A few of college football’s top teams inevitably fall every Saturday, and Week 3 will be no different.
Week 2 was particularly rough for AP Top 25 teams, as five ranked programs went down. South Carolina, Florida, Notre Dame, Texas and USC all lost on Saturday, opening the door for several other teams to slide into the polls.
While I’m not expecting five more ranked teams to crumble in Week 3, the following teams are definitely in trouble.
No. 6 Texas A&M
The Aggies have started the season predictably strong, cruising to easy victories over Rice and Sam Houston State. Unfortunately for Johnny Manziel and crew, their championship hopes will take a hit this week against Alabama.
The Tide will be well-rested after their off week, and they should be hungry for revenge after Manziel and A&M handed them their only loss of 2012. Although Manziel is one of the best quarterbacks in the country, no player is safe when Nick Saban and the Alabama defense have had nearly two weeks to plan for them.
Alabama’s offense struggled in their 45-10 season-opening victory over Virginia Tech, but their defense and special teams picked up the slack by scoring three touchdowns. If AJ McCarron and TJ Yeldon return to their usual form on Saturday, the Tide will avenge last season’s loss to A&M.
No. 23 Nebraska
The Cornhuskers dominated Southern Mississippi on Saturday, winning 56-13. However, they will face a much more capable opponent in Week 3.
The 16th-ranked UCLA Bruins boast one of the best running attacks in the country thanks to running back Jordon James and quarterback Brett Hundley. In UCLA's win over Nevada, James carried the ball 21 times for 155 yards and one touchdown. Hundley added 63 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in addition to 274 yards and two more touchdowns through the air.
Against a Nebraska defense that allowed 602 yards of total offense to Wyoming, look for James and Hundley to dominate.
No. 19 Washington
The Huskies impressed in their season opener, but I’m expecting them to lose a shootout to Illinois on Saturday.
The Fighting Illini’s explosive offense has put up 42 and 45 points this season behind the arm of Nathan Scheelhaase. The senior quarterback has completed 54-of-73 passes this season, and he ranks in the top 10 in the nation in both passing yards (728) and touchdowns (six).
With a balanced receiving corps and the home crowd behind him, look for Scheelhaase to lead Illinois to the upset.
Here are the complete 2013 AP Top 25 rankings for Week 3:
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