11/01/2001 12:00AM

Two flawed lines: Washington, Illinois ought to be favored


There are some elimination games in college football this weekend.

Illinois and Purdue try to stay alive in the Big 10 race. Florida State comes off its win over Maryland to take on Clemson in Bowden Bowl II. And, out West, Stanford-Washington and UCLA-Washington State square off in Pac 10 battles of teams with one loss each. The losers will be on the outside looking in.

These games are where the interest is this weekend, and that's where I'm looking for my plays.

Illinois (+3) at Purdue

Both teams have lost only to Michigan this year. Both teams have offenses that rely more on the pass than the run, and defenses that have exceeded expectations. I think the difference will be Illinois QB Kurt Kittner, who has thrown 14 touchdown passes and only five interceptions, and has more experience and more weapons to attack the opposing defense. Illinois should be the team to win by a field goal, so I will take the points.

Play: Illinois for 11 units

Florida State (-7 1/2) at Clemson

Both teams were surprisingly routed by North Carolina this year, but since then Florida State has played much better. The Seminoles were almost able to keep up with Miami and now are coming off back-to-back routs of Virginia and previously unbeaten Maryland to sit atop the ACC as usual. Coach Bobby Bowden isn't going to let anyone, not even his son, knock him back off that perch.

Play: Florida State for 11 units

Stanford at Washington (+1 1/2)

Washington opened as a 1 1/2-point favorite in this game, but Stanford has been bet to favoritism. I think the oddsmakers had it right in the first place. Washington's only loss was to UCLA (which Stanford beat last week), but that was without QB Cody Pickett. He's the X-factor here. In addition, the Huskies refuse to lose close games, winning their last 11 that were decided by seven points or less. Take the home dogs.

Play: Washington for 11 units

UCLA (-3 1/2) at Washington State

If Oregon was able to run for 446 yards against Washington State last week, what will UCLA's DeShaun Foster be able to do? Corey Paus, UCLA's starting QB, is out for this game, but the Bruins will likely keep running the ball. The Cougars have had a great season, especially on offense (they rank first in the Pac-10), but the UCLA defense is also tops in the conference and should be able to get the job done.

Play: UCLA for 11 units

Starting bankroll: 1,000 units.

Bankroll entering last week: 976 units.

Last week: 2-2, net loss of 2 units.

Current bankroll: 974 units.