Today's games

September 24, 2005|By Los Angeles Times

SELECTED NATIONAL

No. 11 PURDUE (2-0) @MINNESOTA (3-0)

Time -- Noon

TV -- ESPN

Line -- Minnesota by 3 1/2

Purdue update -- The Big Ten's most realistic national title hopes lie with the Boilermakers, who thus far have avoided an upset and didn't schedule a nonconference power.

Minnesota update -- The school might want to consider changing its nickname to the Groundhogs after averaging a nation-best 335 yards rushing in its first three games.

Story line -- A Gopher team that gobbles up huge chunks of yardage on the ground faces a defense stacked against the run.

The pick -- Purdue.

No. 14 MICHIGAN (2-1) @ WISCONSIN (3-0)

Time -- 6 p.m.

TV -- ESPN2

Line -- Michigan by 2 1/2

Michigan update -- Quarterback Chad Henne has a big-play receiver at his disposal in Jason Avant, who is averaging 103 yards and has three touchdowns.

Wisconsin update -- The Badgers feature one of the nation's top tailbacks in Brian Calhoun and one of the nation's stingiest run defenses; opponents are averaging only 39 yards on the ground.

Story line -- Wisconsin Coach Barry Alvarez would like nothing more than to best longtime nemesis Lloyd Carr in Alvarez's final season.

The pick -- Wisconsin.

No. 16 NOTRE DAME (2-1) @ WASHINGTON (1-2)

Time -- 3:30 p.m.

Line -- Notre Dame by 13

Notre Dame update -- Charlie Weis has one victory fewer in his first three games than Fighting Irish coach than Tyrone Willingham did, but Notre Dame still has exceeded early-season expectations. Quarterback Brady Quinn threw a school-record five touchdown passes last week in a 44-41 overtime loss to Michigan State.

Washington update -- Will a 34-6 victory over Idaho be as good as it gets for the Huskies under Willingham? Consider Washington's next five opponents: Notre Dame, UCLA, Oregon, USC and Arizona State.

Story line -- Willingham attempts to beat the team that he guided to a 21-15 record in three seasons.

The pick -- Notre Dame.

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