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Play it forward: The week ahead in college football

Five things to watch include Alabama traveling to recently upset Arkansas and Arizona State (2-0) heading to Missouri.

September 09, 2012|Chris Dufresne
  • John L. Smith's Arkansas Razorbacks take on Alabama in what was supposed to be the SEC game of the week.
John L. Smith's Arkansas Razorbacks take on Alabama in what was supposed… (Wesley Hitt / Getty Images )

Five things to watch this week in college football:

1. Alabama at Arkansas was so supposed to be the Southeastern Conference game of the week on CBS that the SEC home network was still billing it as No.1 vs. No. 8 hours after No. 8 suffered a humiliating overtime loss to Louisiana Monroe and fell out of the top 25. It's still an important game for Alabama.

2. Florida at Tennessee used to be must-see TV in the days when Steve Spurrier (raised in Tennessee) used to poke fun at Knoxville and Volunteers coach Phil Fulmer. Tennessee (2-0) has made this SEC East rivalry interesting again with a fast start that moved the Vols into the AP top 25.

3. With Savannah State off the books, Las Vegas might be looking at West Virginia vs. James Madison at neutral-site FedEx Field as this week's point-spread extravaganza. James Madison is a solid I-AA program, but West Virginia has had a week to rest and has scored 139 points in its last two outings.

4. Notre Dame returns to Michigan State two years after one of the great games played in 2010, won by the Spartans on a fake field-goal attempt for a touchdown in overtime. No. 10 Michigan State is the highest-ranked Big Ten team remaining, and No. 20 Notre Dame survived a three-point win over Purdue.

5. Arizona State is a quiet 2-0 under first year Coach Todd Graham and travels to Missouri to face a Tigers team that could be vulnerable after losing its SEC opener to Georgia. ASU, under Dennis Erickson, defeated Missouri in Tempe last year and also beat USC before skidding to a 0-5 finish.

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