IAN BOYD is a history major graduate from the University of Texas, now based in southeast Michigan, who loves studying the trends and stories of college football. You can also find his work at two SB Nation blogs, Football Study Hall and Inside Texas.
Yes, Georgia-Kentucky, West Virginia-Texas, and Penn State-Michigan are all critical conference matchups. But all eyes will be on Baton Rouge, where the Alabama Crimson Tide face their first stiff test this season against Joe Burrow and LSU.
It's a big week on the West Coast, where the eventual finalists in the Pac-12 Championship Game could be determined. USC will square off with Colorado in a battle for first place in the South, while Myles Gaskin and the Huskies batt Oregon for control of the north.
Conference play begins in earnest, with top matchups including West Virginia-Texas Tech, Ohio State-Penn State, and Oregon-California. All that plus Stanford traveling to Notre Dame to take on Ian Book and the Fighting Irish.