COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP- Week 3

Three glorious weekends of college football are in the books, and for me, three teams have completely separated themselves from the rest of the field and appear to be in a different league. Those teams are, of course, LSU, USC and Florida. Oklahoma has looked impressive as well, but hasn’t really had a marquee opponent yet as the other three have (no, Miami doesn’t count anymore).

Of the three, Florida was most impressive Saturday afternoon. Tim Tebow threw some Peyton Manning-eqsue lazer beam passes that couldn’t have been more perfect as the Gators threw 59 points on the struggling Vols, 24 of them in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the electric Percy Harvin threw himself into the forefront of the Heisman picture. I was surprised by the announcers and their seeming disapproval of Tebow staying in and running up the score. We’re talking about a team that is going to be ranked behind a duo of undefeated Trojans and Tigers unless they start beating everyone they play by 40 points every time out. Of course, they do get their own shot at LSU in what looks now to be the best game of the regular season, but you get my point. Sadly, this is what the BCS has forced coaches to do. Florida needed to make a statement, and that’s exactly what they did.

Bob Stoops and Oklahoma were no strangers to this strategy as they rolled up Utah State 54-3, and quarterback Sam Bradford looked incredibly efficient once again. Conference arch rival Texas, who I still believe to be the more talented team of the two, narrowly escaped another unthinkable upset as they prevailed 35-32 over Central Florida. I’ve still managed to justify ranking the Longhorns two spots ahead of the Sooners somehow, but that will change in a hurry with another rough outing, or after Oklahoma beats a team with any talent whatsoever. I suppose the road trip to Tulsa this weekend will suffice.
As for LSU, they’ve still only given up 7 points all season, and they beat an underrated Middle Tennessee State team that almost beat Louisville last week by 44 points and with a backup quarterback no less. Again, the Tigers are simply terrifying. USC stepped up to a big challenge and ran all over an outmatched Nebraska squad that despite a riveting college football atmosphere in Lincoln still couldn’t equal the talent of the Trojans. The Huskers kept it close early, and even led 10-7 in the second quarter, but in the end the Trojans were just far too physical and too athletic. There were times in the this game that it literally looked like men against boys, especially when USC was running the football.

In the battle of the former heavyweights, Michigan got a big win and a morale boost as they decimated Notre Dame 38-0. Really, how bad is Notre Dame? Could they be 2-10 this season? I still think they can win three or four as Duke, Army, Navy (who lost to Ball State over the weekend somehow) and Michigan State all still remain on the schedule. But wow, how does a program really fall this hard, this fast? They’re calling it a rebuilding year, but I’m not so sure. Three games without an offensive touchdown is absolutely brutal.

Finally, in two of the least publicized games this weekend, Boston College got a huge win as they went into Georgia Tech and pretty much dominated, while Arkansas and Alabama engaged in a wild shootout of a game that ending up going to the Crimson Tide on a last second touchdown. Obviously, both of these wins were huge for each program. And how could I forget what was a real shocker for me, as Louisville lost to in-state rival Kentucky. I guess losing an offensive mastermind makes some difference for the Cardinals, but what they should be really worried about now is their defense.

GAMES TO WATCH THIS WEEK:

#17 South Carolina at #1 LSU, 2:30 CST, CBS: Are the Gamecocks for real? Well, this would certainly be one way to prove it, as Spurrier takes his troops into extremely hostile territory to challenge what has looked like a world-beating LSU squad. We will see, but my guess is that they’re going to have their work cut out for them.

#10 Penn State at Michigan, 2:30 CST, ABC: This game has certainly lost some luster, although in the process has probably gained intrigue. Has Michigan bounced back after the ND win? Are they ready to play like the team we all expected to see? This will be a big test, as Penn State is playing the best (and maybe the only respectable) football in the Big Ten right now. This will be the biggest game from a momentum standpoint of the season for both teams.

#22 Kentucky at #19 Arkansas, 5:00 CST, ESPN 2: Arkansas took a hard loss last week, but they had it coming after stealing one from Alabama last season. They’ll be at home this time and I still have faith in the Hogs, but they’ll need to stiffen their defense if they hope to contain star Wildcat quarterback Andre Woodson. Expect some points.

#24 Georgia at #18 Alabama, 6:45 CST, ESPN: I’m always down for some SEC football at night. Georgia is badly in need of a victory after being shocked by South Carolina, but this isn’t going to be easy. The Alabama passing game looks to be really clicking, although they’ll likely see a tougher defense this week than they did during last week’s shootout with the Razorbacks.

Iowa at #8 Wisconsin, 7:00 CST, ABC: Bleh…this game actually looks like a pretty rough watch, but since it’s the nationally televised ABC night game I suppose I’ll tune in, if only to see if the Big Ten is really as bad as it looks like it is. Seeing the Badgers win a game handily would be a better sign, but that won’t be an easy task with the Hawkeyes still reeling from that mind-blowing loss Division III quality Iowa State last weekend. Although Wisconsin almost lost to The Citadel. Sigh…

TOP 40 OF THE MATTY

  1. LSU (3-0)
  2. USC (3-0)
  3. Florida (3-0)
  4. Texas (3-0)
  5. West Virginia (3-0)
  6. Oklahoma (3-0)
  7. Rutgers (3-0)
  8. Wisconsin (3-0)
  9. California (3-0)
  10. Penn State (3-0)
  11. Virginia Tech (2-1)
  12. Boston College (3-0)
  13. Ohio State (3-0)
  14. Hawaii (3-0)
  15. Oregon (3-0)
  16. Texas A & M (3-0)
  17. South Carolina (3-0)
  18. Alabama (3-0)
  19. Arkansas (1-1)
  20. Nebraska (2-1)
  21. Georgia Tech (2-1)
  22. Kentucky (3-0)
  23. Louisville (2-1)
  24. Georgia (2-1)
  25. Clemson (3-0)
  26. Tennessee (1-2)
  27. Missouri (3-0)
  28. Texas Tech (3-0)
  29. South Florida (3-0)
  30. Arizona State(3-0)
  31. Purdue (3-0)
  32. Cincinnati (3-0)
  33. Florida State (2-1)
  34. UCLA (2-1)
  35. Washington (2-1)
  36. Kansas (3-0)
  37. Air Force (3-0)
  38. Oregon State (2-1)
  39. Miami (2-1)
  40. Michigan (1-2)

HEISMAN WATCH

  1. Darren McFadden, Arkansas
  2. Percy Harvin, Florida
  3. Ray Rice, Rutgers
  4. Colt Brennan, Hawaii
  5. DeSean Jackson, California
  6. John David Booty, USC
  7. Steve Slaton, West Virginia
  8. Tim Tebow, Florida
  9. Matt Ryan, Boston College
  10. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
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