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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2005
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MARK EDWARDS

Franchione's team gives up plenty

Even though Alabama and Auburn have ended their regular seasons, college football still has plenty of action left.

Let's take a look at some of the highlight games of the week:

  • Texas (10-0) at Texas A&M (5-5): Alabama and Auburn fans will want to keep a close eye on this one. According to the football rumor mill, A&M coach Dennis Franchione might lose what little job security he has after this one, especially if Texas rolls as expected. Auburn's Tommy Tuberville's name has landed in the mix of possible replacements.

    If any of that's true (which is extremely unlikely), then score two for Alabama fans — they'll get rid of a big nemesis (Tuberville) and see their unloved former coach (Franchione) fall flat on his face.

    More than likely, Franchione will get more time at A&M. After all, he keeps preaching that he's building a "foundation" for success in the future, and the important people there seem to buy that. Apparently you need more than three seasons after taking over a mediocre program to win some stinkin' football games. Perhaps, Franchione should get advice from Mike Shula, who managed to win nine in his third season at Alabama after taking over a mess.

    Franchione's defensive coordinator, Carl Torbush, might want to update his resume, however, after managing a defense that gives up about 30 points game — and more Friday. ... Texas 49-24.

  • Arkansas (4-6) at LSU (9-1): Arkansas has played much better the past two weeks but the Razorbacks won't have enough to knock off LSU, which needs a victory to clinch the Western Division's spot in the SEC Championship Game. Otherwise, Auburn will go. ... LSU 38-20.
  • Nebraska (6-4) at Colorado (7-3): Nebraska made a poor choice in hiring Bill Callahan as its head coach two years ago. The Cornhuskers don't look anywhere close to the elite program they once were. They've fallen flat after a 4-0 start. A Colorado win will land the Buffaloes in the Big 12 Championship Game for the fourth time in five years. ... Colorado 28-14.
  • Tennessee (4-6) at Kentucky (3-7): The Vols already have clinched their first losing record in the Phil Fulmer era ... oh, wait, has the NCAA Committee on Infractions finalized that? We know how the committee loves to order forfeits. After all, even if Tennessee loses today, the Vols always can get the committee to force a couple of opponents to forfeit wins to them and make their "official" record 6-5. ... Tennessee 17-13.
  • Ole Miss (3-7) at Mississippi State (2-8): Talk about hiring mistakes. Ole Miss should've realize that coaching defensive line for a national championship team doesn't make someone a good head coach. Ed Orgeron's best hope Saturday is that Mississippi State is further down than his program is. ... Mississippi State 8-3.
  • Florida State (7-3) at Florida (7-3): The ink has run recently on Shula's signature win. That 31-3 victory over the Gators doesn't look as hot as it once did. However, Florida should restore some luster to it Saturday with a win over its chief rival. A healthy Chris Leak is too good for FSU to stop. ... Florida 28-17.
  • Georgia (8-2) at Georgia Tech (7-3): If Georgia Tech is good enough to beat Auburn and Miami, why isn't it good enough to have a better record than 7-3? It likely will turn to 7-4 after Saturday. ... Georgia 21-14.
  • Notre Dame (8-2) at Stanford (5-5): If college football had a four-team playoff, I'd pick Southern California, Texas, LSU and Notre Dame to play in it. The Irish are awfully good. Stanford has the ability to pull an upset, but it's hard to pick against this Notre Dame team. ... Notre Dame 28-21.
  • UAB (5-5) at East Carolina (4-6): The Blazers should get their sixth win to become bowl eligible. It's the last regular-season game for hard-working tight end Cedric Hampton, an R.A. Hubbard High graduate. ... UAB 26-21.
  • Mark Edwards Mark Edwards
    DAILY Sports Editor

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