Brandon Stokley: To avoid accusations of nepotism, Southwestern Louisiana coach Nelson Stokley tried to steer his son toward another program two years ago. When no other Division I school offered Brandon a scholarship, his dad took him on but refused to start him last season. Nevertheless, Brandon led the team with 75 catches, an NCAA record for freshmen. This fall Brandon is starting at wide receiver and is averaging 125.5 yards receiving per game, third best in the nation.
Damon Jones: With his 4.7 speed in the 40 and with Downy-soft hands, the Southern Illinois tight end will likely be drafted no later than the second round.
Three Things to Watch in the Second Half
Two-Way Players: Nobody will mistake today's two-way players for Chuck Bednarik or even Deion Sanders. However, 23 Division I players have gone both ways in the same game so far this year, an increase of 11 from last fall. While the most famous double threat is Pace, who is used as a defensive lineman in short yardage and goal line situations, cornerbacks have enjoyed the most crossover success. Michigan's Charles Woodson (93 yards rushing), Kansas State's Chris Canty (two catches for 48 yards) and Louisville's Sam Madison (three catches, 143 yards and a touchdown) are among the standouts.
The New Overtime Rule: Evoking thoughts of hockey and soccer shoot-outs, overtime has provided an unmistakable element of entertainment. Case in point: Florida A&M's 59-58 six-OT win over Hampton on Oct. 5, after the game was tied 20-20 at the end of regulation. Although Texas's 30-27 loss to Oklahoma last Saturday was the first OT game involving a Top 25 team, expect to see other games between ranked teams extend beyond the fourth quarter come bowl time.
A Not-So-Happy New Year: Even if Ohio State goes unbeaten, the Buckeyes will probably be ranked No. 2 behind the winner of the Florida-Florida State game on Nov. 30. The Buckeyes then would play in the Rose Bowl, while the Gators-Seminoles winner would go to the Sugar Bowl, designated by the bowl alliance system as this season's national-championship game. That could put Ohio State in the same position in which Penn State found itself after the '94 season, when it had gone 12-0 but didn't win the national title because No. 1 Nebraska beat Miami in the Orange Bowl, while the No. 2 Nittany Lions were relegated to the Rose Bowl by the Big Ten's decision not to participate in the alliance.