It’s retro weekend in the state of Florida, where Miami and Florida State are back to playing a game with national buzz, just like in Bobby Bowden’s salad days.
The Hurricanes-Seminoles game is good enough to serve as the first act of an eight-day drama that could focus the national championship race. First, Miami-Florida State, followed next Thursday by Oregon at Stanford and Oklahoma at Baylor, then LSU at Alabama on Nov. 9. The BCS computers might get vertigo.
This week’s Tense 10 — 10 games with something to prove:
1. Miami at Florida State: Now that the NCAA has finally closed the books on Miami — with an investigation that lasted only slightly less time than it took to build the pyramids — the Hurricanes can get back to the important stuff. Such as tormenting Florida State. To do that, they’ll want to break their recent dangerous habit of falling behind, having had to rally from double-digit deficits in three consecutive games. The last time these two met as unbeatens this late in the season was 1991. No matter what happens, they might have to do it all over again in the ACC championship game.
2. Michigan at Michigan State: As if beating Michigan State is not already in the university charter for the Wolverines — a recent four-game losing streak to the Spartans felt like water boarding in Ann Arbor — any realistic hope of Michigan winning the Big Ten Legends division would be battered maize and blue with a defeat. Michigan State has the top-rated defense in the land, while Michigan is averaging 42 points a game.
3. Minnesota at Indiana: It’s Homecoming, and if the 3-4 Hoosiers plan on being away from home during the holidays — at a bowl game, for instance — they badly need this one. It’s the usual Indiana dilemma; will the nation’s No. 8 scoring offense make the headlines, or the nation’s No. 110 scoring defense?