Weekly Sports Report

Let the controversy begin! The first BCS standings came out after last week's games, and the results were a bit troubling to the Oklahoma Sooners. Though they are ranked #2 in both the AP Top 25 and USA/ESPN polls, the Sooners are currently #3 in the BCS standings behind both USC and Miami.

While there's plenty of time for the BCS standings to change, this once again points out that far too often there's no guarantee the best two teams will decide the National Championship on the field. That could be especially true this season, where there could easily be more than two undefeated teams at the conclusion of the regular season. There are four other unbeaten teams in addition to the top three in the BCS standings. They are; #4 Auburn, #6 Wisconsin, #7 Utah, and #14 Boise State. Here's hoping the NCAA, BCS Coalition, and the Bowl Committees eventually see the light and develop a workable playoff system!

Here's a summary of the games from last week:


East –

#17 West Virginia won their Big East opener, 31-19 at Connecticut. The Mountaineers' victory featured their usual strong ground game. Sophomore RB Jason Colson rushed 13 times for 111 yards and a TD, while senior QB Rasheed Marshall picked up 110 yards on 18 carries. Marshall also completed 12-21 passes for 138 yards and a TD. The Huskies trailed 10-6 in the 3rd quarter when junior SS Mike Lorello picked off a pass by UConn's senior QB Dan Orlovsky that had bounced off the foot of WR Keron Henry. Lorello ran the interception back 19 yards for a TD and West Virginia coasted the rest of the way. For the Huskies, Orlovsky completed 24-47 passes for 268 yards and 2 TDs, but suffered three interceptions including the key one by Lorello.


South –

The Big East's future and past met in the Orange Bowl as #18 Louisville took on #3 Miami. Both teams entered the game sporting 4-0 records. The Hurricanes managed to stay undefeated, but it sure wasn't easy! The Cardinals shocked Miami by opening a 24-7 lead at the half behind the passing of senior QB Stefan LeFors, who threw for two of their three TDs. Miami's senior QB Brock Berlin then took control. He led the Canes to scores on all six of their 2nd half possessions. Trailing 31-21 after the 3rd quarter, sophomore kicker Jon Peattie booted two short field goals early in the 4th quarter to bring Miami within four points at 31-27. True freshman QB Brian Brohm then replaced LeFors, who suffered a concussion. Miami held the Cardinals on downs, and took the lead when sophomore Devin Hester returned the ensuing punt 78 yards up the middle for a TD. Brohm then coolly led Louisville on an 80 yard march capped off by a 1 yard TD run by senior Lionel Gates to put the Cardinals back up 38-34. Hester returned the kickoff 34 yards to the Miami 44 yard line. Berlin then methodically marched the Hurricanes down the field, with the winning score coming on a 1 yard run by junior RB Frank Gore with 49 seconds left. Louisville missed a great opportunity to ice the win when senior FS Kerry Rhodes dropped a Berlin pass that hit him squarely in the chest. Given a reprieve, Berlin converted a 4th and four from the Louisville 8 yard line with a 5 yard toss to sophomore WR Darnell Jenkins. Berlin finished with 25 completions in 37 attempts for 308 yards and 3 TDs. LeFors threw for 242 yards and 3 TDs, completing 17 of 22.


South –

Unheralded UAB improved to 5-1 with an impressive 41-25 win over TCU. UAB broke the game open with 21 unanswered 2nd quarter points to take a 35-14 lead at intermission. All five Blazer TDs came on passes by junior QB Darrell Hackney, two to fellow junior WR Reggie Lindsey. For the Horned Frogs, senior QB Brandon Hassell completed 20-33 passes for 293 yards and a TD. UAB, Southern Mississippi, and Louisville are the only undefeated teams in CUSA play. UAB doesn't face Louisville, and visits Southern Mississippi in their final game on November 27th.


East –

Notre Dame extended their dominance over Navy, defeating the Middies for the 41st straight time 27-9 at Giants Stadium. Unlike recent games between the two old rivals, the Irish put this one away early. They opened a quick 7-0 lead on the game's opening possession, going 81 yards in six plays capped off by a 33 yard TD run by freshman Marcus Wilson. Notre Dame also scored on their 2nd possession, as senior Ryan Grant scored from one yard out. Grant added another TD run in the 3rd quarter and finished with 114 yards in 20 carries.

For the 3rd year in a row, Pittsburgh defeated Boston College, winning 20-17 in overtime. The Panthers' win over the Eagles in 2002 was also accomplished in OT. After falling behind 3-0, Pittsburgh went ahead on a 3 yard run by sophomore QB Tyler Palko in the 2nd quarter. The Panthers opened up a 14-3 lead in the 3rd quarter on a 2 yard run by junior Raymond Kirkley. However, the Eagles quickly answered on an 8 yard TD pass from senior QB Paul Peterson to senior WR Joel Hazard. Faced with a 4th and goal situation from the BC one yard line early in the 4th quarter, Pitt coach Walt Harris decided to kick a field goal and junior Josh Cummings connected from 17 yards. The Eagles finally tied the game late in the 4th quarter. A pass interference penalty against junior CB Josh Lay on a 4th down play kept BC's drive alive at the Panther 15 yard line. With 3:26 to play, Peterson found junior WR Larry Lester alone in the end zone from 10 yards out. In overtime, Cummings connected on a 27 yard field goal. On a 3rd and ten from the 25, Peterson completed a short toss to Lester. He was several yards short of a first down when freshman CB Mike Phillips stripped the ball. Junior DE Thomas Smith made the recovery, ending the game. Kirkley finished with 21 carries for 88 yards for Pitt. Peterson completed 32-53 passes for 367 yards for the Eagles.

Rutgers won their 1st conference game, 16-6 over Temple. Both teams had trouble with turnovers. The Owls suffered 2 interceptions and lost 2 fumbles while the Scarlet Knights had 4 passes intercepted and lost a fumble. The game was tied 3-3 at intermission. Rutgers took a 6-3 lead in the 3rd quarter on a 27 yard field goal by freshman Jeremy Ito. The Owls' junior kicker Ryan Lux nailed a 38 yarder with 11:56 left to tie the game at 6. Ito's 3rd field goal with 5:23 remaining put Rutgers ahead to stay. They got an insurance score on an 8 yard TD pass from junior QB Ryan Hart to WR Willie Foster. Temple's Junior QB Walter Washington completed 21-39 passes for 219 yards and added 67 rushing yards on 27 carries. For Rutgers, Hart was 18-30 for 193 yards and sophomore RB Brian Leonard carried 19 times for 80 yards.

Elsewhere, Miami (Ohio) came back from a 7-6 halftime deficit to defeat Buffalo 25-7.

South -

#4 Auburn improved to 7-0 with an impressive 38-20 win over Arkansas. The Tigers scored on their first five possessions, opening up a 30-0 lead before the Razorbacks finally got on the board before intermission on a Matt Jones TD pass. Senior QB Jason Campbell had another strong game for Auburn, completing 17-19 passes for a career-high 297 yards and 3 TDs. The Tigers running game was also solid, with their senior combo of Ronnie Brown (15 carries for 101 yards and a TD) and Carnell Williams (16 carries for 71 yards). Jones finished with 12 completions in 27 attempts for 189 yards and 2 TDs.

In a key ACC contest, #7 Florida State crushed previously undefeated #6 Virginia 36-3. FSU's sophomore QB Wyatt Sexton continues to impress after taking over the starting job from senior Chris Rix. He completed 20-26 passes for 275 yards and a TD. FSU's ground game was equally proficient, led by a career-high 123 yards and 2 TDs from sophomore Lorenzo Booker. Meanwhile, the Seminoles totally shut down the Cavaliers' ground game. Virginia could only manage 20 yards on 29 attempts. Junior QB Marques Hagans did complete 20-30 passes for 214 yards, 9 going to junior TE Heath Miller.

#12 Georgia got back on track with a 33-3 pasting of Vanderbilt. Senior QB David Greene led the Bulldog attack, completing 14-21 passes for 191 yards and 2 TDs and rushing for another. For the 1st time since 1992, Georgia had two backs rush for over 100 yards in a game. Freshman Danny Ware gained 127 yards on 24 carries and fellow freshman Thomas Brown added 122 yards and a TD on 17 carries.

#13 Tennessee needed a 30 yard TD pass from freshman QB Erik Ainge to Bret Smith with 6:58 left to edge Mississippi 21-17 in Oxford. The Vols opened up a 14-0 lead after the 1st quarter on TD runs by Jabari Davis and Gerald Riggs. The Rebels narrowed the gap to 14-10 after three periods, then went ahead 17-10 on a 34 yard interception return of an Ainge pass by sophomore CB Bryan Brown. Ainge finished with 14 completions in 30 attempts for 231 yards. Riggs added 118 yards on 26 carries. For Mississippi, sophomore QB Ethan Flatt was 10-20 for 147 yards, but was picked off twice.

#22 Florida rebounded from their upset by LSU to rout Middle Tennessee 52-16. Sophomore QB Chris Leak was outstanding for the Gators, completing 17-22 passes for 316 yards and 3 TDs. Sophomore WR Chad Jackson was on the receiving end of 6 passes for 103 yards and a TD. Sophomore RB DeShawn Wynn added 81 yards on the ground, and scored 3 TDs.

Alabama handed #24 Southern Mississippi their first loss of the year, 27-3 in Tuscaloosa. Neither team had much success through the air, combining for a meager 95 passing yards (23 for Southern Mississippi and 72 for Alabama). However, the Crimson Tide's rushing attack was again solid, with sophomore RB Kenneth Darby leading the way with 197 yards and a TD on 29 carries. Darby also hauled in a TD pass from junior QB Spencer Pennington in the 4th quarter. The Golden Eagles' offense, with starting QB Dustin Almond out with an injury, never got anything going against the Tide's defense.

In a comedy of errors, South Carolina got the last laugh, edging Kentucky 12-7. The teams combined for nine turnovers, five by the Gamecocks. South Carolina took a 6-0 lead into the locker room, courtesy of two 2nd quarter field goals by junior Josh Brown. The Wildcats took the lead on a 2 yard run by Alexis Bwenge with 9:52 remaining. South Carolina then turned to 4th string QB Michael Rathe, who led them on an 88 yard drive culminating in a game-winning 19 yard TD pass from Rathe to junior WR Troy Williamson with 1:28 remaining. North Carolina St. held Maryland to a miniscule 91 yards of total offense in a 13-3 win at College Park. The game's only touchdown was scored in the 2nd quarter on a 1 yard run by sophomore RB Reggie Davis. Davis was filling in for the Wolfpack's starting RB, T.A. McLendon who injured a hamstring on the opening drive and didn't return. North Carolina State's junior QB Jay Davis was efficient if not spectacular, completing 13-30 for 208 yards.

Georgia Tech improved to 4-2 with A 24-7 win over Duke. Junior RB P. J. Daniels led the Yellow Jackets, rushing 24 times for 114 yards and a TD. Daniels also threw a TD pass to freshman WR Calvin Johnson. Johnson was also on the receiving end of another TD pass from sophomore QB Reggie Ball, and finished with 6 receptions for 92 yards. Ball completed 10-20 passes for 134 yards. Georgia Tech's defense limited the Blue Devils to 184 yards of total offense and recorded 5 sacks.

Senior QB Bryan Randall tossed 4 TD passes in the 1st half as Virginia Tech destroyed D1AA Florida A&M 62-0. Junior RB Cedric Humes added 120 rushing yards for Virginia Tech. The Hokies led 48-0 at halftime and rested their starters the remainder of the game.

Clemson snapped a four game losing streak, defeating Utah State 35-6. The Tigers only led 7-0 at the half on a 2 yard TD run by Reggie Merriweather. Merriweather scored again early in the 3rd quarter on a 4 yard run and the Tigers then added 21 more unanswered points before the Aggies finally got on the board late in the final quarter. Merriweather finished with 84 yards on 18 carries.

Memphis is now 5-1 after drubbing Tulane 49-24. Junior RB DeAngelo Williams paced the Tigers, rushing for 132 yards and 2 TDs on 19 carries.

Army snapped their nine game road losing streak with a 42-35 upset of South Florida. The win was the 2nd in a row for the Black Knights, their first winning streak since the 1997 season (really!). Junior RB Carlton Jones was the star for Army, rushing for 225 yards and 5 TDs. Junior QB Zac Dahman chipped in with 16 completions in 27 attempts for 202 yards and a TD.

In other games, Akron defeated winless Central Florida 26-21 and Louisiana-Monroe topped Florida International 28-20.

Midwest –

#2 Oklahoma needed a strong performance from senior QB Jason White to get by Kansas State 31-21 in Manhattan. White tossed 4 TD passes while completing 20-31 for 256 yards. White connected twice with junior WR Travis Wilson in the first half as the Sooners led 17-14 at intermission. The Wildcats went in front 21-17 as sophomore LB Brandon Archer picked off a White pass and took it 27 yards for a TD in the 3rd quarter. On Oklahoma's next drive, White connected with senior WR Mark Clayton on a 15 yard TD pass that put the Sooners ahead to stay. They got an insurance touchdown in the 4th quarter as White again found Clayton from 8 yards out. True freshman RB Adrian Peterson had another big day for Oklahoma, rushing 36 times for 130 yards. For the Wildcats, sophomore Dylan Meier completed 20-38 passes for 242 yards and a TD. However KSU's running game was ineffective all afternoon, as senior Darren Sproles was limited to just 34 yards on 13 carries.

#10 Wisconsin (7-0) remained tied with Michigan for 1st place in the Big Ten after their 20-17 upset win at #5 Purdue. The game began as a defensive struggle. The only score in the 1st half came on a 6 yard run by Badgers' senior RB Anthony Davis. The Boilermakers came out of the locker room and tied the game at 7 on an 8 yard TD pass from senior QB Kyle Orton to junior TE Charles Davis. Purdue scored twice in the 4th quarter to build a 17-7 lead. Junior Ben Jones hit a 35 yard field goal, then Orton ran it in from 6 yards out. The Badgers responded with a 73 yard drive ending with a 7 yard TD pass from sophomore QB John Stocco to Booker Stanley. Appropriately, the winning score came on a great defensive play. Orton was hit on a naked bootleg while trying for a key first down. He fumbled, and senior CB Scott Starks picked up the ball and ran 40 yards for the go-ahead TD with 2:36 remaining. The PAT was blocked, giving Purdue some hope. Orton drove them down the field, only to have Jones miss a 42 yard field goal that would have sent the game to overtime. Orton finished with 25 completions in 45 attempts for 235 yards and a TD. However, he was picked off once and lost two fumbles, including the one Starks returned for the winning score. For Wisconsin, Stocco completed 17-32 for 211 yards and a TD.

#14 Michigan rallied in the 2nd half to win at Illinois 30-19. The Wolverines jumped off to a 10-0 lead after one quarter, but the Illini came back to take a 17-10 lead at the half. Two of Illinois' scores followed interceptions of true freshman QB Chad Henne. The Wolverines concentrated on their ground game after intermission, and the move paid off as they outscored the Illini 20-2 in the final 30 minutes. True freshman Michael Hart rushed 40 times for 234 yards and a TD and fellow freshman RB Max Martin added 67 yards and a TD on 12 carries. For Illinois, senior QB Jon Beutjer completed 20-39 passes for 156 yards and a TD, but was picked off three times.

I venture to say Glen Mason, head coach of #19 Minnesota, would be happy never to set foot in the state of Michigan again. After losing a heartbreaker in Ann Arbor last week, the Gophers were demolished by rejuvenated Michigan State 51-17 in East Lansing. Sophomore QB Drew Stanton broke the school record for total offense in a game with 410 yards. He completed 20-31 passes for 308 yards and 3 TDs and ran 13 times for 102 yards. The Spartans' defense did a great job containing Minnesota's powerful ground game, holding the Gophers to just 102 yards rushing.

Iowa demolished #25 Ohio State 33-7, handing the reeling Buckeyes their 3rd straight loss. Sophomore QB Drew Tate was outstanding for the Hawkeyes, completing 26-39 passes for 331 yards and 3 TDs and running for another score. Two of Tate's TD tosses went to Clinton Solomon. Meanwhile, Iowa's defense limited Ohio State to 177 yards of total offense, including just 27 on the ground and forced 3 Buckeye turnovers. Trailing 33-0, Ohio State finally got on the board in the 4th quarter on a 23 yard TD pass from sophomore QB Troy Smith to true freshman TE Rory Nicol.

Nebraska rebounded from their 70-10 trouncing by Texas Tech to wallop Baylor 59-27 in Lincoln. Sophomore QB Joe Dailey set school records by passing for 342 yards and 5 TDs. He completed 13-20 passes. Two of the TD receptions went to sophomore WR Isaiah Fluellen. RB Brandon Jackson added a career-high 89 yards rushing and 2 TDs on 18 carries. For the Bears, junior QB Dane King completed 23-38 passes for a career-high 281 yards and 2 TDs.

In MAC play, Toledo outscored Ohio 21-0 in the 3rd quarter en route to a 31-13 win. Junior QB Matt Bohnet hit A. J. Bennett with a 30 yard TD pass with 21 seconds left as Eastern Michigan came from behind to defeat Western Michigan 35-31. Northern Illinois RB Garrett Wolfe carried 37 times for 226 yards and 4 TDs as the Huskies scored 35 second half points to overcome Central Michigan 42-10. Marshall rallied from a 17-7 deficit at the half to win at Kent State 27-17. Finally, Bowling Green crushed Ball State 51-13 as QB Omar Jacobs completed 19-25 passes for 279 yards and 4 TDs.

Southwest -

#9 Texas struggled past Missouri 28-20. Senior RB Cedric Benson provided most of the Longhorns' offensive production, rushing 28 times for 150 yards and 2 TDs. Texas' passing game once again struggled, as sophomore Vince Young and senior Chance Mock combined for only 106 yards and Young was picked off twice. The Tigers' offense had problems also. Junior QB Brad Smith completed 20-34 passes for 185 yards and a TD, but he also was intercepted twice including one returned 2 yards for the game's first TD by Brian Robison.

#23 Texas A&M won their 5th straight, routing previously undefeated #16 Oklahoma State 36-20 in Stillwater. Junior QB Reggie McNeal had a spectacular day for the Aggies. He completed 19-25 passes for 288 yards and 2 TDs and rushed 14 times for 98 yards and two more scores. Texas A&M led 36-6 after three quarters before the Cowboys scored twice in the final 15 minutes. Junior RB Vernand Morency led Oklahoma State with 111 yards and a TD on 28 carries.

#21 Boise State improved to 6-0, edging Tulsa 45-42. It was the Broncos 17th straight win, the longest current streak in D1A. Boise State trailed 42-35, but tied the game on a 2 yard TD run by Antwaun Carter with 1:24 remaining. After holding Tulsa on downs, Boise St. got in position for senior kicker Tyler Jones to boot a 46 yard game-winning field goal with just 3 seconds left. Both QBs had big games. The Broncos Jared Zabranky completed 17-31 passes for 233 yards and 2 TDs and rushed 12 times for 80 yards and another 2 scores. The Golden Hurricanes' senior signal caller James Kilian threw for 3 TDs and ran for 2.

Elsewhere, junior RB Ryan Moats rushed 22 times for 186 yards and 3 TDs to lead Louisiana Tech past SMU 41-10. Arkansas State rallied to defeat Troy State 13-9 on two 4th quarter field goals by Eric Neihouse. Finally, UTEP won their 3rd straight game, defeating Hawaii 51-20. UTEP had not won more than 2 games in a season since 2000. The Miners are now 4-2 under new head coach Mike Price.

West -

#1 USC put it all together in a 45-7 rout of previously undefeated #15 Arizona State. After close calls the two previous weeks against Stanford and California, USC scored early and often and led 42-7 at the half. Junior QB Matt Leinart starred for the Trojans, completing 13-24 passes for 224 yards and 4 TDs and running for another. Three of Leinart's TD tosses went to true freshman WR Dwayne Jarrett, who finished the day with 5 receptions for 139 yards. USC's defense held the Sun Devils to 24 rushing yards in 30 attempts, including 8 sacks. Senior QB Andrew Walter completed 19-34 passes for 181 yards, but suffered two interceptions.

#8 California had success both running and passing. UCLA could only move the ball through the air. The result was a 45-28 win for the Golden Bears. Junior QB Aaron Rogers completed 19-29 passes for 260 yards and a career-high 4 TDs. Two of the TD passes went to senior WR Geoff McArthur, who grabbed a total of nine for 163 yards. California's ground game was also a major factor, with senior RB J.J. Arrington gaining 205 yards and scoring 2 TDs on 29 carries. The Golden Bears finished with 550 yards of total offense. The Bruins' junior QB Drew Olson also had a strong game, going 20-36 for 299 yards and 4 TDs, two to sophomore RB Maurice Drew.

#11 Utah improved to 6-0 with a convincing 46-16 thrashing of North Carolina. Utah set a school record for total offense with 669 yards as junior QB Alex Smith completed 29-37 passes for 341 yards and 4 TDs. He also rushed 10 times for 55 yards and another score. Sophomore WR Steve Savoy was on the receiving end of 10 of Smith's passes for 154 yards and a TD. Utah's defense limited the Tar Heels to 48 yards rushing in 27 attempts.

Sophomore QB Trent Edwards completed 15-31 passes for 202 yards and a TD as Stanford held off Washington State 23-17 in Pullman. Junior kicker Michael Sgroi added 3 field goals for the Cardinal, who improved to 4-2. There was more bad news for the Cougars. Sophomore starting QB Josh Swogger suffered an injury and will likely miss the remainder of the season.

Oregon scored a TD in each period to down Arizona 28-14. Junior RB Terrence Whitehead accounted for 3 of the Ducks' TDs, rushing 15 times for 74 yards. Oregon's passing game was also clicking, as junior QB Kellen Clemens completed 21-30 passes for 336 yards and a TD to help the Ducks open up a 28-0 lead before the Wildcats scored two late TDs.

Oregon State broke their two game losing streak with a 29-14 win over Washington in Seattle. The Beavers rallied to score the final 20 points of the game after Washington took a 14-9 lead in the 3rd quarter. The go-ahead score came on a 55 yard TD run by senior RB Dwight Wright. Senior QB Derek Anderson completed 26-40 passes for 286 yards and a TD for OSU and freshman kicker Alexis Serna booted 5 field goals. The hapless Huskies proved to be generous hosts, turning the ball over 7 times.

Colorado's sophomore kicker Mason Crosby booted 4 field goals, including a school-record 60 yarder on the final play of the 1st half, as the Buffaloes edged Iowa State 19-14. Sophomore RB Stevie Hicks rushed for 108 yards on 29 carries in a losing cause for the Cyclones.

Colorado State pulled out a 21-17 road win over San Diego State. The Aztecs had taken a 17-14 lead with 5:36 remaining on a 27 yard field goal by Garrett Palmer, his 3rd of the game. San Diego State had a chance to run out the clock, but junior RB Michael Franklin lost a fumble at the Aztec 10 yard line with just under two minutes left. From there, Rams' Junior RB Jimmy Green needed just 2 carries to score the winning TD with 1:10 left.

In other games New Mexico rushed for 284 yards, including 141 by junior RB DonTrell Moore, to edge turnover-prone UNLV 24-20. BYU rallied for 14 unanswered 4th quarter points to defeat Wyoming 24-13. Sophomore RB Curtis Brown led the Cougars with 159 yards on 24 carries, including the winning TD on a 9 yard run with 13:37 remaining. B.J. Mitchell ran for 3 TDs as Nevada dumped Rice 35-10. Finally, Idaho's freshman RB combo of Jayson Bird and Rolly Lumbala combined for 259 yards and 3 TDs to help the Vandals top Louisiana-Lafayette 38-25.

Here's a look at this week's top games:


East -

#15 West Virginia @ Syracuse – Both teams are 1-0 in the Big East. Can the Orange's ground game give the Mountaineers problems?


South –

South Florida @ #15 Louisville – The Cardinals look to bounce back from their heartbreaking loss to Miami.


East -

#25 Iowa @ Penn State – The Hawkeyes have only one Big Ten loss and are still alive for a trip to Pasadena. There are few smiles around Happy Valley these days.

Rutgers @ Pittsburgh – Both teams have one Big East loss. The winner remains alive for the conference championship or at least a bowl bid. The loser will be unlikely to "go bowling" anywhere.

South –

Kentucky @ #3 Auburn – Wildcats are no match for Tigers, especially on a football field!

#4 Miami @ North Carolina State – Can the Wolfpack's defense give them a chance for an upset? This isn't a vintage Miami team, but they still know how to win.

#5 Florida State @ Wake Forest – The Demon Deacons can be pesky, but the Seminoles can't afford another loss if they want a BCS Bowl bid.

Alabama @ #11 Tennessee – Crimson Tide's running game could cause problems for the Vols' defense.

#14 Virginia @ Duke – After their drubbing in Tallahassee, the Cavs will welcome the trip to Durham.

Troy State @ #18 LSU – Did the Tigers really need an extra week off to prepare for the Trojans?

#20 Florida @ Mississippi State – Sylvester Croom's squad can at least look forward to a visit from Kentucky next week.

UAB @ Tulane – A Blazer win could put them into the Top 25.

East Carolina @ Southern Mississippi – Can the Golden Eagles find any offense without injured QB Dustin Almond? Facing the Pirates' leaky defense should help out quite a bit.

Midwest –

Northwestern @ #6 Wisconsin – The Badgers can't afford a letdown after their big upset win over Purdue. The Wildcats are dangerous when they bring their "A Game".

#13 Michigan @ #12 Purdue – The loser is effectively eliminated from the Big Ten race. This will be the first major conference road game for true freshman QB Chad Henne.

#22 Oklahoma State @ Missouri – A Tiger win could move them into the Top 25, and give them a leg up on the Big 12 – North title. The Cowboys need to rebound from their upset loss at home to Texas A&M.

Boston College @ #24 Notre Dame – The Irish's win over Navy propelled them into the Top 25. A loss here could cost them a Gator Bowl bid.

Memphis @ Cincinnati – The Tigers have only one CUSA loss and are still alive for the championship.

Southwest –

Kansas @ #2 Oklahoma – The Jayhawks are improved, but not enough to test the Sooners.

#8 Texas @ Texas Tech – One of the most interesting games of the day. Can the Red Raiders' aerial circus flummox the Longhorns' defense? Can Texas win if the game turns into a shootout? Texas Tech will make it into the Top 25 with a win.

#10 Georgia @ Arkansas – The Razorbacks return home after fruitless visits to Florida and Auburn. An upset over the Bulldogs is quite possible.

Colorado @ #17 Texas A&M – The Aggies are red hot with 5 straight wins. Colorado comes off an unimpressive home win over lowly Iowa State.

West –

Washington @ #1 USC – The last thing embattled Husky coach Keith Gilbertson needs is a trip to the Coliseum. The Christians had a better chance against the lions.

#7 California @ Arizona – The Golden Bears bounced back from their near miss against USC by routing UCLA. A road trip to Tucson should not pose much of a problem.

UNLV @ #9 Utah – The Utes have an excellent chance to go undefeated and could grab a BCS Bowl bid if they do. John Robinson's final season in Sin City is proving to be a tough one.

Fresno State @ #19 Boise State – This was supposed to decide the WAC title, but the Bulldogs have already dropped two conference games. Maybe having last week off will help them break the Broncos' 17 game winning streak.

UCLA @ #21 Arizona State – Both teams are coming off road losses against the PAC Ten's elite, California and USC respectively. The Sun Devils lack of a ground game could lead to an upset win by the Bruins.

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