11/08/2001 12:00AM

Forget what I said - this week lay points!


Three weeks ago, I advised against laying a ton of points with highly ranked teams because there was a chance they would be looking ahead to key conference games. Sure enough, Oklahoma only won by 16 as a 26-point favorite and Nebraska won by 10 as a 24-point favorite.

Since then, the BCS rankings came out and the top teams now see where they stand in the national title picture. Nebraska beat Oklahoma, Virginia Tech lost (not once, but twice), and now Miami-Fla. has moved up to No. 2 in the BCS.

And last week, the top teams all romped as they tried to maintain their position. Nebraska beat Kansas 51-7 as a 31-point favorite. Oklahoma routed Tulsa 58-0 as a 41-point favorite. Florida crushed Vanderbilt 71-13 as a 34-point favorite, and Texas beat Baylor 49-10 as a 33-point favorite. One point spread loser (but not by much) was Miami-Fla, a 38-0 winner over Temple as a 42-point choice.

I'm usually not one to lay big points in any game, but this week's most likely winners appear to be the top-ranked teams as they continue their quest to stay on top.

Kansas St. at Nebraska (-13 1/2)

Kansas State has had a seesaw season. They were up when winning their first two games (including a 64-0 whitewashing of New Mexico St.), then down after four straight losses, and now up again after back-to-back wins. Last week's win over Iowa St. was KSU's first against a team with a winning record. Nebraska QB Eric Crouch will have a chance to improve his Heisman hopes because the Cornhuskers have their eyes on the prize and will do everything they can - including play starters late even if the outcome is decided - to keep a comfortable lead. Besides, Nebraska's last loss was to KSU last year in Manhattan, Kan., so we have revenge on our side.

Play: Nebraska for 11 units.

Miami-Fla. (-20) at Boston College

Miami continues to blow away everyone in its path, and this game should be no different. This line opened at 18 earlier in the week, but then Boston College RB William Green, the nation's leading rusher, was suspended for violating team rules. I'm surprised oddsmakers thought Green is worth only two points to BC. Green's presence might have slowed down the Hurricanes' pass rush, but now they will be all over the quarterback. Miami isn't taking this game lightly, either, because its last three games at BC were decided by a combined seven points.

Play: Miami-Fla. for 11 units.

Florida (-12) at South Carolina

The Gators were cruising along this year until their shocking loss to Auburn. Nevertheless, they have slowly crept back into the national title picture. With this game and two more against Florida St. and Tennessee before the SEC title game, the Gators are poised to move up in the BCS rankings if the top teams stumble, much like the way Florida St. rebounded from an early-season loss last year to make it to the title game. South Carolina coach Lou Holtz (who I normally don't bet against) is downplaying his team's chances once again, but this time I think he's actually right. Florida is a far superior team, and that earlier loss has the Gators focused.

Play: Florida for 11 units

Starting bankroll: 1,000 units.

Bankroll entering last week: 974 units

Last week: 3-1, for net profit of 19 units.

Current bankroll: 993 units.