The Bowl Championship Series rankings finally came out Monday, and as expected Miami (Fla.) ranked fourth in the BCS was told that without help, it won”t see Pasadena until it schedules UCLA as a road opponent. Luckily, for the Hurricanes, the next few weeks could help them tremendously as the Bruins (No. 3 BCS) play three ranked opponents two on the road and Oklahoma (No. 1) plays Nebraska (No. 2) with a rematch looming for the Big 12 title game.

Paul Wong
Eric Crouch”s Heisman hopes and Nebraska”s national title hopes are on the line Saturday.<br><br>AP PHOTO

No. 2 Oklahoma (4-0 Big 12, 7-0 overall) at No. 3 Nebraska (4-0, 8-0), 12:00 p.m., ABC: After being shown up by Texas Tech”s quarterback Kliff Kingsbury last weekend, the Nebraska secondary will have plenty to handle in Oklahoma sophomore Jason White.

White, who replaced Nate Hybl as the starter midseason, impressed many in his starting debut against Baylor with over 300 yards passing. Unfortunately for the Sooners, passing will probably be their only effective means of attack, as Nebraska has not allowed a100-yard game by any individual back all season.

The key to this game, though, will be the matchup between Nebraska”s option offense and Oklahoma”s 4-3 defense that will be led by linebacker Rocky Calmus. The Butkus Award nominated linebacker will need to read the Huskers” offense fast as their rushing attack is divided between quarterback Eric Crouch (97 yards per game) and Dahrran Diedrick (108.2 yards per game).

The Oklahoma cornerbacks will play the largest role in shaping a Sooner victory. Normally a strong group against the pass, they will be able to concentrate entirely on the rushing game, leaving the Huskers unable to move the ball.

Oklahoma 17, Nebraska 9

No. 4 UCLA (3-0 Pac 10, 6-0 overall) at No. 20 Stanford (3-1, 4-1), 3:30 p.m., ABC: It would take a great deal to stop Stanford this week, as it is coming off one of the biggest comeback victories in school history in handing Oregon its first loss at home in 23 games.

That great deal has happened, though, in the form of losing starting quarterback Randy Fasani to injury.

Now before you say, “Chad Lewis engineered the second-half comeback and was able to pick apart the Ducks” defense,” remember that Oregon”s secondary has let teams like Southern Cal. pass for over 400 yards on them all season.

Lewis” inexperience against a top defense will be the Cardinal”s downfall as the Bruins” defense has only allowed 12.8 points a game.

UCLA will also come at Stanford with its balanced offense of running back DeShaun Foster and quarterback Corey Paus. The two combine for 77 percent of the team”s offense and are among the nation”s elite at their positions.

It won”t be for another two weeks before the Bruins taste defeat, as their defense will win them this game by causing Lewis to turn the ball over.

UCLA 24, Stanford 10

Syracuse (3-0 Big East, 6-2 overall) at No. 5 Virginia Tech (3-0, 6-0): Vick-less and all, Virginia Tech has flexed its muscles proudly this year and shot up the rankings with blowout victories.

Those victories, although impressive, are hurting the Hokies” strength of schedule, one component of the BCS formula.

That will change this week when they face Syracuse, winners of six in a row.

Troy Nunes and Robin Anderson split quarterbacking duties for the Orangemen and are almost identical statistically. Each quarterback spreads out the ball well as five of their receivers each have over 10 receptions on the season.

Add running back James Mungro (757-yards rushing) to the mix, and this will be the most balanced team that the Hokies have seen all season.

Since its first two losses, Syracuse”s defense has not allowed a quarterback to reach 250 yards and has only allowed one to throw for over 200. The Hokies will need to rely on their rushing attack which has only produced two 100-yard rushing games as Syracuse defensive lineman Dwight Feeney will create havoc for quarterback Grant Noel all game.

The first BCS mistake ranking Virginia Tech so high with a weak schedule will be corrected as the Orangemen will steal one on the road.

Syracuse 20, Virginia Tech 17

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