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Play it forward: Week ahead in college football

FootballLSU TigersSportsLouisville CardinalsFlorida GatorsArizona WildcatsWisconsin Badgers

Five things to watch this week in college football.

1: Rutgers at Louisville on Thursday offers undefeated Louisville a decent test in a season where the Cardinals' weak schedule could cost them a shot at the national title. Rutgers has seen both ends of the roller coaster, losing a 52-51 overtime game at Fresno State and defeating Southern Methodist, 55-52, in triple overtime.

2: Oklahoma and Texas has been toned down from the Red River Shootout to the Red River Rivalry, but what it can safely be called next Saturday in Dallas is "Mack Brown's Last Stand." The knock on Brown that he hasn't defeated Oklahoma enough could be the final knockout blow.

3: Florida at Louisiana State is a huge East-West division showdown that pits the Southeastern Conference's best defense against an LSU offense that has been revitalized under first-year offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. The Gators' No. 2 defense held Arkansas to 10 points Saturday while the Tigers' No. 9 offense scored 59 on Mississippi State.

4: Northwestern can't mope over Saturday's heartbreaking home loss to Ohio State because the Wildcats have another big game next week at Wisconsin. The Badgers had their own heartbreaker with this year's controversial (to say the least) loss at Arizona State.

5: Oregon at Washington should be billed the Pac-12's "up-tempo game of the year" as these two mile-a-minute programs face off in Seattle. The Ducks' fast-paced offense is averaging 59.2 points per game while Washington used tempo Saturday to nearly upset Stanford in Palo Alto.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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