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Six Games To Watch

November 01, 2002|-- Robyn Norwood

BOSTON COLLEGE (4-3)

at No. 4 NOTRE DAME (8-0)

Kickoff: 11:30 a.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Notre Dame by 10.

Boston College update: The Eagles face a Fighting Irish defense that is giving up only 13.5 points a game.

Notre Dame update: Fresh off a 34-24 "upset" of Florida State, Tyrone Willingham's Irish might pass defending champion Miami for No. 2 in the bowl championship series rankings with a victory over the Eagles.

Story line: It's all about echoes of 1993. A week after the Irish upset No. 1 Florida State that year, Boston College ended Notre Dame's national championship hopes, upsetting the Irish with a field goal as time expired.

The pick: Notre Dame. Uptight Willingham doesn't strike you as the kind of coach to let his team get overconfident in this situation.

*

No. 16 ARIZONA STATE (7-2)

At No. 8 WASHINGTON STATE (7-1)

Kickoff: 12:30 p.m.

TV: Channel 7.

Line: Washington State by 7 1/2.

Arizona State update: OK, Andrew Walter, are you for real? Victories over Oregon and Washington say the sophomore quarterback can hold his own in a gun-slinging contest with Jason Gesser. Terrell Suggs' 17 1/2 sacks leave him only 1 1/2 shy of the Pacific 10 Conference record.

Washington State update: Gesser, with the school record for total offense in hand, can break Jack Thompson's career passing mark if he surpasses 228 yards.

Story line: It's the clash of the last unbeaten teams in Pac-10 play, giving the winner the clearest path to the Rose Bowl.

The pick: Washington State. Betting against Gesser doesn't seem like a good move.

*

No. 5 GEORGIA (8-0) VS.

FLORIDA (5-3) AT JACKSONVILLE, FLA.

Kickoff: 4:45 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Line: Georgia by 2.

Georgia update: Coach Mark Richt continues to go with a two-quarterback system, using David Greene and D.J. Shockley. Last week against Kentucky, the two combined for six touchdown passes -- a Georgia record.

Florida update: The thrice-beaten Gators haven't been underdogs in this game since 1992.

Story line: Georgia tries to stay undefeated and lurking in the background of the national championship picture. Florida makes a bid to get back in the national rankings.

The pick: Georgia. With running back Musa Smith and offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb expected to return from injury, the nod goes to the 'Dawgs.

*

No. 13 COLORADO (6-2)

at No. 2 OKLAHOMA (7-0)

Kickoff: 12:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN GamePlan.

Line: Oklahoma by 12.

Colorado update: Colorado has scored at least 31 points -- once as many as 53 -- the last five games. Chris Brown leads the nation in rushing with 163 yards a game.

Oklahoma update: How do you like this stat? The Sooners are 10-1 against top-10 teams under Bob Stoops. But Colorado isn't quite in the top 10 -- and surprisingly, Oklahoma hasn't beaten Colorado since 1988. The nine-game winless streak is Oklahoma's longest against any team.

Story line: Oklahoma, No. 2 in the polls and No. 1 in the BCS rankings, tries to avoid a misstep in one its more dangerous remaining games.

The pick: Oklahoma. We still remember USC's 40-3 victory over Colorado.

*

No. 7 TEXAS (7-1)

at NEBRASKA (6-3)

Kickoff: 4 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Net.

Line: Texas by 3 1/2.

Texas update: The Longhorns' 1998 victory at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium might be considered the biggest victory Mack Brown has had at Texas. Brown is the only visiting coach to win there since 1991.

Nebraska update: The Cornhuskers pulled out a road victory at Texas A&M last week. Nebraska's 26-game home winning streak is longest in the nation.

Story line: It's only a question of which coach the scorn will be heaped on, Brown or Frank Solich. The loser loses a lot in this one.

The pick: Nebraska. Yes, it would be an upset, but the line is only 3 1/2 points.

*

GEORGIA TECH (5-3)

at NORTH CAROLINA STATE (9-0)

Kickoff: 12:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN GamePlan.

Line: North Carolina State by 10.

Georgia Tech update: The Yellow Jackets have to key on the Wolfpack's running game, not only quarterback Philip Rivers

North Carolina State update: A 10th win would set a school record for the Wolfpack. Get past this one, and it has only Maryland and Virginia before a potentially gargantuan regular-season finale against Florida State.

Story line: Will the Wolfpack football team be left wishing it had an NCAA tournament to pull off the kind of miracle its basketball team did in 1983?

The pick: North Carolina State. The so-called frauds might run the table, creating some BCS controversy.

-- Robyn Norwood

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