The middle of October means only one thing the pressure is on. For some teams, it”s desperation time, trying to redeem themselves after a disappointing start. Such is the case for an anxious Florida State squad. Other teams like Colorado and Stanford have surpassed all expectations except their own and are still looking to prove that they”ll be around to handle the cold come December.

Paul Wong
Texas quarterback Chris Simms and the Longhorns were pushed around in their lone challenge this season against Oklahoma, 14-3. Against a surging Colorado squad, Simms will have to step it up in Austin. <br><br>AP PHOTO

No. 14 Colorado (3-0 Big 12, 5-1 overall) at No. 8 Texas (2-1, 5-1), 3:30 p.m., ABC: Hoping to feed off its momentum after two straight victories over Kansas State and Texas A&M, Colorado is looking to waltz in to Austin and bring its five-game winning streak to six this weekend. But the eighth-ranked Longhorns don”t want to see any dancing, unless it”s Texas wide receiver Roy Williams strutting through the Colorado endzone come Saturday.

Not only could Colorado end up ranked in the top ten if it beats the Longhorns, it could stay in contention with undefeated Nebraska for the Big 12 North title. For the Longhorns, the Buffaloes will be only the second ranked opponent they”ve encountered this season.

To justify their top ten ranking, Texas will have to stop the tough Colorado running game. But if the past is any indication for the future, it doesn”t seem like it will be a problem. The Longhorns haven”t allowed a 100-yard rushing game since the opener against New Mexico State.

Colorado quarterback Craig Ochs has been inconsistent in recent weeks, and in order to beat talented Texas at home, he will need to play well for four quarters. In the past three weeks, the Buffaloes have lost standout linebacker Jashon Sykes and wide receiver John Minardi for the season, and the most recent loss came against the Aggies, as starting cornerback Roderick Sneed went down with a torn hamstring. These factors make the forecast seem a little bit cloudy for the Buffaloes.

Texas, known for losing games it should win, will come ready to play on Saturday, and beat the upstart Buffaloes but not without a fight.

Texas 34, Colorado 24

Stanford (2-1 Pac 10, 3-1 overall) at No. 5 Oregon (3-0, 6-0), 3:30 p.m., ABC: Slipping out of the Top 25 after a heartbreaking 45-39 loss to red-hot Washington State was devastating enough for the Cardinal. Can Stanford handle another loss this weekend when it travels to Autzen Stadium, one of the toughest places to play in the country?

After Florida State”s home loss last week to Miami (Fla.), the undefeated Ducks now have the nation”s longest current home winning streak 23 games. But who better to challenge the streak than a hungry Stanford team that is out to prove it belongs in the Pac-10 elite? Heisman-hopeful quarterback Joey Harrington will have to rally his troops after two easy wins at Arizona and California, because Stanford isn”t about to roll over and play dead.

Look for the Oregon special teams to take advantage of Stanford”s weak punting game, hurt by the removal of Mike Biselli in that role. Can the Ducks really extend to a 7-0 record for the first time since 1931? It appears so.

Oregon 31, Stanford 17

No. 21 Florida State (2-1 ACC, 3-2 overall) at Virginia (2-2, 3-3) 7:45 p.m, ESPN: The Cavaliers better hope their helmets are on tight. Florida State isn”t about to hold anything back Saturday night when it takes its frustration out on a Virginia team that is coming off two straight losses.

For the first time since 1995, Florida State has lost two games in the regular season and it”s only October. While Florida State coach Bobby Bowden and company have faith in redshirt freshman quarterback Chris Rix, it”s obvious that Rix wasn”t up to handling the speed of then No. 2 ranked Miami (Fla.) last week.

The Hurricanes came into Tallahassee, destroyed the longest home win streak in the country and didn”t leave anything standing. Rix was intercepted four times and fumbled twice. But that doesn”t seem totally in character, because in the previous four games he threw just two interceptions.

The Seminoles are hoping to forget about last week”s beating and concentrate on the task at hand in Scott Stadium. Virginia shouldn”t be totally outmatched, especially with the golden hands of one of the nation”s best receivers, junior Billy McMullen, who has caught 11 passes in each of the last two games.

The Cavaliers have shown flashes of brilliance this season, especially in their upset of Clemson on the road. But it”s up to Florida State this is a chance to save face. Look for the Seminoles to turn it up a notch.

FSU 37, Virginia 21

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