This Weekend in College Football: Week 3

A while back I decided to start listing streaming content in this roundup. Mostly, I do this so that I can easily lookup which service a given game might be on, and when. I still don’t intend to start writing commentary for streaming-only games, but today I will introduce a new enhancement to the list: FCS teams will now be listed in italics.

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

11:00: Wofford @ Virginia Tech (ACCN)

Noon:

  • Connecticut @ Michigan (ABC): Michigan gets another chance to decide who their quarterback is going to be.
  • Oklahoma @ Nebraska (FOX): The rivalry is renewed, and now that it is no longer Scott Frost Day, the question everyone wants to the answer to is… will Nebraska lose by more than 7 points now?
  • Georgia @ South Carolina (ESPN): The way we all like to imagine this game going is the wacky, hijinks-filled game that cause a clearly superior UGA team to win only like 20-17 or even lose. Unfortunately, unless Spencer Rattler plays out of his mind, I think this one is going to look like the last two results: 45-16 and 40-13.
  • Purdue @ Syracuse (ESPN2): We’re still very much in September, which mean we also are still very much figuring some things out about these teams. Such as: is Syracuse good? Should I pick them in this game? I’m not sure I feel about either of those things! I guess I’ll take the Orange and try to remember the result of this one.
  • Texas State @ Baylor (FS1): This game is the perfect salve for Baylor after the rather concerning OT loss to BYU last weekend.
  • Cincinnati vs. Miami (“The Battle for the Bell” @ Cincinnati, OH; ESPNU): It’s a rivalry, but unfortunately, this is a very extreme example of two programs that have gone in majorly opposite directions. Bearcats by a lot.
  • Youngstown State @ Kentucky (SEC)
  • Southern Illinois @ Northwestern (BTN)
  • Western Kentucky @ Indiana (BTN): WKU is a bit of a shambles at the moment, which means that Indiana had really better win this game.
  • Villanova @ Army (CBSS)
  • Long Island @ Kent State (espn3.com)
  • Abilene Christian @ Missouri (ESPN+)

1:00:

  • Towson @ West Virginia (ESPN+)
  • Buffalo @ Coastal Carolina (ESPN+)

2:00:

  • Old Dominion @ Virginia (ACCN): ODU has a small winning streak against their in-state ACC foes, and they’ll look to continue it here against a very moribund bunch of Cavs. I kind of think they will.
  • South Alabama @ California-Los Angeles (Pac12): Speaking of the “figuring teams out” discussion above, here’s another exhibit: is UCLA good? That said, I don’t think playing USA will help us figure that out.
  • Murray State @ Ball State (ESPN+)
  • Ohio @ Iowa State (ESPN+)
  • Rutgers @ Temple (ESPN+)

2:30: California @ Notre Dame (NBC): So the shine is off a bit for Marcus Freeman after losing three straight to start his career, with that third game being the Marshall Thundering Herd from last week’s big Sun Belt Beast explosion. I still can’t reasonably pick Notre Dame to win, given that Marshall probably has a better offense than Cal, but I don’t feel great about it.

3:00: North Texas @ Nevada-Las Vegas (MWCN)

3:30:

  • Pennsylvania State @ Auburn (CBS): Hello and welcome to the mother of all Anxiety Bowls. The expectation on the larger college football internet is that this is going to be the nail in the coffin for Brian Harsin’s tenure at Auburn, but that said James Franklin is in a bit of a rough patch at Happy Valley as well. But, yeah, I’m riding with the #narrative: I’ve got Penn State all the way here.
  • Brigham Young @ Oregon (FOX): So BYU beat a top-10 Baylor team last weekend, insofar as rankings mean anything at this point in the season. That said, yeah, Baylor was (is?) expected to contend for the Big 12 title, but folks, BYU is for real and plays a schedule that is also very, very real. A win in Eugene would seal the deal for the Cougars if they can win out. And I think they can win this one against an Oregon program that I think is still trying to figure it out a little bit.
  • Mississippi @ Georgia Tech (ABC): It’s hard to see this one as anything other than the beginning of the end. Oh trust me, deep down, I want us to win. But under what math could I possibly see us doing so? Sure, we wound up going away against Western Carolina last week, but stopping them wasn’t so much based on beating them soundly so much as getting some turnovers. Personally, it wasn’t the sort of domination I would expect to see against a middling FCS team. And if we can’t dominate an FCS team, how are we supposed to do that against frankly the caliber of SEC team we should be as good as? I just don’t see it.
  • Colorado @ Minnesota (ESPN2): Colorado is down bad right now, folks. Ski-U-Mah all the way here.
  • New Mexico State @ Wisconsin (BTN): I’m still not completely sure what happened in that Wazzu game last weekend, but Wisky will look just fine in this one.
  • Vanderbilt @ Northern Illinois (CBSS): Last year’s Vandy team probably loses this game, but this year’s version probably wins.
  • Georgia Southern @ Alabama-Birmingham (Stadium)
  • Stony Brook @ Massachusetts (espn3.com)
  • Troy @ Appalachian State (ESPN+)

4:00:

  • Tennessee-Martin @ Boise State (FS1)
  • Kansas @ Houston (ESPNU): Competent (Kompetent?) Kansas rolls into future conference-mate Houston with a noticeable chip on their shoulder for probably the first time since Mark Mangino roamed the Jayhawk sideline. Personally, I think that chip is about to get knocked off by some still very game Cougars who themselves have something to prove after a close loss in Lubbock last weekend.
  • Louisiana-Monroe @ Alabama (SEC): Nick Saban apparently still remembers that time Monroe beat him in 2008, so, yeah, expect Alabama to cover whatever the line is in this one.

5:00:

  • Marshall @ Bowling Green (NFL): Sometimes teams can definitely think pretty highly of themselves after pulling a huge upset. And jokes about the crowd in South Bend aside, there ain’t no Touchdown Jesus in Bowling Green. It also helps that, in terms of avoiding the let down, Bowling Green is real, real bad. Herd all the way here.
  • Liberty @ Wake Forest (ACCN): Liberty is 2-0, but Wake is going to kick them down a notch here.
  • Colorado State @ Washington State (Pac12): It would be totally within Wazzu’s character to win in Camp Randall and drop this one back home, but they won’t.

6:00:

  • Mississippi State @ Louisiana State (ESPN): Miss State might be kind of good, whereas I have no read on LSU right now. I’ll take the Bulldogs.
  • North Carolina A&T @ Duke (ACCNX)
  • Campbell @ East Carolina (ESPN+)

7:00:

  • Toledo @ Ohio State (FOX): Why is this on Fox? No, seriously, I thought the networks weren’t allowed to show this sort of thing before 9:00pm?
  • Texas Tech @ North Carolina State (ESPN2): I think the Wolfpack are going to win this one, but it may bear watching. And it’ll probably be better than that snuff film Fox is going to show.
  • Northwestern State @ Southern Mississippi (espn3.com)
  • Jacksonville State @ Tulsa (ESPN+)
  • Tennessee State @ Middle Tennessee State (ESPN+)
  • Arkansas State @ Memphis (ESPN+)
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ Oklahoma State (ESPN+)
  • Charlotte @ Georgia State (ESPN+)
  • Akron @ Tennessee (ESPN+)
  • Missouri State @ Arkansas (ESPN+)

7:30:

  • Michigan State @ Washington (ABC): Things are about to real, real fast for the new regime in Seattle. While DeBoer has definitely restored a certain air of competence, Sparty is going to be a different level and likely show them they’ve got a ways to go.
  • Southern Methodist @ Maryland (FS1): I suspect I am going to be very, very conflicted next weekend 4-0 Maryland rolls into 4-0 Michigan.
  • Pittsburgh @ Western Michigan (ESPNU): Pitt takes a road trip for some reason, but they’ll be okay for it, though perhaps a tad shaken up.
  • South Florida @ Florida (SEC): Yeah, that 10 point loss to Kentucky is going to be papered over real quick by this one.
  • Nevada @ Iowa (BTN): If Nevada could get Colin Kapernick back in uniform for this one they would beat Iowa handily on account of being able to actually score points. Alas, modern Nevada lost to an FCS team called Incarnate Word last weekend. Iowa might go crazy in thos one and score double digit points, but either way, Nevada may not score any.
  • Central Florida @ Florida Atlantic (CBSS): This isn’t your, uh, older brother’s(?) UCF, but they can still beat the FAUs of the world handily.
  • Maine @ Boston College (ACC/RSN)
  • Louisiana @ Rice (ESPN+)

8:00:

  • Louisiana Tech @ Clemson (ACCN): It’ll get somewhat more real for Clemson next week against Wake Forest, but for now they’ll take their W and we’ll all find out how many Herbstreits and Swinneys are still on the roster.
  • Montana State vs. Oregon State (@Portland, OR; Pac12)
  • Texas-San Antonio @ Texas (LHN)
  • Texas-El Paso @ New Mexico (MWCN)

9:00: Miami @ Texas A&M (ESPN): I keep forgetting this is happening. Which may be for the best, because it’s probably going to make for some great TV. The Canes are out to prove they’re real, which is much more inspiring than proving you’re better than a team that just to Appalachian at home.

10:00: San Diego State @ Utah (ESPN2): The Utes should comfortably handle this one at home.

10:30: Fresno State @ Southern California (FOX): Buckle up, it’s going to be another fun night after dark. In addition to Miami-TAMU above, this one should offer a much grit as Jake Haener and the Bulldogs can muster against an USC team that looks like they’ve got it cranked up again. But despite last week’s lost to Oregon State, I’m convinced Haener and Co. can play up to an opponent, and this could have some entertainment value deep into the second half.

11:00:

  • North Dakota State @ Arizona (FS1): A rare comment on this one just once again say: WHY ARIZONA?!?
  • Eastern Michigan @ Arizona State (Pac12): While the above game involving an Arizona team should be pretty good despite (well, probably because of) the FCS opponent, this one won’t be. The Sun Devils aren’t good, but they’re not “lose to Eastern Michigan” bad. Probably.

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