Take comfort, all. Justice has been restored to the world of Beacon picks.
And rightfully so.
I apologize for only my tact in seeking out the "cheater" a few weeks ago, but I serve no sorries for trying to uphold the integrity that these here weekly predictions bring.
I mean, being wrong is one thing, but gaining an unfair advantage is another.
Look at Matthew Cate, government editor, and Lane Faulkner, special projects editor. These guys are losing - and badly - but they're getting their heads beat in with integrity. Kudos, guys.
No. 14 Colorado at No. 9 Texas, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
It's the battle of schools with oversized, bovidae animals as mascots. Yee-haw.
Forget Ali-Frazier, this is Ralphie-Bevo.
In the one corner, wearing the red trunks, is Ralphie, Colorado's wild buffalo mascot.
Ol' Ralph has led the football Buffs to five straight wins, including victories in the past two weeks against Texas A&M and Kansas State.
In the opposite corner, wearing the blue trunks, is Bevo, Texas' wild longhorn pal.
Bevo and the 'Horns won their first four before falling to Oklahoma in the Red River game.
Even though Texas quarterback Chris Simms wouldn't win a fight against a doughnut, I'm taking Bevo in 12 rounds.
Longhorns 28, Buffaloes 17
Stanford at No. 5 Oregon, 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional)
Oregon is commonly known as the Beaver State thanks to those lovable, dam-building creatures that inhabit the woodland territory.
Folks in Eugene are probably finding that to be a farce these days.
The Beavers are out in Oregon, the Ducks are in. It's the Quack State.
Oregon has quietly put together six wins in a row even though UCLA is the one getting all the hype out west.
They'll get another one this week over conference upstart Stanford.
Ducks 38, Cardinal 34
Southern Cal at Notre Dame, 1:30 p.m. (NBC)
Some call this a rivalry. I barely call it a game.
Together the teams have four wins combined in 11 total games.
But, and dare I say but, the Trojans' four losses have been by a total of two touchdowns, and all of those losses were to teams that have been ranked at some point this season.
Also, Notre Dame is without its top two running backs, Tony Driver and Julius Jones.
Say it with me, Bob Davie.
Doh.
Trojans 27, Irish 18
Louisiana Tech at No. 20 Auburn, 2 p.m.
Auburn is on top of the world.
Any team that has beaten Florida in the mid or late '90s can identify. (See: Tennessee in '98).
And for that very reason, many have said that the Tigers are very susceptible for a letdown against Louisiana Tech.
And if the Techsters had former studs like quarterback Tim Rattay or receiver Troy Edwards, I might concur.
Not this Saturday.
Tigers 34, Bulldogs 17
North Carolina at No. 13 Clemson, noon (espn2)
This serves as probably the most intriguing matchup of the week.
It's Clemson's Woody Dantlzer, who has just about amassed more yards in the past two weeks than Arkansas and Penn State combined have all year, versus the vaunted Carolina defense.
The ACC's been nutty this year. Just ask Maryland. Just ask Georgia Tech. Just ask Florida State.
Woody better be ready for UNC defensive end Julius "Charlie" Peppers.
Tar Heels 31, Tigers 24
No. 11 Tennessee at Alabama, 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
The University of the South, known affectionately as Sewanee, sent us a fax the other day. They just wanted to let us know that the school, along with Tennessee, were the only two teams to beat Alabama six straight times.
The Vols go for No. 7 on Saturday.
Doesn't look to be a problem, but Tennessee's got a few things to look out for.
1. A tradition-laden environment down in Tuscaloosa.
2. Bama quarterback Tyler Watts and the option offense, since the Vols have not exactly been successful in stopping a well-balanced pitch game. (Note: Nebraska in 1998 and 2000, Kansas State 2001).
3. Elephants.
Volunteers 30, Tide 20
Other top-25 argy-bargies: Washington State 42, Montana State 0; Fresno State 31, Boise State 14; Oklahoma 35, Baylor 6; Nebraska 40, Texas Tech 10; UCLA 45, Cal 21; Maryland 47, Duke 14; Washington 44, Arizona 30; South Carolina 27,
Vanderbilt 17; Georgia 40, Kentucky 17; BYU 43, Air Force 20; Florida State 30, Virginia 14; Northwestern 38, Penn State 10; Georgia Tech 30, N.C. State 20; Toledo 34, Ball State 10.
(Last week: 13-6, Season: 92-19)