? Washington (5-3, 4-1) at Arizona (6-3, 3-2)
Is it possible that the Wildcats rediscovered their aggressive persona in last week's 33-7 victory at UCLA? Let's put it this way: What isn't possible in the Pac-10 these days? The Huskies are one of the few teams in the conference with a good kicking game, although no team approaches Arizona in special teams ineptitude. Nevertheless, this is the Wildcats' last home game. Senior offensive stars Keith Smith, Trung Canidate and Dennis Northcutt figure to go out in style.
?Notre Dame (5-3) at Tennessee (6-1)
Fighting Irish coach Bob Davie is undefeated against Top 5 teams. (So what if he has faced only one?) Notre Dame is 8-4 against Top 5 teams in the 1990s. (So what if five of those wins came when the Irish also were in the Top 5?) Notre Dame proved during its unbeaten October that it will fight: Three of its four victories that month were the result of fourth-quarter comebacks. But the idea of adding the Volunteers to the list of great Irish upset victims—Oklahoma in 1957, Pittsburgh in '82—is too far-fetched. Guts and want-to are fine, but not against Tennessee's guts, want-to and overwhelming talent.
?Rice (5-4, 4-1) at Fresno State (6-3, 3-1)
The Owls and the Bulldogs have more in common than being atop the WAC. Each has been upset by SMU. The winner will move closer to earning a berth in the Las Vegas Bowl. Rice hasn't been to any bowl since Hall of Famer Jess Neely coached the Owls to the 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl. Rice coach Ken Hatfield should take a big step toward becoming the fifth coach to take four schools to bowls.