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College Football's Most Underrated Matchups of Week 3

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIOctober 21, 2016

College Football's Most Underrated Matchups of Week 3

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    All eyes will be on College Station, Texas as the Alabama Crimson Tide and Texas A&M Aggies battle for positioning in the Southeastern Conference and BCS championship race.

    However, caught up in the Alabama-A&M hoopla is a full Saturday of intriguing matchups. 

    Two of the most intense in-state college rivalries may not carry the pregame suspense, but could end up as two of the better games of the day.

    Meanwhile, a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference foes will begin conference play on a day that also features a number of interesting rematches and coaching battles.

    Note: All rankings based on the Week 3 AP Top 25

Iowa at Iowa State

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    Date: Sept. 14

    Time: 6 p.m. EDT

    Coverage: Fox Sports 1

    One of the most heated in-state rivalries in college football, that between Iowa and Iowa State, lost a bit of its luster this year thanks to the slow start from both teams.

    The Cyclones fell in their opener to FCS foe Northern Iowa 28-20.

    Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes lost to Northern Illinois in Week 1, only to turn around and post a bland 28-14 win over Missouri State the following week.

    Nonetheless, this is sure to be a hard-fought matchup. The last two seasons perfectly represented how unpredictable this rivalry can be.

    ISU took each of the last two meetings, winning 44-41 in 2011 and 9-6 just one year later.

    This year's contest will probably end up somewhere in between those two on the scoreboard, but who knows—this is one rivalry that is impossible to predict.

Boston College at USC

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    Date: Sept. 14

    Time: 3 p.m EDT

    Coverage: Pac-12 Network

    Boston College and USC couldn't have had more contrasting starts to the season.

    The Trojans are in turmoil after a 10-7 loss to Washington State, leaving head coach Lane Kiffin on the hot seat going into Week 3.

    Meanwhile, the Eagles are flying high under new head coach Steve Addazio and are off to their best start in three years.

    While BC looks to keep rolling, USC will be aiming for a turnaround now that it has finally selected a starting quarterback in Cody Kessler. 

Georgia Tech at Duke

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    Date: Sept. 14

    Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT

    Coverage: ESPNU, Watch ESPN

    Duke has looked solid on defense during its first 2-0 start in 15 years. 

    Meanwhile, Georgia Tech looked outstanding as it demolished Elon 70-0 in its opener.

    The Blue Devils are looking up after a 2012 season that brought their first bowl berth since 1995 and can take the next step by knocking off an ACC contender in Georgia Tech.

    The Yellow Jackets can't afford too much of a stumble against Duke, as their schedule piles up with North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Miami (Fla.) in the next three weeks.

    If GT is caught looking ahead in ACC play, Duke just might pull off the upset.

No. 19 Washington vs. Illinois (at Soldier Field, Chicago)

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    Date: Sept. 14

    Time: 6 p.m. EDT

    Coverage: Big Ten Network

    Washington and Illinois have been two of the biggest surprises of the early college football season.

    The Huskies started with a big upset victory over Boise State, while the Illini are off to a 2-0 start of their own.

    This matchup in Chi-town will feature two talented quarterbacks in UW's Keith Price and UI's Nathan Scheelhaase. 

    Washington also boasts one of the nation's most exciting running backs, junior Bishop Sankey.

    Expect a shootout at Soldier Field.

Maryland at Connecticut

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    Date: Sept. 14

    Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT

    Coverage: ESPN 3

    Thanks to the return of quarterback C.J. Brown, Maryland is off to a hot start.

    The senior was slated to start last year, but his offseason injury sent the Terps into a tailspin that ended with a linebacker at quarterback and a six-game losing streak to close out the season.

    This year, Maryland is back on track at 2-0.

    Connecticut, on the other hand, stands at 0-1 after a season-opening loss to Towson, leaving it desperate for a turnaround.

    The Huskies will have added motivation as their former coach, Randy Edsall, returns to UConn for the first time after leaving the program abruptly in 2010.

    To make things even more interesting, UConn beat UMD in College Park last year.


Kansas at Rice

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    Date: Sept. 14

    Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT

    Coverage: CBS Sports Network

    Kansas' 2012 season was going just fine, as the Jayhawks were 1-0 until they hosted Rice.

    The Owls won on a 45-yard field goal in the waning seconds and sent KU reeling to a 1-11 season.

    The Jayhawks are back at 1-0 and will head to Houston this time to exact some revenge.

    In a game that will be very telling of how Charlie Weis' rebuilding in Lawrence is going, Kansas will try to stop a high-powered Rice offense that posted 31 points against Texas A&M.

    With just one win, KU will already be better than it was last year—can the Jayhawks take care of business?

No. 7 Louisville at Kentucky

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    Date: Sept. 14

    Time: 12 p.m. EDT

    Coverage: ESPN

    With an extremely difficult schedule, Kentucky might not be good enough to attain bowl eligibility in 2013.

    However, the Wildcats have the talent to play giant killer in their first season rebuilding under head coach Mark Stoops.

    Ironically, UK may be the toughest opponent on Louisville's schedule, as the Cardinals are poised for an undefeated run.

    Kentucky has some talented newcomers in wide receiver Javess Blue and running back Jojo Kemp, proving last week that it can put up points in bunches with its new air raid offense.

    Can Maxwell Smith and Kentucky keep up with Teddy Bridgewater and Louisville?

    Don't count the Wildcats out too quickly in this rivalry.

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