A struggling Tennessee team would
be little match for Miami, a Hurricane team that just experienced its first
regular season loss in almost three years. No way mighty Miami could lose two in
a row. The Volunteers mustered just enough offense and played opportunistically
on defense to escape the Orange Bowl with a 10-6 victory.
Next, lowly Clemson had chance to
knock off Florida State – even in Death Valley (Death Valley? Yeah
The Seminoles were playing like
Bobby Bowden’s boys of yesteryear – FSU appeared to be back in the national
title hunt, the past few years being a distant memory. No way could the younger
Tommy Bowden best his old man.
Yep, you guessed it.
Tommy Bowden got his first win in
five tries against his father in what has become Bowden Bowl. The Tigers
frustrated FSU into a 26-10 defeat ending the Noles hopes of a national
And if things couldn’t get any
better for LSU, Pittsburgh held on to upend high-flying Virginia Tech, just one
week removed from the Hokies monumental win over Miami.
In one short day of college
football, a day in which the Tigers were able to enjoy some down time, LSU leapt
from No. 7 in the BCS to a lofty fourth and eased its way to No. 3 in both major
college football polls, the school’s highest ranking since 1961.
The fun now begins.
People in Baton Rouge are already
beginning talk of LSU’s chances to make its second Sugar Bowl in three years,
this time to play for the national title. Stranger things have already happened
and a few more wild weekends might allow coach Nick Saban and his Tigers to
dance down Bourbon Streets to play for all the marbles.
Ohio State, ranked above LSU in the
third spot, still has to play dangerous Purdue and has a date with rival
Michigan. The Buckeyes have been begging to lose all season and it just might
happen in one of these next two games.
The wildcard is Southern
California. USC looks poised to land in the title game, but still has games
against Arizona (HA, fat chance!) and pesky Oregon State. The best chance for
the Trojans to lose may fall in a rivalry matchup with hated UCLA.
Oklahoma is destined for the Nokia
Sugar Bowl and is an outright favorite to win the Sears Trophy for the second
time in four years.
Talk of a possible national
championship appearance grew quite in the wake of LSU’s 19-7 loss to Florida,
but has since been rekindled with the Tigers hot streak on the field and in the
polls. But before anyone can utter words national title or Sugar Bowl, LSU must
first concentrate on winning the SEC Western Division.
It seems hard to believe right now
that LSU is ranked just second in the West behind 6-0 Ole Miss. But the Rebels
are surging right now and are unbeaten in the SEC this late in the season for
the first time since the early 1960s. The Rebs are basking in the glow of a
24-20 win over Auburn last Saturday and are primed for a showdown with LSU in
But before the Tigers make the trip
to Oxford, LSU must deal with reeling Alabama, who would love to spoil the party
for the Tigers. If LSU is successful in Tuscaloosa and manage to escape Ole Miss
with a “W,” there still remains that always-unpredictable game with Arkansas on
the day after
Remember, LSU can beat Bama and
Johnny Reb, but a loss on Nov. 29 would give Ole Miss their first SEC West crown
in school history. The pressure is squarely upon the shoulders of the Tigers as
they control their own destiny.
As Saban and his players are
preaching, each week is a one game season. That not only goes for the coaches
and players, that is directed to the fans as well.
Next week means nothing if you don’t take care of the task at