Archive for Thursday, November 11, 2004

B.C. should ruin Mountaineers’ plans

November 11, 2004


West Virginia could be the first team to secure a spot in the Bowl Championship Series.

Boston College has other ideas, but the Mountaineers will clinch at least a tie for the Big East title with a victory over the Eagles on Saturday. If West Virginia winds up tied for first place, it would get the BCS bowl bid because of a better overall record.

In its transition year, the Big East has drawn criticism from those who say it doesn't deserve an automatic BCS berth. The league said goodbye to Miami and Virginia Tech before this season, leaving it with just seven teams and no heavyweights.

The Mountaineers entered the season as the defending conference co-champions, overwhelming favorites to win it again and with hopes of running the table and playing for a national title.

That last part was dashed when the No. 13 Mountaineers (8-1, 4-0) lost last month at Virginia Tech, now a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The result hurt the Big East's reputation -- even a supposedly middle-of-the-road ACC team could beat the best of the Big East.

Since then, West Virginia has won four straight against league foes, getting little attention in the process.

"We haven't played great football all year, but we've played well enough," West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said. "We have most of our goals still out there and, believe it or not, we can get one of them accomplished this week. A major one."

No. 21 Boston College (6-2, 2-1) can keep its hopes for a Big East title and BCS bid alive with a victory in a place where wins have been rare for the Eagles. Since Big East football was born in 1991, Boston College has not won in Morgantown, W.Va.

"I think they've been better football teams for the most part," Eagles coach Tom O'Brien said. "There are some schools that seem to have a whammy over another."

BC joins Miami and Virginia Tech in the ACC next season, while the Big East welcomes Louisville, South Florida and Cincinnati.

The last thing the beleaguered Big East needs heading into next season is its defending champion playing in the ACC.

The picks:


No. 11 Florida State (minus 7) at North Carolina State

'Noles have sputtered on road ... N.C. STATE 21-19.


Arizona (plus 35)

at No. 1 Southern California

Back to the sunshine after two weeks in fog and rain for Trojans ... USC 45-3.

Nebraska (plus 30)

at No. 2 Oklahoma

Sooners' biggest win over Huskers is 48 points ... OKLAHOMA 62-14.

No. 8 Georgia (plus 41/2)

at No. 3 Auburn

Georgia could do BCS a favor ... AUBURN 27-17.

No. 4 Wisconsin (minus 8)

at Michigan State

Badgers looking rosy ... WISCONSIN 32-14.

No. 5 California (minus 31)

at Washington

Cal has won two straight since breaking 19-game losing skid to Huskies ... CAL 49-10.

No. 6 Texas (minus 22)

at Kansas

Longhorns have BCS bid in sight ... TEXAS 44-17.

No. 7 Utah (minus 23)

at Wyoming

Utes only team in country to win each of its games by at least two TDs ... UTAH 48-20.

Northwestern (plus 131/2)

at No. 9 Michigan

Wolverines' Michael Hart, Wildcats' Noah Herron are Big Ten's top two rushers ... MICHIGAN 31-14.

No. 18 Miami (plus 31/2)

at No. 10 Virginia

Hurricanes rise out of adversity ... MIAMI 26-21.

No. 21 Boston College (plus 7) at No. 13 West Virginia

Eagles spoil BCS bid ... BOSTON COLLEGE 28-24.

No. 14 Boise State (minus 31) at San Jose State

Broncos lead nation in scoring; Spartans 116th in scoring defense ... BOISE STATE 58-22.

Alabama (plus 71/2)

at No. 17 LSU

Crimson Tide has nation's No. 1 defense ... LSU 18-14.

No. 19 Iowa (plus 3)

at Minnesota

Hawkeyes QB Drew Tate developing into star ... IOWA 31-24.

Washington State (plus 13)

at No. 20 Arizona State

Sun Devils QB Andrew Walter is 35 yards passing shy of 10,000 ... ARIZONA STATE 36-17.

Texas Tech (plus 2 1/2)

at No. 22 Texas A&M;

Tech has won three straight against Aggies ... TEXAS A&M; 38-33.

Rice (plus 17)

at No. 23 UTEP

Miners' only losses are to Boise State and Arizona State ... UTEP 44-20.

Pittsburgh (plus 11)

at No. 24 Notre Dame

This is the Panthers' first game this season against a ranked team ... NOTRE DAME 30-20.

Baylor (plus 25 1/2)

at No. 25 Oklahoma State

Cowboys take out their frustrations after two painful losses ... OKLAHOMA STATE 57-14.

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