COLLEGE FB PACKAGE: Panthers and Sooners can create a BCS mess with victories Saturday Print
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Wednesday, 28 November 2007 10:43
NCAAF Headline News

 Stanford did it, then Oregon State. Rutgers was next. When Florida State pulled it off it wasn't much of a surprise. By the time Arizona beat Oregon two weeks ago, the Wildcats were the fifth unranked team to beat No. 2 this season.
OK, Pittsburgh, here's your shot to pull off the final and most significant stunner in a season full of them.
The Panthers (4-7, 2-4) meet longtime rival West Virginia (10-1) on Saturday, with the Mountaineers a victory away from playing for the national championship. The game is dubbed the Backyard Brawl, but the Panthers have been on the receiving end of most of the punches lately.
The Mountaineers have won four of the last five meetings and 11 of 15. Pat White, Steve Slaton and co. have laid 45 points on Pitt each of the last two seasons.
``It is 0-0 when we start off, and until we make a play or do something good it is going to be that way,'' West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said Wednesday. ``The parity is more in college football than it has ever been and that's here to stay.''
Top-ranked Missouri (11-1) is also playing for a spot in the national title game. The Tigers face Oklahoma (10-2) in the Big 12 championship. The Sooners beat the Tigers in Norman last month and are favored to knock them off again.
All over Columbus, Ohio, there will be roars for the Panthers and cries of Boomer Sooner. If either of the top two teams slip, the Buckeyes are in the national title game for the second straight season.
If Missouri and West Virginia both lose, it's pretty much anybody's guess who will play the Buckeyes in New Orleans on Jan. 7. Georgia is fourth in the BCS standings and Kansas is fifth, but the Bulldogs (10-2) and Jayhawks (11-1) are done and out of contention for conference titles - though not necessarily out of national title contention.
Next in line are Virginia Tech (10-2), LSU (10-2) and Southern California (9-2), which can all win conference championships this weekend. Depending on how they do, it's possible one of those three could become the first two-loss team to play in the national title game.
As 28-point underdogs to the Mountaineers in Morgantown, Pitt is a long shot to create mass BCS confusion. Then again, USC was a 41-point underdog when it became the first No. 2 to lose to an unranked team. California, South Florida, Boston College and Oregon can also attest that it's been a terrible year to be two.
The picks:
Saturday
Big 12 championship, No. 1 Missouri (plus 3) vs. No. 9 Oklahoma at San Antonio
Tigers say they blew it in Norman; prove it ... MISSOURI 36-30.
Pittsburgh (plus 28) at No. 2 West Virginia
West Virginia QB Pat White making late Heisman push ... WEST VIRGINIA 42-21.
SEC championship, No. 5 LSU (minus 7 1/2) vs. No. 14 Tennessee at Atlanta
Will Tigers coach Les Miles be taking an SEC title to Michigan? ... LSU 37-24.
ACC championship, No. 6 Virginia Tech (minus 4 1/2) vs. No. 12 Boston College at Jacksonville, Fla.
Hokies looking to avenge Matt Ryan's miraculous comeback in Blacksburg ... VIRGINIA TECH 26-17.
UCLA (plus 20) at No. 8 Southern California
Speaking of revenge, Trojans remember last year's loss to Bruins ... USC 35-14.
Washington (plus 14) at No. 11 Hawaii
Huskies gave up 399 yards passing to Alex Brink last week; Colt Brennan must be excited ... HAWAII 48-28.
Arizona (plus 7) at No. 13 Arizona State
Results of this rivalry rarely make sense ... ARIZONA 24-21.
Oregon State at No. 18 Oregon
Can Ducks muster any offense? .... OREGON STATE 24-13.
No. 21 BYU (minus 15) at San Diego State
Cougars trying to stay perfect in Mountain West ... BYU 27-10.
Navy (minus 14) vs. Army at Baltimore
Middies have won five straight, tied for longest streak in series history ... NAVY 35-28.
C-USA championship, Tulsa (plus 7 1/2) at UCF
UCF's Kevin Smith has 2,164 yards rushing, fourth best single-season total ... UCF 38-28.
Florida Atlantic (plus 15) at Troy
Sun Belt title goes to winner ... TROY 44-34
MAC championship, Miami (plus 3) vs. Central Michigan at Detroit
Win or bust for Miami; Red Hawks fall out of bowl contention with loss ... CENTRAL MICHIGAN 37-21.
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Last week's record: 10-7 (straight); 10-7 (vs. points).
Season: 194-63 (straight); 122-110-6 (vs. points).
 

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