Five things to know for college football in October

Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college football, where Ole Miss is keeping it very much on-brand with the Turnover Money Bag:

MORE DASH: September Winners, Losers | Playoff Hurdles | Heisman Watch

FOURTH QUARTER: OCTOBER FORECAST

Now that we have navigated a surreal September of games and non-games, and conference seasons called off and brought back, it’s time to look ahead. Here are the five things you need to know about the month of October:

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Oct. 10: The Remnants of Red River (31) could all but eliminate the Big 12 from playoff contention—or breathe new life into it. The annual Oklahoma-Texas game hemorrhaged luster over the weekend, with the Sooners collapsing against Kansas State and the Longhorns needing a furious rally just to get Texas Tech into overtime before winning. (This is also bad news for FOX, which has the game as one of its college football centerpieces.) If Oklahoma wins, the Big 12’s playoff hopes are further imperiled—Oklahoma State, Baylor or bust? If Texas wins impressively, that might solidify the Longhorns as the team with the best path to playoff contention. But overall conference strength has taken a major hit, as noted in the Dash First Quarter.

Oct. 10: Miami-Clemson (32) might be the most interesting ACC game since Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson dueled in 2016. This time around the QB matchup is Trevor Lawrence vs. D’Eriq King—also outstanding. The Tigers just haven’t had much legitimate conference competition since that classic against Louisville four years ago. Yeah, they’ve lost a couple of games, but they were both of the flukish variety and did not signal a legitimate challenge to their hegemony. Miami still has some long-haul proving to do, but there is a lot to like about what the Hurricanes have done thus far. If they can’t give Clemson a battle, the job might fall to Notre Dame in early November.

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