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Bengals the team to beat in AFC North

| Monday, Nov. 17, 2003

Thinking out loud:

  • The Cincinnati Bengals the team to beat in the AFC North!

    Don't laugh.

    That's the scenario today thanks to the Bengals' 24-19 win over previously unbeaten Kansas City Sunday.

    With a 5-5 record, Cincinnati shares first place with Baltimore and already owns a win over the Ravens.

    Forget about the Pittsburgh Steelers' season-ending game on the last Sunday night in December at Baltimore being for all the marbles in the division.

    If the Steelers lose in San Francisco tonight, Pittsburgh's make-or-break games will be the next two Sundays at Cleveland and then home with Cincinnati.

    The Bengals, coached for the first year by former Steeler assistant Marvin Lewis, could do the unthinkable if they can win on the road.

    Four of Cincinnati's last six games aren't in Paul Brown Stadium.

    Sandwiched around the Bengals' Nov. 30 date in Heinz Field are trips to oft-beaten San Diego Sunday and Baltimore Dec. 7.

    The Bengals' other road game is at St. Louis Dec. 21 between home contests with San Francisco and Cleveland.

  • Anyone else find it hard to believe that West Virginia clobbers Virginia Tech and Pitt and has a hard time cracking the top 25?

    That's the price the Mountaineers have to pay for starting out 1-4 with losses to Wisconsin, Cincinnati and Maryland.

    Turn around the Mountaineers' last-minute 22-20 loss to Miami and WVU has the Big East title in its back pocket and a lot higher ranking.

    Speaking of Miami, isn't it strange to see the twice-beaten Hurricanes missing from the top 10?

  • Pitt's Larry Fitzgerald may be the best receiver in the country, but his chances of winning the Heisman Trophy keep slipping with each Panthers' defeat.

    If Pitt loses to Miami, I don't think Fitzgerald will take home the Heisman.

  • Is there a luckier college football team than Ohio State?

    The Buckeyes have won 12 of their last 13 games by seven or less points.

    If you were out of town Saturday, Ohio State's latest win was 16-13 in overtime when the Boilermakers' Ben Jones missed a 36-yard field goal after the Buckeyes' Mike Nugent converted a 36-yarder which was tipped by a Purdue player.

  • Isn't it nice to see Thomas Jefferson's Bill Cherpak finally make it to Heinz Field Saturday for the WPIAL Class AAA championship game after five straight semifinal defeats?

    The same goes for Upper St. Clair's Jim Render in the Class AAAA finale.

    Some Upper St. Clair parents were trying their darnedest to get Render fired last year.

  • And thanks to Lee Jones of Monessen who says if at first you don't succeed, you have two choices -- try again or read the instructions!

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