Don't let the Tennessee players fool you.
They'll rattle on about how this weekend's trip to Notre Dame is "just another game," but don't buy into that farce.
I think it's safe to say that each and every Volunteer is just as excited about going to South Bend as starry-eyed reporters who have had this date circled on their calendars since freshman year. Not to name any names here.
Granted, if the Irish was in the top 10, or could've even cracked the top 25, this game would have transcended to cult status. Although, don't tell Casey Clausen there's nothing on the line.
Clausen, who attended Irish quarterback camp in 1998 with other signal-callers like Purdue's Brandon Hance, Michigan State's Jeff Smoker, Colorado's Craig Ochs and ND starter Carlyle Holiday, seriously considered Notre Dame during his senior year in high school.
But the Californian didn't fit into the Irish's option-style offensive scheme and he wasn't offered a scholarship.
"This will be a big game for me, let's just put it that way," Clausen said. "This is a big game for me and the team."
No. 10 Stanford at No. 11 Washington, 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional)
Doesn't it seem like these teams have aleady played? A top-15 matchup in the Pac-10 seems like a weekly venture, with just the teams and locations swapping around.
I suppose that's a testament to the conference that no one on the East Coast knows diddley about.
The Cardinal surprised UCLA last week, but I'd say playing at Husky Stadium is a little too much to ask.
Huskies 34, Cardinal 20
No. 6 Michigan at Michigan State, 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional)
Michigan has been on a roll as of late.
The Wolverines are 4-0 in the Big Ten, as if that means jack this year, and have only lost at previously mentioned Husky Stadium back on Sept. 8.
So that's exactly why they'll lose this week in their intrastate rivalry with Michigan State. It's a science I tell you.
Look for T.J. Duckett to bruise the Wolverines tough run defense.
Spartans 31, Wolverines 27
No. 9 UCLA at No. 16 Washington State, 6:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)
Washington State just might be the most overrated team in the country. They're the new Fresno. Yes, the Cougars are the only team to beat Stanford, but their other wins are the results of mere champagne football.
UCLA will get untracked and tailback DeShaun Foster will retake the lead in the Heisman race after Saturday.
Bruins 45, Cougars 18
No. 14 Florida State at Clemson, 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional)
Ah yes, another Bowden Bowl.
Although the hype that surrounds this game is a little tired, the game itself is pretty much a draw on paper. Therefore, Saturday's contest will all come down to coaching.
This year, the better coach will get his.
A chalkboard at the Bowden home will read on Sunday: Bobby II, Tommy I. Score one for the Tommy.
Tigers 34, Seminoles 21
No. 21 Illinois at No. 20 Purdue, noon (ESPN)
I've mathmatically calcluated that it's possible for me to get from my hotel in Peru, Ind., over to West Lafayette in time to catch a half of Illinois- Purdue before I have to wisk away to South Bend for the Vols game against the Irish.
And I would almost want to do that to see just what Purdue has. I took them for dead after former quarterback Drew Brees left his legend behind for the NFL. But alas, here the Boilers are in the Big Ten race.
And they'll get one step closer to Michigan this week as Hance will abuse a weak Illinois pass defense.
Boilermakers 28, Illini 17
No. 9 Tennessee at Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m. (NBC)
If a college football dynasty falls, and no one's there to see it, does Bob Davie make a sound?
Notre Dame, in all its glamour and glory, is in trouble. The school is having trouble recruiting and the Irish just don't think they can win any more. (See losses to Boston College and Texas A&M). In short, Davie is on his way out.
Volunteers 35, Irish 17
Other top-25 argy-bargies: BYU 40, Colorado State 21; Miami 62, Temple 20; Nebraska 48, Kansas 10; Oklahoma 35, Tulsa 0; Florida 43, Vanderbilt 12; Texas 45, Baylor 14; Oregon 31, Arizona State 10; Virginia Tech 36, Pitt 20; Maryland
41, Troy State 28; South Carolina 30, Wofford 14; Texas A&M 20, Texas Tech 10; Colorado 36, Missouri 20.
(Last week: 12-4, Season: 119-28)
Notre Dame trip more than just another game for Vols
Published: Fri Nov 02, 2001 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 03:54 p.m.