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Friday, November 14, 2003

College Football Weekend Preview

I'm leaving town tomorrow for the weekend, so this will be my last post until late Sunday or Monday. Enjoy the blogroll.

We're entering the final few weeks of college football, which means it's time to actually start looking at the BCS standings with some seriousness. As you can see here, Oklahoma has a firm grip on the top spot. USC and Ohio State are closely jockeying for the all-important second slot in the championship game.

Ohio State, slightly behind the Trojans this week, has the tougher schedule (Purdue this week, at Michigan next week), but if they win these two games they have a good shot at overtaking USC based on strength of schedule. Southern Cal plays Arizona Saturday followed by home dates with UCLA next week and Oregon State December 6. USC is thus unlikely to lose. The question is whether the Buckeyes can win.

LSU is the only other one-loss team that has a shot, but their BCS numerical score is well back of the others in fourth place. If they win out at Alabama this week, at Mississippi next week, home against Arkansas November 28 and then potentially in an SEC Championship game, they will make up some ground, but probably not enought to overtake a USC team the is unlikely to lose.

Thus, I think a lot is riding on how the Buckeyes play these next two weeks. Their matchups with Purdue and, if they win that, Michigan, should be exciting, high-stakes contests. If LSU wins this week, their game at Ole Miss next week will at least be for the SEC West crown in Eli manning's last home game too, which would be fun.

Nothing else is really worth watching. USC will demolish Arizona. Oklahoma will do likewise to Baylor. A lot has been made of how the Sooners beat Texas A&M 77-0 last week (perhaps payback for last year's spoiler game, as I noted last week) and A&M beat Baylor by 63 earlier this season. By my addition, we should then see Oklahoma win by 140 points on Saturday. They were installed as 53-point favorites by Vegas. Mike Lupica got all over OU this week for allegedly running up last week's score, which was totally bogus. They shouldn't have to apologize for being good.

Here's what's on TV. Texas-Texas Tech might be enjoyable viewing with how much offense Tech usually brings to the game.

TCU also will try to keep the BCS dream alive against Cincinnati, which is a warm up to their big one with Southern Miss on Thursday night. I will go on record now that I don't believe TCU deserves a BCS bowl bid. If they had dominated Conference USA, I would say yes, but they have beaten the likes of Tulane, Arizona, South Florida and UAB by field-goal margins. They are not one of the eight best football teams in the land.