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4-Down Territory: Big Game Saturday: Red River Shootout, Gator Hunt on The Bayou, Top Teams' Str

1st Down: The State Fair of Texas/Red River Shootout: #6 Oklahoma vs #11 Texas: Before the name was changed to the Red River Showdown it was called a Shootout. Given the gun-slinging ways of Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts and Texas QB Sam Ehlinger this promises to be one. For OU this is their first true test after loading up on a softer schedule.Texas’ defense will have to play their best game of the year and get some turnovers. This is one of the great events on the college football schedule every year, so if you can’t be at this game be sure to down about 5,500+ calories and watch this taste of Americana. There are few neutral site rivalries left that split the stadium 50/50. That creates an environment where fans of both teams face off in close quarters.

2nd Down: Gator Hunting on The Bayou: #7 Florida at #5 LSU: As if the OU/Texas game didn’t already make this a big weekend….along comes this HUGE SEC showdown.Tiger Stadium will be at a fever pitch Saturday night on the Bayou as the locals celebrate the resurgence of a true National Title contender. Last week few gave the Gators a chance against Auburn and even fewer people believe in them this week. Florida’s offense will have to get more points than they have so far this season while avoiding any turnovers that will give LSU a short field. Florida’s defense will be the biggest test the new-look LSU offense has seen this year. Somewhere in this game Florida will have to steal a possession or two with a fake kick or turnovers and set up some short fields for an offense that has lacked consistency. That’s how underdogs can get it done on the road. Turn up your volume and click the video below......

3rd Down: Tide Surge in East Texas: #1 Alabama at #24 Texas A&M: For the second time in the opening six weeks of the season Texas A&M will be playing the #1 ranked team in the country. Throw in the game against #8 Auburn and you now know why A&M Coach Jimbo Fisher is earning his paycheck this year. The credentials for Alabama’s offense are a given. The potential Achilles heel is a defense that is young in some key positions. At times that youth shows. But even with those occasional growing pains for Alabama's defense, Texas A&M should not be able to score enough to keep pace.

4th Down: Other Notable Match-ups: #10 Penn State at #17 Iowa: Penn State’s first big road test and first game against a ranked opponent is at Iowa. The Hawkeyes are not flashy but they win by being great in key situations: Time of Possession (35:41), 3rd Down offense (47%), Red Zone Offense (100%), Turnover Margin (+2), and 3rd Down defense (25%). For Iowa to have a chance they will have to control those factors. Penn State players know they'll need a more consistent offensive performance for all 4 quarters to win this one…….Michigan State at #8 Wisconsin: MSU hung with Ohio State for a while. Ultimately the defense got tired and the offense had some uncharacteristic turnovers and dropped passes. The Spartan defense should match up well schematically against the Badgers’ offense scheme. They will need to control the UW running attack…..USC at #9 Notre Dame: This one is never a given and expect a rested Trojan team to play their best game of the season…..Florida State at #2 Clemson: Clemson is looking to become more consistent than they were when they barely avoided the upset at UNC…..Texas Tech at #22 Baylor: Baylor has played well so far but can they handle success? This will be an important step to returning the Bears to the top tier of the Big 12.

A Closer Look: Here are the relative strengths of schedule for the Top 12 teams in this week’s poll and some observations. The Win-Loss record of each team’s opponents record in 3 categories: overall, FBs and Power-5. It also notes the team record versus opponents that are currently ranked.

College Football 150 Relic: In honor of the Florida Gators’ trip to LSU for the weekend’s biggest game we pull out a visor from the Old Ball Coach Steve Spurrier. Steve Spurrier was 122-27-1 from 1990-2001 at Florida with 6 SEC Titles and a National Title. This visor was a 1997 edition last worn in the Florida Citrus Bowl versus Penn State on January 1, 1998. Given the Florida win it is not clear if he threw the visor down at any time during the game.

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