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SPORTS
September 17, 2012 | Chris Dufresne
1. No one except maybe coaches Mike Riley and Jim Mora thought a must-see Pac-12 game Sept. 22 would be Oregon State at UCLA, schools that combined to go 9-17 last year. The Beavers and Bruins, though, are undefeated and have already posted huge wins against Big Ten powers Wisconsin and Nebraska. 2. Clemson at Florida State will live up to the preseason hype as the showdown between the Atlantic Coast Conference's top two teams. These schools, like Alabama and Louisiana State in the Southeastern Conference West, have separated themselves as the class of the conference following Coastal division favorite Virginia Tech's stunning loss at Pittsburgh.
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SPORTS
September 19, 2010 | By Chris Dufresne
1: Why is it Oregon is the only major college state brave (or dumb) enough to take on games at Boise State? A year after Eugene's Ducks risked their reputations on the blue turf, the Beavers of Corvallis take their Rodgers' brothers act into Saturday night prime time against the nation's No. 3 team. 2: Last year, Mississippi had a top quarterback, Jevan Snead, and Alabama on the home schedule but couldn't overcome the Crimson Tide. This week, Arkansas and Ryan Mallett welcome Alabama to Fayetteville in a key SEC West matchup with national title implications.
SPORTS
October 13, 2011 | Chris Dufresne
Break out the chips and cold drinks, but let Chris Dufresne handle the remote. Each Friday, The Times' national college football writer handicaps what's worth watching, and skipping, on Saturday's menu of games: MORNING No. 11 Michigan (6-0) at No. 23 Michigan State (4-1) 9 a.m., ESPN Maybe Brady Hoke should run for president, because this guy can turn anything around. Hoke made Ball State better, San Diego State better and has made instant winners at Michigan out of Rich Rodriguez's leftovers.
SPORTS
August 14, 2012 | Chris Dufresne
Oklahoma State will contend again for the national title, just not in 2012. The Cowboys missed the last national title game by 86 thousandths of a point in the final Bowl Championship Series standings. That's right, Oklahoma State was 86'd. We're not here to regurgitate the debate of whether Oklahoma State deserved to play Louisiana State instead of Alabama. Let Bayou-gones be Bayou-gones. Why take this any farther down the field than LSU did in the title game against Alabama?
SPORTS
August 28, 2010 | Chris Dufresne
The Times' Chris Dufresne unveils his preseason college football top 25, one day (and team) at a time. No. 5 Texas Christian Gary Patterson says he's not worried about his tiny private-school team competing with in-state giants Texas and Texas A&M. Patterson compares his program's rise to the cola wars. "Only older people would understand," he told The Times before last season's Fiesta Bowl. "It's the old thing about 7-Up. They tried to climb the cola ladder, but they were always going to be third.
SPORTS
September 9, 2011 | Chris Dufresne
Michigan plays its first night game when it hosts Notre Dame in Saturday's prime-time slot. Unfortunately, for the Irish, the lights will be turned on and everyone will be watching. By everyone we mean fans, critics, the FCC and mothers ready to wash Coach Brian Kelly's mouth out with soap. Notre Dame is one of a select group of schools already in early-season crisis mode. Georgia faces a crucial home test against South Carolina; Oregon, a week after a poll-jarring loss to Louisiana State, needs to hold court in Eugene against Nevada; Auburn, which had to score twice in the final 2 minutes 8 seconds to beat Utah State, hosts dangerous Mississippi State; Texas Christian, undefeated last year, already has one loss heading to Air Force; and UCLA is possibly one San Jose State upset removed from eventually seeing Rick Neuheisel removed.
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