1. Mack under attack: No one has more riding on this weekend than Texas coach Mack Brown, who heads into the latest edition of the Red River Rivalry desperately needing a victory.
The Oklahoma game has so often been a barometer for Brown’s career. He lost five straight against the Sooners and Bob Stoops from 2000-04. It drove Longhorns fans mad, but otherwise Brown’s record was sterling.
Oklahoma’s current three-game winning streak in the series, and the Longhorns’ recent struggles, put far more pressure on Brown at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday. Another loss to the Sooners might be too much for Texas supporters to take – and for Brown to overcome.
2. Will he/won’t he? Injured South Carolina All-American Jadeveon Clowney made it clear he plans to play a lot more college football before moving on to the NFL.
“Am I fully committed? Always,” Clowney said. “I could’ve sat out. I’m not looking to sit out. I’m not that type of guy. I’m here for the team. ... When I get back healthy, I’m going to play and do my job and take care of business on the field.”
Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw said the latest situation has not created a problem in the locker room.
“All I know is Clowney’s helped us win a lot of games,” Shaw said. “It’s more of a big deal to everyone else instead of us.”
3. The Biggest House: In 2016, Virginia Tech will play Tennessee before 160,000 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Sounds like fun, but why stop there. Let’s have Alabama and Auburn meet at Talladega, Georgia and Florida play at Daytona ... and Indiana and Purdue at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Tracking the Top 25
Saturday’s games ... comments where deserving
No. 1 Alabama (5-0) at Kentucky (1-4), 7 p.m.
The first of several unofficial bye weeks before Nov. 9 showdown with LSU.
No. 2 Oregon (5-0) at No. 16 Washington (4-1), 4 p.m.
Keeping up with Oregon in football is like keeping up with Kobayashi in hot dogs. Ducks have defeated U-Drub nine straight times by at least 17 points.
No. 3 Clemson (5-0) vs. Boston College (3-2), 3:30 p.m.
Classic Tigers trap opportunity with showdown with Florida State looming.
No. 5 Stanford (5-0) at Utah (3-2), 6 p.m.
Sarkisian also accuses tuba player of faking his notes on field against Cal in 1982.
No. 7 Georgia (4-1) vs. No. 25 Missouri (5-0), Noon
Getting on Georgia’s schedule might be tougher than getting into Georgia. Have to be in top 10 percent of all teams, apparently.
No. 9 Texas A&M (4-1) at Mississippi (3-2), 8:30 p.m.
Johnny Manziel should thank the A&M defense for consistently putting him in a position to have to make game-winning plays.
No. 10 LSU (5-1) vs. No. 17 Florida (4-1), 3:30 p.m.
In an SEC season that’s been dominated by top-shelf offense, there’s still at least one team that plays defense: Florida. The Gators are giving up just 12.2 points per game.
No. 11 UCLA (4-0) vs. California (1-4), 10:30 p.m.
Scientists who won Nobel for “God particle” at loss to explain last year’s loss at Cal.
No. 12 Oklahoma (5-0) vs. Texas (3-2) at Dallas, Noon
Many believe Mack Brown’s future hangs in the balance.
No. 14 South Carolina (4-1) at Arkansas (3-3), 12:21 p.m.
Will Jadeveon play? Can if he wants to, Ball Coach says.
No. 15 Baylor (4-0) at Kansas State (2-3), 3:30 p.m.
Doesn’t take long to find Baylor’s offense in national rankings (70.5 points per game leads nation), but who have Bears played?
No. 18 Michigan (5-0) at Penn State (3-2), 5 p.m.
Normally a win at Penn State is a resume builder, but the Lions just lost to Indiana.
No. 19 Northwestern (4-1) at Wisconsin (3-2), 3:30 p.m.
Can Wildcats close the deal on a good team? It’s been an issue.
No. 20 Texas Tech (5-0) vs. Iowa State (1-3), Noon
No. 23 Northern Illinois (5-0) vs. Akron (1-5), 5 p.m.
Apparently, Dave Doeren didn’t leave the cupboard too bare. Huskies are 1-0 in Mid-American and 2-0 in Big Ten with wins over Iowa and Purdue.
No. 24 Virginia Tech (5-1) vs. Pittsburgh (3-1), Noon
How much higher would Hokies‘ ranking be if they opened with, say, Alabama State, instead of Alabama?
Number to know
16 Undefeated teams in the AP Top 25, only one of which that plays Saturday against a team two games or more over .500.
“No, they contacted. I’m worried about the 2013 LSU team, not the 2003 one, that’s for sure.”
Florida coach Will Muschamp. LSU is having a 10-year reunion of its 2003 national title team, and Muschamp served as defensive coordinator. But he won’t take part in festivities this weekend, when his Gators visit Baton Rouge.
Compiled from Associated Press, Los Angeles Times.
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