National Preview: Week 3

PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 09: Ronald Johnson #83 of the USC Trojans loses control of the ball when he is hit by Delano Howell #26 of the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

This is not a banner week for riveting games outside of the Big Ten. The Alabama/Arkansas game looked to be an early season match-up between two top ten teams with national title aspirations. After Arkansas' stunning loss to Louisiana Monroe last week, it's not just a game featuring the number one team against an unranked conference foe.

Still, it's college football, which means there will be games to fill your Saturday outside of the Penn State/Navy and Michigan State/Notre Dame contests.

Game of the Week
(2)USC at (21)Stanford FOX 7:30 p.m.
It looked like USC was in serious trouble last week against Syracuse before pulling away in the fourth quarter. Stanford does not look nearly as good after losing Andrew Luck and a few other key members of the offense, but will challenge the Trojans if they get off to another slow start. USC should be more than ready for this contest after suffering a devastating triple-OT loss last season. At the very least, you will see plenty of Erin Andrews during game coverage after her recent transition to FOX.
Prediction: USC-28 Stanford- 23

Worth Watching
(1)Alabama at Arkansas CBS 3:30 p.m.
This game has lost nearly all of its luster after the Razorbacks were upset by the Warhawks of Louisiana-Monroe. It was probably for the best, as it has saved us from hearing the hyperbole that would have come from a top-ten SEC match-up. Arkansas struggled mightily against Alabama last year, and don't expect this season to be much different.
Prediction: Alabama- 38 Arkansas- 13

(18)Florida at (23)Tennessee ESPN 6 p.m.
This was always one of the top games of the year in the late '90s and early '00s as it nearly always showcased two top-five teams fighting to keep its national title hopes alive. Both programs have fallen off slightly since then, but find themselves ranked and looking to build on 2-0 starts. A win would be especially huge for the Volunteers as they try to move up in the rankings, which has been unfamiliar territory the last few years.
Prediction: Tennessee- 21 Florida- 17

(25)BYU at Utah ESPN 10 p.m.
This game is typically played on Thanksgiving weekend, but thanks to conference realignment we get a very early rivalry game. Both teams will be pulling out all the stops as they fight for state bragging rights, so expect an entertaining late-night game.
Prediction: BYU- 34 Utah- 31

Keep an Eye On
(14)Texas at Ole Miss ESPN 9:15 p.m.
Texas has spent all of the post-Colt McCoy era fighting to return to national prominence. A victory over Ole Miss does not indicate they are back, but will at least be a step in the right direction in the pursuit of their very lofty expectations.
Prediction: Texas 28 Ole Miss 14

Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn SEC Network 12:21 p.m.
ULM could make a huge splash by defeating two "name" SEC programs in as many weeks. After their shocking upset over Arkansas, there is no way Auburn will overlook the Warhawks on Saturday. If you caught the Auburn-Mississippi State game last weekend, they may need to be firing on all cylinders to escape an upset.
Prediction: Louisiana Monroe- 27 Auburn- 24

(13)Virginia Tech at Pitt FX Noon
I'm sure Pitt was just resting up during the first two weeks as they prepared for a more "elite" opponent, right?Seriously though, Pitt is terrible.
Prediction- Virginia Tech- 34 Pitt- 14

Editor's Choice
How I will be spending my Saturday:
Noon: TV1- Cal at Ohio State TV2- Wake Forest at Florida State TV3- TCU at Kansas (on second thought, I'm going to find a more productive use of my time until the 3:30 kick-offs).
3:30: TV1- Navy at Penn State TV2- Alabama at Arkansas TV3- UMass at Michigan
Night Games: TV1- Notre Dame at Michigan State TV2- USC at Stanford TV3- Florida at Tennessee
Late Games: TV1- BYU at Utah TV2- Texas at Ole MIss


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