College Football Week 3 TV Schedule: Where to Watch Top Games This Weekend

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 24:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 24, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The fluff of the college football season is coming to an end as intense conference battles begin to become the norm.

Week 3 features the first challenge of the year for a few national title contenders, while other big-time programs will spend the weekend trying to prove that they are a legitimate threat.

Here are Saturday's best matchups with all of the info you need to watch them all.


Alabama at Arkansas

When: 3:30 p.m. ET

Where: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR

Watch: CBS

A week ago, this would have been the matchup of the week, with a top-10 team hosting the returning national champions.

Unfortunately, Arkansas lost to Louisiana-Monroe in overtime and made a historic drop from No. 8 in the polls to out of the rankings entirely.

Starting quarterback and potential Heisman candidate Tyler Wilson was knocked out of the game with a head injury and his status for the upcoming game is uncertain.

Without their starting quarterback, the Razorbacks will be in trouble against one of the top defensive teams in the country.

Alabama already embarrassed talented Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson when he threw two interceptions and completed only 42 percent of his passes in Week 1. If the Tide faces backup quarterback Brandon Allen, a freshman, it could be a long day for the home team.


Florida at Tennessee

When: 6 p.m. ET

Where: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN

Watch: ESPN

Florida has won the last seven meetings between the two teams, but Tyler Bray and Tennessee will look to change that this weekend.

The junior quarterback has two 300-yard games already this season with six total touchdowns and no interceptions. In his last game against Georgia State, he had four touchdowns and only two incomplete passes.

However, the Gators might be one of the few teams in the nation that can match up with this aerial attack. They held the normally impressive Texas A&M offense to 200 passing yards and 27 of those were by wide receiver Kenric McNeal. 

Whichever side wins this battle will likely be the victors in this annual rivalry.


USC at Stanford

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

Where: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA

Watch: FOX

Due to postseason restrictions, USC was irrelevant in the eyes of many football fans last season. That is, until the Trojans forced then-undefeated Stanford to three overtimes. The Cardinal needed a Curtis McNeal fumble to eventually win the game 56-48.

This year, USC is the team trying to put together an undefeated season and Stanford will try to play the role of spoiler. New quarterback Josh Nunes does not remind fans of Andrew Luck just yet, but he is coming along slowly as running back Stepfan Taylor becomes the focal point of the offense.

On the other side of the field, USC has one of the most potent offenses in the nation. It starts with quarterback Matt Barkley, but the team has a number of players that can score from anywhere on the field.

The Trojans have the most talent, but that will not necessarily matter when these two teams play.


Notre Dame at Michigan State

When: 8 p.m. ET

Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI

Watch: ABC

Notre Dame has question marks at quarterback and at running back, but the Irish have survived to get to 2-0 on the season.

However, these next two games against Michigan and Michigan State will tell a lot about a team that has not started 3-0 since 2002.

Everett Golson has been steady for the Irish at quarterback, but former starter Tommy Rees led the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter against Purdue. He will be waiting to get the call again if Golson struggles. 

The Spartans are led by running back Le'Veon Bell, who is currently sixth in the country with 280 rushing yards through his first two games. Notre Dame will have to find a way to slow the big runner if it has any chance of leaving with a win.