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Briles, Freeze, Weis and Leach among the top ten questions we're asking entering the weekend

1. Is this the weekend of the upset? - If Thursday night is any indicator, we could be in for a wild Week 6 in college football. And let's certainly hope so, because September was the Month of Chalk. The current top ten teams are a combined 38-0 against every other team not also ranked inside the top ten. The top 20 teams are 72-0 against teams outside the group. Since No. 16 Northwestern hosts No. 4 Ohio State and No. 15 Washington visits No. 5 Stanford, one of those streaks is destined to end. But which one is it?

2. How many undefeated teams are left standing? - With the Ohio State-Northwestern, Washington-Stanford and Maryland-Florida State undefeated clashes, we know the total of unbeaten teams will drop from 20 to at most 17 by the end of the week. But will any other perfect starts meet their demise? Missouri (at Vanderbilt) and Miami (vs. Georgia Tech) are probably the best bets if any do undefeated teams get taken down. UCLA, a 34-27 winner at Utah, already survived to Week 7. 

3. How many winless teams finally break through? - Eleven teams were unfortunate enough to emerge from September winless. The highest that number can be by Sunday morning is 10, since 0-4 Florida International visits 0-4 Southern Miss. One decent bet to break through? New Mexico State, who visits New Mexico. One horrible bet to break through? Georgia State, who visits Alabama.

4. What does Northwestern do with its time in the spotlight? - Northwestern football has spent a century or so sitting in the shadows. They've sat behind Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Illinois on the college sports scene. They've sat behind the Bears, the Bulls, the Cubs, the White Sox and the Blackhawks on the Chicago sports page. On Saturday, with College GameDay broadcasting coast-to-coast for three hours on Saturday morning and ABC showing the Ohio State game border-to-border for four hours on Saturday night, the Wildcats take a back seat to absolutely no one (well, maybe not).

Now what do they do with all this attention?

5. How bright does Sark's star shine after Saturday? - Steve Sarkisian posted a 16-13 win over No. 3 USC in his third game as Washington's head coach in 2009. In the 52 games between then and now, he's yet to produce another win over a top five team. A chance for win number two waits at Stanford Stadium and, should the Huskies (understandably) fall to the fifth-ranked Cardinal, No. 2 Oregon heads to Seattle eight days from now.

6. Does the Baylor Buzzsaw keep running? - It's hard to be more impressive than Baylor was in its first three games. When you lead the nation in scoring offense and rank second in scoring defense, there's only so much room for improvement. However, I don't want to call the Bears' September slate of Wofford, Buffalo and Louisiana-Monroe soft, but Charmin has dispatched researchers to Waco to look for improvements for their next brand of toilet paper. 

West Virginia isn't the same team it appeared to be the last time this pair met, but it's a Big 12 team with Big 12 athletes and a Big 12 coaching staff. 

7. Where is Hugh Freeze's head right now? - This is the biggest game in Hugh Freeze's short tenure at Ole Miss in multiple ways. For one, he's dealing with an off-the-field issue involving multiple players with multiple ramifications well outside of football. Next, he's got a game that he really needs to win if his sophomore campaign hopes to represent an improvement from his 7-6 debut. The 3-1 Rebels head to Auburn, with home dates against Texas A&M and LSU following in the next two weeks. An 0-3 swing through the SEC West's top ten teams is understandable, if not expected. But dropping a game to another West foe - that lost to you by three touchdowns en route to a 3-9 record last season - is a honeymoon-ender. 

8. What's that in the air in Berkeley? - With 259 pass attempts, no one hoisted more passes through the season's first five weeks than Mike Leach's Washington State team. And with an average of 53.25 attempts through four games, Sonny Dykes' Cal squad ranks fourth nationally in passes per game. Dykes served as Leach's wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator for six years at Texas Tech, and now they'll face off for the first time as opposing head coaches. Let's hope they celebrate the occasion with no less than 115 combined passes.

9. Is this a must-win game for Charlie Weis? - Perhaps the most dubious steak going in college football right now is Kansas' 21-game Big 12 losing streak. The Jayhawks' last conference win, on Nov. 6, 2010, came against a team now playing its second season in the Pac-12. If Weis has any realistic prayer of ending this skid before its three-year anniversary, Saturday's home date with No. 20 Texas Tech is a must-win. If we consider any Big 12 road win off the table - and considering Friday marks the five-year anniversary of the last time that happened, I think that's a fair assumption - and a takedown of the Red Raiders is much less improbable than a defeat of Oklahoma or Baylor, then this is their best chance before West Virginia comes to Lawrence in early November. 

10. Who bends and who breaks in the Big Ten? - In the gaggle of Big Ten favorites below Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Northwestern are one-dimensional dark horses Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan State and Iowa. The Huskers and Illini score much better than they defend (ranking 24th or better in scoring offense, 62nd or worse in scoring defense), and the Spartans and Hawkeyes defend much better than they score (placing 17th or better in scoring defense, 54th or worse in scoring offense). Conveniently, Nebraska hosts Illinois and Iowa hosts Michigan State on Saturday. Who rides their two-wheeled car through another checkpoint on their rocky path to Indianapolis?