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October 20, 2006

Yet another weekend of college football action is upon us, and can you believe that the regular season is already halfway complete? That's right, one more weekend and the month of October will be toast. Hard to believe, yet that's where we stand as more than a dozen teams have already clinched win number six this fall while about a dozen more look to put their name in that hat this weekend. Other things to watch on Saturday? How about a preview of potential title games in both the ACC and Big XII, as well as a number of other showdowns from all around the country that are sure to have long-lasting implications in the weeks ahead. POTENTIAL CONFERENCE TITLE PREVIEWS

Both the ACC and Big XII will feature potential previews of their conference title games over the coming weekend. On the East coast, Georgia Tech will travel to Clemson, while westward, Texas with take a trip north to Nebraska. The Yellow Jackets are currently the only team in the ACC without a conference loss, while the Tigers are one of a plethora of Atlantic Division teams with one league defeat. CU's fate likely won't be determined for some time, while GT's, on the other hand, could very well boil down to next week's home matchup with Miami. Out in the Big XII, it's a matchup of the only two conference teams without a league loss. In fact, the pair has combined to lose just twice all season. While the Longhorns are a BCS favorite at this point, most feel the Huskers have much to prove before their name comes up in discussions like that. This week is their chance to bring their name to the forefront. POST-FIGHT WEEK

Well the Miami-FIU brawl has been cussed and discussed for much of the past six days, and if you think the rumbling will quiet down on Saturday, think again. The two schools combined to suspend dozens of players, though many would feel UM went a bit too light on the punishment with their personnel. Regardless, the Hurricanes will be on the road at Duke minus a large number of players this weekend, though that really should have nothing to do with the outcome of the game on the field. A number of coaches around the country took the opportunity this week to remind their players about the harsh consequences should their team participate in a melee like the one that occurred in the "OB" last weekend. FIU, by the way, has the week off before heading to Alabama next weekend to close out the month of October. RANDOM BIG ONES

Sure, there's no showdown like Ohio State-Texas in September or the much-anticipated clash between the Buckeyes and Michigan next month on this weekend's schedule, but there are a number of fairly large battles on the slate that are worth keeping an eye on. In addition to those already mentioned, one to watch closely is Iowa's trip to Michigan. Granted, the Hawkeyes haven't looked all that great in recent weeks, but nothing would spoil that November showdown in Columbus more than a Wolverine (or Buckeye) loss. In the Big East, meanwhile, two of the conference's four teams without a league loss will get together in Pittsburgh as the Panthers host still-unbeaten Rutgers. The Knights' win at Navy last week was ultra-impressive, but Pitt feels they have something to prove this year as well. What to else to watch? How about Alabama-Tennessee and Boston College-Florida State. The Vols are easily the favorite, but those matchups seem to have a way of turning into grind-it-out, low-scoring type games most years. And BC is fresh off that huge home win over Virginia Tech, so can the Eagles follow it up with a road victory over a disappointing Seminole squad? The loser in Tallahassee can kiss their ACC title hopes goodbye. THE SEARCH FOR WIN SIX

Well over a dozen teams have already surpassed the magical six-win mark this fall, but up to a dozen more will be trying to reach that plateau themselves this weekend. Purdue has won five thus far and will be hosting Wisconsin, a squad that's already won six this fall. Tulsa will be searching for win number six at Memphis, while Oregon will be doing the same at Washington State. In the SEC, Georgia and Arkansas will both be at home looking for numero seis, the Bulldogs hosting Mississippi State and the Hogs welcoming in Mississippi. LSU will also be hosting a disappointing Fresno State squad as the Tigers look for their sixth victory. Notre Dame will be doing the same at home against UCLA Saturday afternoon, before South Florida tries to clinch number six on the road at Cincinnati Sunday evening.


Well, I said any Colorado victory would be an uspet, and that's just what we got as the Buffs took down Texas Tech last weekend. So what do you say we go with CU again? This week they're on the road at Oklahoma with the Sooners reeling from the loss of Adrian Peterson to injury. The Heisman candidate was basically the entire OU offense, so if the Buffaloes come to play, they could make this one interesting. And if you're looking for another one to keep an eye on, how about Louisville at Syracuse? The Orange is just 3-4 on the season, but they've been oh-so-close to pulling off a couple of big upsets already. SU was beaten by Wake Forest, Iowa, and Pittsburgh by an average of just 9 points each, and their game at West Virginia was relatively close into the second half. With the Cards' injuries, it's a somewhat shaky situation heading into the Carrier Dome early Saturday morning.

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