College Football’s Week 3 is here. It looks stronger than Week 2. The slate features four meetings between Top 20 teams, all on decidedly not neutral turf. Those four games are spread as evenly as feasible over three time slots. Potential upsets and compelling second-monitor material supplement them.
It should be a strong week. By college football’s inverse law, expect boredom. Check here for our picks against the spread.
Must Watch Games
Florida State at Louisville (Noon, ABC)
Louisville and Lamar Jackson have been eviscerating teams, averaging nearly 10 yards/play. Though, those teams were Syracuse and whatever “Charlotte” is. Here is where we find out whether August’s sexy sleeper program will be October’s fetching playoff contender. Florida State proved they were dogs, coming from behind against Ole Miss. Though, they lost a big one in the secondary to knee surgery. We suspect the Cardinals would have preferred a night game.
Alabama at Ole Miss (3:30pm ET, CBS)
You may not be aware, but Ole Miss has a two-game winning streak going over Alabama. The Rebels have an explosive passing game with Chad Kelly that tends to boom more than bust. Alabama has confined its offensive fireworks to sideline “ass chewings” thus far. But, the Tide have a ferocious defense, that may prove the best of the Nick Saban era. This game looks as though it will have serious implications for SEC title race and the playoff. So did the last two, which ultimately did not matter.
Michigan State at Notre Dame (7:30 NBC)
Notre Dame sampled the back end of the ACC offerings. They have decided to sprinkle in a few of their traditional rivals. Michigan State played the Irish more or less every year from 1948 to 2013. Recent finishes were often one-score and notable. Few watched the Spartans get by Furman. Those few that did were not impressed. Big test on the road for the Michigan State defense, and offense.
Ohio State at Oklahoma (7:30pm FOX)
This was the most anticipated non-conference matchup of the offseason. Meyer vs. Stoops. Two top five-ish teams. Probably the toughest regular season road test Meyer has faced at Ohio State. Then OU lost to Houston. Losing here should drop them from the playoff race, come what may in the Big 12. The Buckeyes looked imperious and fluid so far…against Bowling Green and Tulsa.
Other Games Worth Noting
Temple at Penn State [Noon, BTN] Rematch of last year’s Nittany Lions debacle. Can James Franklin get an in-state win?
North Dakota State at Iowa [Noon, ESPN2] NDSU is the five-time reigning FCS national champion. The Bison are on a five-game winning streak against FBS opponents. Kirk Ferentz just signed a contract extension…
Colorado at Michigan [3:30pm, BTN] Michigan’s first game as less than a four-touchdown favorite. Colorado released a funny depth chart. A Colorado blog asserted “There’s nothing special” about Jim Harbaugh.
Oregon at Nebraska [3:30pm, ABC] Two high-powered offenses. Brady Hoke’s revamped Ducks defense. Oregon is ranked. Mike Riley’s Cornhuskers are favored.
Texas A&M at Auburn [7:00pm, ESPN] Sumlin vs. Malzahn. A potential “six-pointer” in the SEC hot seat table.
USC at Stanford [8:00pm, ABC] This looked like it would be a big deal. Then USC got Bama’d. How sold are we on the Cardinal?
Texas at California [10:30pm, ESPN] Best bet for some B12/P12 after dark.