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Play It Forward: The week ahead in college football

Five things to watch for this week — the spotlight will focus on the state of Texas, the Big Ten and, as usual, the Southeastern Conference.

November 20, 2011|Chris Dufresne
  • Houston quarterback Case Keenum spots a receiver in the third quarter against Southern Methodist on Saturday at Robertson Stadium.
Houston quarterback Case Keenum spots a receiver in the third quarter against… (Troy Taormina / US Presswire )

1. Texas visits Texas A&M on Thanksgiving in what could be the last meeting in a bitter series that dates to 1894. Texas A&M is leaving the Big 12 after this season for the Southeastern Conference. Texas said its schedule is booked at least through 2018.

2. Houston (11-0) isn't home yet. The eighth-ranked Cougars face a critical game at Tulsa (8-3, 7-0) on Friday to determine Conference USA's West Division champion. Houston needs two more wins to finish unbeaten and secure an at-large BCS bowl bid.

3. Arkansas vs. Louisiana State has always been a wild turkey after-Thanksgiving affair and this Friday the stakes are higher than ever as a possible national title game berth awaits the winner. No. 1 LSU would seem to have the edge because the game is in Baton Rouge.

4. Alabama at Auburn is one of college sports' greatest rivalries and this year pits the winner of the last two BCS championships. Auburn, at 7-4, can only play the spoiler's role in this Iron Bowl as it hopes to ruin No. 2 Alabama's national-title chances.

5. The Big Ten's first Leaders Division crown is on the line when Penn State visits Wisconsin. Penn State is 1-1 since coach Joe Paterno was fired. Saturday's winner will face Michigan State on Dec. 3 in the first Big Ten championship game.

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