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NCAA Football Week 3 – Must Watch Games

College football has to be considered the greatest sport out there because the regular season is so meaningful. Last week we had “STEP UP SATURDAY” or whatever moniker ESPN was giving the Week 2 slate of games. In retrospect, last week didn’t really tell us much because all the big games were blow out victories. Ohio St. blew out Miami-FL. Oklahoma blew out Florida St. If anything, last week was more about Virginia Tech losing to James Madison which possibly could have ended Boise St.’s championship dreams. It was about Georgia Tech losing to Kansas which was even more damaging to the ACC than the Canes & ‘Noles losing.

Week 3 in my opinion has a shot to be even more exciting than Week 2 simply because it’s another chance to separate the wheat from the chaff, but in ways that are much more interesting. Texas is on the road against a Texas Tech team that has played extremely well so far this year. Iowa goes on the road to play Arizona in what should be an outstanding football game with huge implications for both teams. Oklahoma will get a huge test from the Air Force Academy in what should be a battle of wills. Auburn welcomes in Clemson in what should be a great game for both squads. Auburn has BCS championships on their minds while Clemson wants to restore some of the luster of the ACC.

There are other interesting games without much BCS Title implications, but games that will determine a lot of the order of the 2010 College Football Season. Mississippi St. travels to LSU in a game I think the Bulldogs have a better chance of winning than the home team. Notre Dame travels to East Lansing to play a Michigan St. team that always gives the Irish trouble. If ND plays like it has the first couple of week & Dayne Crist is healthy then an Irish win here could possibly point towards Notre Dame winning 9-11 games this season. California travels to Nevada in what could be the very best game of the week that isn’t getting major media scrutiny. A Cal win here could set the Bears up for a serious Rose Bowl run. A Wolfpack win & it could signify that Nevada really could beat Boise St. later in the year when they travel to Reno.

It really is a huge week with massive implications. Let’s take a look at the must watch games.

ROAD HOME PREDICTION
An interesting Thursday matchup between teams in conferences that need big wins. Week 1 was a disaster for the Big East. Week 2 was a disaster for the ACC. This isn’t a big win per se, but will give each conference a boost. Keep in mind that the Wolfpack goes to 3-0 with a win here.
Nevada is probably the best team you’ve never heard of. QB Colin Kaepernick is probably the best QB you’ve never heard of. This should be an outstanding football game that will mean a lot to both teams. If Nevada wins, it could mean they just might have the ability to beat Boise later.
Another SEC slobber knocker! Georgia needs to get back on track after losing to SC. I don’t think the Dawgs want to start 1-2. Arkansas could move to 3-0. This will be really interesting from the standpoint that Georgia got Kenny Lattimore last week & Ryan Mallett this week. Two very different kinds of offenses.
Both of these clubs need wins badly. UNC is still dealing with the fallout of their academic scandal while GT just lost to Kansas for crying out loud! In a game that should have been about ACC supremacy is now a game where each team is trying to find itself. I’m not sure UNC can afford to start 0-2.
Air Force hammered BYU last week & they might be a lot better than we think. Getting Oklahoma in Norman won’t be easy, but this game will come down to Air Force’s ability to dominate the game through the run. If they do that then Oklahoma could be in serious trouble. If AF dominated time of possession, Landry Jones won’t get much run which only helps the Academy.
It’s been a somewhat odd season for UW so far. They lose to BYU who got hammered by Air Force. Syracuse keeps it close for awhile b/f the Huskies pull away. Nebraska is getting some run as an elite team. I don’t want to turn my back on Steve Sarkisian & Jake Locker, but a Nebraska blowout here teaches us a lot I would think.
It’s Florida/Tennessee in Neyland Stadium so to me that’s a huge game. I was a little disappointed to see the Vols get murdered by Oregon in the 2nd half last week, but let’s face it, Oregon right now looks light years ahead of Florida. If the Vols can finish, this one gets a lot more interesting b/c the Gators have simply looked ordinary thus far.
Solid Big 10/Pac 10 matchup. Normally I would think Wisconsin would blow this one open at Camp Randall, but ASU behind Steven Threet has been particularly good & Wisconsin has looked just OK. Some of this is a result of horrific competition for the Sun Devils, but Wisky hasn’t been playing top-10 teams either. I think the Badgers need a big win here to restore some faith in the 2010 team.
Both teams are coming off blow out losses and on paper it looks as if BYU should get hammered for a 2nd week in a row, but the Cougars did beat Washington in the first week of the season. I think Jake Locker is a better QB than Christian Ponder & if Ponder plays like he did against Oklahoma then this is a very winnable game for BYU. The ‘Noles cannot start 1-2. It would be a disaster.
Baylor is starting to make some noise. They are definitely playing in the wrong Big XII division, but they can score behind QB Robert Griffin. I don’t think they can beat a team like TCU on the road, but it’ll be a solid measuring stick for the Bears & Griffin is the type of player who has the ability to have one of those games that he can completely take over. I don’t think the Bears win, but if Griffin is on they could definitely scare.
Frankly, Mississippi St. should have beaten Auburn last week in Starkville. Dan Mullen has a solid team here that could be 1-2 years away from being a scary factor in the SEC. LSU simply isn’t any good & I think Les Miles is the worst coach in the conference. I know it’s still LSU & I know it’s in Baton Rouge, but LSU probably should have lost to a North Carolina team sitting 12 starters. That’s ridiculous. If MSU wins, then LSU could be looking at 5th place in the SEC West & possibly a 6-6 or 7-5 season. The heat on Miles would be crazy!
My HOOSIERS are back in action on the road against Western Kentucky. WKU sucks so Indiana should get the win here, but there were definitely concerns despite the opening win over Towson St. I think IU wins, but the big thing to watch is how they win. It’ll be telling for IU moving forward.
With how the ACC has played so far, I’d expect Auburn to win this game by 20 points, but this is a pretty big game against a couple of marquee teams. Clemson is 2-0 & is the class of the ACC so far. Auburn is at home & another win here simply keeps the train moving towards 11-0 before heading to Alabama. This game means an awful lot.
I don’t understand the Texas hype so far. Sure the Longhorns are 2-0 & they’ve won their games by a good margin, but to me they haven’t looked good. The last time Texas went into Lubbock, they lost. This year Texas Tech is playing extremely well & I think the Red Raiders could get a win here if Texas doesn’t have a great game. Big game for both squads.
The Irish go on the road for the first time. This will be a telling game for ND. After their first 2 games, I’m really high on ND. Obviously I’m a ND homer, but they look outstanding even with losing to Michigan last week at home. MSU hasn’t been great although they are running ball exceptionally well. I don’t think that works against ND. If the Irish win this game, I think it’ll show just how good they are and 9-11 wins is certainly possible. If they lose, ND will still be a team that can win on any given Saturday, but maybe they are still a year away? Dayne Crist HAS TO STAY HEALTHY!
Don’t sleep on Arizona. The Wildcats have been playing great football & at some point you knew Mark Stoops was going to get this program in a very good place. That place could very well be this year if Arizona picks up this win! Right now to me it looks like Iowa simply has no weaknesses, but this is a HUGE road test for the Hawkeyes. They need the win.
Butler welcomes in NAIA member Taylor University into the Butler Bowl! Last week Butler got hammered by Youngstown St. I guess YSU didn’t have much trouble with the Bulldogs after playing Penn St. in their opener! Butler will try to go 2-1 with a win at home.

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September 15, 2010 - Posted by | Big Games, Week 3

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