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
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
||The Sooners have
scored 50 or more points seven times this season.
Some programs have failed to achieve that in their
|Absolutely toyed with arch-rival
UCLA before deciding to take it easy. Sooners would
have their hands full in the Sugar Bowl, bigtime.
||Perhaps a tougher time dealing
with Mississippi's defense than was anticipated,
but bottom line is the Tigers' D contained Eli Manning.
||Impressive performance against
a superb Ohio State team. Final score of 35-21 not
indicative of Wolverines' complete dominance.
||Thanksgiving Weekend clash
with Texas A&M not much to look forward to...
for the Aggies. I'm thinkin' major romp here (see
||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.
||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.
||Playing as well as any SEC
team down the stretch, but two-week disappearance
against Georgia and Auburn has proven costly.
||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.
||FLORIDA STATE (9-2)
||So who is the best team in
Florida? Seminoles-Gators winner will lay claim,
Miami likely to remain ranked ahead of either.
|Also considered: Boise State, Miami
2003 PREDICTION RECORDS
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
THANKSGIVING DAY, NOVEMBER 27
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.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28
No. 3 LSU 28, Arkansas (+10) 24 -- The Razorbacks enter
this clash on a 4-game winning streak, and are 3-1 on the
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.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29
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
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