10A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 13, 2005
Longhorns' road to the Rose Bowl is clear
By John Geise
and Kia Hamadanchy
For the Daily
Entering the seventh week of the college foot-
ball season, conference races are beginning to
take shape with teams starting to position them-
selves for the postseason.
Starting in South Bend
and continuing with Florida
State and Texas, four top-10
teams will attempt to keep
their national title hopes
alive. Out west, there's an
. Cg Ss
offensive shootout between two teams whose
coaches have apparently forgotten that defense
is an important part of football. But, the Big East
and SEC both feature games where teams are
battling to improve their conference standing.
No. 1 Southern Cal (3-0 Pac-10, 5-0 over-
all) at No. 9 Notre Dame (4-1 overall) - 3:30
p.m. - NBC
Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis has been
waiting all season for this game - the Tro-
jans have crushed Notre Dame by 31 points per
game in the last three meetings, and Weis spent
the offseason talking about how things would
be different this season. Maybe he should call
up his old coaching pal Bill Belichick because
Notre Dame is going need a great defensive
The Trojans are an offensive powerhouse.
Matt Leinart is the premier quarterback in the
country, and Reggie Bush and Lendale White
are the two best running backs in college foot-
ball. To top it off, the Trojans have one of the
best receiving corps in the nation. But defensive-
ly, the front seven is talented but young, and the
secondary is banged up.
The Trojans have had a habit of starting games
slowly, and if they are not careful, it could come
back to bite them. The Fighting Irish have shown
steady improvement each week. The Notre
Dame front seven must pressure Matt Leinart.
Controlling the ball and keeping the explosive
Trojan offense off the field might help. The Irish
have had two weeks to prepare for this game,
so Weis will have something up his sleeve for
Pete Carroll. For 27 straight games, no one has
been able to defeat Southern Cal. This game will
be different, though. The Trojans have looked
mortal the past three weeks and are ripe for the
upset. Leinart has been spending too much time
hanging out with Nick Lachey and Jessica Simp-
son instead of focusing on playing quarterback.
Notre Dame and Charlie Weis will announce
themselves to the nation and find a way squeak
by the Trojan juggernaut.
Notre Dame 34, Southern Cal 31
Oregon State (1-1 Pac-10, 3-0 overall) at
No. 18 California (2-1 Pac-10, 5-1 overall)
- 3:30 p.m. - ABC
To teams in the Pac-10, defense is merely an
inconvenience. It's definitely not Big Ten foot-
ball - neither of these teams could ever be
accused of being too conservative offensively.
The Golden Bears are coming off a 47-40 loss
to UCLA, while Oregon State beat Washington
State 44-33 last week. With the lack of defense,
the game will come down to whoever has the
ball last. California is a great running team, but
the Beavers are known for their aerial attack.
The Golden Bears have a nice one-two punch at
running back with Justin Forsett 'and Marshawn
Lynch - the problem comes when they try and
throw the ball. Jeff Tedford may be known as
a quarterback guru, but California quarterback
Joseph Ayoob looks just like Tedford's proteges
(a la Joey Harrington) do at the pro level - not
very good. The Golden Bears have a dynamic
freshman receiver by the name of DeSean Jack-
son, but Ayoob's difficulties have made getting
Jackson the ball a problem. Oregan State's Matt
Moore has had a solid season so far, and the
Beavers have had no trouble throwing the ball,
and things should be no different against a sus-
pect California secondary. The Golden Bears
will ride their running game to victory at home,
but the scoreboard operator better be ready for
California 48, Oregon State 44
No. 24 Colorado (2-0 Big 12,4-1 overall) at
No. 2 Texas (2-0 Big 12, 5-0 overall) - 3:30
p.m. - ABC
Mack Brown finally got the monkey off his
back last week, beating Oklahoma for the first
time in five tries. With recent victories over
Oklahoma and Ohio State, Brown better be
careful or he is going to lose his reputation of not
being able to win the big game. He has silenced
the critics in Austin and has his team rolling.
To call the Big 12 weak would be a compli-
ment. It's that bad. No team Texas plays has the
talent to keep up with it. Colorado ripped Texas
A&M and will be looking to pull the upset. The
problem is that Colorado is not that good and
Texas A&M is even worse. Vince Young is a
one-man show for the Longhorns - he does it
all for them offensively. Freshman running back
Jamaal Charles has really come on for the Long-
horns, rushing for 563 yards and six touchdowns.
Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt has played all
right so far this season, but in his only real test
against Miami, he struggled. Expect more of the
same against the No. 5 ranked Texas defense.
Texas 31, Colorado 13
No. 4 Florida State (3-0 ACC, 5-0 overall)
at Virginia (1-2 ACC, 3-2 overall) - ESPN
- 7:45 p.m.
Coming off a thrashing of Wake Forest, Flor-
ida State looks to continue this season's resur-
gence in Charlottesville against the Cavaliers.
The Seminoles, with the nation's No. 12 defense
and No. 20 offense, are getting it done on both
sides of the ball. Bobby Bowden, cursed for so
many years with worthless Chris Rix at quarter-
back, has finally found his man in Drew Weath-
erford, and the results speak for themselves.
Virginia is just trying to hold on while its
once-promising season vanishes before its eyes.
A 3-0 start has been marred by two consecu-
tive conference losses, and one more here will
end any remaining imaginary visions of ACC
contention. The Cavaliers will be nothing more
than another sacrificial lamb to Florida State
Florida State 45, Virginia 28
No.19 Louisville (0-1 Big East, 4-1 overall)
at West Virginia (2-0 Big East, 5-1 overall)
- ABC - 3:30 p.m.
This game will decide the eventual Big East
champion, the only conference in college foot-
ball where high school teams get to play. Lou-
isville, everyone's pick to be the least bad team,
got thrashed by South Florida 45-14 two weeks
ago, which is sort of like losing a hot-dog eating
contest to Mischa Barton. The Cardinals' high-
powered offense has rebounded though, scoring
61 and 69 points in the last two games against
defensive-stalwarts Florida Atlantic and North
West Virginia only has one loss, but it was
to No 3. Virginia Tech in a close contest. Yet,
inexplicably, the Mountaineers find themselves
outside the top 25 looking in at Louisville. West
Virginia knows it can vault itself in with this
game and place itself firmly in the driver's seat
of the Big East's 1969 Pinto.
West Virginia 42, Louisville 28
AT THE BIG HOUSE
DEPARTMENT AND MAIZE
RAGE ASK ALL FANS
TO WEAR SOMETHING
YELLOW AT THE FOOTBALL
GAME ON SATURDAY
AGAINST PENN STATE.
THE NIrFANY LIONS
ARE COMING OFF A WIN
OVER OHIO STATE.
THE GAME WILL BE
TELEVISED ON ABC.
DON'T BE THE
ODD ONE OUT.