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Top 25 games

By BOB HARIG

© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 3, 2001


No. 1 Miami (6-0) vs. Temple (2-5)

The BCS keeps snubbing Miami, but don't worry, Hurricanes fans. As long as UM wins out, the 'Canes will play for the national championship in Pasadena on Jan. 3. Today's game won't help Miami's strength of schedule, but upcoming contests against Boston College, Syracuse, Washington and Virginia Tech will. So will the fact that Nebraska and Oklahoma -- 1-2 in the BCS -- are destined to play again. And the loser will drop below Miami. Noon, no TV.

No. 2 Nebraska (9-0) at Kansas (2-5)

Nebraska coach Frank Solich talked this week about how Kansas has given the Cornhuskers trouble during their past few visits to Lawrence. Of course, that hasn't kept Nebraska from winning 32 in a row in the series. Solich apparently was searching for a motivational ploy, one that will be difficult to find after the emotional victory over Oklahoma. The Cornhuskers, who have won at least nine games for 33 straight seasons, should have enough incentive to take care of business. Another big game wouldn't hurt quarterback Eric Crouch's Heisman chances, either. 7 p.m., FSN.

No. 3 Oklahoma (7-1) vs. Tulsa (1-6)

The Sooners lost the big game last week, but they are in no worse position. If they win out, including a victory over Nebraska in the Big 12 title game, they almost certainly will play for the national championship. It's the same situation they would have been in had they won. So they should consider themselves fortunate, while trying to get healthy. Nate Hybl is back at quarterback after a knee injury to Jason White. It won't matter in this game. 3 p.m., no TV.

No. 4 Florida (6-1) vs. Vanderbilt (2-5)

The Gators are getting respect in the polls, but not in the BCS standings. In order to play for the national title, it looks like they will have to hope for a Miami loss. In the meantime, there are more pressing concerns, such as limiting turnovers. Florida nearly let an inferior Georgia team off the hook last week. That shouldn't be a problem with Vanderbilt. The Commodores won't even have a healthy Lew Thomas at running back. But the tough part of the schedule looms. 12:30 p.m., Ch. 38.

No. 5 Texas (7-1) at Baylor (2-5)

Oklahoma's loss to Nebraska was important for Texas, only in that if the Sooners slip again, the Longhorns could claim the Big 12 South. That would put them back in the national title picture, with some help. Quarterback Chris Simms has gotten on track since 14-3 loss to Oklahoma on Oct. 6, throwing 12 touchdown passes in three games. And Baylor has lost 26 straight conference games. 12:30 p.m., no TV.

No. 6 Michigan (6-1) at Michigan State (4-2)

Michigan State would love nothing more than to derail its biggest rival's Big Ten title and national championship hopes. Trouble is, the Spartans have had injury problems at quarterback, and tailback T.J. Duckett will go up against the best rushing defense in the country, one yielding just 54.4 yards per game. John Navarre has done a nice job at quarterback for the Wolverines, who have to be kicking themselves over their botched early season loss at Washington. 3:30 p.m., no TV.

No. 7 Tennessee (5-1) at Notre Dame (3-4)

Believe it or not, an Irish victory would put them in line for . . . the Insight.com Bowl. That's about all they have to hope for these days. Notre Dame coach Bob Davie has another quarterback problem, now that Carlyle Holiday has a knee injury. And Notre Dame plays three of its last four against teams ranked in the top 14 of the BCS. A Tennessee victory at Notre Dame Stadium won't be nearly the impressive feat of years past. 2:30 p.m., Ch. 8.

No. 8 Oregon (7-1) vs. Arizona State (4-2)

How do you figure the Pac-10? Oregon is one of five teams tied atop the conference with one league defeat, after dealing Washington State its first loss. Ducks running backs Maurice Morris and Onterrio Smith rushed for 423 yards. Arizona State blew a late lead to Washington but certainly is capable. Receiver Shaun McDonald caught nine passes for 194 yards against the Huskies. An Oregon victory would set up a showdown next week at UCLA. 10:30 p.m., FSN.

No. 9 UCLA (6-1) at No. 16 Washington State (7-1)

After playing great defense all season, UCLA unraveled last week against Stanford, falling behind by 31 points. The Bruins will be without starting quarterback Cory Paus (injured thumb). It will be interesting to see how they rebound. The Cougars also are in bounce-back mode after their first loss, and they will do all they can to corral UCLA running back DeShaun Foster. 5 p.m., no TV.

No. 10 Stanford (5-1) at No. 11 Washington (6-1)

Washington did it again. For the third time in a month, the Huskies rallied for a fourth-quarter victory, this time over Arizona State. Of coach Rick Neuheisel's 24 wins at the school, 13 have come with fourth-quarter comebacks. The past three wins have come in the final 13 seconds. Whether that method will work against Stanford remains to be seen. The Cardinal is coming off victories over Top 5 teams Oregon and UCLA. Stanford running back Kerry Carter has been ripping apart defenses. 3:30 p.m., no TV.

No. 12 Virginia Tech (6-1) at Pittsburgh (2-5)

The Hokies' season all but went up in flames last week, but a Big East title is still possible. Noon, No TV.

No. 13 BYU 56, COLORADO ST. 34:

BYU's Luke Staley ran for 196 yards and five touchdowns, and Brandon Doman threw for 284 yards and a score and ran for 165 yards and two TDs in the Cougars' victory Thursday.

No. 14 Florida State (5-2) at Clemson (5-2):

Bowden Bowl III is a battle of beleaguered teams. Both of Clemson's losses have been at home. 3:30 p.m., Ch. 28.

No. 15 Maryland (7-1) vs. Troy State (4-3):

The Terps will try to rebound from their loss at Florida State but don't have a breather against the surprisingly strong first-year I-A Trojans. 1 p.m., no TV.

No. 17 South Carolina (6-2) vs. Wofford (3-4):

Lou Holtz will have you believe Wofford is as good as Florida. At least that's who the Gamecocks will be thinking about. 1 p.m., No TV.

No. 18 Georgia (5-2) is off.

The Bulldogs play Auburn on Nov. 10.

No. 19 Syracuse (7-2) is off.

The Orangemen play West Virginia on Nov. 10.

No. 20 Purdue (5-1) vs. No. 21 Illinois (6-1):

Looks like a battle for the Citrus Bowl. Both teams have lost to Michigan. Noon, ESPN.

NO. 23 GEORGIA TECH 28, NO. 22 NORTH CAROLINA 21: Running back Joe Burns ran for a career-high 198 yards and a touchdown as the Yellow Jackets shut down the Tar Heels, holding UNC to 13 yards rushing Thursday night.

No. 24 Texas A&M (7-1) at Texas Tech (4-3):

A&M has lost three straight at Texas Tech, which is putting up some big offensive numbers. 2 p.m., no TV.

No. 25 Colorado (6-2) vs. Missouri (3-4):

The Buffs had an amazing 14 sacks against the Tigers last season but won't need nearly that many to win. 2 p.m., no TV.

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