposition?
I say yes, because of their talent and because the wind is
probably out of OSU's sails after its lopsided loss to Oklahoma
Washington State (-10) 35, UCLA 18 -- The Cougars still
have a lot to achieve this season, even after the disappointing
loss at USC. They could still wind up in the Rose Bowl, if
the Trojans win out and play for the national title in the
Sugar Bowl. The Bruins have been doing it with the proverbial
smoke and mirrors (whatever that means), and it caught up
to them last week at Stanford.
* Estimated pointspread.