That time of the year has come once again. What time of the year you ask? Bowl Championship Series time. It”s mid-November, and the standings are packed tight, with any of eight teams in contention for the title.
No. 3 Florida (5-1 SEC, 7-1 Overall) at No. 15 South Carolina (5-2, 7-2), Saturday, 7:45 P.M., ESPN: Florida is No. 7 in the BCS standings right now, but it can”t be counted out. The Gators take on South Carolina this weekend before facing Florida State, Tennessee and possibly the SEC title game in the coming weeks. Florida still has a chance to sneak into the national championship game if they can survive unscathed through this gauntlet.
Florida quarterback and Heisman candidate Rex Grossman leads the nation in passing efficiency having completed 66-percent of his passes this season. Last week against Vanderbilt, Grossman passed for 306 yards and three touchdowns. But he won”t have an easy time finding holes in the Gamecocks” pass defense currently ranked seventh in the nation. South Carolina is good at preventing the big play, but Grossman should be able to rack up yards with quick, short passes to Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell.
If South Carolina is to compete, it”ll have to get through Florida”s top-ranked rush defense. The Gators have allowed just 76.5 yards per game to their opponents this season. If any team can break through the Florida defense, it has to be the Gamecocks. Running backs Andrew Pinnock and Derek Watson are a duo that has been wreaking havoc throughout the SEC this season. Pinnock and Watson are averaging a combined 107.3 yards per game with 13 touchdowns on the season.
Grossman has looked impressive all year, and he”ll continue to look good against South Carolina. If the Gators can mix it up on offense, and keep Pinnock and Watson under control, they should have no problems with the Gamecocks.
Florida 31, South Carolina 14
No. 1 Miami(Fla.) (4-0 Big East, 7-0 Overall) at Boston College (3-1, 6-2), Saturday, Noon, ABC: This grudge-match is synonymous with former Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie and his Hail Mary pass in the 1984 Orange Bowl. Since then, Miami (Fla.) is 11-0 against the Eagles.
Miami”s Ken Dorsey has thrown 15 touchdowns this season with just four interceptions. His outstanding play has led Miami to an undefeated season thus far.
This week, Dorsey is up against one of the top pass defenses in the nation. The Eagles have only allowed 163 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Boston College quarterback Brian St. Pierre is ranked as one of the top 20 quarterbacks in the nation, throwing for 1,475 yards and 19 touchdowns this season. St Pierre will have to be the Eagles” main offensive threat this Saturday as running back William Green was suspended yesterday for breaking a team rule.
Boston College”s pass defense will be too much for Dorsey. Even without all-star tailback Green, the Eagles will run all over Miami”s national championship hopes. Welcome to “Upset City”.
Boston College 34, Miami 21
No.7 Oregon (5-1 Pac-10, 8-1 Overall) at No. 16 UCLA (3-2, 6-2), Saturday, 3:30 P.M., ABC: Oregon is another team in the BCS mix. Lately, the Ducks” offense has looked absolutely unstoppable. This doesn”t bode well for UCLA, which has dropped its last two games to Stanford and Washington State.
Last week, Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington threw for 319 yards, and a school record six touchdowns against Arizona State. Wide receiver Keenan Howry caught four of those touchdowns tying a Pac-10 record.
But don”t think that Oregon is a one-dimensional team though. The Ducks can do it on the ground, too. Running back Onterrio Smith, who started the season as the backup, has rushed for an average of over 100 yards per game this season. He ran wild two weeks ago against Washington State, rushing for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
UCLA”s DeShaun Foster has been hot all season, but quarterback Cory Paus is a different story. Paus looks great in some games, but horrible in others. In the Bruins” loss to Washington State last week, Paus was 7-of-19 with three interceptions.
Harrington and Smith will be too much for UCLA.
Oregon 38, UCLA 13