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Bargoer's Guide to College Football: Vol. 7

By Rob Cressy

For RedEye

1:41 PM CDT, October 16, 2013

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The good times keep rolling this week as the college football slate is locked and loaded.

>> There are several enticing matchups, including a showdown between 24th-ranked Auburn and Johnny Football's seventh-ranked Texas A&M team. The Aggies defense has been porous, so look for Manziel to again carry this team on his shoulders.

>> Wisconsin is back in the polls at No. 25 thanks to a drubbing of Northwestern. They take on an Illinois squad still licking its wounds after what Nebraska did to the Illini.

>> 23rd-ranked Northern Illinois heads to Central Michigan, where the Huskes are looking to stop a trend that has seen them lose their last four visits there.

>> Sixth-ranked LSU has a road test at Ole Miss, which is their last tough game before their yearly Christmas present to sports fans in the form of a matchup versus Alabama.

>> Two colossal tilts in the ACC and Pac-12 headline this weekend.

"Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted. One moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?" —Eminem

This is that moment for Clemson.

For weeks I've been building up Jameis Winston and this titanic matchup between Florida State and Clemson.

The stage could not be bigger. It features two electrifying offenses led by two Heisman hopeful quarterbacks, in front of a national TV audience, with the winner being in the driver's seat for a shot at playing in the BCS title game.

Clemson almost pulled a Clemson last week by struggling versus Boston College but found a way to win. The Tigers have an opportunity to rewrite history and take their program to a different stratosphere with a victory.

Obviously there is pressure on both teams considering the stage and situation, but there's a lot more on Clemson. The Tigers are at home, they've got a senior quarterback, and this is the year. No excuses.

Look for Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins to make big plays on offense and for the Clemson defense, which leads the nation in sacks, to try and put pressure on Jameis Winston.

Winston has nothing short of spectacular. He's second in the nation in completion percentage and is fifth in passing TDs, all while throwing only two interceptions. Did I mention he's a redshirt freshman?

The Florida State defense is giving up only 12 points per game, third best in the nation. With all the firepower on offense, the two defenses will be looked upon to force turnovers, make things uncomfortable like the backseat of a Volkswagen, and find a way to come up with a big stop. Whichever defense reigns supreme will likely be the victor in this matchup.

>> All right UCLA, time to see what you are made of.

The Bruins took a giant step forward last year by beating USC and becoming the kings of Los Angeles. This week they head to Stanford to see if they can take another step forward and be part of the conversation for best team in the Pac-12.

Stanford is coming off a shocking loss to a good Utah squad on the road. Is this a good thing for UCLA? Probably not. When knocked down, good teams rise to the occasion.

Stanford is riding a 12-game home winning streak and still has hopes of a Pac-12 and national title. They still play Oregon at home, and five of the past seven national champs have had at least one loss. Stanford will need to run the table and it starts with this game.

The quarterback matchup between UCLA's Brett Hundley and Stanford's Kevin Hogan is a big one. Hogan took his first loss as a starter last weekend and Hundley is coming off throwing for a career high 410 yards against Cal.

Stanford's D is a little dinged up and being able to stop this UCLA offense, which averages more than 45 points per game, will be a challenge.

Check out more of Rob Cressy's writing at baconsports.com or @baconsports.

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