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Road to the Sugar Bowl
October 20, 2003
With the landscape cleared of most unbeaten teams, the battle for No. 1 becomes a three-team affair
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October 20, 2003

Road To The Sugar Bowl

With the landscape cleared of most unbeaten teams, the battle for No. 1 becomes a three-team affair

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While the bowl Championship Series rankings won't be released until after this weekend, last Saturday brought the title picture into clearer focus by winnowing the field of BCS conference unbeatens to three. Here's a look at the top eight teams in the AP poll—those with the best shot at a berth in the title game.

LEADING
These three 6-0 teams control their fates: If two of them win out—there's no way all three can, given that Miami and Virginia Tech face each other—they'll play for the national title on Jan. 4 in New Orleans.

OKLAHOMA

With an offense to match their dominant defense, the Sooners are the most complete team in the nation. The Sooners stumbled badly against Texas A&M after beating Texas last year, but this year's well-rounded squad has a good chance of cruising into, and out of, the Big 12 championship game without a loss.

Big games: Saturday vs. Missouri; Dec. 6, Big 12 championship game.

MIAMI

Who needs an offense when your D and special teams have scored eight touchdowns? The Hurricanes will, if only for their Big East showdown with Virginia Tech. QB Brock Berlin has shown he can win, but he must improve his touchdown-to-interception ratio (seven TDs; 10 picks).

Big games: Nov. 1 at Virginia Tech; Nov. 8 vs. Tennessee; Nov. 29 at Pitt.

VIRGINIA TECH

The Hokies are clicking behind hot-handed QB Bryan Randall and Heisman-candidate tailback Kevin Jones, but they've yet to be tested by a tough defense. Miami—the annual Everest for Frank Beamer's boys—has possibly the toughest D this side of Norman.

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