GAME OF THE DAY
Nebraska (10-1) at Oklahoma (9-1)
TV: Channels 2 and 8, 12:30 p.m., PST.
The winner takes the Big Eight title and moves on to the Orange Bowl against Miami, and the winner of that game can argue that it's the national champion, maybe. But first there's this: Oklahoma has won the last four games against Nebraska, including last year's, when the Cornhuskers were favored. Oklahoma, however, can't seem to keep a quarterback. First Troy Aikman leaves, and then Jamelle Holieway goes down with knee problems. There's always somebody, though. Charles Thompson, who filled in for Holieway in this game on short notice last year, is doing just fine for the Sooners. Nebraska leads Oklahoma this season in scoring offense, 42 points a game to 32, and total offense, 493 yards a game to 438.
Miami (7-1) at Louisiana State (7-2)
TV: ESPN, 6 p.m., PST.
Miami hardly ever loses on the road, having done so just twice in its last 25 games. But playing at Louisiana State will be even tougher than playing at Notre Dame, where the Hurricanes lost their first regular-season game in 3 years. Miami is assured of an Orange Bowl berth alongside the Nebraska-Oklahoma winner. LSU, meanwhile, can't be sure of its destination, although it has clinched a share of the Southeastern Conference title. Were it not for a missed 2-point conversion, Miami would still be No. 1 instead of third. The Hurricanes are hoping to win big and for Notre Dame and USC to stumble in the meantime. Still, do not discount the LSU crowd. "Their fans are crazy," Miami offensive guard Mike Sullivan said. "I've never been to New Orleans, but I hear they're among your wilder type people."
THE PACIFIC 10
Washington (6-4) at Washington State (7-3)
TV: Prime Ticket, 4 p.m.
Should Washington win, there will be some real moaning and groaning. The reason? The Huskies have drawn no bowl interest, whereas Washington State, more for its upset of UCLA than anything, has a berth in the Aloha Bowl. Washington State has twice knocked the favored Huskies out of the Rose Bowl with upset victories. In 1981, Washington kept the Cougars out of the Rose Bowl. The Cougars have been averaging nearly 500 yards a game, fourth in the nation. Quarterback Timm Rosenbach is the nation's top-rated passer and the best passer without measles or an Oklahoma twang this season.
Syracuse (8-1) at West Virginia (10-0)
TV: ESPN, 3 p.m., PST.
This game is for the Lambert Trophy, symbolic of Eastern collegiate football supremacy, although you have to think the Mountaineers have something bigger in mind. They need to get by Syracuse to keep national championship hopes alive for the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame. The Mountaineers have been lackluster in recent weeks but are still averaging 44 points a game with sophomore quarterback Major Harris. Syracuse, which was a national presence last season and just squeaked by West Virginia, has the No. 5 passer in Todd Philcox.