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BCS (Bob's College Summary)
By Bob Cunningham
November 5, 2003
 

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

1. OKLAHOMA (9-0) Even more impressive against rival Oklahoma State than I suspected. Now heavily favored to go the route unscathed.
2.

TCU (8-0)

They're obviously not the second-best team in the country, but if Frogs go 11-0 they deserve shot at OU in Title Game.
3. USC (8-1) Only team in the country right now with legitimate chance to beat Oklahoma on a neutral field... such as the Superdome, for instance.
4. LSU (8-1) Well-earned bye this week before returning to SEC schedule Nov. 8 with a comparatively easy contest -- at Alabama. Times change.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. MIAMI (7-1) I predicted the Hurricanes would fall at Blacksburg, but I never dreamed they'd get thumped as badly as they did.
8. 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 State.
9t. 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.
9t. LOUISVILLE (7-1) Get the opportunity to prove worth with nationally televised showdown at TCU, probably for the Conference-USA championship.
9t. 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 last week.

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.