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Games of the week

October 16, 2008|Chris Dufresne

No. 12 Ohio St. at No. 20 Michigan St.

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

Ohio State can't afford to look past East Lansing this week to Penn State's arrival in Columbus on Oct. 25. Win these next two games, though, and the Buckeyes (6-1) are back in the national title chase, a notion many thought unthinkable after that 35-3 loss to USC on Sept. 13. Ohio State would also like Penn State to beat Michigan on Saturday so the Nittany Lions are ranked no lower than No. 3 when they come to Columbus. Michigan State is 6-1 and has Javon Ringer, an Ohio native who leads the nation in rushing yards with 1,112.

The pick: Ohio State.

No. 11 Missouri at No. 1 Texas

Saturday, 5 p.m., Channel 7

Texas, 6-0 and No. 1 in the country during the regular season for the first time since 1984, hopes to stay in the top spot longer than a week. This could have been No. 1 vs. No. 2 had Missouri (5-1) not lost at home last Saturday to Oklahoma State. Last week's Texas-Oklahoma game featured two of the nation's top quarterbacks in Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford. This week's game pits McCoy against Chase Daniel, probably the Heisman Trophy front runner until his three-interception performance in the Oklahoma State loss. McCoy ranks No. 4 nationally in pass efficiency, completing nearly 80% of his passes. Daniel is No. 5. This is the second leg of a four-game gantlet for Texas, which plays No. 8 Oklahoma State next week and then No. 7 Texas Tech.

The pick: Missouri.

No. 9 BYU at Texas Christian

Today, 5 p.m., Versus

It's not every year Miami vs. Florida State is a dud but all eyes are fixed on a Thursday night Mountain West game in Fort Worth. Yet, this is a potential stumbling-block game for BYU, which has won 16 straight games. The Cougars, 6-0 this season on their "Quest for Perfection" campaign, are among three non-Bowl Championship Series schools in competition for one automatic major bowl bid. The others are No. 14 Utah and No. 15 Boise State.

Boise State needs to finish unbeaten and have BYU and Utah each lose. With BYU and Utah set to play each other Nov. 22, one way for Boise to get in is to have TCU (6-1) beat BYU and then BYU defeat Utah.

The pick: Texas Christian.

-- Chris Dufresne

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