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Six Games to Watch

November 28, 2003|Robyn Norwood

ARKANSAS (8-3) at No. 3 LOUISIANA STATE (10-1)

Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. today.

TV: Channel 2.

Line: LSU by 9 1/2.

Arkansas update: The Razorbacks' three losses came in consecutive weeks to Auburn, Florida and Mississippi in October. Running back Cedric Cobbs averages 101 yards a game.

LSU update: The Tigers, trailing Oklahoma and USC in the bowl championship series standings, are still in the hunt for the national championship game. Their only loss came against No. 11 Florida.

Story line: The Trojans' BCS worries aren't over. LSU, it appears, could pass USC for the No. 2 spot if it beats Arkansas and then wins the SEC title game.

The pick: LSU. Arkansas hasn't won at Tiger Stadium since 1993.

*

No. 25 NEBRASKA (8-3) at COLORADO (5-6)

Kickoff: 9 a.m. today.

TV: Channel 7.

Line: Nebraska by 2 1/2.

Nebraska update: Coach Frank Solich's days as Cornhusker coach might be numbered. Nebraska is 15-12 in Solich's last 27 games and coming off a 38-9 loss to Kansas State -- Nebraska's worst at home since 1958.

Colorado update: After giving up more than 40 points five games in a row, the Buffaloes haven't given up more than 16 points in their last two games.

Story line: Solich already shook up his staff after last season's 7-7 record. The question now is whether he can survive.

The pick: Nebraska. Based on Colorado's mere two-point victory over UCLA in September, the Buffaloes aren't very good.

*

No. 9 FLORIDA STATE (9-2) at No. 11 FLORIDA (8-3)

Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

TV: Channel 2.

Line: Florida State by 1.

Florida State update: The Seminoles clinched another Atlantic Coast Conference title with a double-overtime victory over North Carolina State and are headed for a BCS bowl. Florida State won last season's game against Florida, 31-14.

Florida update: The Gators have a chance to reach the SEC title game. If Kentucky upsets Tennessee, creating a two-way tie between the Gators and Bulldogs, Florida would go because the Gators beat Georgia.

Story line: There doesn't need to be anything else except the rivalry to make this game great.

The pick: Florida. The game is close to a tossup, so consider the pick a vote for the SEC over the ACC.

*

No. 10 MIAMI (9-2) at No. 20 PITTSBURGH (8-3)

Kickoff: 5 p.m. Saturday.

TV: ESPN GamePlan.

Line: Miami by 3.

Miami update: The Hurricanes aren't used to having to beat Pitt to win the Big East. Their lone conference loss was to Virginia Tech.

Pittsburgh update: Larry Fitzgerald leads the nation in receiving yardage, with an average of 142.6 yards a game, and in receiving touchdowns with 21. He also has a receiving touchdown in an NCAA-record 17 consecutive games. The Panthers' only Big East loss was to West Virginia.

Story line: The winner is guaranteed at least a share of the Big East title.

The pick: Pittsburgh. The Big East would like nothing better than to bid Miami farewell without the conference trophy.

*

No. 5 GEORGIA (9-2) at GEORGIA TECH (6-5)

Kickoff: 10 a.m. Saturday.

TV: Channel 7.

Line: Georgia by 8.

Georgia update: This is the last step for the Bulldogs in their quest to reach the Southeastern Conference title game.

Georgia Tech update: The Yellow Jackets beat Auburn and lost to Florida State by one, but needed overtime to beat Vanderbilt and lost to Duke.

Story line: Georgia's trip to the SEC title game is at stake. The Bulldogs must win but also need a Tennessee victory over Kentucky to make the tiebreaker work in their favor. (If Tennessee loses, Florida goes to the title game.)

The pick: Georgia. The Bulldogs won last season, 51-7, and should roll again.

*

NOTRE DAME (4-6) at STANFORD (4-6)

Kickoff: 5 p.m. Saturday.

TV: Channel 7.

Line: Notre Dame by 4 1/2.

Notre Dame update: The Irish have won their last two games, defeating Navy and Brigham Young, but it remains a dismal season.

Stanford update: The Cardinal is averaging only 17.9 points a game. Notre Dame, however, averages only 17.4. Stanford is down a quarterback with Trent Edwards recovering from a thigh injury that required emergency surgery. Chris Lewis will start.

Story line: Tyrone Willingham returns to Stanford, and hardly under the best of circumstances.

The pick: Notre Dame. If Notre Dame isn't outrecruiting Stanford for athletes, it's a sad state of affairs.

-- Robyn Norwood

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