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Five To Watch
No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 11 Oklahoma State, 8 p.m., ABC
The Bedlam Series will go a long way in deciding who will be playing the Big 12 Championship game and quite possibly the BCS National Championship game. A Sooners win would more than likely vault them past Texas in the BCS and leave Oklahoma just one win over Missouri away from playing for the national championship. A loss would send Texas Tech to the Big 12 title game, but, in the convoluted BCS system, it would also put Texas in position to play for the national championship despite not winning its division or playing in its conference championship game. As much as I'd like yet another BCS controversy, I don't see Oklahoma dropping this one. The Cowboys defense gave up 629 yards three weeks ago in a 56-20 loss at Texas Tech. I don't think their defense will fare much better against a Sooners squad averaging 52.6 points and 563.3 yards per game.
No. 19 Oregon at No. 17 Oregon State, 7 p.m., Versus
I joked about this scenario seven weeks ago -- when Oregon State was 2-3 and still in control of its Rose Bowl destiny -- to highlight how bad the Pac-10 was this season. Of course, I never thought the Beavers would actually win six straight games to put themselves in a position to make that dream a reality, but here they are. If Oregon State can win this year's Civil War against Oregon, it would not only extend its streak over the Ducks to three games, but send the Beavers to their first Rose Bowl since 1965. The only problem is Jacquizz Rodgers, the Pac-10's leading rusher, is likely out, meaning the Beavers will play their most important game without their most important player. However, Oregon State seems like a team of destiny, so I think the Beavs will win on another last-second field goal and be holding roses in the locker room afterwards.
No. 2 Florida at No. 23 Florida State, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Before Florida can start planning for the SEC Championship game against Alabama and a possible trip to the BCS National championship game, the Gators first have to travel to Tallahassee to take on the Seminoles, who are still in the running for their own conference title although they will need a Boston College loss to get there. I can't remember the last time Florida State was an over two touchdown underdog at home, but considering Florida has been winning games by an average of 41 points since October it makes sense. Plus the Gators have won the last four games in this series by a total of 74 points. Florida should cover the large spread in this one and finish off its eight straight rout since losing to Ole Miss way back in September.
No. 18 Georgia Tech at No. 13 Georgia, 12 p.m., CBS
Who would have thought Georgia Tech would be in a better position to make a BCS Bowl between these two teams when the preseason rankings came out and Georgia was No. 1 while the Yellow Jackets were unranked? Unfortunately for Georgia Tech, they don't control their own destiney. The Yellow Jackets need Virginia to win at Virginia Tech some 400 miles away to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC champioship game Dec. 6 with a possible trip to the Orange Bowl on the line. While the Yellow Jackets worry about that game, Georgia which is 7-0 against Georgia Tech under Mark Richt should extend its streak to eight on Saturday.
Notre Dame at No. 5 USC, 8 p.m., ESPN
In what could be Charlie Weis' last regular season game as Notre Dame's coach, he'll fittingly be facing the team that helped him become the highest paid coach in college football. Shortly after Notre Dame barely lost to mighty USC in the infamous "Bush Push" game, Weis was given a new 10-year contract extension worth about $40 million. At this point, Weis' memorable loss to USC is his only memorable moment as the coach of the Irish. Notre Dame, coming off an embarrassing home loss to lowly Syracuse, comes into the Coliseum as a 32-point underdog to USC. No Irish team has been more than a 24-point underdog since 1975. The Trojans, which beat Notre Dame last year 38-0 and have won six straight in the rivalry, should probably be favored by more.
Two To Remember
Auburn at No. 1 Alabama, 3:30 p.m., CBS
Alabama needs to beat Auburn in the 73rd renewal of the Iron Bowl to stay on course for a trip to the BCS National championship, while Auburn needs to pull the upset just to become bowl eligible. It's another interesting reversal of fortune from the preseason rankings, which had Auburn in the Top 10 and Alabama just barely getting in at No. 24. The Tigers, however, have lost five of six in a disappointing season and will finish the year by watching their six-game winning streak against their in-state rival come to an end. The Tigers offense is only averaging 18.9 points per game, while the Tide defense is giving up just 12.6 points per game, meaning this one could be over by halftime if Alabama scores a couple first-half touchdowns.
No. 12 Missouri vs. Kansas, 12:30 p.m., FSN
What a difference a year makes. Last year's "Border Showdown" was for the Big 12 North crown and gave the winner the inside track at getting to the BCS National Championship Game. This year, it's nothing more than a tune-up for Missouri, which clinched the division two weeks ago, and will try to play spoiler against whichever team they play from the Big 12 South next week.
One To Forget
Washington State at Hawaii, 11 p.m., ESPN Gameplan
After one of the worst seasons in FBS history, the Cougars will be able to celebrate last week's win against rival Washington on the shores of Honolulu. Sure, Hawaii could become the seventh team to roll up at least 58 points on Washington State, but at least the Cougars will be comforted by Mai Tais and hula dancers instead of the cheese tins and blizzards Pullman is famous for.