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BCS (Bob's College Summary)
By Bob Cunningham
November 25, 2003

You can all relax now. TCU's unbeaten bubble was succinctly popped by Southern Mississippi last week, meaning that you'll no longer have to endure my claim that a perfect season by the Frogs should merit respect.

Oklahoma and USC, meanwhile, took care of business with lopsided wins... and are likely foes in the Sugar Bowl. The Trojans have only a mediocre Oregon State team remaining on its slate, and OU could lose the Big-12 Title Game to Kansas State and still finish as the BCS's top-ranked squad.

LSU can still overtake USC for the slot opposite the Sooners, but it won't be easy without a USC loss. The Tigers must defeat Arkansas Friday, win the SEC Title Game next week, and have a few other games fall their way so that their strength-of-schedule is maximized. The Tigers already have caught one break -- Washington's upset of Washington State Saturday removed a quality win from the Trojans' slate.

Bob's Top 10

1. OKLAHOMA (12-0) The Sooners have scored 50 or more points seven times this season. Some programs have failed to achieve that in their history.

USC (10-1)

Absolutely toyed with arch-rival UCLA before deciding to take it easy. Sooners would have their hands full in the Sugar Bowl, bigtime.
3. LSU (10-1) Perhaps a tougher time dealing with Mississippi's defense than was anticipated, but bottom line is the Tigers' D contained Eli Manning.
4. MICHIGAN (10-2) Impressive performance against a superb Ohio State team. Final score of 35-21 not indicative of Wolverines' complete dominance.
5. TEXAS (9-2) Thanksgiving Weekend clash with Texas A&M not much to look forward to... for the Aggies. I'm thinkin' major romp here (see below).
6. GEORGIA (9-2) After a lull of about a month, the Bulldogs have returned to their formidable form of earlier in the season... and just in time, too.
7. OHIO STATE (10-2) As I've said all along, defending national champs a good team again. But put them up against a quality foe on the road, and reality bites.
8. TENNESSEE (9-2) Playing as well as any SEC team down the stretch, but two-week disappearance against Georgia and Auburn has proven costly.
9. MIAMI (9-2) Apparently not as good as we've become accustomed to with the Hurricanes, but still worthy of playing in a New Year's Day bowl.
10. FLORIDA STATE (9-2) So who is the best team in Florida? Seminoles-Gators winner will lay claim, although Miami likely to remain ranked ahead of either.
Also considered: Boise State, Miami (Ohio), TCU.

Straight-Up: 69-31 (69%)
Against-The-Spread: 51-48-1 (51%)

LAST WEEK: 7-1 Straight-Up, 5-3 ATS

The Top Games of the Week


Mississippi (-19) 38, at Mississippi State 16 -- This is a huge mismatch. The Bulldogs are 2-9, and that's their spread record as well. It's a heated annual rivalry, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see MSU play its best game of the year. But the Bulldogs were beaten last week at Arkansas by 46 points -- and the Rebels are more lethal offensively. Just can't envision a close one.


No. 3 LSU 28, Arkansas (+10) 24 -- The Razorbacks enter this clash on a 4-game winning streak, and are 3-1 on the road with victories at Texas, Alabama and Kentucky to go with a competitive loss at Ole Miss. The Tigers have a lot to gain by winning, but I like Arkansas to keep it close. The Razorbacks have lost four of their last five at Baton Rouge, but are 3-2 ATS in those games.

No. 5 Texas(-20) 45, at Texas A&M 13 -- There are some parallels between this matchup and Mississippi-Mississippi State. Texas A&M is 4-7 overall, 1-10 ATS! These two are playing at such totally different levels, I just don't believe the rivalry thing will help A&M much. Similar to USC's covering of a gaudy spread against UCLA last week, the Longhorns just have far too many weapons.


No. 6 Georgia (-7 1/2) 27, at Georgia Tech 7 -- The Yellowjackets have been a perplexing team, while Georgia has regained its early-season winning ways. The Bulldogs have dominated this rivalry in recent years, including a 51-7 pasting last year at Athens. Undoubtedly, Tech will be motivated for revenge... but that won't be nearly enough to actually accomplish it.

Pittsburgh (+3 1/2) 30, No. 9 Miami 24 -- One of the best teams in the country that no one talks about is Pitt, and I like the mild upset here because the Hurricanes are really just mailing it in since absorbing their second loss. It's a program that isn't interested in merely good seasons. The Panthers program would get a huge boost by sweeping the meetings with Miami and Virginia Tech, and Heisman candidate WR Larry Fitzgerald can get some national exposure while extending his amazing streak of consecutive games with a TD catch.

Florida (+1) 28, No. 10 Florida State 20 -- For me, this is a simple pick of going with the team that is playing the best right now. The Gators come in on a 5-game winning streak that includes victories over top-10's LSU and Georgia. The Seminoles' play has been dicey, getting thumped at Clemson three weeks ago and needing overtime at home to outlast North Carolina State in its last game back on Nov. 15. The old adage in the stock market is "don't buck the trend." Sounds like sage advice to me.

Virginia Tech (+1 1/2) 24, at Virginia 21 -- Since whipping Miami at home early this month, the wheels have kind of come off for the Hokies. They've lost three of five, including last week's inexplicable 34-27 home defeat to Boston College. But I still firmly believe Virginia Tech is the superior team, and the Hokies have dominated this rivalry in recent years, winning the last two meetings by double-figures and four of the last five overall.

Toledo (+7 1/2) 34, at Bowling Green 31 -- My search for a true upset pick brings me to the MAC. I'm going against the grain here, because the Falcons have been solid at home and are playing well. But the Rockets have won four of five, scoring well more than 30 points each time, and the BG defense isn't dominant. It can be had. I'm talking an 8-3 team which is a 'dog by more than a TD. Gimme the team on the better roll.