Hi 70 / Lo 42
|Volume 68, Issue 56,
Tuesday, November 12, 2002
A&M throws wrench in race for title game
The AP Top 25
The national championship picture is clear for the moment, as clear as it is likely to be this year. Ohio State and Miami are the only undefeated teams left. Should they both win the rest of their games, they should play in the Fiesta Bowl with everything on the line.
The rest of the picture isnit clear at all, and wonit be until many games have been played over the next few weeks. Just remember, weird things happen in college football, and, in the words of one great sportsman, "it ainit over till itis over."
Best of the rest
After the top two teams in the Bowl Championship Series rankings, there is a huge mess of one-loss teams fighting for position.
Washington State moved up in the rankings after a solid 32-21 victory over a pretty good Oregon team. In fact, Washington jumped up two spots to the No. 3 slot.
Despite a 41-0 drubbing of a pitiful Baylor team, Texas lost ground in its hunt for a spot in the Fiesta Bowl.
Oklahoma, fresh off a loss to the Aggies, is now in fourth place in the BCS rankings, though the Sooners still may have a chance to climb back in the title picture.
Reggie McNeal was only the second best freshman to come out of Texas high schools last year after Longhorn-recruit Vincent Young.
But while Young is redshirting this year, McNeal has emerged as a savior for the Aggies, leading Texas A&M to a victory over top-ranked Oklahoma and quite possibly saving head coach R.C. Slocumis job.
In the Aggies 30-26 defeat of the Sooners, McNeal was magnificent, throwing four touchdown passes and rushing for a team-high 89 yards.
The win was the first over a consensus No. 1-ranked opponent in Texas A&Mis history.
Ohio State went for broke on a fourth-and-one play with less than two minutes to go. The risk paid off as quarterback Craig Krenzel completed a 37-yard touchdown pass to Michael Jenkins to ensure a 10-6 Ohio State win.
That win kept the Buckeyes perfect on the season and helped move the Buckeyes into position for a spot in the national title game.
Ohio State still has two more games, a game at Illinois and a showdown with arch-rival Michigan, to survive before it can think about the Fiesta Bowl.
Tiger prayers answered
Sometimes, it really is better to be lucky than good. Louisiana State is apparently both. The Tigers are 7-2 this year and headed for a respectable bowl at the end of the season.
But Saturday against Kentucky, it took a 75-yard desperation heave from quarterback Marcus Randall to wide receiver Devery Henderson to win the LSU game.
Kentucky fans had already celebrated the Wildcatsi "win" before the final play was over, and their hearts were broken by the pass, which Henderson caught on a deflection and ran into the end zone, making the final score 33-30.
Games to watch
Alabama at Louisiana State: This game would be a lot more interesting if Alabama wasnit on probation and prohibited from any postseason action. In any case, it should be a good Southeastern Conference battle.
Iowa at Minnesota: The Hawkeyes might just be the best one-loss team in the nation, and 7-3 Minnesota might give them some trouble.
The DC Bakeris Dozen
Texas took a precipitous dive in the rankings, as voters were apparently unimpressed with a shutout of the not-so-mighty Baylor Bears. The Bakeris Dozen, much like the BCS, should sort itself out over the next few weeks.
2.) Ohio State
4.) Washington State
7.) Notre Dame (tie)
7.) Southern Cal (tie)
9.) Kansas State
11.) Michigan (tie)
11.) Texas (tie)
13.) Virginia Tech
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