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October 18, 2006

Unexpected matchups key to league titles

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The theme for our Week 8 conference breakdowns is exposure.

Big East teams will get plenty of it this week. All but one conference game will be televised nationally. The biggest game is the Rutgers-Pitt matchup, which will determine who will challenge Louisville and West Virginia for the league title.

The marquee matchup in the ACC will get its share of exposure as well. Georgia Tech and Clemson the two division leaders face off in what could be a preview of the conference title game.

Speaking of conference title previews, will Texas be exposed at Nebraska? The traditional Big 12 powers are atop their respective divisions as well. The Longhorns must travel to Lincoln, Neb., this week for their first road test of the season.

Arkansas has received some much-deserved notoriety after upsetting then-No. 2 Auburn. The Hogs take on Ole Miss this weekend, a team which threw a scare into Alabama last Saturday. The Crimson Tide looks to continue its winning ways at traditional rival Tennessee.

In the Pac-10, offensive lines need to do a better job protecting their quarterbacks. Several injuries - and a few poor performances have led to significant turnover under center around the conference.

Lastly, some may think Iowa is a bit of a fraud after falling to Indiana last week. If the Hawkeyes upset Michigan on Saturday, they will earn back some of the respect they lost. Also in the Big Ten, Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill has received regular mention in our Freshman of the Week features this season. If he leads his team to victory over Purdue, this might be the week he wins the award.

Week 8 conference previews: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-10 | SEC

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