NCAAF Week 3 Weekend Preview

September 17, 2010

They called last weekend Monster Saturday in reference to the number of big matchups being played around the country. Although no one has coined a name for this weekend, there are a lot of interesting games this weekend as well. Here is a list of my top five games to pay attention to this weekend, as well as some storylines that I’d like to address.

Top 5 Games to Pay Attention to This Weekend

#12 Arkansas at Georgia (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

Georgia has never started 0-2 in the SEC under Mark Richt, but they have a tough test this weekend if they want to keep it that way. I put Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett on my preseason Heisman watch for a reason; he has the ability to pick defenses apart, even in the most hostile atmosphere. Georgia has had trouble scoring the ball this season, putting just six points on the board in a loss to South Carolina last weekend, which is not a recipe for success against a Razorbacks team known for their offensive firepower. The Bulldogs are missing wideout A.J. Green more and more every week.

My Pick: 31-17 Arkansas

#10 Florida at Tennessee (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

This is the most interesting matchup this weekend in my opinion. Tennessee looked good against Oregon last weekend for about a quarter and a half, and then went totally flat on offense for the rest of the game. Florida has not been overly impressive on offense this season either, so barring some sort of career day by John Brantley, Tennessee will probably not give up forty-five unanswered to the Gators like they did against Oregon. Florida is 5-0 against the Vols under Urban Meyer, but those wins were during the Chris Leak and Tim Tebow eras. Add the fact that Florida may be a little overrated, and that the game is being played in Knoxville, and we may be looking at the first Top 10 upset of the season.

My Pick: 27-24 Tennessee

Clemson at #16 Auburn (Saturday, 7 PM ET)

The ACC looked awful as a whole last weekend, so this is a game where they can attempt to regain some of the respect they lost. Clemson may be the class of the ACC, but then again, they may not be. Regardless, I think that Auburn is a little bit overrated, much like their SEC counterpart Florida. Cameron Newton is kind of like a poor man’s Terrelle Pryor, but unlike Pryor, Newton routinely has to rely entirely on himself to make plays. Auburn will need to be more unpredictable against Clemson if they want to win this game, because Clemson has the playmakers on defense to contain Newton.

My Pick: 34-27 Clemson

#6 Texas at Texas Tech (Saturday, 8 PM ET)

Last time this game was played in Lubbock, Michael Crabtree was able to score a late touchdown to lead the Red Raiders over the Longhorns, which proved to be the only loss Texas would suffer that year. Crabtree is no longer there to help the Red Raiders out, and as usual, Texas Tech has a questionable defense. Currently, Texas Tech averages 43.5 PPG on offense, and they’re definitely going to need to score a lot tomorrow night if they want to beat the Longhorns. Even then, it may not be enough. Texas has had some trouble offensively early on in games this year, so Texas Tech will need to hope that happens and take advantage of it. As for the Longhorns, playing catch up against a team like Texas Tech, who can score at will, is not recommended.

My Pick: 41-31 Texas

#9 Iowa at #24 Arizona (Saturday, 10:30 PM ET)

This is the only game this weekend featuring two ranked teams, so naturally it is one to watch. Iowa has cruised in their first two games, but their first real test will be against the Wildcats, who will test a Hawkeye defense that gives up a Big Ten best 216 yards per game. The Wildcats will need a balanced offensive attack, and cannot rely on Nick Foles to carry to offense. Arizona will need to find a way to contain Iowa’s defensive line, or this game could have an end result similar to the 2009 Holiday Bowl, which the Wildcats lost 33-0 to Nebraska.

My Pick: 28-13 Iowa

5 More to Flip To

California at Nevada (Tonight, 10 PM ET)

Cal’s defense should be too much for Nevada. Should

Georgia Tech at North Carolina (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

Both teams are in dire need of this win, if only to instill some confidence, which both have lost a lot of.

East Carolina at Virginia Tech (Saturday, 1:30 PM ET)

Who would have guessed that the Hokies could start the season 0-3?

Air Force at #7 Oklahoma (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

The Falcons are probably a little too undersized to beat the Sooners, but they looked really good in a win over BYU. This one could be interesting.

Notre Dame at Michigan State (Saturday, 8 PM ET)

Notre Dame has had trouble in East Lansing as of late. Could the Irish go 0-2 against Michigan teams yet again?

Storylines for the Weekend

Georgia’s Mark Richt is NOT on the hot seat

I was listening to the Paul Finebaum Radio Network yesterday, and a lot of people were calling in speculating on whether or not Georgia head coach Mark Richt is on the hot seat if he loses to Arkansas this weekend. The answer, quite simply, is no. The Bulldogs have a redshirt freshman starting at quarterback, and are without their star wideout until the fifth game. Once A.J. Green returns and Aaron Murray gets some game experience under his belt, the Bulldogs will turn it around, and probably finish the season on a high note. There are clear reasons why the Bulldogs offense has been bad so far, and Richt isn’t one of them.

Don’t Stop Living In The Red

You think Boise State’s field is bad? If you do, you’re really going to get a kick out of this. There’s no editing or Photoshop work there. No, that’s actually the University of Eastern Washington’s field, which will be played on for the first time this weekend. I like Boise’s field, but I think that the red could quickly become an eyesore. Also, you won’t be able to make the joke that birds dive into it thinking it is water like you can with Boise’s field. I wouldn’t expect any big name programs to try this any time soon.

Time for the Pac-10 to make a statement

Last weekend, the ACC made a statement, but in a bad way. The Pac-10 has a chance to look really good on the national stage. As far as underdogs are concerned, Arizona is at home against Iowa, Washington is at home against Nebraska, and UCLA is at home against Houston. These are all games that the Pac-10 can realistically win and use as ammunition against critics who believe that the conference is weak. If the Pac-10 doesn’t want to become an afterthought as the ACC may have become after last weekend, then they need a big weekend from not only the top of their conference, but from the middle as well.

Thanks to my dad, I now have an easier way for you all to get to the blog. By typing in, you will now be directed to the page. It should be much easier for you all to tell people how to get to the blog. I am aware that saying around the corn sports blog dot blogspot dot com is a mouthful, and even harder to remember. As always, thanks to everyone that has ever taken the time to read my work.

– K. Becks

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