University at Buffalo running back Branden Oliver and wideouts Alex Neutz and Fred Lee are all probable for Saturday’s game against Toledo at UB Stadium.
Oliver and Neutz both wore yellow (no contact) vests Wednesday afternoon but looked fine in practice. Oliver was going pretty close to full speed and cutting hard without any problems.
Oliver (knee) and Lee (wrist) have been out since suffering injuries in the Kent State game on Sept. 19. Neutz (chest) missed last week’s game against Pitt after absorbing a hammering hit the previous week against Northern Illinois. Lee had been expected to remain sidelined another 2-3 weeks but received word Tuesday afternoon that he’s cleared to return.
Safety Witney Sherry did not practice and is doubtful. Derek Brim (Canisius) had a big game against Pitt filling in for Sherry.
This is a big week for Oregon’s BCS title hopes.
No, not because the second-ranked Ducks play hapless Colorado. That’ll be a breeze.
The teams directly ahead of Oregon in the BCS standings (Alabama, Florida and Kansas State), and the one right behind (Notre Dame), are all playing ranked foes Saturday.
So the Ducks, fourth in the BCS standings, could get some of the help they need to move up — or they could slip further back in the race to the national championship game.
It’s a bit early to get overly worked up about the BCS pecking order. There are 11 undefeated teams in major college football, and the most there could be at the end of the season is seven. But you can whittle that down to four serious contenders for a spot in the BCS title game in Miami.
Ohio State is ineligible. Ohio University doesn’t play a tough enough schedule. The Big East champion probably won’t be able to climb over the top teams from the Southeastern Conference, Pac-12 and Big 12, and Notre Dame.
Out of the top five teams, Oregon seems to be the most likely to get left out of the national title game if more than two teams finish unbeaten. Excuse Ducks fans if they are a bit skittish. The BCS hasn’t always worked out in their team’s favor (see 2001 and '05).
Here’s an example of the Ducks’ problems: Notre Dame is at Oklahoma. If the Fighting Irish win, there’s a chance they could jump the Ducks in the BCS standings the way Kansas State did last week. If Oklahoma wins, it makes Kansas State’s victory at Oklahoma look even better and could push the Wildcats further ahead of the Ducks.
The Ducks’ problems come down to schedule. Oregon’s opponents so far just haven’t been particularly good, and it’s especially weighing the Ducks down in the computer ratings.
Oregon is second in both polls that are used in the BCS standings, but sixth in the computer rankings.
– News staff and wire reports