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Games Of The Week

November 20, 2008|Chris Dufresne

No. 2 Texas Tech (10-0) at No. 5 Oklahoma (9-1)

Saturday, 5 p.m., Channel 7

A Texas Tech win in Norman would leave the Red Raiders only a victory over Baylor next week and a win over Missouri in the Big 12 title game from playing in the BCS national title game Jan. 8. An Oklahoma victory leaves open the chance there could be a three-way tie at 11-1 in the South involving Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma, with the division champion having to be determined by the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series standings. The South winner would risk a second loss in the Big 12 title game, though, while the two 11-1 schools left behind could still be in the mix for a championship bid as at-large candidates.

The pick: Oklahoma.

No. 16 Brigham Young (10-1) at No. 8 Utah (11-0)

Saturday, 3 p.m.

Here we go again. In 2004, Utah needed a season-ending victory over Brigham Young in Salt Lake City to become the first school from a non-BCS conference to clinch an automatic bid to a major bowl. Utah had to finish in the top six back then and hit that mark on the number after a 52-21 win over BYU. Four years later, needing only a top-12 finish to secure a major bowl bid, No. 7 Utah can get back to the BCS with a win over its archrival from Provo. A BYU win would possibly open the door for Boise State, which is 10-0 and No. 9 in the BCS with two games remaining. If Boise slips up, BYU probably would earn the bid.

The pick: Utah.

No. 17 Michigan State (9-2) at No. 7 Penn State (10-1)

Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7

A win for Joe Paterno's team in State College probably clinches Penn State's first Rose Bowl berth since 1994, the Nittany Lions' second year as members of the Big Ten. Penn State, No. 8 in this week's BCS standings, would have to wait for other games to play out in the remote chance the Nittany Lions somehow maneuvered back into the national title chase. Michigan State will earn the Rose Bowl bid if it beats Penn State and Michigan pulls off an upset over Ohio State in Columbus. Ohio State earns its first trip to the Rose Bowl since the 1996 season if it beats Michigan and Michigan State upsets Penn State.

The pick: Penn State.

-- Chris Dufresne

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