Cornhuskers shuck the competition
NCAA Football/Top 25
Ed De La Garza
It's a split poll.
It looks like Miami's struggles against unranked Boston College was
enough to sway the coaches into picking Nebraska as their No. 1 team. The
Hurricanes were treading on water throughout their game. If it hadn't
been for a deflected pass that was returned for a touchdown, Miami could
have been looking at a 7-1 record.
Nebraska had its own problems with Kansas State. The Cornhuskers trailed
14-13 at halftime before finally pulling away. Despite that, they're one
of only three undefeated teams in the top 25 -- and the only one sitting
at 11-0. And now they're only 12 points behind Miami in the Associated
Texas blanked Kansas 59-0. It might have more Longhorn fans making a
case for UT, but there are a few important things they're forgetting. Texas
may very well have the most talented team in the nation. Chris Simms
may have a golden arm. Cedric Benson may eclipse Earl Campbell. The
Longhorns possess amazing speed and strength on defense. But no shutout
over a 2-7 team can erase a loss to No. 3 Oklahoma.
Texas doesn't play again until it travels to Texas A&M on Nov. 23.
Gig 'em Ags.
And while we're talking about Texas schools, does anyone remember that
small little preppy team the Cougars should have beaten the past two
years? Yeah, it's bowl eligible now. The Rice Owls are 7-3 with Texas-El
Paso visiting Rice Stadium on Saturday. Now that's depressing.
Nebraska and Miami are still Nos. 1 and 2 in the Bowl Championship Series
ranking, but the Hurricanes are barely hanging on. Oklahoma's only
.68 points behind, and with its toughest three games remaining (Syracuse,
Washington and Virginia Tech), Miami could find itself out of the
national championship game for the second consecutive year.
Realistically, only the top three teams have a shot at being Nos. 1
and 2. No. 4 Oregon, No. 5 Florida and No. 6 Texas need help (namely losses
by one of the top three). An interesting scenario would have Oklahoma
beating Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship, with the Cornhuskers only
slipping to No. 2, meaning they'd play three times in one year.
Tennessee, Washington State, Stanford, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland,
Brigham Young, Colorado and Syracuse round out the BCS. None of those
schools have a chance at anything other than a top-tier bowl game.
There's no easy way to say South Carolina was overmatched against Florida.
A 54-17 loss pretty much speaks for itself. But the Gamecocks still
battled hard, keeping Steve Spurrier from hitting the 70-point mark.
It's a moral victory, but it only proves that you can't keep the Gamecocks
The DC baker's dozen
The computers were back in perfect working order this week, with the
Cornhuskers being a consensus No. 1 pick for only the second time this
season. But as with the BCS, the Hurricanes are barely No. 2.
If anyone disagrees with our poll (Texas fans), he or she is more than
welcome to e-mail email@example.com. Until then … get your own damn
1.) Nebraska, 11-0
2.) Miami, 8-0
3.) Oklahoma, 9-1
4.) Florida, 8-1
5.) Tennessee, 7-1
6.) Oregon, 9-1
7.) Washington State, 9-1
8.) Texas, 9-1
9.) BYU, 10-0
10.) Maryland, 9-1
11.) Illinois, 8-1
12.) Stanford, 6-2
13.) Michigan, 7-2