Friday, December 13, 2002
Bowden and the 'Noles eye No. 1 spot
By Brent Musburger
Special to BCSfootball.com
Each Tuesday throughout the season, ABC's Brent Musburger will give his five things to watch for the coming weekend.
1. Florida State eyes the No. 1 spot in the polls
Saturday night, the Seminoles invade Georgia Tech, and this is a Ramblin' Wreck team without Joe Hamilton. Earlier in the day, the 'Noles will be keeping a close eye on Nebraska at Notre Dame, and if the Irish leprechauns keep it close against the Cornhuskers, the 'Noles will make their first argument for that top spot in the polls.
Make no mistake about Bobby Bowden in this situation -- if he has a chance to move to No. 1, he'll go for it. Prior to every season, Bowden's main goal at Florida State is to win the national championship. Of course, the Irish have to cooperate and stop the Cornhuskers' talented option quarterback, Eric Crouch.
2. Is the Pac-10 back?
|Bobby Bowden has led the 'Noles to 13 straight 10-win seasons.|
We'll all be watching four games carefully:
Oregon at Wisconsin: Oregon goes on the road to face suspension-troubled Wisconsin, and because of Shoegate, the Ducks have a chance to make this one real interesting.
Miami at Washington: The experts are saying the 'Canes are back, but we shall see. This is one of the toughest road trips in college football, especially for Miami, who has to travel 3,000 miles to face a crowd that loves its Huskies. If Eric Crouch isn't the best pure option quarterback in the game, then Marques Tuiasosopo is, and he may cause Miami's front some trouble.
Colorado at USC: Southern California's performance against Penn State seemed very impressive until the Nittany Lions imploded against Toledo. This will be a tough test against the Buffaloes, who were wounded last week by intrastate rival Colorado State.
Ohio State visits Arizona in the desert: The Buckeyes will try to come back from their humiliation of a year ago, and they had better be careful here, because the Wildcats were very impressive in shutting down Utah last week in Salt Lake City.
If the Pac-10 wins just half of those four games, it is a long way back.
3. How good is Michigan?
Quarterback John Navarre looked like the second coming of John Elway. This week, the Wolverines host Rice, and again, look for an option attack to cause the Wolverines some trouble in the first half before they finally settle down defensively. But with Wisconsin's problems, Michigan now becomes the darlings of the Big Ten.
4. Louisiana-Lafayette at Texas
I don't think it's going to be a close game, but I am eager to find out how Mack Brown handles the quarterback situation. Will he split the time between Major Applewhite and Chris Simms? I can't remember the last time a team has challenged for the national championship while rotating quarterbacks, but maybe Mack has a plan.
5. Georgia at South Carolina
Lou Holtz got off the schnide last week against New Mexico State, but he will find that Georgia is a far different opponent this week. Quincy Carter, a Heisman Trophy candidate, will begin to state his case in Columbia. If the 'Dogs are a legitimate SEC contender, they can't let down here against the Gamecocks.
Brent Musburger is a regular contributor to BCSfootball.com