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ELECTION NOT THE ONLY BATTLE IN MICHIGAN

Bragging rights are at best the second-most important thing on the line for No. 12 Michigan when it plays rival Michigan State today (3:30, Ch. 7).

More importantly, the Wolverines (7-1, 5-0) want to stay with Wisconsin atop the Big Ten and keep alive their hopes for reaching the Bowl Championship Series.

"We have three games left, and all of them are for the Big Ten championship," Michigan defensive tackle Gabe Watson said.

The Spartans (4-3, 3-1) want to do more than just spoil Michigan's season. They want to salvage their own after losing two of their first three games.

If they can win at Michigan Stadium for the first time since 1990, they would take a surprising step toward qualifying for a bowl bid. Coach John L. Smith, in his second season at Michigan State, said it would also do something else: "It would mean we are starting to make it a rivalry."

The Wolverines have beaten the Spartans by an average of more than three touchdowns the last six times they played in Ann Arbor, including a 49-3 rout two years ago that led to the firing of Spartans coach Bobby Williams.

Overall, Michigan leads the series 62-28-5.

Both teams are led by young, exciting quarterbacks.

Michigan freshman Chad Henne has completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,728 yards with 13 TDs -- at least one in each game -- and 10 interceptions.

Michigan State's Drew Stanton, a sophomore, ranks fifth in the Big Ten in rushing and fourth in passing efficiency. The Spartans are 3-1 with him as a starter, averaging a Big Ten-best 33.8 points in conference games.

The Spartans grabbed Michigan's attention two weeks ago when Stanton set a school record with 410 yards of total offense in a 51-16 win over Minnesota. In that game, former Buffalo News Player of the Year Jehuu Caulcrick (Clymer) rushed for 93 yards and scored two touchdowns for Michigan State.

In other televised games today, Penn State at Ohio State (noon, Ch. 7); No. 17 Purdue at Northwestern (noon, ESPN); North Carolina State at Clemson (noon, ESPN2); Princeton at Cornell (noon, YES); Richmond at Hofstra (noon, Empire); No. 15 West Virginia at Rutgers (noon, MSG); No. 10 Georgia vs. Florida in Jacksonville, Fla. (3:30 p.m., Ch. 4); Army at East Carolina (3:30 p.m., MSG); No. 4 Miami at North Carolina (7 p.m., ESPN2); No. 3 Auburn at Mississippi (7:45 p.m., ESPN); and co-No. 20 Arizona State at No. 7 California (10 p.m., TBS).
Oklahoma State gets another chance to spoil Oklahoma's season, although doing so may be tougher than ever.

The No. 2 Sooners (7-0, 4-0) are more balanced than any other Oklahoma team coached by Bob Stoops. Quarterback Jason White is playing like a Heisman Trophy winner again, and Adrian Peterson is the school's best running back in decades.

The co-No. 20 Cowboys (6-1, 3-1) have won two of the last three against their archrivals heading into today's game. Another win by Oklahoma State would again throw the Big 12 and national title races for a loop -- and give Cowboys fans a reason to gloat.

"The bragging rights thing is really for the fans," White said. "I think for the teams, the goal is winning the Big 12 conference."

In other games involving teams ranked in the Associated Press' Top 25 poll, No. 1 USC at Washington State; No. 5 Florida State at Maryland; No. 8 Texas at Colorado; No. 9 Utah at San Diego State; No. 11 Tennessee at South Carolina; No. 16 Texas A&M at Baylor; Vanderbilt at No. 19 LSU; No. 23 Iowa at Illinois; and No. 24 Minnesota at Indiana.
Quarterback Jared Zabransky rushed for 123 yards and had four touchdowns to help No. 18 Boise State beat Hawaii, 69-3, to remain undefeated and extend the nation's longest winning streak to 19 games.

The Broncos, 13th in the Bowl Championship Series standings, got eight rushing touchdowns against their Western Athletic Conference rival as the nation's top-ranked scoring offense put up its highest point total of the season.

Boise State (8-0, 5-0) has now won 23 consecutive conference games and 24 straight at home, which is also the longest such streak in the country.

The Broncos were able to prevent Hawaii's Timmy Chang from becoming the most prolific passer in NCAA history. Chang threw for 227 yards to fall 14 short of passing the record of 15,031 yards, set by Brigham Young's Ty Detmer from 1988-91. Chang did set one NCAA record though, throwing four interceptions to increase his career total to 74.

Justin Ayat got Hawaii's only points with a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter. The Warriors fell to 3-4 overall, 2-3 in the WAC with the loss.

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