College Football: Top 25 preview

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2008

Associated Press
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ó Florida’s Derrick Harvey was at the bottom of the pile, trying unsuccessfully to strip the ball out of Knowshon Moreno’s grasp.
When Harvey stood up, he was surrounded by Georgia Bulldogs ó about 70 of them. They were jumping up and down in unison, shouting, taunting and reveling Moreno’s 1-yard touchdown run. The stunned Gators watched in disbelief.
“It was disrespectful,” said Harvey, a defensive end taken in the first round of the NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. “We were surprised.”
And stung.
It also may have been just what this SEC series needed. Some would argue that the game formerly known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” had grown stale, mostly because of Florida’s domination the last two decades.
But last year’s brazen end-zone celebration, the one that catapulted Georgia to a 42-30 victory, gave new life to one of college football’s most storied rivalries. And when the No. 5 Gators (6-1, 4-1) and eighth-ranked Bulldogs (7-1, 4-1) meet for the 65th consecutive year Saturday, no one knows what will happen.
No. 1 Texas at No. 6 Texas TechThe eye patches will be out today night in honor of Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.
And yet, his No. 6 Red Raiders have a chance to turn their eccentric offensive wizard into something more than a conversation piece who has a penchant for pirates and a law degree.
If Graham Harrell and Co. can knock off top-ranked Texas and Heisman Trophy front-runner Colt McCoy, there will be some serious talk about a national championship in this West Texas city that’s probably never hosted a bigger game.
Ark. St. at No. 2 Alabama
Alabama coach Nick Saban has a team off to an 8-0 start for the first time in his career.Nebraska at No. 4 Oklahoma
It’s only the sixth time in the storied series that Nebraska has come in unranked, but the third straight.
Washington at No. 7 USC
Washington, playing under lame-duck coach Tyrone Willingham, is just trying to win a game.
Iowa St. at No. 9 OK St.
Cowboy Kendall Hunter leads the Big 12 in rushing at 124.5 yards per game.No. 16 FSU at Georgia Tech
Florida State, looking for its fifth straight win, is trying to retain at least a share of the Atlantic Division lead.