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Archive for Thursday, October 16, 2003

OU, Miami want to avoid big-win hangover

October 16, 2003

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Maybe this weekend should be called Letdown Saturday.

After the biggest weekend of the season led to surprise losses and season-defining wins, this week's slate lacks that drama.

There are no storied rivalries such as Oklahoma-Texas or Miami-Florida State on the schedule -- just those run-of-the-mill games that can derail championship seasons.

The top-ranked Sooners hope to avoid a letdown after a 65-13 victory in the Red River Shootout against Texas. Oklahoma plays host to No. 24 Missouri, which has to guard against being too satisfied with last week's win against Nebraska.

"We always have our eyes on the Texas game. We circle it on our calendar," Oklahoma fullback J.D. Runnels said. "But we aren't satisfied, because we know we have a lot of games to go."

Sooners coach Bob Stoops hasn't had a problem charging up his team to play the week after Texas. His Oklahoma teams have outscored opponents 179-50 in four wins following games against the Longhorns.

"We're on to the next game," Stoops said. "We have our work cut out for us again."

Miami should have a much easier task after winning, 22-14, last week at Florida State. The banged-up Hurricanes play host Saturday to lowly Temple as Miami tries to stay on track for a showdown with Virginia Tech Nov. 1.

Wisconsin is another team trying to stay sharp.

The 14th-ranked Badgers snapped Ohio State's 19-game winning streak last week with a 17-10 win, but they need to beat No. 13 Purdue to remain in the Big Ten lead.

"I think you have to be very careful when you expend as much emotion and get involved in a game emotionally as our whole team did," Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said. "I think you're better off when you win a game like that rather than losing a heartbreaker. ... But win or lose, the bottom line is you have to move on."

Plenty of teams need to rebound: A record 11 ranked teams lost last week, including Florida State, which fell for the fourth straight year to Miami.

"Many a time, I have sat in here after a loss to Miami and not lost any more games," coach Bobby Bowden said. "Many times. What will happen next, I don't know. It's not like we've got to roll over and die."

The picks:

No. 24 Missouri (plus 26 1/2) at No. 1 Oklahoma

Tigers should have short stay in poll ... OKLAHOMA 41-17.

Temple (plus 31) at No. 2 Miami

Hurricanes get breather against Owls ... MIAMI 42-7.

No. 4 Georgia (minus 24) at Vanderbilt

Bulldogs have won eight straight vs. Vandy ... GEORGIA 31-3.

No. 5 Southern California (minus 8) at Notre Dame

Julius Jones won't crack 200 yards vs. Trojans ... USC 27-13.

No. 6 Washington State (minus 10) at Stanford

Cougars moving up the rankings ... WASHINGTON STATE 28-20.

No. 7 Florida State (minus 8) at Virginia

Seminoles hope for dry weather ... FLORIDA STATE 24-21.

No. 9 Iowa (plus 3 1/2) at No. 8 Ohio State

Buckeyes try to rebound from first loss ... OHIO STATE 23-21.

No. 10 LSU (minus 4 1/2) at South Carolina

Tigers 9-3 following a loss under Nick Saban ... LSU 27-20.

Florida (plus 5 1/2) at No. 11 Arkansas

Razorbacks need to get their ground game going ... FLORIDA 21-17.

Western Michigan (plus 14) at No. 12 Northern Illinois

Huskies seek to impress BCS computers ... NORTHERN ILLINOIS 27-20.

No. 13 Purdue (no line) at No. 14 Wisconsin

Winner in good shape for Rose Bowl berth ... PURDUE 24-21.

No. 15 Michigan State (plus 8) at No. 25 Minnesota

Spartans start stretch of four straight ranked opponents ... MICHIGAN STATE 27-24.

UAB (plus 11) at No. 16 TCU

Horned Frogs looking to go 7-0 for second time since '38 ... TCU 31-14.

Illinois (plus 26) at No. 17 Michigan

Illini 2-2-1 last five trips to Ann Arbor ... MICHIGAN 34-13.

Texas A&M (plus 10 1/2) at No. 18 Nebraska

Cornhuskers looking for 35th straight homecoming win ... NEBRASKA 24-10.

Mississippi State (plus 21) at No. 19 Auburn

Tigers have won four straight since 0-2 start ... AUBURN 31-3.

No. 20 Texas (minus 16 1/2) at Iowa State

Mack Brown's squad happy not to face Oklahoma ... TEXAS 31-13.

Washington (plus 9 1/2) at No. 22 Oregon State

Beavers 7-17 vs. Huskies at home ... OREGON STATE 31-13.

Texas Tech (plus 4) at No. 23 Oklahoma State

Red Raiders outscored Cowboys 156-54 last three years ... OKLAHOMA STATE 34-28.

Last week: 12-5 (straight); 12-5 (vs. points).

Season: 102-31 (straight); 63-61 (vs. points).

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