two Big Ten titles and winning 10 or more games three times since 2002, Iowa
hasn't played in many high-profile games under coach Kirk Ferentz. This
Saturday the 13th-ranked Hawkeyes (4--0) host No. 1 Ohio State in a prime-time
showdown. "It's going to be a six-ring circus," says Ferentz. Iowa
could pose the biggest challenge to date for the Buckeyes, greater even than
defending national champ Texas, which started a freshman, Colt McCoy, at QB in
its Sept. 9 loss to Ohio State. The Hawkeyes' quarterback is Drew Tate (above),
a third-year starter who leads a balanced attack featuring All-- Big Ten running
back Albert Young. That said, Iowa's offense has yet to get untracked. In last
week's win over Illinois, the Hawkeyes scored 21 of their 24 points during a
four-minute span in the second quarter. However, Ferentz's teams have a
reputation for improving as the season goes on, and Iowa has won its last six
conference home openers. "We're hardly a finished product," says
Ferentz. "We're going to need to get much better in a lot of areas this
On the day he was
hired as Houston's coach in late 2002, Art Briles made one of his first calls
to his former quarterback at Stephenville (Texas) High, Kevin Kolb. Last
Saturday, Kolb, making his 40th consecutive start, finished 21 of 28 for 313
yards and four touchdowns in the Cougars' 34--25 win over Oklahoma State, the
Big 12 school to which Kolb had committed before reuniting with Briles.
Houston's career leader in total offense and passing yards, Kolb (above) has
completed 69.6% of his passes this season for 1,193 yards, with 12 TDs and just
one interception. "He's as hot as anyone in the country," says Briles.
Kolb, considered one of the top five quarterback prospects in next spring's NFL
draft, gets a showcase opportunity this Saturday when Houston, 4--0 for the
first time since 1990, visits Miami. "The scouts think I'm kind of raw,
like a Brett Favre," says Kolb. "Hopefully they can see the
THREE AND OUT
1 For the second
straight year Notre Dame (3--1) could reach a BCS bowl without beating a ranked
opponent. The Irish's lone remaining ranked foe figures to be USC on Nov. 25.
Even if Notre Dame loses that game, a 10--2 record would more than likely be
enough to secure an at large berth.
2 Ole Miss never
should have fired David Cutcliffe. The Rebels, who fell to Wake Forest 27--3
last Saturday, are 4--11 under Ed Orgeron, while Cutcliffe, Tennessee's new
offensive coordinator, has helped the Vols improve from 90th in total offense
last year to 30th.
3 USC coach Pete
Carroll handed over his defensive coordinator duties to Nick Holt last winter,
and the move appears to be paying off. The Trojans (3--0), who were mediocre on
defense last season, have allowed just 9.0 points and 217.3 yards per game
under Holt, the coach at Idaho the past two seasons.