Paterno's quest highlights local football slate

I wasn't able to get to the local college football coaches' luncheon this week, so I don't have any anecdotes or great storylines to share about today's games. The biggest story is well-known to all of you anyway: Joe Paterno's quest for his 400th career win as Penn State hosts Northwestern.

Here are the rankings and predictions for today's games.

Local Sagarin rankings

Each team's ranking progression through the season is listed from left to right.

43. Penn State (54-62-66-32-22-22-27-24-10)
51. Temple (57-70-65-56-50-46-60-59-99)
55. Villanova (64-79-95-77-72-69-71-104-64)
62. Delaware (59-56-35-48-66-92-65-106-112)
87. Rutgers (88-82-107-86-67-53-57-39-60)
130. Penn (140-163-199-140-131-131-128-130-135)
142. Lehigh (162-168-197-168-162-168-143-146)
223. Lafayette (229-232-236-207-198-204-220-141-156)
229. Princeton (233-233-234-201-181-208-187-189-187)
238. Bucknell (247-240-244-237-238-235-235-230-213)
241. Delaware State (241-241-241-230-227-221-222-220-204)

Villanova is now the highest-ranked I-AA team in Sagarin. Delaware is second, and William & Mary is third at No. 63. Teams ranked below the Wildcats include Notre Dame, Maryland, Northwestern and Boston College. The first and last of those four ought to make Wildcats fans especially happy.

Sagarin predictions for selected games

I-A rankings are by the BCS standings, I-AA rankings are by The Sports Network. All games are Saturday unless otherwise noted. The current Sagarin home-field advantage factor 3.03 points.

No. 3 Villanova at Rhode Island (1:00 p.m., WPEN 950-AM): Villanova by 17 (72.06 to 51.91 + 3.03)
Temple at Kent State (2:00 p.m., WPHT 1210-AM): Temple by 9 (73.18 to 61.50 + 3.03)
No. 18 Penn at Princeton, (3:00 p.m., Versus/WFIL 560-AM): Penn by 21 (58.04 to 33.71 + 3.03)
Northwestern at Penn State (3:30 p.m., ABC): Penn State by 9 (75.43 + 3.03 to 8.95)

No. 3 TCU at No. 5 Utah (3:30 p.m., CBS College Sports): TCU by 1 (91.57 to 87.42 + 3.03)
No. 6 Alabama at No. 10 LSU (3:30 p.m., CBS): LSU by 1 (86.16 + 3.03 to 87.72)
Washington at No. 1 Oregon (3:30 p.m., ESPN2 SD only): Oregon by 23 (94.54 + 3.03 to 74.11)
No. 18 Arkansas at No. 19 South Carolina (7:00 p.m., ESPN): South Carolina by 2 (82.03 + 3.03 to 82.88)

Oregon is the overall No. 1 ranked team in Sagarin, with TCU second and Stanford third. Missouri is fourth and Nebraska is fifth, even though the Cornhukers beat the Tigers in Lincoln last week. Auburn is No. 6 and Boise State is No. 7.

If TCU beats Utah today, you have to wonder if Boise is going to be able to jump over the Horned Frogs in the BCS standings. It might not happen.

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