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WHAT 2 WATCH 4: REBOUNDING, ROAD TESTS, AND MORE
October 13, 2006

SCS.com The number of unbeatens in college football was dramatically reduced last weekend, so how will those one-loss squads respond the Saturday after? Meanwhile, some of those still without a loss will face tough road tests this weekend, so will they continue the streak or go the way of those mentioned above? And what will happen in the Big Ten and CUSA races this weekend? There are a number of crucial matchups in both that will have long-lasting effects as we each the mid-season mark. Keep an eye on all of that - and much more - throughout the upcoming weekend.

SCS.com HOW WILL THEY REBOUND?

Four teams picked up their first loss of the season last week, so how will those squads rebound this Saturday? None of them will get off easy, especially the Auburn Tigers. After losing a home shocker to Arkansas last week, AU will welcome in unbeaten Florida this weekend. If Tommy Tuberville's squad has any hope of staying in contention in the SEC West, beating the Gators is a must. Sticking with the SEC, Georgia looked overmatched in the second half against Tennessee last week but will hope to get things turned around against Vanderbilt on Saturday before taking on Urban Meyer's Gators in two weeks. Elsewhere, Wake Forest will try to avoid their second consecutive loss of the year when they pay a visit to red-hot NC State, while Oregon will look to rebound at home against UCLA after getting throttled on the road at Cal a week ago.

SCS.com UNBEATENS GETTING ROAD TESTED

Few of the experts expected both Rutgers and Missouri to be nearing mid-October and still claim loss-less records. Both squads, though, will venture out onto the road this weekend for tough tests that very well could give either (or both) their first defeat of the season. The Scarlet Knights will trek over to Annapolis to battle a Navy team that has been fairly impressive thus far. The Midshipmen have lost just once this season (that on a botched extra point) and are fresh off a victory over rival Air Force. Mizzou, meanwhile, will head to Texas A&M to take on an Aggie squad that has lost just once but hasn't looked overly impressive. If the Tigers have Big XII title game aspirations, this is a contest they really need to win.

SCS.com WHO WILL CHALLENGE OHIO STATE?

Though Ohio State is (most) everyone's favorite to prevail in the Big Ten this fall, there is a group of teams waiting in the wings should the Buckeyes falter at some point, and several of those squads have big games on their schedule this weekend. That includes both Michigan (the only other unbeaten in conference play) and Penn State, who will get together in Happy Valley on Saturday. A Wolves victory would keep UM both in the league and national title chases while all but eliminating PSU. A Lion win, on the other hand, would even the squads at a loss apiece and give the Buckeyes just a bit of breathing room up top. If OSU can down Michigan State this weekend, that is. Also keep a close eye on Minnesota's visit to Wisconsin. The Gophers are not as bad as their 0-3 conference record would indicate, and if things go right, they could very well take down a Badgers team that is 5-1, with that lone loss coming in their only difficult game to date.

SCS.com C-USA SHUFFLE

It's a huge weekend in CUSA as a pair of cross-divisional matchups are slated for Saturday, each having huge implications on the division races. In the first, Houston will travel eastward to Southern Miss. Both squads are coming off disappointing losses last week, though at least the Cougars' defeat was out of conference. A second consecutive Golden Eagle loss would put the team even farther behind in the Eastern division, especially if East Carolina is able to top Tulsa. The Hurricane, like UH, is still without a conference loss, but they'll take on a Pirate team this weekend that appears to be improving and coming off a big home win over Virginia. There's a long way to go, but these two matchups are crucial here at mid-season.

BONUS: THIS WEEKEND'S POTENTIALLY HUGE UPSET

At this point, any Colorado win would be an upset, right? The Buffaloes are 0 for their first 6 and will welcome a Big XII South foe to Boulder for the second straight week. They were unable to conquer Baylor in overtime last weekend, so one would surmise that their chances against Texas Tech aren't that great either. However, the Buffs are going to pull through at some point, and the odds get better that it will be this week with each passing Saturday. The Red Raider offense, meanwhile, doesn't seem to have the same zing it's had the last few years, so if CU comes ready to play, perhaps this will indeed be their week.

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