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The week ahead in college football

USC's visit to Oregon becomes a prime-time game with national ramifications.

November 13, 2011|Chris Dufresne
  • USC running back Curtis McNeal breaks away for a 79-yard touchdown run during Saturday's victory over the Washington Huskies at the Coliseum.
USC running back Curtis McNeal breaks away for a 79-yard touchdown run during… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

Five things to watch this week in college football:

1. No one imagined USC at Oregon might be so anticipated after Oregon lost its opener and USC struggled to get past Minnesota. Suddenly, though, Saturday's game in Eugene is a prime-time game with national ramifications.

2. Houston, it's time for your close-up. ESPN's "College GameDay" could not have timed better its decision to set up next week for Southern Methodist at Houston. Boise State's weekend loss put the 10-0 Cougars in line for a Bowl Championship Series bowl bid.

3. Those who don't want to see a scandal-torn team in this year's Rose Bowl will be rooting for Ohio State to beat Penn State next week in Columbus. Ohio State is scandal-torn, too, but nothing close to the nightmare Penn State might bring west to Pasadena.

4. The Pac-12 South title has all been gift-wrapped for Arizona State, which plays host to Arizona this week, but the Sun Devils are trying to blow it. Arizona State (6-4, 4-3) is tied with UCLA but loses out on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

5. The Big East has no team ranked in this week's Associated Press top 25, but BCS rules mandate its champion receive a major BCS bowl bid. Cincinnati (7-2, 3-1) at Rutgers (7-3, 3-2) is the best the league can offer this week. Viewer discretion advised.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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