The third week of college football action is when things start getting a little bit more interesting. For the most part, teams have scheduled some much more difficult competition as they prepare to enter conference play in Week 4.
A chance for an upset is even greater as the competition builds, but winning will also do teams favors as they attempt to climb the rankings and prepare for the BCS computers to determine their fates.
This week’s signature matchup features Heisman candidate and all-around media darling Johnny Manziel and his Texas A&M squad against the defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Last year, Manziel earned his signature win against the Tide en route to becoming the first freshman to ever win the prestigious Heisman trophy.
The Tide aren’t on upset alert, they’re legitimately in danger of dropping a second consecutive matchup against the Aggies.
Heisman Contenders to Watch
QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M vs Alabama
Manziel has passed for 520 yards and thrown six touchdowns with just one interception through six quarters of 2013 action. Last year, he put up 253 yards and two scores at Bama and rushed for 92 more to lead his team in a big upset of the Tide.
QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville vs. Kentucky
Teddy Bridgewater has looked the part of an NFL-ready quarterback to this point. Through just two games, he’s already thrown seven touchdowns and passed for 752 yards, albeit against cupcake competition. Kentucky hasn’t played a tough team yet and is only allowing 147 yards per game through the air.
QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon vs. Tennessee
Oregon’s high-octane offense didn’t disappear with Chip Kelly when he left for the NFL. Left behind was multi-talented quarterback Marcus Mariota. He’s already amassed 433 yards and three touchdowns through the air and rushed for 235 yards and three more scores on just nine carries.
QB David Ash, Texas
Texas quarterback David Ash was already declared out for the team’s showdown with SEC up-and-comer Ole Miss, per ESPN’s Max Olsen. Senior Case McCoy will get the start in his absence, the seventh of his career for the Longhorns.
QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State
As of Friday, Ohio State quarterback and Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller’s status is still up in the air for the team’s Saturday night matchup in Berkeley, Calif, head coach Urban Meyer said on 97.1 The Fan, per Ari Wasserman of The Plain Dealer.
Stay tuned right here throughout the day for the latest on the Heisman race, injuries and breaking upsets that may shake up the rankings.