Gators still whistlin’
in wind about No. 1

Nov 28, 2006 1:43 AM

The debate over USC or a Michigan rematch with Ohio State began in earnest last week and now really gains momentum after AP poll moved the Trojans ahead of the Wolverines into the No. 2 slot.

The fact remains Florida still has a shot at facing the Buckeyes for the national title, though scant. The Gators hardly distinguished themselves the past few weeks against FSU and South Carolina. Plus, Urban Meyer’s cuts about the BCS system won’t win him brownie points.

It would figure that a winning effort by USC this Saturday against UCLA would leave Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Not a bad consolation, but the Wolverines were three points and two stupid mistakes away displacing the Buckeyes as No. 1.

Still, that’s football and now Michigan faithful back in Ann Arbor become heavy Bruins fans this Saturday.

Should Florida put a huge whipping on Arkansas in the SEC title game, maybe a few Gators boosters will join Meyer and cry out for the league champ to be in the national title game, considering the tough in-conference schedule. No question, the SEC is a grind. However, the Pac 10 was no picnic. Remember, the one loss USC has on the resume was against Oregon State in Corvallis.

My take is that SC’s remarkable 57-5 record and two national championships the past five years under Carroll is reason enough to build up the Trojans as a worthy challenger against the Buckeyes. Plus, rematches don’t usually work. Look no further than Thomas & Mack and boxing’s Pacquaio-Morales debacle. And, that was a third go-around!

No, barring a UCLA upset, the Trojans will go to Glendale and enjoy the Arizona sun against Ohio State in a matchup the Las Vegas Hilton already projects as a 6-point edge to the Buckeyes. The posted total is 51.

There is unfinished business left in the final week of the regular season, mostly deciding conference titles in the MAC, C-USA, ACC, Big 12, Big East and SEC.

Coming off our best week of the season, including 2-0 in the Dirty Dozen, we move forward praying not to be overconfident.

Oregon St at Hawaii (72½): It took awhile but 77 points were scored between Hawaii and Purdue, including 43 in a wild fourth quarter. This could top 80. OVER.

Army +20½ vs Navy: Both teams meet in the middle at Philly. That’s the best Army can hope for. This mismatch, like so many recently, is all Middies. NAVY.

La Tech +10½ at N.Mexico St: Ooh, La La scared Fresno St for three quarters before losing by 7. Granted, Fresno stinks this year. However, so does La Tech. N. MEX ST.

GT -2½ vs W. Forest: I think this is Wake’s year. They have the drive and talent to pull this miracle off and play in a quality bowl game. Tech is just too inconsistent on offense behind QB Ball. WF.

Florida -2½ vs Arkansas: LSU should be here, but that’s life. The Hogs have the great tailback in McFadden, a coach named Nutt and a QB named Dick. We’re reaching low, no doubt. Florida again escaped defeat, this time against FSU. Another survival in Urban renewal. FLORIDA.

UConn +27 at Louisville: The Cards will protect this house and add pepperoni to Papa John win streak. LOUISVILLE.

Air Force +15 at TCU: If Air Force gave up 42 in a bad loss to UNLV, imagine what happens in Frog infested waters. TCU.

Oklahoma -4 vs Nebraska: Nice to see these rivals finally in a title game together. NEBRASKA.

Rutgers +8 vs W. Virginia: With Pat White bruised and gimpy, edge goes to the overachievers from Jersey. RUTGERS.