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Play it forward: Week ahead in college football

The top two teams in the nation play inferior competition while Baylor faces its toughest test of the season at Oklahoma State, and UCLA and Arizona State fight for Pac-12 South dominance.

November 17, 2013|By Chris Dufresne
  • Baylor safety Orion Stewart celebrates a defensive stop during Saturday's 63-34 win over Texas Tech. The Bears will look to upset Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Baylor safety Orion Stewart celebrates a defensive stop during Saturday's… (Louis DeLuca / Associated…)

Five things to watch this week in college football:

1. The top two teams in the country put it all on the line this week… we wish. Top-ranked Alabama hosts an open house party against Chattanooga of the FCS and No. 2 Florida State welcomes in Idaho, which is 1-9 and coming off a loss to Old Dominion. In a perfect world, Chattanooga would be playing Idaho.

2. Baylor continued its savage assault through the Big 12 with Saturday's 63-34 win over Texas Tech but faces its toughest game of the season this week at Oklahoma State. How'd you like to be an Oklahoma State team averaging 40 points a game wondering how to come up with three extra touchdowns to match Baylor's average of 61?

3. Arizona State (8-2) and UCLA (8-2) fended off tough weekend tests against Oregon State and Washington to set up Saturday's Pac-12 South showdown at the Rose Bowl. Arizona State clinches the division with a win and UCLA can clinch with closing wins over Arizona State and USC.

4. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel can make a convincing case for a second Heisman Trophy if he can topple Louisiana State in Baton Rouge. A victory would avenge last year's loss to LSU on a weekend in which Heisman candidates AJ McCarron (Alabama) and Jameis Winston (Florida State) are facing inferior competition.

5. Missouri (9-1, 5-1) continues its unexpected march to a Southeastern Conference East title with an important weekend trip to Mississippi, which has won four straight after a 3-3 start. Missouri is trying to hold off two-loss South Carolina in the division race. The Gamecocks hold the tiebreaker based on their miraculous, double-overtime comeback win at Missouri.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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