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November 23, 1999 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-23

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Tuesday, November 23, 1999 - The Michigan Daily - 13

ho will be Florida State's Sugar Bowl foe?
irginia Tech clings to No. 2 spot in latest BCS standings, but Cornhuskers narrow gap

sociated Press
The race is on: Who's No. 2?
Florida State clinched a spot in the Bowl
hampionship Series' national title game, but sec-
S-lace Virginia Tech is locked in a numbers
with fast-closing Nebraska in the latest BCS
andings released Monday.
The first-place Seminoles (11-0) guaranteed
emselves atrip to the Jan. 4 Sugar Bowl by ending
seir regular season with a 30-23 win at Florida on
aturday.
Virginia Tech (10-0) held its spot after a 62-7 rout
Temple, but Nebraska (9-1) made a big jump and
losed within .63 points of the Hokies. A week ago,
se Huskers were 2.4 points behind.
Even if Virginia Tech beats Boston College (8-2)
'day to finish with a perfect record, there is still
Snce a once-beaten Nebraska could move ahead
hen the final BCS standings come out Dec. 5. If
se Huskers win at Colorado (6-4) on Friday, they
lay Texas (9-2) in the Big 12 title game on Dec. 4.
The BCS standings, which determine who plays
college football's designated title game, are based
n a formula that considers The Associated Press
tedia poll and the ESPNIUSA Today coaches' poll,
ight computer rankings, strength of schedule and
sses.
rida State, Virginia Tech and Nebraska are 1-2-
M oth polls.
The Seminoles have 2.32 points - 1 for poll
verage, I for computer rank average, 0.32 for
rength of schedule, and zero for losses.
Virginia Tech has 6.78 points - 2 for poll aver-
ge; 2.14 for computer rank average; 2.64 for
rength of schedule, and zero for losses.
Nebraska has 7.41 points - 3 for poll average;
.57 for computer rank average; 0.84 for strength of
thedule, and I for losses.

It won't be easy, but here's how the Huskers could
pass the Hokies. First, they would have to move
ahead in five or six of the seven computer ratings
used by the BCS standings. This week, the Huskers
are ahead on two computers.
Among the ways teams can improve their com-
puter rating is by running up the score. Most of the
computer ratings factor in victory margin.
"To have to go into a game thinking you have to
beat ateam by so many points in order to have your
team considered a worthy team, or a great team, or
a team that should be in position to play any kind of
game ... is tough on all coaches," Nebraska coach
Frank Solich said Monday. "It's probably not the
way any coach wants to look at approaching the
game."
Added Colorado coach Gary Barnett: "I think if
that's the way it is, that's what you have to do to get

your team there. Unfortunately, sometimes what we
might call ethics gets laid aside in that situation, but
I think everyone understands it."
The Huskers also can make up ground in strength
of schedule based on results of their opponents'
games. Nebraska could gain if Oklahoma State
upsets Oklahoma and Texas beats Texas A&M. Also,
the Huskers can make up ground in strength of
schedule based on results of their opponents' games.
Nebraska could gain if Oklahoma State upsets
Oklahoma and Texas beats Texas A&M.
Virginia Tech can get help from its opponents,
too, including I-AA playoff-bound James Madison.
The farther James Madison advances, the tougher
Tech's strength of schedule becomes.
Florida State's schedule is ranked eighth of the
114 I-A schools, with Tech's 66th and Nebraska's
21 st.

Virginia Tech defensive end Corey Moore won't be in the mood to celebrate If
Nebraska jumps his team to claim the second spot in the BCS standings. The
Huskers trail the undefeated Hokies by just .63 points in the latest BCS standings.

Tone at Texas A&M somber in pre-rivalry week

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - This is
when the collective focus of the Texas
A&M campus is supposed to be on the
revelry and rivalry surrounding a football
game.
For generations of Aggies taught to hate
the University of Texas, this week is about
the traditions leading up to the regular-
season finale against the Longhorns.
In the wake of the bonfire-building acci-
dent that killed 11 A&M students and a
recent graduate, the tone has changed.
"Say what you will about bonfire and
say what you will about the Aggie tradi-
tion, but the campus really pulled together
this week," said Todd Wood, a student who
attended a packed memorial service
Sunday at Texas A&M United Methodist
Church.
"We have been rivals for a long time,"
Wood said. "If we go atlit with the same

'Beat the Hell out of TU' attitude, it will
just be the same."
The game and many of the decades-old
traditions surrounding it will go on this
week, but much of the attention will be on
healing and continuing the search for
answers to why the tragedy happened.
"Right now, Aggies are more concerned
for Aggies than they are for a rivalry," said
A&M junior Rob Clarke. "That attention
they would focus has been turned."
Local, state and federal officials
planned to meet yesterday to plan an
investigation strategy. This year's bonfire,
set for Thanksgiving night, has been can-
celed and university leaders will decide
the future of the tradition at a later time.
"I think that's in the heart of everybody
that we want it to continue," said Texas
A&M President Ray Bowen. "But I think
at this point in time, not understanding

exactly what happened, it would be best if
we left out on the table the possibility
upon analysis that we would have to make
a hard decision and that this would be the
last bonfire.
"None of us want that to happen. I
wouldn't want to speculate about what is
going to happen, but our hearts are with the
students that made that observation" that
the bonfire should continue, Bowen said.
The deaths profoundly affected a
University of Texas student leader who
attended a memorial service in College
Station Thursday night, hours after the
thousands of logs being used to make the
bonfire came crashing down.
"For all of us Longhorns who discount
A&M in our never-ending rivalry, we
needed to realize that Aggieland is a spe-
cial place," Eric Opiela, the student body
vice president at Texas, wrote on CNN's

website.
"It is a family. It is a family that cares
for its own, a family that reaches out, a
family that is unified in the face of adver-
sity, a family that moved this Longhorn to
tears."
Texas A&M officials canceled classes
Wednesday to give students extra time
with their families.
"Thanksgiving couldn't have come at a
better time," said Amanda Arriaga, a stu
dent leader at the Memorial Student
Center on campus. "Half of the students
are going home with their families, the
rest have family coming up for the most
part.
"I know the next few days are going to
be kind of strange, but the next few days
are part of the healing."
Six injured students remained hospital-
ized, two of them in critical condition.

'S AP PHOTC
espite losing his spleen and a kidney in the bonfire acci-
lent, Texas A&M freshman J.J. Washam supports the tradi-
ion. "It's part of the school," Washam said.

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