By United Press International
Miami and Nebraska, the nation's two top college football powerhouses, head into the final weeks of the season, hoping everything will continue coming up roses.
But, the path to the Rose Bowl and the national collegiate championship is covered with thorns. The Hurricanes and the Cornhuskers, like others among football's elite. must concentrate on conference matters first. And, teams such as Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon and Florida still have their hopes up for a share in the big game.
The spotlight Saturday focuses on top-ranked Miami and No. 7 Oregon, two teams on opposite ends of the nation but on similar paths. Both schools are led by Heisman Trophy candidates at quarterback and will go on the road to face conference opponents missing high-powered running backs.
The Hurricanes (7-0), now No. 2 in the Bowl Championship Series standings, travel north to Boston College in a Big East Conference game. The task was made a bit easier when Eagles running back William Green, the nation's leading rusher, was suspended Tuesday for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Miami's offense centers around Ken Dorsey, who became the school's all-time leader in passing touchdowns last week in a 38-0 victory over Temple. Dorsey threw his 49th and 50th career TDs, breaking the mark of 48 he shared with Vinny Testaverde and Steve Walsh.
Joey Harrington will take Oregon (8-1) to the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, Calif., ia for a Pac-10 Conference meeting with No. 16 UCLA (6-2), a game that's rated a toss-up. Harrington tied a school record last week with six touchdown passes as the Ducks routed Arizona State, 42-24.
The Ducks, in a three-way tie with Washington State and Washington atop the Pac-10 standings, will not have to worry about facing Bruins running back DeShaun Foster. Third in the nation in rushing, Foster was declared ineligible by the school and will not play this week.
It is a busy Saturday of college football, with each top 25 team in action. The only other matchup between ranked teams is in the Southeastern Conference, where No. 3 Florida (7-1) will visit No. 15 South Carolina (7-2).
Second-ranked Nebraska (10-0) remained first in the BCS poll this week and will seek its 13th straight win when it hosts Kansas State, the last team to beat theCornhuskers. After slipping to third in the BCS poll this week, No. 4 Oklahoma (8-1) hosts Texas A&M.
No. 6 Tennessee (6-1) hosts always tough Memphis, No. 9 Brigham Young (9-0) visits Wyoming, eighth-ranked Washington (7-1) visits Oregon State, No. 12 Washington State (8-1) travels to Arizona State and 10th-ranked Florida State (6-2), back among the elite, hosts North Carolina State.
Players file downsizing grievance
NEW YORK, Nov. 9 (UPI) --The Players Association has attempted to set up a road block to halt Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's plan for downsizing the major leagues.
Gene Orza, the union's associate general counsel, has confirmed the Players Association filed a grievance immediately after Selig announced on Tuesday that baseball's owners had begun the process of eliminating two teams before next season.
The grievance charges that the owners violated their collective bargaining agreement, which expired at midnight Wednesday, by unilaterally deciding to fold two teams. The union claims the contract, which rolls over until a new deal is negotiated, requires the owners to consult with the players before it can eliminate teams.
Shyam Das, baseball's impartial arbitrator, will hold a hearing which the owners hope to expedite in order to proceed with their plans.
Management lawyers presented an outline of their plans on contraction and player distribution in the form of a dispersal draft Thursday at the Players Association's offices in New York. Baseball's owners voted 28-2 on Tuesday to allow Selig to pursue the elimination of two teams, likely the Montreal Expos and Minnesota Twins.
Mattingly passes on Yankee job
Citing a desire to spend most of his time at home in Indiana with his family, Mattingly said he prefers to remain a part-time hitting instructor in the Yankees' organization, a position he has held for the last two years.
"My base is still home (Indiana) and I couldn't do it (the job of full-time hitting coach) 100 percent at this point," Mattingly said Thursday at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center. "I'd love to keep doing what I'm doing. I feel like I'm good at it."
One of the most popular players in team history and the 1985 American League Most Valuable Player, Mattingly was the first choice to succeed Chris Chambliss, who was fired as hitting coach following the 2000 championship season, but turned the job down.
NBA suspends, fines Raptor
NEW YORK, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- The NBA has suspended Toronto Raptors forward Keon Clark one game without pay for throwing an elbow at the head of Golden State Warriors forward Troy Murphy in Wednesday's game.
Clark was also fined $7,500 and will miss Toronto's game Saturday at Utah.
Clark elbowed Murphy early in the fourth quarter of Toronto's 109-92 victory over the Warriors. The Raptors blocked an NBA-record 24 shots in that game, including three by Clark.
Defending champ derailed
PATTAYA CITY, Thailand, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- No. 7 Patty Schnyder of Switzerland knocked off defending champion and fourth-seeded Anne Kremer of Luxembourg on Friday, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the semifinals of the $110,000 Volvo Women's Open.
Schnyner, a six-time winner on the WTA Tour, moved into her third semifinal of the year. She also reached the Gold Coast semifinals during the opening week of 2001 and the Vienna final in July.
Schnyder will face No. 8 Rossana Neffa-de los Rios in Saturday's semifinals. The Paraguayan rallied past Taipei's Su-Wei Hsieh, a qualifier, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The other semifinal pits Slovakia's Henrieta Nagyova, the second seed, against Belarus' Tatiana Poutchek, who advanced to the first tour semifinal of her career.
Nagyova dismissed South African qualifier Liezel Huber, 6-4, 6-3, as she marched into her second semifinal of 2001 Poutchek upset No. 5 Tatiana Panova of Russia, 6-2, 6-3.
Belgium, Spain win in Fed Cup
MADRID, Spain, Nov. 9 (uPI) -- Top-seeded Belgium and third-seed Spain won Friday, setting up a battle for a spot in the final of the 2001 Fed Cup.
Belgium recorded its second whitewash in three days to overwhelm Australia, 3-0. Spain was forced to overcome the loss of its opening singles match to get past Germany, 2-1.
The winner of Saturday's Pool B tie between Belgium and Spain will advance to Sunday's final at the Institute Ferial Madrid.
Justine Henin of Belgium pulled away for a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Rachel McQuillan of Australia, before Kim Clijsters of Belgium sealed the win with a 6-3, 6-3 success against Alicia Molik of Australia.
Clijsters then joined Els Callens to post an inconsequential 6-4, 6-2 doubles win over the Australian duo of McQuillan and Molik.