? Notre Dame (9-1) at USC (7-4)
The old combat term million-dollar wound took on a negative—not to mention much inflated—connotation for the Fighting Irish on the final snap of their 39-36 victory last Saturday over LSU. Senior quarterback Jarious Jackson tore a right medial collateral ligament and won't play against USC on Saturday. To be in position to get a Bowl Championship Series bid—and a payout of about $12 million—Notre Dame must win against the Trojans. But it's too much to ask that Jackson's backups, freshman Arnaz Battle and junior Eric Chappell, beat a defense, led by Butkus Award finalist Chris Claiborne, that has forced 31 turnovers. An Irish loss could drop them into the Gator Bowl, where they would play Georgia Tech for $1.4 million.
? Miami (7-2) at Syracuse (7-3)
The Hurricanes want to claim a berth in the Orange Bowl, but while coach Butch Davis has received well-deserved credit for shepherding Miami through 34 games in the NCAA-probation desert, the promised land isn't nigh. Miami has beaten only one team with a winning record. Orangemen quarterback Donovan McNabb will close out his Carrier Dome career with a third straight Big East title.
? Arizona State (5-5) at Arizona (10-1)
The Wildcats must win to have any hope of erasing the stigma of being the only Pac-10 (or Big Ten) team never to play in the Rose Bowl. Twice in the 1980s they knocked the Sun Devils out of said bowl, and their upset victory last season cost Arizona State a share of the title. Payback isn't coming this year.
? Grambling (5-5) at Southern (7-3)
The Tigers and the Jaguars have played 46 times, but only since 1974 has their matchup been known as the Bayou Classic. A Silver Anniversary celebration will honor the Classic's best players ever. Surely Grambling coach and former quarterback Doug Williams will be among them. He won't have much else to celebrate. Southern should win for the sixth straight year.