College Football Week 3 Picks: Top Teams on Upset Alert

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2013

Sep 7, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Jesse James (18) prior to the game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The college football season should get interesting now that the top teams have gotten their tune-up games out of the way.

Other than fans rooting for the favorite, nobody derived much enjoyment from watching a powerhouse beat down an overmatched mid-major. The sheer number of schools out there leads to some inevitable blowouts during the week's cavalcade of action.

At least the schedule begins to intensify during the season's third week. All the spotlight is shined brightly on the showdown between Alabama and Texas A&M, but the Aggies are not the only squad capable of making a major statement this Saturday.

These teams should sleep with one eye open as they could suffer an upset if they're not careful.


No. 20 Wisconsin (at Arizona State)

This matchup is a major litmus for both squads since neither has been tested early in the season.

Neither Wisconsin nor Arizona State has allowed a point this season, with the two clubs outscoring their opponents 148-0 through three games. Now that they're done beating down hapless adversaries, the Badgers could face a rude awakening at the hands of the Sun Devils.

Wisconsin pounded FCS opponent Tennessee Tech last weekend, recording 606 yards in a 48-0 massacre. Three rushers accrued more than 100 yards while Joel Stave completed 24 of 29 passes.

We could, however, have the same fun exploring Arizona State's 55-0 mudslinging of Sacramento State. Junior Taylor Kelly, who has completed 74.2 percent of his passes when starting at home, registered 300 passing yards and five touchdowns.

While ASU will have to stymie Wisconsin's fierce rushing attack, the sophomore Stave is still unproven under center. If he falters on the road against a tougher Pac-12 squad, Wisconsin might not be ranked much longer.

Saturday marks the beginning of a trying stretch for the Sun Devils, who are slated to face five nationally ranked opponents. Look for the Sun Devils, vying for a seed of their own, to come through with a major win.


Penn State (vs. Central Florida)

This is another case of two undefeated squads finally meeting a worthy foe.

While Penn State sits at 2-0, Syracuse nearly pulled off a stunner to start the season. The Nittany Lions escaped with a 23-17 victory. They looked much more impressive last weekend, stomping Eastern Michigan 45-7.

Freshman Christian Hackenberg has performed well under center, completing 70.3 percent of his passes for 589 yards. Perhaps the Big Ten's top wideout, Allen Robinson, has already netted 14 receptions for 262 yards and two scores.

The other side of the field should concern Penn State, which has yet to face a quarterback near Blake Bortles' talent level. The junior has converted on 30 of his 43 throws, averaging 12.28 yards per attempt without throwing a pick.

Hackenberg, on the other hand, has shown an erratic side with three interceptions, a trend the Knights will maintain in order to pull off a road upset. George O'Leary will formulate a plan to fluster the 18-year-old in his toughest challenge yet, which will lead to Central Florida notching a close victory.