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Archive for Thursday, November 25, 2004

All eyes on Texas-A&M

Boise State’s, Cal’s BCS hopes in balance

November 25, 2004

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The Lone Star State's top rivalry will be drawing plenty of interest in Boise, Idaho, and Berkeley, Calif.

No. 6 Texas plays host to No. 22 Texas A&M on Friday with the Bowl Championship Series hopes of Boise State and California on the line.

Boise State is seventh in the BCS standings this week. If the Broncos (10-0) can move up one spot, they'll guarantee themselves a place in one of the four BCS games. Boise State plays Nevada on Saturday, but what happens in Reno is only part of the equation for the Broncos.

Texas is fifth in the BCS standings, and if the Longhorns win, the chances of the Broncos cracking the top six in the final BCS standings go way down.

"There's one more game, and hopefully there's two more, and we know the importance of that," Broncos coach Dan Hawkins said. "When all of the dust settles, then we'll sit back and say, 'Hey, nice season' but until that time, we've got work to do."

The Longhorns again are on their way to being the odd team out of the BCS. Utah is virtually locked into the top six, securing one of the two BCS at-large bids for the Utes (11-0).

California is fourth in the BCS standings and in position to grab the other at-large bid. The Rose Bowl desperately wants to have Cal play Michigan, assuming No. 1 USC is in the Orange Bowl.

But Cal's position is tenuous, too. The Bears finish their season Dec. 4 at Southern Mississippi, a game rescheduled because of a September hurricane.

Cal's first concern is beating the Golden Eagles. But they also have to keep an eye on Texas and Boise State.

It's probably best for Cal if Texas wins Friday and blocks Boise State. If Boise State is in the top six, Cal would get bumped regardless of where the Bears finish.

But here's the catch for the Bears: They're .0203 ahead of Texas, which curiously gained substantial ground on Cal in the coaches poll after struggling to beat Kansas University two weeks ago and not playing last week. Cal's BCS lead is solid, but probably not insurmountable.

The picks:

Today

No. 21 W Virginia (minus 3) at Pittsburgh

Mountaineers have won nine of 12 in Backyard Brawl ... PITTSBURGH 34-30.

Friday

No. 22 Texas A&M (plus 11) at No. 6 Texas

Longhorns going for five straight in series ... TEXAS 28-23.

No. 14 LSU (minus 4) at Arkansas

The home teams have won last six in series ... ARKANSAS 19-16.

No. 18 Ariz. St. (minus 14) at Arizona

NCAA calls Territorial Cup oldest rivalry trophy in college football ... ARIZONA STATE 38-16.

Saturday

Notre Dame (plus 23) at No. 1 Southern Cal

Trojans have won last two by combined 89-27 ... USC 28-17.

Cincinnati (plus 171/2) at No. 7 Louisville

Tough for Bearcats if injured QB doesn't play ... LOUISVILLE 44-24.

Georgia Tech (plus 151/2) at No. 8 Georgia

Bulldogs have won three straight in series, scoring 116 points ... GEORGIA 34-14.

No. 10 Boise St. (minus 25) at Nevada

Broncos' winning streak ends at 21 ... NEVADA 48-40.

No. 16 Virginia (plus 4) at No. 11 Virginia Tech

Hokies end Cavs slim ACC title hopes ... VIRGINIA TECH 20-17.

Kentucky (plus 231/2) at No. 15 Tennessee

Any QB will do.... TENN. 37-7.

Syracuse (plus 111/2) at No. 17 Boston College

BC locks up BCS bid ... BOSTON COLLEGE 24-17.

No. 23 Oklahoma St. (plus 5) at Texas Tech

Sonny Cumbie latest Tech QB to lead nation ... TECH 34-31.

No. 24 UTEP (minus 81/2) at Tulsa, 3 p.m.

Miners going for first nine-win season since 1988 ... UTEP 30-19.









Dallas (ap) -- Boise State, California, Georgia, Louisville, Texas and Utah still are under consideration for at-large bids to the Bowl Championship Series, even though none will be able secure an automatic bid as a conference champion.The BCS released its list of teams still in the running for bids to the Orange, Rose, Sugar and Fiesta bowls this week.Southern Cal has locked a spot by winning at least a share of the Pac-10. Michigan is in with the Big Ten's bid.The representatives from the other conferences with automatic bids (Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East, Big 12, and Southeastern Conference) have not been determined.

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