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The biggest day of college football in Texas this season

Photo: Jamie Harms-USA TODAY Sports

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Between the No. 9 ranked Texas Longhorns and the No. 12 Texas A&M Aggies both locked in against top six opponents this weekend, the state of Texas has a lot on the line. The Longhorns are set to square off against the No. 6 LSU Tigers out of the SEC West and the Aggies battle the top ranked Clemson Tigers out of the ACC Atlantic. Texas gets LSU at home in Austin and Texas A&M has to travel to South Carolina to face Clemson in the hostile environment that is Death Valley.

The significance of both of these non-conference games for the two biggest college football programs in-state can’t be overstated. The reputations of three different conferences are on the line, as is the national conversation for the College Football Playoff. Bragging rights and the power shift of pulling off these wins will have a big impact for the rest of the season.

In the case of Texas A&M, beating Clemson would mean that the SEC could start to take claim once again as the top dog in the entire country. Clemson is still the reigning National Champions, but their fortunes this fall could shift quickly.

And in the case of Texas, beating LSU would slot them immediately into the thick of the College Football Playoff picture. Both Texas and LSU are on the brink of Playoff consideration. Losing this game eliminates the margin for error each way. The good news for LSU is that beating the Alabama Crimson Tide directly opens their path to the Playoff back up, even if they lose to the Longhorns tonight.

The atmosphere both at Clemson and on the Forty Acres will be electric. Two of the biggest non-conference games of the 2019 season are slated for Week 2. ESPN’s College Gameday was in Austin for the Texas-LSU game.

Even outside of the pivotal games facing the Longhorns and Aggies, there are other programs in-state that have pivotal contests on tap. The SMU Mustangs battle a Group of Five power at home against the North Texas Mean Green. That game has major Group of Five implications between the American Athletic Conference and Conference-USA. The Baylor Bears and Texas Tech Red Raiders also open up play against FBS competition against two in-state opponents this weekend.

All in all, the state of Texas might have the biggest slate of games this weekend of any in the country. The Longhorns and Aggies highlight this week’s action, but this is truly a college football treat for all Texans.

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