Football, ironically, is less a game of feet than it is of inches, insteps and ankles. Clemson lost on a last second fingertip grab, which mattered only because of two very short missed field goals (what is it with the Bowdens and kickers?). Northwestern remained in the Rose Bowl hunt with a Hail Mary tip play, with the receiver carefully getting both feet down before tumbling out of the end zone into the field of play. Both Virginia Tech and Clemson will be hurt in their big games this week by Heisman Trophy candidates with bad ankles.The Oklahoma-Nebraska game should have answered all questions ... for a couple of weeks. Oklahoma is #1; the 4 point margin in the computer rankings is as large as I've ever seen this late in the season. As for the Heisman, if you don't have Josh Heupel penciled in you've put the wrong chemicals in your Vicks inhaler. Of course, Oklahoma has a road game left at Texas A&M and a likely rematch against Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game. If you still don't think Oklahoma and Heupel are for real, you might think back to last year's NFL champions Rams and Kurt Warner.
It may surprise you that Virginia Tech is now rated above Miami. The Miami 34-21 win over Louisiana Tech did not impress the computer much. While La Tech is better than most of the Bayou teams, they're pretty bad (Penn State beat them by 60). We'll see if that's a sign of looking ahead to Virginia Tech or a sign that they're not playing well. Speaking of the Louisiana teams, scroll down to the bottom of the rankings and get set for this week's game between La-Monroe and La-Lafayette. These schools used to be called Northeast and Southwest Louisiana, respectively, before changing their names and going Division I-A. Their battle for worst in the country is this week; anybody want to go see the movie Waterboy?
This week's two big games aren't as big as they might have been, thanks to Clemson's loss and Vick's ankle. The following predictions are straight from the ratings, with 4 points added for home team. The Michigan-Northwestern and Oregon-Washington State games are the biggest games this week in the run for the Rose Bowl.Miami by 4 over Virginia Tech
|35||Texas El Paso||48.04|
|57||San Jose State||42.07|
|81||San Diego State||32.87|
|82||New Mexico State||32.71|