Reviewing and previewing college football:
Southern Cal. Trojans pounded Notre Dame and elbowed their way into the BCS Championship Game. They must beat UCLA on Saturday to lock up the bid.
West Virginia. The Mountaineers were expected to contend for a national championship this year. But after losing to South Florida last week, West Virginia (9-2) will need lots of help just to win the Big East.
RUMOR CENTRAL, PART I
Will anyone be surprised if Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban departs for the vacant Miami Hurricanes or Alabama job? Georgia's Mark Richt returning to Miami seems unlikely. Keep an eye on the Clemson situation with Tommy Bowden - the Tigers haven't really settled for mediocre have they?
And Georgia Southern fans are none too pleased with the Eagles' 3-8 season in coach Brian VanGorder's first year.
RUMOR CENTRAL, PART II
It's doubtful Georgia will make any assistant coaching changes in the off-season after closing with impressive wins over Auburn and Georgia Tech. If defensive coordinator Willie Martinez does leave, the Bulldogs would be smart to go after Auburn defensive coordinator (and former Georgia player) Will Muschamp.
RANKING THE BIG FOUR
1. Georgia (8-4, 4-4). That sound you hear is backup quarterback Joe Cox burning rubber to get out of Athens, Ga.
2. South Carolina (7-5, 3-5). Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks have now beaten all the big rivals except Georgia. Once they do that, they'll win the SEC East.
3. Georgia Tech (9-3, 7-1). You ever get the feeling the Yellow Jackets are winning this season in spite of Reggie Ball?
4. Clemson (8-4, 5-3). Tigers deflated down the stretch, losing their last three of four.
THE ACC'S BEST AND WORST
1. Wake Forest. Demon Deacons went from beating Duke by one point to finding themselves in the ACC Championship game.
12. Duke. Congratulations are in order for the Blue Devils who finished a perfect 0-12 season.
THE SEC'S BEST AND WORST
1. Florida. Gators will demand a playoff system if they defeat Arkansas in the SEC Championship game and get left out of BCS title contest.
12. Mississippi State. How much longer before coach Sylvester Croom's grace period expires?
Wake Forest vs. Georgia Tech in Jacksonville, Fla, 1 p.m. Saturday. (ABC-Ch. 6)
THIS WEEK'S STORYLINES
Clemson: Tigers await likely bid to Music City or Meineke Car Care bowls.
Georgia: Bulldogs await probable bid to Chick-Fil-A bowl.
Georgia Tech: Yellow Jackets must bounce back with their strong running game and defense to have any shot this week. It's Orange Bowl or bust.
South Carolina: Gamecocks await likely bid to Music City or Liberty bowls.
- Chris Gay
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