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College Football Notebopok

Associated Press
The college football notebook …
SOUTH BEND, Ind. ó No. 8 Pittsburgh provides beleaguered Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis with just what he needs following a stunning loss to Navy: a shot at the biggest victory of his career.
Beating Pitt (8-1) on Saturday wouldn’t quiet Weis’ harshest critics, but it would do wonders for the team’s psyche.
“If you go beat a top 10 team on the road, it doesn’t take much for everyone to be feeling better after that ends up happening,” Weis said Tuesday.
Especially for the coach himself, who is in need of a victory against a highly ranked opponent. Sure, the Irish beat third-ranked Michigan in his second game as head coach back in 2005. But that Michigan team finished 7-5 and unranked. Since then, Notre Dame has lost seven straight to top 10 teams, matching the longest such streak in school history.
Overall, the Irish are 1-10 under Weis against teams that finished a season in the Top 25.
SPILLER
CLEMSON, S.C. ó Clemson’s C.J. Spiller says his toe hurts all the time, but it’s not going to stop him from playing.
The turf toe has bothered Spiller almost the whole season. The senior says the only thing that can heal it is rest, and that’s not happening with the No. 24 Tigers closing in on a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
So for now, Spiller gets up every day before sunrise, and dunks the toe in a bucket of ice water, then gets it stretched out. He’ll repeat the treatment at least once more.
Spiller, a Heisman Trophy contender, says it is the worst injury he has ever had.
DESPERATE DUKE
DURHAM ó Thaddeus Lewis has put up plenty of big numbers during 31/2 seasons as Duke’s starting quarterback, but he’s still looking for his signature victory.
“I think (the best game) is still out there,” Lewis said. “We have three or four more games to go, so three or four more opportunities to prove myself or to make it your best game, one everybody else will remember.”
He’ll need to come up with one ó and quickly, too ó if he wants to end his career in a bowl game.
Duke (5-4, 3-2 ACC), which faces quite the late-season challenge: No. 7 Georgia Tech this week, No. 12 Miami the next and, finally, against a Wake Forest team that’s chasing its school-record fourth straight bowl trip.
SEC IMAGE
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ó SEC Commissioner Mike Slive says it has been a difficult and painful season.
But he says the league will weather the recent wave of negative attention brought on by some controversial officiating and a few complaining coaches.
Slive said in an interview with The Associated Press that he and coordinator of officials Rogers Redding will meet after the season and assess the causes of officiating mistakes. He also emphasized that he believes SEC officiating is already the best in the country.
Slive says his job is to keep perspective and work for the league’s best interests.

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