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BRISTOL'S HERNANDEZ CATCHES TWO MORE TOUCHDOWN PASSES FOR GATORS

Bristol Central graduate Aaron Hernandez had the best game of his college career Saturday in the second-ranked Florida Gators 45-15 victory over No. 23 Florida State. Hernandez caught four passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns. He scored in the first quarter on a 7-yard pass from quarterback Tim Tebow. He later added a 24-yard scoring play with Tebow with 57 seconds to play in the first half. Hernandez has caught 26 passes for 281 yards and five touchdowns this season.

(AP photo, right, Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez, top, celebrates his first-quarter touchdown with Florida offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey against Florida State Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla.)

GIANTS STAR WR PLAXICO BURRESS SHOT

Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was shot late Friday night in the leg and was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries according to multiple sources. The shooting was apparently accidental, although there isn't any more details at this moment. Burress was already ruled out of Sunday's game against Redskins with a hamstring injury. He wasn't expected to travel with the team before the shooting. It's been a long season for Burress, as he was already suspended for two weeks earlier in the year for skipping practice. As big of a player Burress has been for the Giants, you have to wonder if the time has come for the Giants to let the star go. As everyone knows, however, if you're good, you'll get chance after chance to turn your career around. Burress is on chance No. 5,000 right now.

BRISTOL EASTERN TOPS BRISTOL CENTRAL IN THE BATTLE FOR THE BELL

Bristol Eastern 34, Bristol Central 28
Even though the records would indicate a blowout, that wasn't the case in the latest installment of the Battle for the Bell game at Muzzy Field this morning as the Lancers pulled out a six-point victory over the underdog Rams. Bristol Eastern is 8-3 on the season, while Bristol Central falls to 2-9.
The win gave the Lancers the first back-to-back CCC South championships in school history.
“People just thought we couldn’t make it and look what we have,” Eastern running back Mike Zeigler told Mike Letendre after the game. “Coach just said keep chopping wood and that’s what we did. We came out with a beautiful victory today.”
Zeigler ran for 109 yards in the victory.
Quarterback Dean Connelly was outstanding in the game as well, throwing for 117 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a 65-yard touchdown run to start the third quarter to put the Lancers up 26-8 with 9:51 left in the third. He had 80 yards on the ground and was Eastern's Offensive Player of the Game.
“(Central) was paying a lot of attention to Mike (Zeigler) because he’s an outstanding runner,” Connelly told Letendre about the TD run. “And the line just blocked it real well. I got outside and our receivers block on every play and I got past the defense. It was a good play.”
Central did pull off a wild comeback, outscoring Eastern 20-8 the rest of the way, and had the ball with a chance to win the game. But Eastern’s defense came up big as Tyrell Holmes intercepted a Alex Sgro pass to Dymetric Maisonet to seal the game with 38 seconds to play.
“My line was applying pressure to the quarterback,” Holmes said of the final Central play of the game. “So my line is basically the ones I want to thank. I jumped up and grabbed (the ball). It feels exciting … best feeling of my life."
Holmes was Eastern’s defensive player of the game.
It wasn't all good for Eastern, however, as Weaver defeated Hartford Public 13-6 to eliminate the Lancers from a state tournament berth.
For Bristol Central, it was its best game of the season and a tremendous, albeit heartbreaking, end to the year.
"They played hard out there today," Central coach Doug Pina told Dave Greenleaf about his squad. "They did everything we asked them to do. I can’t ask anything else of them. I’m really proud of the way our kids played today."
Central had the ball in its hands with a chance to win the game, but it wasn't to be.
"We got a couple of bad breaks," Pina said. "The ball just didn’t bounce our way. But we didn’t give up. We kept fighting right to the end. We just ran out of time and out of time outs."
Maisonet scored four touchdowns for the Rams, three on the ground and one on a 27-yard reception. He had 118 rushing yards from the wing formation. He capped a solid senior season by earning the Offensive Player of the Game award.
Maisonet finished his season with 1,234 yards on 229 carries, while completing 48 of 138 passes for 683 yards.
The Defensive Player of the Game for the Rams was senior Dan Belfi, who came back from a painful season-ending knee injury a year ago to have a fine senior year at linebacker.
"It was nice to win the award," Belfi said. "We didn’t get the win, but we played hard. It was disappointing, but I’m happy with the way we played."

(Mike Orazzi photo, top, Bristol Eastern's Mike Zeigler rings the bell after a 34-28 victory over Bristol Central at Muzzy Field Thursday morning.)

(Mike Orazzi photo, left, Eastern's Tyrell Holmes (1) intercepts a pass intended for Central's Dymetric Maisonet (4) with 38 seconds left to seal the Lancers victory.)

MY SUPER-SIZED COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICKS COLUMN FOR TOMORROW ... TODAY

Sports Editor Brad Carroll takes a look at the top college football games of the day
LAST WEEK:
0-7 (spread); 4-3 (overall); 0-2 (upset picks)
THIS SEASON: 44-45-2 (spread); 67-24 (overall); 4-6 (upset picks)

West Virginia at Pittsburgh; 12 p.m.; ABC (Friday)
The Skinny: Consider this College GameDay Super-Sized. We’re going to up the picks this week from 7 to 10, with three of the picks and breakdowns available exclusively on bradcarrollgameday.blogspot.com. Believe me, I would give all 10 if it would fit in this space, but hopefully everyone will get to check out the extra picks. We start on Friday with this rivalry game in Pittsburgh. It’s a tough choice, but go with the explosive offense. The Pick: West Virginia (-3.5) wins it 33-24.

Colorado at Nebraska; 3:3o p.m.; ABC (Friday)
The Skinny: Nebraska has won two straight and four out of five (with the loss coming against Oklahoma), so the Cornhuskers are playing very well. They are 7-4 this year and defeated Kansas 45-35 two weeks ago. Colorado is 5-6, but has kept a host of games relatively close, including a 30-17 setback at Oklahoma State last week. Even though I think Nebraska is going to roll to the win, I believe the Buffaloes will step up on national TV. The Pick: Nebraska (-18) wins it 38-21.

LSU at Arkansas; 3:30 p.m.; CBS (Friday)
The Skinny: LSU stuck it to us last week with its horrible 31-13 home loss to Ole Miss, so it was hard putting it back on the slate today. Luckily for them, the Tigers are playing on national TV, so they get another shot to come through because we’re 100% against a team coached by quitter Bobby Petrino. Arkansas has lost four of its last five games, with the only victory coming against Tulsa. LSU is bad, but should be good enough today. The Pick: LSU (-4.5) wins it 27-17.

Fresno State at No. 9 Boise State; 6 p.m.; ESPN2 (Friday)
The Skinny: This is one of the bonus, blog-only game picks, so let’s get right into it. If Boise State wants to play in a BCS bowl game again this year, it absolutely has to win this game in impressive fashion – that’s right, not just win, but win big. But even that might not help them as another mid-major will probably get the nod – No. 8 Utah, also undefeated. Despite that fact, I love Boise State to make a statement here on the big stage. The Pick: Boise State (-21) wins it 45-17.

No. 18 Georgia Tech at No. 13 Georgia; 12 p.m.; CBS (Saturday)
The Skinny: This is the strangest game of the day because even though Georgia Tech will be playing its biggest rival, it’s a matchup 400 miles away that really counts. You see, the only way Georgia Tech can play in the ACC title game is if Virginia can beat Virginia Tech, a game that will be played at the same time. Still, Georgia Tech would love to beat Georgia, which has won the last seven games in the series. Consider that streak over. The Pick: Georgia Tech (+7.5) wins it 23-21.

Auburn at No. 1 Alabama; 3:30 p.m.; CBS (Saturday)
The Skinny: Here is another blog-bonus game. Auburn has won the last six meetings between the two schools, even though each game has been decided by 10 points or less. This year, of course, things are a whole lot different as Auburn has been dreadful while Alabama is two wins away from playing for a national title. I know one thing for sure, CBS is praying for an Alabama win so its Tide-Florida SEC Championship matchup the following week isn’t ruined. It won’t be as Alabama will take care of business. The Pick: Alabama (-14.5) wins it 38-14.

No. 2 Florida at No. 23 Florida State; 3:30 p.m.; ABC (Saturday)
The Skinny: Florida has already clinched a spot in the SEC title game next week against No. 1 Alabama, but there is a whole lot on the line today against rival Florida State. If the Gators win the game, they will stay alive in the hunt for a national title, and two wins almost guarantees a spot in the BCS title game. FSU, on the other hand, can still play for an ACC title, needing Maryland to beat Boston College Saturday at the same time. The Pick: Florida (-16.5) wins it 38-23.

No. 19 Oregon at No. 17 Oregon State; 7 p.m.; No TV (Saturday)
The Skinny: I’m a little surprised that someone didn’t pick this game to broadcast Saturday night, because it’s one of the biggest games of the weekend. Still, even though it will be played in the black, we won’t ignore it here, as it is the third and final blog-bonus game pick. With a win over Oregon, Oregon State will clinch a spot in the Rose Bowl as the Pac-10 champion – that’s right, Oregon State … not USC. It won’t be easy, as Oregon poses a huge threat, but look for the home field advantage to play a huge role. The Pick: Oregon State (-3) wins it 24-20.

No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 11 Oklahoma State; 8 p.m.; ABC (Saturday)
The Skinny: It says a lot when a matchup featuring Oklahoma-Oklahoma State is ABC’s choice to broadcast in prime time over Notre Dame-USC. It’s both a vote of confidence for the Big 12 and an indictment on the current state of Notre Dame. Oklahoma won’t be as good as it was last week against Texas Tech, but there is no way the Sooners will lose this game. The Pick: Oklahoma (-7) wins it 44-28.

Notre Dame at No. 5 Southern Cal; 8 p.m.; ESPN (Saturday)
The Pick: Southern Cal (-32) wins it 50-20.
Brad’s brother, Craig Carroll, is back to defend his championship from a year ago. He finished with a 2-5 record last week, and is 41-48-2 for the season. Here are his picks for the week: West Virginia, Colorado, LSU, Fresno State, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Florida, Oregon, Oklahoma, USC.

(AP photo, top, Boise State running back Jeremy Avery runs into the end zone against Idaho in Moscow, Idaho two weeks ago. Boise State won 45-10.)

(AP photo, right, Georgia Tech’s Darrly Richards sings the school fight school with his teammates after defeating Miami 41-23 in Atlanta last Thursday.)

COLLEGE GAMEDAY REWIND: UNLUCKY NUMBER 7 AND THE TITANS ARE CRYING

Even that old saying, “mama said there would be days like this” doesn’t seem to fit with the Saturday that we had here at GameDay. It was worse than that – much worse. At the end of business, my college football selections were 0-for-7. That’s right, 0-for-7. Not one victory in the bunch. I’ve never really been at a loss for words when it comes to losing days, but that’s what I am tonight. I can’t even complain about a game because they were all pretty much over by halftime. What’s to blame for the historic meltdown? Well, it was my ego, of course. I actually went and looked at some other college football prognosticators from major newspapers and saw that my record was better than theirs. That’s all well and good, but I took it further and told people that I was killing everybody else. Not good. And I paid for it with the winless day. Now, suddenly, I’m a game under .500 for the season. I still have a three-game lead in the Carroll Showdown, but there’s not much to celebrate right now as far as college goes.
One thing I can celebrate, however, is the J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! After picking up their second straight road victory – this time against undefeated Tennessee – the Jets have set themselves up to make a run at one of the two first-round byes in the playoffs. Are the Jets the best team in football? I won’t say it and I haven’t even thought about it. What I will say is this: the Tennessee Titans are the biggest bunch of crybabies in the league. Here are a couple of quick quotes from Keith Bullock after the game:
“Refs get paid just like us. They should get fined just like us.”
“Now we know for the next time we play [the Jets]. It'll be a different game next time.”
First, blaming the refs for getting your butt handed to you 34-13 is downright embarrassing. Second, what did the Titans learn about the Jets? Did they learn that the Jets absolutely destroyed them, dominating every facet of the game? Did they learn that the Jets killed them on their home turf? Did they learn that the Jets scored 34 points and gashed their vaunted defense for long rush after long rush? There’s more and more and more, but if you listen to the Titan players, it didn’t happen. They say that the Jets aren’t very good and that they’ll be ready for them the next time they play. Whatever. The Titans were exposed and the players obviously can’t handle it. It’s really sad. Tennessee will still probably get the No. 1 seed, so the road to the Super Bowl may have to go through Nashville. Right now, however, I don’t think the Jets would care in the least.

Now, on to College GameDay Rewind:

My Saturday: 0-7 (spread); 4-3 (overall); 0-2 (upset picks)
My Season: 44-45-2 (spread); 67-24 (overall); 4-6 (upset picks)
My Money: DOWN $550 (season)
Craig's Saturday: 2-5 (spread)
Craig's Season: 41-48-2 (spread)
Craig's Money: DOWN $1,180 (season)

Michigan +20 at No. 10 Ohio State
My Pick: Ohio State 22, Michigan 10
Actual Score: Ohio State 42, Michigan 7
I actually thought I was on the right track at the start, as the Michigan defense was playing very well against Ohio State early on. The Buckeyes used two big plays to get a 14-7 lead at the half, but the Wolverines looked like they were pumped and ready to hang with OSU. Then the Buckeyes outscored Michigan 28-0 in the second half and I quickly start the day 0-1. Craig went with OSU, so he’s 1-0.

No. 17 Michigan State +15.5 at No. 7 Penn State
My Pick: Penn State 27, Michigan State 17
Actual Score: Penn State 49, Michigan State 18
This was a much quicker death for me as Penn State actually lit up the scoreboard for an easy win. The pick here was based on the fact that I didn’t think Penn State could actually score enough points to cover two-plus touchdowns. Obviously, like the rest of my picks, I was wrong. Craig took the loss as well.

Air Force +20 at No. 15 TCU
My Pick: TCU 38, Air Force 21
Actual Score: TCU 44, Air Force 10
TCU easily took care of Air Force and drops me to 0-3. Not much else to say. Craig also went with Air Force and drops to 1-2.

Ole Miss +3.5 at No. 18 LSU
My Pick: LSU 28, Ole Miss 21
Actual Score: Ole Miss 31, LSU 10
Well, it was nice for LSU to show up. I knew when this game slipped away real early I was in trouble of going winless. This was my most confident pick on the day, especially after the unbelievable comeback the Tigers pulled off a week ago. But the losses continue to mount for GameDay as the record now stands at 0-4 in the afternoon games. Craig is not much better, pulling in with a 1-3 record.

No. 20 Pittsburgh +6 at No. 19 Cincinnati
My Pick: Cincinnati 33, Pittsburgh 30
Actual Score: Cincinnati 28, Pittsburgh 21
Pittsburgh led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, so I was felling pretty good about the late games right off the bat. But Cincinnati outscored Pitt 14-0 in the second quarter and both Florida State and Oklahoma were jumping ahead in the other two games, so reality set in quick. The losing was going to continue. Pittsburgh did make it a seven-point game, but that wasn’t good enough, as I knew with this loss 0-7 was pretty much a lock. I’m 0-5 and Craig is 1-4.

Florida State -1 at No. 22 Maryland
My Pick: Maryland 24, Florida State 21
Actual Score: Florida State 37, Maryland 3
This was another case of a team not showing up in a big game. The way Maryland played was inexcusable and the Terps should have been dropped from the Top 25 immediately after the game. Craig picked up another victory with FSU, improving to 2-4 on the day. I’m 0-6 and on my way to 0-7. I had a 7-0 day several weeks ago, and the high of that day doesn’t compare to the low of what was happening here. Just horrible.

No. 2 Texas Tech +7 at No. 5 Oklahoma
My Pick: Texas Tech 35, Oklahoma 31
Actual Score: Oklahoma 65, Texas Tech 21
This was a fitting end to the night. Not much to say other than Texas Tech had a really bad game and its dream season is over. This was probably the Red Raiders one and only chance to play for a national title and they blew it. Oh well. Right now, you’d have to say Oklahoma is the better choice than Texas to play for the national championship … but then again, Texas did beat the Sooners already this year. This is why a playoff is needed – but it’ll never happen. GameDay is 0-7, while Craig is 2-5. Thank God there is more football to play.

(AP photo, top, Oklahoma running back Chris Brown (29) reacts after scoring a touchdown against Texas Tech in the second quarter Saturday.)

(AP photo, second, Jets running back Leon Washington (29) celebrates after scoring a touchdown on a 4-yard run against the Titans in the fourth quarter Sunday. The Jets beat the previously undefeated Titans 34-13. Behind Washington is tight end Chris Baker.)

THE BRAD-HATING CALLER STRIKES AGAIN! UNFORTUNATELY, HE’S AS DUMB AS EVER

Well, the unimaginative caller returned this week ... one week after his last call. I guess he was scared off by my blog last week saying we would out him in public. (Imagine that, he reads my blog every day ... thanks for the hits!) Well, we didn't do anything about that because we knew he would be scared away. He was. But now, a week later, he finally returned, probably with a ton of confidence believing that he had bested us. Here is the transcript:

"Yeah ... let's ... it's so interesting that, um (he pauses for a very, very, very long time here). That I heard The Bristol Press is going to be closing their doors. That karma is a wonderful thing, huh, Brad. Considering you suck as a f******sports writer. Now you're going to be out of a job. Goodbye a******."

First things first, I am not a sports writer - I'm the sports editor. So, if you're going to insult me, or whatever it is you think you're doing, get the facts straight. Second, it's actually the subject of a lot of laughs here at the paper, so thank you. Third, we know you're not too bright, as it took forever for you to get out a sentence in each message you sent. And (and this is a big one) we have a little thing called Caller ID. It's a pretty cool invention ... when someone calls you can actually see the number they called from. Shocking, I know. And fourth, those here at the paper want to involve the cops, which I could care less about. I said it's no big deal (and, also, I'm not the only one he's been calling) and to just drop it. After all, it's fun and I love the fact that this guy is reading the paper every day and reading my blog and probably commenting a lot. So, thank you, sir, for making these last few weeks enjoyable.

MY COLLEGE GAMEDAY PICKS COLUMN FOR TOMORROW ... TODAY!

Sports Editor Brad Carroll takes a look at the top college football games of the day
LAST WEEK
: 3-4 (spread); 5-2 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
THIS SEASON: 44-38-2 (spread); 63-21 (overall); 4-4 (upset picks)

No. 2 Texas Tech at No. 5 Oklahoma; 8 p.m.; ABC
The Skinny: There are so many questions that could play out after this game finds a winner. If Tech wins, does it move to No. 1 in the nation over an idle Alabama? If Oklahoma wins, does it jump No. 4 Texas, or does Texas get the nod to play for the Big 12 title? There are so many questions, but one answer I can give you today is this – Texas Tech will win this game. QB Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree will connect for the winning TD late. The Pick: Texas Tech (+7) wins it 35-31.

No. 17 Michigan State at No. 7 Penn State; 3:30 p.m.; ABC
The Skinny: How big would this game have been if Penn State didn’t lose to Iowa a few weeks ago? If the Nittany Lions won that game, this home contest against Michigan State would have been for a spot in the national championship. But Penn State lost, so it will have to settle for a Rose Bowl berth with a win over Michigan State today. It also could be Joe Paterno’s last regular season game in Happy Valley, although I doubt it. The Pick: Penn State (-15.5) wins it 27-17.

Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State; 12 p.m.; ABC
The Skinny: Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez told Wolverine fans this week to “get a life.” Not good, especially when they’re the reason he’s making millions of dollars a year to coach a football team. And especially this year, as Michigan has become a joke. Ohio State can win the Big 10 title with a win today and a Penn State loss. Either way, the Buckeyes will probably get another BCS bid. Today, look for Michigan to keep it relatively close. The Pick: Ohio State (-20) wins it 22-10.

Air Force at No. 15 TCU; 3:30 p.m.; VERSUS
The Skinny: After breaking down the top three games of the day – all on ABC – I thought it was fitting to talk about what could be the demise of college football. This week, the BCS announced that ESPN will now start broadcasting all of the top bowl games from January 2011 through 2014. And while college big wigs and ESPN people say that watching a game on cable is the same now as broadcast television, it’s not. And to say that is simply pathetic. The Pick: TCU (-20) wins it 38-21.

Ole Miss at No. 18 LSU; 3:30 p.m.; CBS
The Skinny: Just look at the NBA. The league was as big as it ever was when almost every playoff game was broadcast on NBC. But the NBA made a deal with ABC and ESPN that put almost every playoff game, except the NBA Finals, on ESPN. Well, I don’t have to tell you that the NBA over the past several years has gone in the tank. Its popularity is nowhere near what it was several years ago and, simply, very few people care about the league anymore. The Pick: LSU (-3.5) wins it 28-21.

No. 20 Pittsburgh at No. 19 Cincinnati; 7 p.m.; ESPN2
The Skinny: And I fully believe it has everything to do with being on cable. No casual fan is going to stumble upon a bowl game on ESPN, but they absolutely would if the game was on ABC. Plus, you’re blacking out those without cable. People will still watch college football during the season, but bowl games will be considered an afterthought and a ratings disaster. The Pick: Cincinnati (-6) wins it 33-30.

Florida State at No. 22 Maryland; 7:45 p.m.; ESPN
The Pick: Maryland (+1) wins it 24-21.
Brad’s brother, Craig Carroll, is back to defend his championship from a year ago. He finished with a 4-3 record last week, and is 39-43-2 for the season. Here are his picks for the week: Texas Tech, MSU, OSU, Air Force, LSU, Pittsburgh, FSU.

(AP photo, top, Texas Tech’s Darcel McBath and Brandon Sharpe celebrate Sharpe’s break-up of a pass from Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson two weeks ago.)

COLLEGE GAMEDAY REWIND: KIFFIN'S ON THE PHONE AGAIN

Syracuse fired football coach Greg Robinson (AP photo, right) today effective at the end of the season and the only question I have is how long did it take for Lane Kiffin to make a call campaigning for the job? My guess is about five seconds after he heard the news he was on the horn. But that’s life when you’re out of a job, which I might know very well, very soon. Speaking of The Bristol Press (that is the paper I’m sports editor of right now, for those of you readers that just come by for the GameDay experience … thank you, by the way), I’ve heard just under 10,000 rumors of potential buyers and interested parties. If it’s true and the paper is sold, then great. But things at the paper have to change. The way the paper is run has to change. The attitude at the paper has to change. Otherwise, it’s just a wasted investment that will suffer the same fate as it did last week. Of course, the bigger news is that the Jets are in first-place after their thrilling victory over the Patriots Thursday night. I’m still relishing in that win … and for the chance to be the first team to knock off the undefeated Tennessee Titans. And, my fantasy teams right now could all get a victory, but I’ll withhold any real talk of that as to not jinx myself. By the way, I'm watching Entourage right now and all I have to say is that Vincent Chase CAN NOT act. It's that simple - he's horrible. Let's hope the episode is good because it's been bad for the past couple weeks.

Now, on to College GameDay Rewind:

My Saturday: 3-4 (spread); 5-2 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
My Season: 44-38-2 (spread); 63-21 (overall); 4-4 (upset picks)
My Money: UP $220 (season)
Craig's Saturday: 4-3 (spread)
Craig's Season: 39-43-2 (spread)
Craig's Money: DOWN $830 (season)

No.1o Ohio State -9.5 at Illinois
My Pick: Ohio State 33, Illinois 21
Actual Score: Ohio State 30, Illinois 20
Ohio State is getting on my good side in a hurry, as the Buckeyes have covered two straight games for me. The big question next week is whether I continue the trend of going with OSU or skip out and go with my Wolverines. Tune in Friday to GameDay to find out. Anyway, Ohio State gets the half-point, but comfortable, cover and we start out 1-0. Craig is 1-0 as well.

Notre Dame -4 at Navy
My Pick: Notre Dame 28, Navy 21
Actual Score: Notre Dame 27, Navy 21
Two games and I’ve been pretty much dead-on in my score predictions. That’s always a good sign. Notre Dame did everything it could to lose this game for me, however, as it allowed Navy to recover two onside kicks and come very, very close to pulling off the upset. But, alas, the Notre Dame defense held on in the last drive to take the win and the cover. Yes, shockingly, the Irish come through. We’re both off to 2-0 starts after the noon games.

No. 17 North Carolina -3 at Maryland
My Pick: North Carolina 27, Maryland 23
Actual Score: Maryland 17, North Carolina 15
Only three points were scored in the second half – a field goal by Maryland in the fourth quarter. North Carolina led 12-7 at the end of the first quarter, but that was pretty much it. Craig was celebrating because the Tar Heels’ loss gives his Miami Hurricanes a better shot at playing in the ACC title game. For me, I’m just happy UNC started the basketball season with a win. Craig is 3-0 with the win, while I fall to 2-1.

No. 24 South Carolina +22.5 at No. 3 Florida
My Pick: Florida 31, South Carolina 17
Actual Score: Florida 56, South Carolina 6
Not much to say here. I didn’t think the game would be close, but I figured Steve Spurrier would at least have his team ready to play. He didn’t and South Carolina got embarrassed. How was this team ranked 23rd in the nation? I’m 2-2 now, but Craig is making a move for perfection, improving to 4-0.

No. 6 Southern Cal -24 at Stanford
My Pick: Southern Cal 63, Stanford 20
Actual Score: Southern Cal 45, Stanford 23
Leave it to Southern Cal to stop scoring 60 points a game when I pick them to cover. It was actually just a seven-point game entering the fourth quarter, but USC scored 21 in the fourth to take the win but fall just short of the spread. Stanford scored six in the period. I fall to 2-3, while Craig drops his first game of the day, 4-1.

Mississippi State +22 at No. 1 Alabama
My Pick: Alabama 45, Mississippi State 14
Actual Score: Alabama 32, Mississippi State 7
On a day where things were looking bleak, it was actually Alabama that came to the rescue for GameDay. I put my trust in the Tide, which I’ve been blasting for the entire season, for the first time and they came through. I move to 3-3 on the day, while Craig falls again and sees his record move to 4-2.

Boston College +6.5 at No. 20 Florida State
My Pick: Florida State 28, Boston College 20
Actual Score: Boston College 27, Florida State 17
I don’t even know why I went with Florida State. I thought they would win, but, man, it’s Florida State. The Seminoles haven’t been good in forever and haven’t won a big game in forever. So, we both lose this one. I end the day at 3-4 (horrible) and Craig pulls in another winning week, going 4-3. The good news is that next week has a slate of good college games, so we won’t be stretching to pick the weak matchups of this week (as in a typical week, BC-FSU, USC-Stanford and UNC-Maryland probably would have never had gotten on the board … we went 0-3 on those.)

BRISTOL'S HERNANDEZ SCORES A TD IN GATORS ROUT OF SOUTH CAROLINA

Bristol's Aaron Hernandez caught two passes for 26 yards including this touchdown above in Florida's 56-6 victory over South Carolina Saturday afternoon at The Swamp. I believe its his third touchdown of the season. Florida is ranked third in the country and will play in the SEC Championship later this season against No. 1 Alabama. On a side note, the St. Paul football game was postponed until Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in Bristol. (AP photo, top).

MY COLLEGE GAMEDAY PICKS COLUMN FOR TOMORROW ... RIGHT NOW!

Sports Editor Brad Carroll takes a look at the top college football games of the day
LAST WEEK
: 3-4 (spread); 5-2 (overall); 0-1 (upset picks)
THIS SEASON: 41-34-2 (spread); 58-19 (overall); 4-4 (upset picks)

Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama; 7:45 p.m.; ESPN
The Skinny: Alabama has gotten by the hard part of its schedule – including last week’s overtime win at LSU – but can’t suffer a letdown in its final two games against inferior opponents. The Tide will play in the SEC Championship game, where if they win, they will play for a national title. But first things first. Mississippi State is 3-6 this year, but it did beat Alabama 17-12 last year. That alone will be enough to push the Tide. The Pick: Alabama (-22) wins it 45-14.

No. 24 South Carolina at No. 3 Florida; 3:30 p.m.; CBS
The Skinny: I guess we can still make a big deal out of South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier returning to The Swamp to play a Gators team he led to a national title way back when. But this is more about Florida’s chances of playing in the BCS title game. Florida will play Alabama in the SEC Championship, and if it arrives undefeated (The Citadel and Florida State remain on the schedule), it could be a matchup to determine the second slot in the title game. The Pick: Florida (-22.5) wins it 31-17.

No. 6 Southern Cal at Stanford; 7 p.m.; VS
The Skinny: Last year, Southern Cal was a 41-point favorite at home against Stanford and the easy pick to win the national title. About three hours after kickoff, Stanford had a 24-23 shocking victory and USC was done. This year, the spread isn’t as high, and the chances of USC playing for a title are slim, but that doesn’t mean another upset is doable. USC has been routing opponents since losing to Oregon State and that will continue. The Pick: Southern Cal (-24) wins it 63-20.

No.1o Ohio State at Illinois; 12 p.m.; ESPN
The Skinny: Even though the entire country (outside of Ohio) is sick of seeing the Buckeyes play, OSU just might get another invite to a BCS bowl. If OSU can beat Illinois and Michigan, it will finish with a share of the Big 10 title and should finish in the Top 12 in the BCS Standings, meaning it would get a bid. Today’s matchup features two of the most athletic quarterbacks in the nation with OSU’s Terrelle Pryor and Illinois’ Juice Williams. The Pick: Ohio State (-9.5) wins it 33-21.

No. 17 North Carolina at Maryland; 3:30 p.m.; ABC
The Skinny: North Carolina is having one of the best seasons in its history, and that’s a good thing because we get to see more of the powder-blue uniforms on television. The Tar Heels still have a shot at playing in the ACC title game as well, but there is as glutton of teams with two losses already, making each game a must-win. Maryland also has two losses, but it won’t be able to stop the UNC ride this season. On a side, Go Heels Basketball! The Pick: North Carolina (-3) wins it 27-23.

Boston College at No. 20 Florida State; 8 p.m.; ABC
The Skinny: Florida State has run the ball at will this season, averaging more than 205 yards, but that might be a problem tonight against Boston College. The Eagles, coming off a win over Notre Dame, allow just a hundred per game on the ground. When the two stats collide, look for the Seminoles to win in the trenches. FSU won last year, 27-17, at BC. The Pick: Florida State (-6.5) wins it 28-20.

Notre Dame at Navy; 12 p.m.; CBS
The Pick: Notre Dame (-4) wins it 28-21.
Brad’s brother, Craig Carroll, is back to defend his championship from a year ago. He finished with a 3-4 record last week, and is 35-40-2 for the season. Here are his picks for the week: Mississippi State, Florida, USC, OSU, Maryland, FSU, Notre Dame.

(AP photo, top, Brett Favre celebrates against the Patriots Thursday night.)

THIS IS WHAT FIRST-PLACE LOOKS AND FEELS LIKE!

AP photo, Jets kicker Jay Feely (3) is mobbed by teammates as Brad Smith (16) celebrates and Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, right, walks off the field after Feely's field goal in overtime won the game 34-31 for the Jets in Foxborough, Mass. Thursday night.

COLLEGE GAMEDAY REWIND ... PLUS, WE'RE CLOSING?!?!?!?!?!

I’ve been away for a few days … did I miss anything? I know, I know. We’ll talk about that soon. But I’m finally (sorry) updating the blog while on my mini-vacation on Long Island readying for the huge Jets-Patriots matchup tonight on the NFL Network (which, of course, I don’t get in Connecticut … therefore I’m off for a few days.) To all those who have called, e-mailed and texted, I’m completely cool with everything that is going on. I have mixed feelings for sure about a possible close, and that has a lot to do some comments I’ve read on staff writer Steve Collins’ Bristol Blog and another guy who keeps calling the paper saying that karma has caught up to us and then laughs into the phone. We’re going to be putting the recordings of those calls (oh, yeah, there has been at least one a day since the announcement that I know of … not all to me) up soon on the website so everyone can hear it and point out exactly who it is. (It’s a small town, after all). I’m sort of laughing at this because all those haters out there will be getting exactly what they want, and part of me wants them to see exactly what that is. Of course, the haters number just a handful. The true readers and fans are numerous and outnumber those others by a huge number. I’m sorry for those people that will never get to read about their son or daughter in a newspaper ever again, save for maybe (maybe!) a championship game. They will never be Athlete of the Week or Athlete of the Year. They will never be part of Bob Montgomery’s Insider column. No more Battle for the Bell coverage. They will play sports in a vacuum where only parents and a few close friends will know about it. It would be a sad thing.

Now, on to College GameDay Rewind:

My Saturday: 3-4 (spread); 5-2 (overall); 0-1 (upset picks)
My Season: 41-34-2 (spread); 58-19 (overall); 4-4 (upset picks)
My Money: UP $360 (season)
Craig's Saturday: 3-4 (spread)
Craig's Season: 35-40-2 (spread)
Craig's Money: DOWN $900 (season)

No. 12 Ohio State -11 at Northwestern
My Pick: Ohio State 28, Northwestern 14
Actual Score: Ohio State 45, Northwestern 10
The day started out great for both of us on Saturday afternoon as Ohio State rolled to an easy win at Northwestern. It was probably the first easy win of the season for the Buckeyes, who may have played their way into a BCS bowl game with the victory. Michigan, by the way, beat Minnesota 29-6 for the Little Brown Jug at the same time. The Michigan game was on ESPN, while the Ohio State game was on ESPN2. Why does that matter? Just thought it was interesting to see how others judge the pull (or lack thereof) of OSU.

No. 6 Oklahoma -27.5 at Texas A&M
My Pick: Oklahoma 56, Texas A&M 21
Actual Score: Oklahoma 66, Texas A&M 21
Is there a better offense in the nation than Oklahoma? If there is, I’d love to see them, because what the Sooners have done this season is truly remarkable. Oklahoma put up 66 points on the road to easily cover the huge spread and make a winner out of GameDay. Craig went with the points and A&M to drop to 1-1 early. It’s too bad Oklahoma is idle this coming weekend because it would be an easy pick and win.

No. 1 Alabama -3.5 at No. 15 LSU
My Pick: LSU 28, Alabama 27
Actual Score: Alabama 27, LSU 21 (OT)
This one really, really hurt because if the Tigers don’t block the field goal at the end of regulation, Alabama wins and LSU covers the spread. Now, that doesn’t mean I was hoping for the kick to be true, because I cheered when LSU knocked it down. But then the Tigers throw a pick and Alabama busts into the end zone a short time later to take a six-point victory in overtime. It was a case of rooting for the upset pick rather than the spread win. That’s bad mojo, and it bit me. I’m 2-1 on the day, while Craig is 1-2.

Clemson +4 at No. 24 Florida State
My Pick: Florida State 23, Clemson 20
Actual Score: Florida 41, Clemson 27
It was 20-17 Florida State at the half, but Clemson could get no closer. FSU kept the pressure on, even after Clemson cut the lead to seven with two minutes to go. The Seminoles punched in a score just 11 seconds after that. Two straight losses headed to the night games for GameDay. Craig wins with FSU to even us up at 2-2 each.

Cincinnati +6.5 at No. 20 West Virginia
My Pick: West Virginia 34, Cincinnati 14
Actual Score: Cincinnati 26, West Virginia 23 (OT)
West Virginia made a big comeback to send the game to overtime, but Cincinnati won it with a touchdown in the first extra period. Not much to say, other than this was a pathetic loss for the Mountaineers. And why was I picking a game that was ESPNU? We both lose this one.

No. 5 Florida -24 at Vanderbilt
My Pick: Florida 40, Vanderbilt 20
Actual Score: Florida 42, Vanderbilt 14
Vanderbilt scored a touchdown in the fourth to pull within 28, but that was that. GameDay is 2-4 on the day. Craig went with Vandy as well and he drops to 2-4.

No. 8 Oklahoma State +5.5 at No. 2 Texas Tech
My Pick: Texas Tech 31, Oklahoma State 17
Actual Score: Texas Tech 56, Oklahoma State 20
Texas Tech scored 14 points in each quarter to show the nation that it is indeed for real this season. I said it last week, and I’ll say it again, Texas Tech should be the No. 1 team in the nation. Both Craig and I end on a winning note to pull in with 3-4 records. Not good, especially considering GameDay’s 2-0 start. Still, it’s always good to end with a win.

MY COLLEGE GAMEDAY PICKS COLUMN FOR TOMORROW ... TODAY

Sports Editor Brad Carroll takes a look at the top college football games of the day
LAST WEEK
: 4-3 (spread); 5-2 (overall); 1-0 (upset picks)
THIS SEASON: 38-30-2 (spread); 53-17 (overall); 4-3 (upset picks)

No. 1 Alabama at No. 15 LSU; 3:30 p.m., CBS
The Skinny: Everyone knows the storyline in this one — Nick Saban returns to the LSU campus today for the first time as Alabama head coach in what will be a raucous atmosphere. Saban left LSU after winning the 2003 BCS Championship and went to the Dolphins. That seemingly was ok, but the fact that he came back to college to coach the hated Tide, makes for a whole lot of hatred from Tiger fans. I’m going with LSU and the out-for-blood crowd. The Pick: LSU (+3.5) wins it 28-27.

No. 8 Oklahoma State at No. 2 Texas Tech; 8 p.m.; ABC
The Skinny: If you read ollege GameDay Rewind on my blog this week, you know how I feel about Texas Tech and their huge victory over No. 1 Texas last Saturday (something that I predicted right here). So, I’ll just move right into this next huge matchup for the Red Raiders. Quarterback Graham Harrell has jumped to the top of the Heisman race, and with the chemistry he has with Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech will not be stopped tonight. The Pick: Texas Tech (-3.5) wins it 31-17.

No. 4 Florida at Vanderbilt; 8 p.m.; ESPN2
The Skinny: Florida took care of business last week against Georgia and will look to avoid a letdown on the road against Vanderbilt. The fact that the Gators can clinch the SEC Eastern division, however, makes me believe that they’ll be ready to go tonight. Florida has won 18 straight games against Vandy, but the Commodores aren’t as bad as they were in many of those years. The last three games in Nashville were decided by an average of 9 points. The Pick: Florida (-24) wins it 40-20.

No. 6 Oklahoma at Texas A&M; 3:30 p.m.; ABC
The Skinny: This won’t be much of a contest as Oklahoma is coming off a 62-28 victory over Nebraska and is still hoping to work its way into the national championship picture, while Texas A&M is 4-5 on the season and is playing for a bowl berth. Oklahoma has won the last five meetings between the two, including two in a row at Kyle Field. Texas A&M has already lost to Texas Tech and Oklahoma State this season. The Aggies go down again. The Pick: Oklahoma (-27.5) wins it 56-21.

No. 12 Ohio State at Northwestern; 12 p.m.; ESPN
The Skinny: Ohio State could have worked itself back into the conversation (it wouldn’t be a long one, mind you) if it had held on to beat Penn State two weeks ago. The Buckeyes had the ball and the lead, but a fumble gave the Nittany Lions life and they ended up winning the game and eliminating Ohio State — finally — from playing in a big bowl game again. Northwestern defeated No. 20 Minnesota last week and is riding high, but ... The Pick: Ohio State (-11) wins it 28-14.

Cincinnati at No. 20 West Virginia; 7 p.m.; ESPNU
The Skinny: After a sluggish first half against UConn last week, West Virginia turned things on in the second half and blew out the Huskies, giving us the win and the Mountaineers a spot in the Top 20. Both teams here are 6-2, but there are two big differences. One, West Virginia has quarterback Pat White. And two, Cincinnati lost to UConn, 40-16, this season. The Pick: West Virginia (-6.5) wins it 34-14.

Clemson at No. 24 Florida State; 3:30 p.m.; ABC
The Pick: Florida State (-4) wins it 23-20.
Brad’s brother, Craig Carroll, is back to defend his championship from a year ago. He finished with a 4-3 record last week, and is 32-36-2 for the season. Here are his picks for the week: LSU, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, OSU, West Virginia, FSU.

AFTERNOON GAMEDAY: KEYSHAWN JOHNSON GETS OWN REALITY SHOW

There are a million different memories that I have of former Jets wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, and that first training camp I got him to sign the cover of Newsday that he was featured on after the draft. I still have it framed in my apartment.
He went on to play three tumultuous seasons with the Jets. He was great on the field, but a jerk off it. He feuded with Wayne Chrebet, which was a huge mistake because every Jet fan took Wayne’s side. He had one of the greatest playoff performances of all time against the Jaguars in the 1999 AFC Divisional Playoffs, catching 9 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, rushing for 28 yards and a touchdown, recovering a fumble and intercepting a Hail Mary pass to end the game. I’ll never forget that game.
He was then traded to the Buccaneers and was easily made the enemy as it was Keyshawn vs. Wayne when the two teams played that same year. In another game I’ll never forget, the Jets pulled off an unbelievable comeback (the prelude to the Monday Night Miracle) and beat Tampa on a touchdown by (who else?) Wayne Chrebet. Keyshawn said comparing himself to Wayne was like “comparing a flashlight to a star.” Curtis Martin threw the 18-yard TD to Wayne with 52 seconds left to give the Jets a 21-17 victory. That was sweet.
So, why am I reminiscing about Keyshawn today?
Well, it turns out that he will be getting his own reality television show. But what he’ll be doing is pretty surprising. You see, Keyshawn is going to try his hand at interior design – that’s right, interior design.
A&E will follow Keyshawn as he tries to become an interior designer. I’m not joking. The show will run Saturday nights and will be called “Keyshawn Johnson: Tackling Design.” There will be 10 half-hour episodes premiering next year on the cable station.
So, Just Give Him The Damn Decorations!

VOTE AND COMMENT NOW
Time is running out to vote on who will win the local football games this week. There was a great response last week, so let’s keep it up. All three teams play on Friday, so if you want to be counted in the preview stories for Friday morning, make sure you vote by Thursday night. The polls will stay open until game time. As always, comment here if you have something to say about the games. Hey, it’s a lot easier voting here than it was yesterday!

SOME QUICK FANTASY NOTES
I swept all three of my pay fantasy leagues this past week, moving to 6-3 in all of them. I’m tied for first place in all three as well, owning the tiebreakers in Yahoo and ESPN, but not in CBS. I do hold the wild card spot right now in that big-time league, however. The big news is that in my ESPN league, I just completed a trade with Johnny Burnham’s team. I sent Brett Favre (who up until last week was my starting quarterback) and Torry Holt for Randy Moss. It’s a good deal for both us as he was stuck without a quarterback when Kyle Orton went down. For me, it finally fills my second WR spot and I believe I’ve created one of the best teams in any league with any format. Here is my starting lineup (not counting bye weeks).
QB: Kurt Warner
RB: Clinton Portis
RB: Marshawn Lynch
FLEX: Steve Slaton
WR: Anquan Boldin
WR: Randy Moss
TE: Jason Witten
K: Nate Kaeding
DEF: Vikings / Chargers
I think it would be hard to come up with a better group than that.

Just for kicks, here is my starting CBS team:
QB: Donovan McNabb
RB: LaDainian Tomlinson
RB: Matt Forte
FLEX: Jamal Lewis
WR: Anquan Boldin
WR: Marques Colston
TE: Greg Olsen
K: Matt Prater / Nick Folk
DEF: Jaguars / Chargers
If Tomlinson plays like Tomlinson can, and Colston returns to form, than this team is as solid as they come as well. Tight end is an obvious weakness.

Here is my starting Yahoo team:
QB: Drew Brees
RB: Brian Westbrook
RB: Maurice Jones-Drew
FLEX: Lee Evans
WR: Anquan Boldin
WR: Calvin Johnson
TE: Tony Gonzalez
K: Neil Rackers
DEF: Carolina
D: Julian Peterson
DB: Antonio Cromartie
DL: Shaun Phillips
Really, I couldn’t be happier with all three teams. The key to the Yahoo team is Brian Westbrook. If he plays well, I can’t lose. But when he misses games or has a bad day (which is rare) I lose. Still, you can’t beat those WR’s right now. Remember, vote and comment now!

COLLEGE GAMEDAY REWIND: TEXAS TECH SHOULD BE THE 1; VOTING IS UP

Immediately after Texas Tech upset Texas at home in dramatic fashion, I said the Red Raiders should take over as the No. 1 team in the nation. Texas made a similar jump when the Longhorns beat Oklahoma several weeks ago, and considering Alabama and Penn State were the only ones standing in Tech’s way this time around, there should be no complaining. Craig, who had another winning week, his third in a row, disagreed. He said that the Raiders didn’t deserve to be put ahead of Alabama or Penn State. That could have something to do with the fact he picked Texas to win Saturday night and that he wants Penn State to play in the national championship game for some reason.
But as far as I’m concerned, Texas Tech proved that it is the best team in the nation Saturday night. Not only did they win the game, but they did so with amazing resiliency. After building leads of 19-0 in the first half and 29-13 in the third quarter, Texas Tech watched Texas pull off a stunning comeback. Texas took a 30-29 lead with 1:29 to play, but the Raiders calmly went downfield, led by quarterback Graham Harrell, and played for the touchdown. This wasn’t from the Herm Edwards playbook of how to lose a game in the final minute. Tech went for the touchdown, not the field goal, and I admire that big time.
Tech ended up winning the game on an amazing pass and catch from Harrell to Michael Crabtree (can the Jets please draft him?) with one second left. Texas Tech then survived kicking off from its own 7-yard line to win the game.
On Sunday, however, it was Alabama that took over the top spot in both the AP poll and the BCS standings. Texas Tech did make a jump, all the way to No. 2 in both. Penn State stayed the same at No. 3. I will say this: Penn State should be steaming mad right now. If Alabama moves up one spot, then the Nittany Lions should have as well. It should have been a package deal – if Texas Tech is going to jump, they should jump both Alabama and Penn State, or none at all. But that makes too much sense. Things will work themselves out in the end, as Alabama is not going to survive the season undefeated, but it’s always interesting breaking down these polls that make no sense. Let me know who you think should be No. 1.
(Speaking of polls that make no sense, there is nothing dumber than high school media polls. You’ll see at the end of the year that 8 of the top 10 teams in any poll you can imagine have “NR” as their “last week rank”. That stands for not ranked, as in nobody knows who the best high school teams are until the class champions are determined. It’s the same every year. But, again, it’s something to talk about.)
Also, two quick notes: Phillip Fulmer will resign as Tennessee head coach at the end of the year. That is great news for Vols fans. And, Allen Iverson reportedly has been traded from Denver to Detroit for Chauncey Billips.

Now, on to College GameDay Rewind:

My Saturday: 4-3 (spread); 5-2 (overall); 1-0 (upset picks)
My Season: 38-30-2 (spread); 53-17 (overall); 4-3 (upset picks)
My Money: UP $500 (season)
Craig's Saturday: 4-3 (spread)
Craig's Season: 32-36-2 (spread)
Craig's Money: DOWN $760 (season)

Northwestern +7 at No. 20 Minnesota
My Pick: Minnesota 27, Northwestern 17
Actual Score: Northwestern 24, Minnesota 17
There was a lot of clicking back-and-forth in the early going, as three of our games were noon starts. It was a nice change of pace, considering it seemed like every big game was a late-night start this year. I thought Minnesota was an easy pick, as the Gophers were playing at home against one of the poorer teams in the Big 10 (can’t say the worst anymore, as that title is reserved for Michigan), but Northwestern hung around and made a ton of defensive stops to seemingly send the game to overtime. Minnesota, however, threw an interception in the final seconds and Northwestern returned it for a touchdown to take the win. Like I always say, if I’m going to lose on a favorite, I’d rather they just lose the game outright. It’s just me wanting the team to suffer the same fate that I did in trusting them. Minnesota proved their not ready for primetime – or even noontime. We’re both 0-1.

Wisconsin +4.5 at No. 22 Michigan State
My Pick: Michigan State 28, Wisconsin 21
Actual Score: Michigan State 25, Wisconsin 24
Michigan State pulled off a nice comeback to take a one-point victory on a late field goal. Of course, that does me no good, and I’m 0-2 to start. Craig went with Wisconsin, so he moves to 1-1. Just another frustrating game as Michigan State could never take full control.

West Virginia -4 at Connecticut
My Pick: West Virginia 45, Connecticut 25
Actual Score: West Virginia 35, Connecticut 13
Even though this game ended after the two above, it was the first to be put in the unofficial win column. West Virginia took over in the second half to send Connecticut fans home with a loss. I can’t see any way in the future for Connecticut to beat West Virginia – it’s just not going to happen. UConn fans can fool themselves all they want, but it simply will never happen. Anyway, I’m 1-2 in the early going, while Craig improves to 2-1.

Pittsburgh +4.5 at Notre Dame
My Pick: Notre Dame 30, Pittsburgh 20
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 36, Notre Dame 33 (4 OT)
There are so many reasons why I dislike Notre Dame. It started as a youngster, as I had to watch Notre Dame win game after game (imagine that!) and I always went with the underdog. I’m also a Michigan fan (yes, I know), so there was always a game against the Irish during the year. Later, I worked at NBC and had to write about Notre Dame football every week in the fall. It wasn’t a bad gig; it just didn’t seem right that NBC gambled and decided to broadcast Notre Dame football only and ignore the rest of the country. Believe me, there’s been very few big Notre Dame games in the past several years to get excited about. NBC is still paying for that boneheaded move. Today, it’s the fact that every time I pick the Irish to win, they lose. And every time I pick the Irish to lose, they win. This was just another example in a long list of them this season. Craig was smiling here, however, as he went with Pitt to improve to 3-1. I’ll never say never, but this could very well be the swan song for Notre Dame in GameDay. Sorry, Tiffany.

No. 5 Florida -6 at No. 9 Georgia
My Pick: Florida 38, Georgia 21
Actual Score: Florida 49, Georgia 10
Florida coach Urban Meyer promised some sort of response to Georgia’s wild celebration in last year’s game, so with the game in hand late, he called a couple of timeouts to extend the game. Lame. Still, Florida took advantage of some blown calls (at least that is what Craig kept calling me about during the entire game) to take an easy win. GameDay moves to 2-3 heading into the night games, while Craig falls to 3-2.

Nebraska +22 at Oklahoma
My Pick: Oklahoma 52, Nebraska 24
Actual Score: Oklahoma 62, Nebraska 28
Oklahoma led 35-0 at the end of the first quarter – talk about a statement – and Nebraska didn’t have the offense to make this one a game, even with the 22-piont spread. This was a win from the get-go, as I move to 3-3 and Craig improves to 4-2.

No. 1 Texas -4 at No. 6 Texas Tech
My Pick: Texas Tech 33, Texas 30
Actual Score: Texas Tech 39, Texas 33
This was just a great college football game. The early lead, the great comeback, the unbelievable finish, the crowd storming the field three times, it was all there. Of course, it was even better that we go the victory. We end up tied with Craig, who went with Texas, for the day as both of us finish 4-3. Another profitable day.

(AP photo, top, Texas Tech wide receiver Todd Walker runs onto the field with teammates after Texas Tech beat No. 1 Texas 39-33 in Lubbock, Texas Saturday.)