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Original Issue

Showdown Saturday


Conference championships and plain ol' pride will be on the line this week in what should be an intriguing set of matchups. Here's a look at Saturday's biggest games.

Virginia Tech (9--2) at Miami (8--2) The ACC title comes down to two squads defined by their opportunistic defenses and special teams. The Hurricanes are third in the country in turnover margin (1.4); the Hokies are tied for eighth (1.2). Miami's Devin Hester has returned three punts for touchdowns this fall; Tech defensive tackle Jim Davis has blocked three kicks.

Pittsburgh (7--3) at South Florida (4--6) The Panthers can lock up an automatic BCS berth with a victory over the Bulls. The key for Pitt will be shutting down running back Andre Hall, who has rushed for 1,272 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

Colorado (7--4) vs. Oklahoma (11--0) Few people expect the Buffaloes to win the Big 12 championship game, but Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt might be able to throw a scare into the Sooners if he can stretch the defense with the long pass. Auburn (11--0) vs. Tennessee (9--2) The Vols lost 34--10 to the Tigers earlier this season and have struggled lately, barely getting past woeful Vanderbilt and Kentucky in the past two weeks. But Tennessee's offense is dangerous, even without freshman quarterback Erik Ainge, who's recovering from a separated right shoulder. For the Vols to win this SEC title game, the defensive line will have to find a way to put pressure on Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell, who was sacked only once and completed 16 of 23 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns in the earlier matchup.

Army (2--8) vs. Navy (8--2) Though the Cadets don't have much to show for it, they are much better than a year ago, when they went 0--13. Still, the Midshipmen and their rushing offense--which ranks third nationally--are the clear favorites, especially against an Army run defense that ranks 115th.




Campbell and the Tigers should finish unbeaten.