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Volume 68, Issue 11, Tuesday, September 10, 2002


Hurricanes hit Florida, prove point

The AP Top 25

Christian Schmidt

Miami is good. Really good. Really, really, really good. The Hurricanes didn't defeat the Gators on Saturday. They destroyed them.

The final score was 41-16, and the game was close most of the way. With the score 27-16, Florida was driving for a touchdown until a Maurice Sykes interception and run back made the score 34-16. Miami never looked back.

Miami lost a ton of players to the NFL draft, and many people thought the team would have a down year. But the Hurricanes have reloaded and are still the best team in the country. Running back Willis McGahee is good, veteran Ken Dorsey is still solid at quarterback, and the defense is quicker than lightning. Miami may be the first team to repeat as national champions since Nebraska did it in 1994 and '95.

Best of the rest

No. 6 Ohio State looks like a team to contend with after a 51-17 pasting of Kent State. In the past, this team would have choked at midseason, losing to Michigan or another big team. But that was under the leadership of John Cooper, former head coach.

This is a different squad under Jim Tressel. These Buckeyes aren't going to go away. They might eventually be beat by a better team, but they won't choke. Freshman running back Maurice Clarett is a superstar in the making, and the Ohio State defense will keep this team in just about any game. Look for the Buckeyes to be a factor in the national championship picture.

No. 2 Oklahoma is near the top of college football. Alabama has fallen on hard times, with NCAA sanctions likely to make it tough going for the next few years.

But Saturday's match-up of crimson vs. crimson pitted two equals, as Alabama more than proved. The Crimson Tide gave the Sooners all they could handle, and Oklahoma was lucky to escape with a win.

The Sooners scored a touchdown to go up 30-27. With time winding down, Alabama was driving with a chance to tie with a field goal. Then, Alabama quarterback Tyler Watts lost control of the ball, and Oklahoma safety Eric Bassey took the fumble in for the final touchdown, giving Oklahoma a 37-27 victory.

The Fighting Irish

Ty Willingham's Notre Dame team is undefeated. It also hasn't scored a single offensive touchdown this season. The Irish beat Purdue, 24-17, on the strength of two fumble returns and an interception return, all for touchdowns.

There are two ways to look at this offensive ineptitude. Either the Irish are going to struggle (soon), or Notre Dame will really be a team to deal with when the offense gets going. 

Willingham's Stanford teams were known for their high-powered offenses, so Notre Dame will be good. It just might not be this year.

For now, Notre Dame is undefeated and ranked No. 20, and Willingham couldn't be happier.

Games to watch

Georgia at South Carolina: No. 9 Georgia will face Lou Holtz and the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday. South Carolina is tough at home, so look for a battle.

Southern Cal at Colorado: USC is poised for a big year in the Pac-10. Colorado is now 1-1 and looking to get ready for the start of conference games. Both teams need this win to stay in the hunt for some big bowl games later this year.

The DC Baker's Dozen

In yet another stunning surprise, the Houston Texans have jumped to the top of the Baker's Dozen with their win over the Dallas Cowboys. But it was noted that the Texans are not actually a college team.

Miami holds on to its distinction as the best college team.

1.) Houston Texans*

2.) Miami

3.) Oklahoma

4.) Tennessee

5.) Texas

6.) Michigan

7.) Florida State

8.) Nebraska

9.) Florida (tie)

9.) Washington State (tie)

11. Virginia Tech (tie)

11.) Georgia (tie)

13.) Michigan State

* -- Despite receiving the most votes, the Texans are not actually eligible for the poll.

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