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Friday, October 10, 2003

College Football

I haven't written anything about college football in the last few weeks, but I am compelled to break my silence with this upcoming weekend of terrific games. The last few weeks haven't really excited me because we haven't had any major tests of national contenders.

That all changes tomorrow with Miami at Florida State at noon and Oklahoma vs. Texas (in Dallas) at 3:30, ABC's best TV doubleheader of the year. Of course game two has to coincide with baseball, leading me to wear out the remote.

The consensus seems to be that Miami is in trouble after losing RB Frank Gore. This conclusion appears reasonable after Gore's replacement, Jarrett Payton (yes, son of Walter) struggled in the second half of the West Virginia game last Thursday night, nearly leading to a Hurricanes defeat. I'm not so fast to cast Miami aside, however. They will be motivated to play their best football this weekend, and they have a lot of pride in not losing a regular season game since early in the 2000 campaign. FSU isn't a perfect team either, remember--they nearly dropped a home game to Georgia Tech a month ago. And if it comes down to a last-second field goal...

Texas probably is as big an underdog to Oklahoma as they have been the last few years. Expectations can be a funny thing, though. Perhaps the lower expectations can allow Texas to approach the Sooners more freely, though I'm told Longhorns faithful are still on Mack Brown's case, regardless of all evidence that Oklahoma is just better this year.

Also on Saturday night, Ohio State plays its first road game of the year at Wisconsin (9:00, ESPN), and this could be the end of the road for the Ohio State Luckeyes. The Badgers aren't as good as OSU--a loss to UNLV proves that--but OSU is going to lose eventually. They barely held on at home against some mediocre teams, and being on the road may be enough to end their streak.