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Play it forward: This week in college football

Five things to watch this week in college football:

1. You don't need Nielsen to know Oregon at Stanford will be the highest-rated television show in Tallahassee on Thursday night. Florida State is rooting hard for Stanford to put a first loss on Oregon. That would clear a BCS title-game path for the Seminoles.

2. Is Baylor for real? After two months, we finally get to find out when the undefeated Bears play host to Oklahoma in another Thursday matchup of top-10 teams. Baylor is No. 93 in Sagarin's strength-of-schedule rankings but closes its Big 12 schedule with Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas.

3. Two-loss Louisiana State is likely out of the title chase but can shake up the BCS standings with a win at No. 1 Alabama on Saturday. Last year, the Crimson Tide escaped Baton Rouge with a 21-17 win on AJ McCarron's scoring pass to T.J. Yelton with 51 seconds left.

4. Arizona State's one-game lead in the Pac-12 South will get severely tested when the Sun Devils play at Utah, which owns a home win this year over Stanford. Arizona State has scored 50 or more points in five of its six wins and has routed three Pac-12 opponents since a three-point loss to Notre Dame.

5. Fresno State (8-0) will keep football watchers up late again as the Bulldogs face a dangerous Saturday night challenge at mile-high Wyoming. The Cowboys are only 4-4 but have a potent offense and opened the season with a three-point loss at Nebraska.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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