Oklahoman Modified: September 17, 2008 at 7:48 am •  Published: September 17, 2008
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fense hits the film room. Offense has a picnic."

Trotter: "Watching film of Troy. The Pokes should have revenge on the mind after last season's disappointment." Cohen: "Getting better on defense in preparation for Troy, which can play some serious offense."

Tramel: "Honing in on Zac Robinson’s accuracy. He hasn’t gotten enough work in games to stay sharp. The Cowboys are running so much and so well, they’ve rarely needed to throw."

Helsley: "Watching the tape from last year's debacle at Troy, just so they don't forget how dreadful that performance was. Troy is coming to town. You're better than them. Return the beat down."

5. Teams most likely to meet for the BCS Championship. Tramel: "USC and Oklahoma. The SEC champion is always a contender, too, but I have no idea who will the SEC. I assume one of its five teams ranked in the top 10, but I don’t know for sure."

Carlson: "Southern Cal and Oklahoma have to be the favorites now. The Trojans look mighty good after their beat down of Ohio State, and the Sooners are cruising, too. The big question, though, is whether an SEC team can survive the season without a loss. If one of them can do it -- Georgia or Florida or whomever -- they'll likely leapfrog an undefeated OU."

Rohde: "Southern Cal vs. Oklahoma at the Orange Bowl in Miami, hopefully with a closer result than in 2004."

Helsley: "Southern Cal and... Oklahoma. The Sooners' schedule isn't anything like what the contenders from the SEC must face. Advantage: OU."

Trotter: "Florida and USC."

Wright: "Georgia and Oklahoma"

Cohen: "USC and OU"

6. Who made a better decision last weekend, Mike Gundy pulling Dez Bryant and Co. with the game decided but stats to be had or Gary Pinkel leaving Chase Daniel in with stats to be had but the game decided?

Helsley: "Hmm, not so clear cut. Dez and the boys aren't winning any awards this year, so no point padding their stats. Daniel is in the Heisman hunt and numbers talk. Nevada is also light years better than Mo State. I'll side with Pinkel in a close call."

Rohde: "Gundy on all counts. The best way to preserve a superstar's health is seeing him cheer teammates from the sideline with the game already decided."

Carlson: "What Missouri did to Nevada was almost inexcusable. The Tigers called a fake field goal to go up by five touchdowns. That smacks of poor sportsmanship. The Cowboys managed the game against a bad opponent, throwing the ball only a handful of times and giving the bulk of the load to the tailbacks. No doubt Chase Daniel's Heisman stats went up, but does that make leaving him in the game the right thing to do?"

Tramel: "Mike Gundy. You don’t win Heismans with stats against bad teams. But you can lose football games when your best players have a bum ankle and you haven’t played the backup."

Wright: "Pinkel. If Daniel wins the Heisman, it would be monumental for the Missouri program. Quarterbacks want to play in an offense where they can compete for the Heisman, and Pinkel will be needing another good QB. OSU needs more good receivers, but seeing the star go statless won't draw any extra national attention to the Cowboys."

Trotter: "Pinkel. Chase will need those stats to make a run at the Heisman."

Cohen: " Both decisions make sense, I guess. I can see protecting your important guys once a game's decided. At the same time, I think I would have tried to get Bryant at least a couple catches. Individual awards helps teams, too."

7. Most important game this weekend.
Tramel: "Let’s go Utah at Air Force. I know, sounds silly. But this is shaping up as a big year for the mid-majors. You’ve got BYU and Utah in the Mountain West, East Carolina and Tulsa in Conference USA, Boise State. Most people will say LSU-Auburn, but that’s only big for LSU and Auburn. Somebody’s got to win, and whoever wins has a league up in the SEC West. Doesn’t matter which team wins."

Carlson: "Georgia at Arizona State is a biggie. There are a couple other SEC games that will be good -- Florida at Tennessee and LSU at Auburn -- but the Bulldogs could stand a good showing against a solid Sun Devil squad. Georgia hasn't been the dominant force that preseason prognosticators thought it would be. Beat up on Arizona State, though, and the Bulldogs will take a big step forward."

Wright: "LSU at Auburn. Lose this early in the SEC and it's doubtful you'll make it through with just one loss."

Trotter: "Wake Forest at Florida State. The winner holds the key to ACC supremacy."

Cohen: "LSU at Auburn"

Rohde: "Florida vs. Tennessee. A big-time conference showdown. A loss to the so-so Volunteers could eliminate the Gators from national title consideration."

Helsley: "LSU at Auburn. One takes a back seat (for now) in the SEC and the national title picture."



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