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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Games of the week

Mississippi-South Carolina, Texas Tech-Houston and California-Oregon make the list.

September 24, 2009|Chris Dufresne

Mississippi (2-0) at South Carolina (2-1)

Thursday, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

Mississippi really hasn't done much to earn its early-season No. 4 ranking, beating Memphis and Southeastern Louisiana, but tonight's Southeastern Conference opener should indicate whether the Rebels are serious title contenders. South Carolina had a strange start, slogging out a 7-3 win over North Carolina State before losing a wild SEC opener, 41-37, to Georgia.

The pick: Mississippi.

California (3-0) at Oregon (2-1)

Saturday, 12:30 p.m. Ch. 7

This is a huge test for No. 6 Cal if this is going to be a special season. Cal scored a win at Oregon two years ago only to ultimately squander a national title bid by losing six of its last eight games. Cal also has to be careful not to look ahead to USC on Oct. 3. Oregon, since its ugly opening loss at Boise State, has scored home wins over Purdue and Utah, although quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and the offense still haven't found any thing close to a groove.

The pick: Cal.

Texas Tech (2-1) at Houston (2-0)

Saturday, 4:15 p.m., ESPN2

Houston, thanks to its upset win at Oklahoma State, is in the hunt for a BCS at-large spot, which makes Texas Tech's weekend visit one of the most important in the program's recent football history. Texas Tech is coming off a closer-than-expected 10-point loss at Texas. This game will feature two of the nation's top gunslinger quarterbacks in Tech's Taylor Potts and Houston's Case Keenum.

The pick: Houston.

-- Chris Dufresne

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