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How will Oregon and USC react after their game?

Chris Dufresne plays it forward to this weekend's key matchups.

November 02, 2009|Chris Dufresne

Five things to watch for this week:

1 Rebound week is the hardest thing in college football and Oregon, fresh off a 47-20 rout of USC, will find out fast this week when the Ducks take their 5-0 Pac-10 record into Stanford. The Cardinal, which had an open weekend, plays the kind of ground-control style that can keep the ball away from Oregon's dynamic spread offense.

2 Remember when Oklahoma versus Nebraska, Barry Switzer versus Tom Osborne, used to be compelling and must-watch college football viewing? The rivalry was diminished when the schools became part of the expanded Big 12 and stopped playing each other every year. In case you're interested, they're playing this week.

3 Louisiana State, which was lackluster at home a few weeks ago in a 10-point loss to Florida, gets a chance to rewrite the Southeastern Conference script when the Tigers visit Alabama. The winner seizes control of the SEC West and looks forward to a SEC title-game match against Florida.

4 This could be a tipping-point week for USC, which needs to regroup fast after its embarrassing loss at Oregon or suffer its third conference loss when the Trojans play at Arizona State. The Sun Devils are more dangerous than good, and will be highly motivated after a tough-luck, last-second loss to Cal.

5 Ohio State at Penn State this week, as expected, will decide the Big Ten title and Rose Bowl berth. Oh wait, we forgot about Iowa, which is actually the only unbeaten Big Ten team -- how, we don't know. The Ohio State-Penn State winner could, however, still end up as a BCS at-large pick.

-- Chris Dufresne

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