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Tennessee at Florida should be interesting

Chris Dufresne's five things to watch this week.

September 14, 2009|Chris Dufresne

Five things to watch this week in college football:

1 Tennessee at Florida: Wonder which team Al Davis is rooting for? The Lane Kiffin era in Knoxville has been more "rocky" than Rocky Top so far, with Tennessee losing at home on Saturday to a UCLA team that finished 4-8 last season. Now the Volunteers enter the viper's swamp of Gainesville against defending national champion Florida. Part of Kiffin's early publicity campaign to get Tennessee in the news was to accuse Gators Coach Urban Meyer of breaking NCAA rules. Kiffin was wrong, of course, and this week's accusations may involve Meyer and running up the score.

2 Florida State at Brigham Young: An important game for the immediate future of both programs. Florida State followed an emotional opening Labor Day loss to Miami by having to rally to beat I-AA Jacksonville State in Tallahassee. After upsetting Oklahoma in its opener, BYU is looking to make another huge statement in its quest for credibility and pursuit of a possible national title bid. BYU avoided the "trap" of Tulane with a crushing, poll-protecting, 54-3 victory in New Orleans.

3 California at Minnesota: "Good morning Cal, this is your Saturday wake-up call." Last year the Golden Bears' season was defined by a sleepy, early-morning loss at Maryland. Cal got too far behind before the coffee kicked in and ending up losing, 35-27. The Bears have another 9 a.m. Pacific game this week, only this time Coach Jeff Tedford is taking the team in Thursday to adjust for the time change. Cal's victory is critical to the Heisman Trophy campaign of tailback Jahvid Best and keeping alive the possibility of a showdown of undefeated teams when USC comes to Berkeley on Oct. 3.

4 Texas Tech at Texas: Longhorn fans will never forget last year's lone loss in Lubbock because it might have cost Texas the national title. After freshman safety Blake Gideon let a game-clinching interception slip out of his hands, Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell hit receiver Michael Crabtree with the game-winning touchdown pass. The quarterback is gone but Texas Tech's scoring machine hasn't slowed as Harrell's replacement Taylor Potts threw seven touchdown passes in Saturday's 55-10 victory against Rice.

5 Boise State at Fresno State: This Friday night Western Athletic Conference game appears to be the last obstacle blocking another undefeated season for Boise State. The question is how Fresno State bounces back from a double-overtime loss at Wisconsin, the latest in a series of crushing nonconference defeats for Pat Hill's Bulldogs. Boise State is 2-0 and still enjoying the bounce of its opening win against Oregon, but after Fresno State the toughest game left on the Broncos' schedule might be at Tulsa.

-- Chris Dufresne

-- Twitter.comDufresneLATimes

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