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National Preview: Week Three (Now 35% Less Cupcake-y!)

Big boy football is getting close, and we're almost done with this cupcake garbage. I hate cupcakes! HATE 'EM!

We haven't reached the start of conference season, but the conference games are starting to trickle in, and the cupcakes are starting to be less numerous. There not one but two! TWO! games between top 25 teams this week, including a rare top 25 match-up on Thursday night.

Come along, let's take a look at this weekend's slate of national games. For your convenience, here is the TV schedule.

All times shown are Eastern.


The Headliners

(1) Oklahoma Sooners @ (5) Florida St. Seminoles (8 pm, Saturday)

Okay, let's make some assumptions (Fun!). Let's suppose that both of these teams go undefeated in their conference schedule. It's not that crazy. The Big 12 is a three team race between OU, Okie State and A&M. The ACC is FSU, Virginia Tech, and... Yeah, FSU and VT. If both of these teams go undefeated in conference, the loser of this game is likely eliminated from BCS title game consideration (barring some crazy 2007 scenario unfolding).

Future considerations aside, this is a monstrous game between two top five programs. The Seminoles will be out for revenge after the Sooners boat raced them 47-17 last year in Norman. Oklahoma will be without LB Travis Lewis, so expect FSU to try to exploit the middle of the field. I was up in the air about this game for a while, but after seeing this, I've firmly convinced myself that Oklahoma is going to repeat their performance from last year. I hope so, anyway.

(3) LSU Tigers @ (25) Mississippi St. Bulldogs (8 pm, Thursday)

CRAZY THINGS HAPPEN ON THURSDAY NIGHT, Y'ALL! Can Bullie recover from their heartbreaker last Saturday in Auburn? Well, they'd better because LSU won't have sympathy for them. As I always say, trying to predict the outcome of a game Les Miles is involved in is a futile task. LSU should dominate the line of scrimmage and control the game, but it's just as likely that they win on a fake kneeldown for a dropkick field goal. You should probably be drinking while you watch this.

Worthy of Your Consideration

(4) Boise St. Broncos @ Toledo Rockets (8 pm, Friday)

Boise's probably going to smoke them, but I wanted to include this as a hat tip to Toledo for their quality last week against Ohio State. For what it's worth, this game IS in Toledo, but I'm not sure that will mean much.

Tennessee Volunteers @ (16) Florida Gators (3:30 pm, Saturday)

The week before Vawls and Gators is quite possibly my favorite hate week in all of college football. Spencer at EDSBS has been spitting hot fire at Knoxville all week, most of which has made me cry to the point of tears (particularly this one). When it comes to the actual game, it will probably not be as one sided as the smack talk. The Vols can score points, but still lack the depth necessary to field a truly competent defense. Florida is still a big mystery, but if you're looking for answers I would not look towards Charlie Weis. He'll be standing around all afternoon in the Florida heat and he'll be positively unsightly. Seriously, don't look at him.

(18) West Virginia Mountaineers @ Maryland Terrapins (12 pm, Saturday)

Maryland's wearing all black uniforms for this one. I hope Dana Holgorsen and the 'Eers hangs 90 on them.

(21) Auburn Tigers @ Clemson Tigers (12 pm, Saturday)

The Tigers are gonna win!

(23) Texas Longhorns @ UCLA Bruins (3:30 pm, Saturday)

Make sure to tune in so you can see these two teams gum each other to death. The game within the game here is considerably more interesting: Who has the better tan between Pistol Rick Neuheisel and Mack Brown?

For real, the first team to 17 points wins this game. To show you how serious I am about this, the first team to 14 points wins.

Syracuse Orange @ USC Trojans (8 pm, Saturday)

Syracuse may not be all that great still, but Doug Marrone has made 'Cuse disciplined and tough. He's a very solid coach. You know who isn't a very good coach? The kind of coach that has turned a once proud killing machine of a program into a bunch of complacent surf brahs that play down to their opponents?


DERP meter: High. 

Avert Your Eyes

North Texas Mean Green @ (2) Alabama Crimson Tide (7:30 pm, Saturday)

(6) Stanford Cardinal @ Arizona Wildcats (10:45, Saturday)

(8) Oklahoma St. Cowboys @ Tulsa Golden Hurricane (10 pm, Saturday)

Idaho Vandals @ (9) Texas A&M Aggies (7 pm, Saturday)

Navy Midshipmen @ (10) South Carolina Gamecocks (6 pm, Saturday)

Actually, South Carolina should probably be careful here. Navy is exactly the kind of team that will drive Steve Spurrier past the brink of sanity.

Missouri St. Bears @ (12) Oregon Ducks (3:30 pm, Saturday)

Arkansas St. Redwolves @ (13) Virginia Tech Hokies (4 pm, Saturday)

Troy Trojans @ (14) Arkansas Razorbacks (7:30 pm, Saturday)

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks @ (19) Baylor Bears (7 pm, Saturday)

Florida A&M Rattlers @ South Florida Bulls (7 pm, Saturday)

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks @ (23) TCU Horned Frogs (2 pm, Saturday)

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