Power Ranking the 5 Must-See College Football Games of Week 3

Sean FryeFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2013

Power Ranking the 5 Must-See College Football Games of Week 3

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    The action in college football's third week is undoubtedly highlighted by the SEC matchup between Alabama and Texas A&M. 

    The Aggies were the only team to knock off Alabama last year, and with so much focus being put on Johnny Manziel, this game is sure to live up to the hype put on it. 

    However, there are plenty of other games to pay attention to as well. In the only other matchup between two ranked teams, the No. 23 Nebraska Cornhuskers host the No. 16 UCLA Bruins. 

    Check out the rest of the top five college football games of Week 3. 

5. Texas Longhorns vs. No. 25 Ole Miss Rebels

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    Fresh off firing defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after last week's 40-21 loss to BYU, the Texas Longhorns will try to get back on stable ground in Week 3. 

    However, winning won't come easy, as the No. 25 Ole Miss Rebels are coming into Austin with thoughts of establishing themselves as an elite SEC team. 

    The Rebels are 2-0 this season after wins over Vanderbilt and SE Missouri State.

    With the nation's fifth-best recruiting class, according to ESPN, head coach Hugh Freeze wants to show the country that he has brought Ole Miss back to national relevance. 

    Well, a win in Austin over the Longhorns is a great way to prove that. 

    As for Texas, they'll need to find a way to stop the run game. Against BYU, the Longhorns gave up a school-record 550 yards on the ground. 

    Ole Miss is currently ranked No. 32 in the country in rushing yards per game with just over 239. It will certainly look to test a shaken Longhorn defense early and often.  

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. No. 24 TCU Horned Frogs

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    In an interesting battle of quarterbacks in the Big 12, the Texas Tech Red Raiders host the No. 24 TCU Horned Frogs. 

    TCU is reeling from the loss of quarterback Casey Pachall, who broke his non-throwing arm in Week 2 and will miss at least eight weeks, according to Jake Trotter of ESPN. 

    However, Texas Tech's Baker Mayfield, a walk-on freshman quarterback, currently leads the Big 12 in total offense with 862 yards. 

    Per Mike Graham of the Dallas Morning News, Mayfield will be the starter in Lubbock for the "foreseeable future." 

    After Pachall left TCU last season in Week 4, Boykin took over as the permanent starter and the Horned Frogs lost to the Iowa State Cyclones.

    The Horned Frogs can't afford a 1-2 start if they want to stay in contention for a BCS bowl. So how Boykin does against the Red Raiders could set the tone for the entire season.


3. No. 23 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. No. 16 UCLA Bruins

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    In one of only two games between ranked teams in Week 3, Taylor Martinez and the Nebraska Cornhuskers take on Brett Hundley and the UCLA Bruins. 

    This game, which is in Lincoln, is a huge early-season test for both teams. 

    Martinez is in his fourth year as the starting quarterback for the Huskers, and he has his eyes set on a Big Ten title. Currently, Martinez has racked up 439 yards of total offense along with six touchdowns through the air. 

    As for UCLA, the Bruins are 1-0 and have one of the nation's most prolific offenses. The Bruins ranked seventh in the country in rushing yard per game (345.0) and fifth in points per game (58.0). 

    Neither of these two teams have faced a BCS opponent yet, but the Cornhuskers had to squeak by Wyoming in Week 1, 37-34. If Nebraska wants to be able to oust the Bruins, they'll have to pick it up defensively. 

2. No. 13 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

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    In the second SEC game for both teams, the No. 13 South Carolina Gamecocks are hosting the Vanderbilt Commodores. 

    The Gamecocks are 1-1 after falling to the Georgia Bulldogs in Week 2. On the flipside, the Commodores are also 1-1 with a Week 1 loss to Ole Miss. 

    Vanderbilt came into this season with high hopes as it was picked to finish fourth in the Eastern Division of the SEC in the conference's preseason poll. However, an 0-2 start could put a damper on any hopes of the Commodores having a breakout year in 2013. 

    As for South Carolina, it obviously doesn't want to go 1-2, either. Jadeveon Clowney is off to a relatively slow start in 2013 with just six tackles and a sack to his credit. 

    If Clowney and the Gamecocks can get going against the Commodores, it could set the stage for a run at a BCS bowl berth. 

1. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies

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    Putting this game at No. 1 on this list wasn't even a question. Some fans would justifiably argue that this week's matchup between Alabama and Texas A&M is not just the best game of Week 3, but the most anticipated game of the year. 

    Johnny Manziel, who is 2-0 in his second year with the Aggies, tore up the Crimson Tide last year to the tune of 345 total yards and two touchdowns while nearly ruining Alabama's title hopes. 

    This season, Alabama is looking for revenge as it heads for College Station, Texas for the highly anticipated rematch. 

    Alabama's offense will need to have a better performance than it did in Week 1 against Virginia Tech. Despite winning the game 35-10, the Crimson Tide offense put up just 14 points and just 206 yards of total offense. 

    This game is one of the marquee matchups of the season, and one that you simply can't miss.