GAME OF THE WEEK...
Wisconsin at (5) Purdue
Not many people would have believed you if you had told them Purdue and Wisconsin would be the Big Ten's best two teams heading into mid-October, but that certainly seems to be the case. Ohio State has fallen apart in recent weeks, while Michigan and Minnesota, both very good teams, have both sustained losses already this season.
The Badgers and Boilers are two of only fourteen teams that remain unbeaten in Division I and the only two unbeatens in the Big Ten. Wisconsin really cashed in and gained respect last week when the Badgers went into Columbus, Ohio and came away with a huge eleven point victory over the Buckeyes. RB Anthony Davis, though he missed time in September, is healthy for the moment and is averaging 153 rushing yards a contest. QB John Stocco seems to make the big plays and is helped out by a trio of talented wideouts.
Purdue, meanwhile, is led by one of the surprising Heisman candidates of 2004. With his play in big Boiler wins over Syracuse and Notre Dame, QB Kyle Orton has captured the attention of the experts and for good reason. The senior is leading the Big Ten in passing, averaging 328 yards per game. He has thrown only 2 INTs on the season while tossing 18 touchdown passes. The Purdue backfield is split between Jerod Void and Brandon Jones with each averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Boiler WR Taylor Stubblefield is Orton's favorite target; he has already hauled in 11 TDs this year and averages more than 100 yards a contest.
With a win, the Badgers could bust into the SCS.com Fab 15 with force next a week. Anthony Davis is one of the country's best when he's healthy, but you never know when his health might turn for the worse. A Boiler victory could boost Purdue's Big Ten and BCS hopes and give Joe Tiller's team some momentum heading into the following week's matchup with Michigan. The game is in West Lafayette, and the Boilermakers haven't played there since September 11. The Boiler Nation will be pumped as Purdue steams to victory number six of the 2004 season.
The Editor Says: Purdue
THE WEEK'S OTHER TOP MATCHUPS...
(11) West Virginia at Connecticut
The Mountaineers got a week to think about their road loss at Virginia Tech and now return to Big East play. UConn has already knocked off Pitt at home earlier this year, but WVU is a much more talented team. The game will be close, but Kay-Jay & Co. find a way to win.
The Editor Says: West Virginia
(9) Louisville at (3) Miami
This is a huge chance for the Cardinals to bust onto the national scene, and if they are ever going to upset Miami, this year's team may be their best shot. Though unbeaten, the 'Canes look vulnerable. UofL will fight hard, but Miami comes away with the non-conference win.
The Editor Says: Miami
Arizona State at (1) Southern Cal
The Sun Devils, led by star QB Andrew Walter, have gotten off to an unbeaten start but haven't received a lot of respect thus far. That will change in a big way if ASU is able to knock off top ranked USC. Will the Trojans have a let-down after the Cal game last week?
The Editor Says: Southern Cal
Missouri at (8) Texas
The Longhorns still couldn't beat Oklahoma last weekend, but at least the Horns were in the game this time. The Tigers have rebounded from their loss at Troy and picked up a big home win over Colorado a week ago. The Big XII South is dominant, and Texas proves that point.
The Editor Says: Texas
(14) Virginia at Florida State
The Cavaliers are one of two new entries into this week's Fab 15 and would certainly improve their position with a road win in Tallahassee. FSU was nearly upset by a bad Syracuse team last week. Were the Noles looking ahead or are they just struggling to find themselves this year?
The Editor Says: Florida State
COULD BE INTERESTING...
TCU at UAB
The Blazers have been dynamite this season, knocking off Memphis and Mississippi State. TCU has been the opposite.
The Editor Says: UAB
(2) Oklahoma at Kansas State
The Wildcats have fallen off the map this year, most recently losing at Kansas. OU continues to dominate.
The Editor Says: Oklahoma
Notre Dame at Navy
The Midshipmen are one of the best teams you haven't heard about this season. This is huge for both teams.
The Editor Says: Navy
Minnesota at Michigan State
The Gophers nearly knocked off Michigan last week. Will a let-down at inferior Michigan State follow?
The Editor Says: Minnesota
(12) Michigan at Illinois
The Wolves got that huge win over Minnesota last week. This week should be much easier.
The Editor Says: Michigan
Boston College at Pittsburgh
The Panthers are having major struggles this year. BC's only loss came in the final minute at Wake Forest.
The Editor Says: Boston College
Iowa State at Colorado
The Cyclones are struggling as expected. CU needs to get back on track after consecutive Big XII losses.
The Editor Says: Colorado
Ohio State at Iowa
Two straight losses have knocked OSU out of the Fab 15. A loss at Iowa would knock them out of the Big Ten race for sure.
The Editor Says: Ohio State
Southern Miss at Alabama
A win here could boost the unbeaten Golden Eagles into the Fab 15. Alabama is up and down since the loss of Brodie Croyle.
The Editor Says: Alabama
Arkansas at (6) Auburn
The Hogs lost a heart-breaker at Florida two weeks ago. Auburn should be able to take down Houston Nutt's club on the Plains.
The Editor Says: Auburn
NC State at Maryland
Both of these teams were highly disappointed last week, the Terps losing to GT and NCSU falling to UNC. Both need this victory.
The Editor Says: Maryland
Oregon State at Washington
The Beavers are desperate for something to go right, and a game at UW could be just what the doctor ordered.
The Editor Says: Oregon State
UCLA at (7) California
The Bears were disappointed after last week's loss. RB Maurice Drew could make the Bears feel worse.
The Editor Says: California
Boise State at Tulsa
Tulsa was a bowl team a year ago but looks nothing like one this season. A possible trap for the Broncos in Oklahoma?
The Editor Says: Boise State
South Carolina at Kentucky
USC had just gotten a national ranking before being upset last week. This is a must-win for Lou Holtz's team.
The Editor Says: South Carolina
Troy at Arkansas State
This is a matchup of two of the Sun Belt's better teams. Troy is the better of the two, though the Trojans are on the road.
The Editor Says: Troy
Texas A&M at (15) Oklahoma State
A&M has been surprisingly good so far this season. The Cowboys are one of two new members of the SCS.com Fab 15.
The Editor Says: Oklahoma State
Tennessee at Mississippi
Both teams are coming off big wins last week, the Volunteers at Georgia and the Rebels at South Carolina.
The Editor Says: Tennessee
North Carolina at (4) Utah
UNC plays well at home (wins over GT, NCSU) but can't get much done on the road. A trip to Utah won't help that matter.
The Editor Says: Utah
Stanford at Washington State
The Cardinal has been more competitive than anticipated. After last week's loss, WSU badly needs to win this home contest.
The Editor Says: Washington State
The Editor's Records:
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