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OPEN THREAD: FIRST SHIFT

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KICK IT OFF RIGHT TODAY

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Good morning, and welcome back to College Football Saturday.

After a couple straight weeks light on top-tier matchups, we've got a good one ahead of us today. The playoff picture promises to shift and clarify in the wake of three key matchups. #16 Florida State at #1 Clemson (3:30, ABC) promises to all but determine the ACC Atlantic Division title. At the same time over on Fox, #8 TCU and #14 Oklahoma State, both still undefeated and very much in play for a playoff slot, meet up in Stillwater for a matchup that could provide a lot of fireworks. Of course, the marquee game of the night is the SEC West clash (8pm, CBS) between #2 LSU and #4 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, potentially the most important game of the college football regular season this year.

The early slate that you're gearing up for at the moment isn't as laden with playoff possibilities, but there's intrigue to be had, with a very ACC flavor to it all. #5 Notre Dame visits Pittsburgh in a matchup that could prove tougher for the Irish than many would have predicted before the season began. Duke and North Carolina face off in a rivalry game that, along with the result of the Pitt game, could go a long way to determining Clemson/FSU's Coastal Challenger.

Or you could be a complete degenerate and watch Syracuse-Louisville. I don't care, we don't live together.

Elsewhere, some well-positioned teams face off against lesser-but-problematic opponents. #13 Memphis invites in the meat tenderizer that is Navy; #9 Iowa travels to a completely-unpredictable Indiana Hoosiers team, and #11 Stanford heads to Boulder to play a Colorado Buffaloes team that, while not very good, has put scares into better teams several times this year.

Somewhere, someone who's struggled their way to the top of the heap is going to fall on their ass today, and we'll all be there for it.

But you know what? Someone else is going make a mountain out of thin air.

Enjoy responsibly today.