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The Week Ahead: It’s all been leading up to this

The Ducks are looking to avenge last year's title-crushing defeat against Stanford. (Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports)

The five biggest stories that CBR is tracking this week:

1. Picture-in-picture was made for nights like this.

The best week of the 2013 college football season has arrived. It starts with some #MACtion on Tuesday and Wednesday before a twin bill on Thursday night featuring some of the best games of the year in the Big 12 and Pac-12. No. 6 Baylor gets easily its biggest test of the year as it hosts No. 10 Oklahoma. Meanwhile, No. 3 Oregon travels to No. 5 Stanford.

Major thumbs down to the networks for putting these two games up against each other. Oregon-Stanford does kick off 90 minutes after the start of Baylor-Oklahoma, so we got that going for us, I guess.

2. Are those 'Bama DBs any better?

The primetime slate on Saturday night presents no such dilemmas. CBS pretty much has the night to itself for Alabama-LSU, a rivalry that now ranks among the SEC's best.

After taking a beating from Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans earlier this year, the Crimson Tide secondary has tightened up. LSU's passing attack should give us all an indication as to how far those defensive backs have come.

3. This season has to get more exciting, right?

If you believe the guys in Vegas, these marquee games might not actually be so marquee. The linesmakers have made Alabama (-12), Baylor (-14) and Oregon (-10.5) double-digit favorites, and that probably won't change by kickoff time.

It kinda fits with a year in which a clear line of demarcation has formed between the elite outfits and the rest. November usually produces some memorable upsets in college football. Let's hope that holds true to form in a year that hasn't produced that many instant classics.

4. BYU = BCS?

Um, has Barry Alvarez lost it? What is BYU doing on Wisconsin's schedule in November? Is the conference schedule not enough for the Badgers?

After dropping two of its first three games of the season, BYU has quietly run off five straight wins. Don't look now, but the Cougars (6-2) could join the BCS party crashers if they win out. This and a trip to Notre Dame look like their tallest hurdles.

5. What would Bo do, Brady?

Taylor Lewan wasn't comporting himself like a Michigan man last weekend in the Wolverines' frustrating loss to Michigan State. Brady Hoke made sure to let his star offensive tackle know that.

But sit Lewan against Nebraska for losing his composure? Perish the thought. Michigan men like Hoke know better than to openly court a hot seat.

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