College Football Games to Watch: Week Three

Bryan FlynnAnalyst ISeptember 16, 2009

LUBBOCK,TEXAS - NOVEMBER 1:  Foswhitt Whittaker #28 of the Texas Longhorns carries the ball against Marlon Williams #39 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders on November 1, 2008 at Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The third week of the college football season has a little of everything. There is a big revenge game and cross country out conference matchups.

Every conference has a chance to make a statement his weekend. There are two Top 25 matchups this weekend.

The number one team in the country finally makes our list and every team with BCS dreams are in action. There are possible letdown games and a big trap could be waiting for two teams.

Plus after getting your football fix at 10 p.m. ET there is a huge fight to watch. Floyd “Money” Mayweather comes out of retirement to take on Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez in Las Vegas.

So here is what to watch this weekend in college football.




Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Miami Hurricanes (Potential upset by Miami)

Georgia Tech got off to a fast start against Clemson but has not shown a killer instinct. Miami has had two weeks to prepare for the Yellow Jacket triple option. The Hurricanes upset Florida State on the road in their last game.

Who needs the win more: Both

The Yellow Jackets want to prove they are one of the best teams not only in the ACC but the country. A Georgia Tech road win over a Miami team that has newly high expectations could go a long way.

Miami still has games against Virginia Tech and Oklahoma waiting on its schedule. A win over the Yellow Jackets would ease the need to have to beat those two very good football teams.




Boise State Broncos vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (BCS implications)

Fresno State went down to Wisconsin in two overtimes last week. Boise State easily dispatched Miami (OH) at home. The Bulldogs do not have a BCS chance after last week but do have a chance at the WAC championship.

Who needs the win more: Boise State

The Broncos cannot afford to lose a game and miss a shot at the BCS. If Boise State wants an at-large bid they have to win out the rest of the season. Fresno State can ruin their WAC rivals dream.




California Golden Bears vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (Potential upset by Minnesota)

California is riding high at 2-0 and believes they can challenge USC for the PAC-10 title. Minnesota opened up its new stadium with a win and looks to go 2-0.

Who needs the win more: California

This game will be played at 9 a.m. California time. Last season the Bears looked asleep as they lost to Maryland. This could be a repeat of that very same thing. The Bears need to win this tough road game to show the rest of the country they are for real.


Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Toledo Rockets (Potential Letdown for Ohio State)

The Buckeyes lost a heartbreaker to USC at home last Saturday. Toledo took Colorado to the woodshed on Friday night last week. The Buckeyes’ Jim Tressel is a little under fire for his play calling against USC.

Who needs the win more: Ohio State

Toledo could use this huge win for recruiting and to hang their hat on after beating Michigan last season. The Rockets are a good team and can pull this one off.

The Buckeyes could see their season go into the tank very quickly if they do not show up to play in this game. The game is at a neutral site, and the edge has to go to the Buckeyes.

If this game is close Ohio State fans will watch the play calling late.


East Carolina Pirates vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

The Tar Heels used a safety to escape UConn with a win. The Pirates went down in a close game against a West Virginia team looking for revenge from a defeat in 2008.

Who needs the win more: North Carolina

East Carolina could play spoiler in this game and has the talent to do so. The Tar Heels and Butch Davis are still building a program.

North Carolina has to beat teams from the non-BSC conferences to keep the building process going. A loss also hurts the ACC with another loss to a weaker team. The Tar Heels could be ripe for the upset with injuries on the offense.

Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Michigan Wolverines (Potential letdown for Michigan)

Eastern Michigan went down to Northwestern by a late field goal. Michigan won a big game at home against Notre Dame. The hype around Michigan and Rich Rod could not be higher.

Who needs the win more: Michigan

The Wolverines are hearing how great they and their freshman quarterback are. A loss after that big win over Notre Dame could have their stock drop faster than Kanye West record sales.

Michigan should not have a problem beating the Eagles, but they have to put last week behind them.


Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Louisville and Kentucky opened the season up with wins. Both have had two weeks to prepare for this game. The Cardinals and the Wildcats will be fighting for in-state bragging rights.

Who needs the win more: Kentucky

The Wildcats play in the SEC and need every win they can get out of conference to get to the six wins needed to go to a bowl. Kentucky has owned this series for the last two years.

Louisville would love to get a win over their in-state rival. The game is in Kentucky so look for the Wildcats to keep the Governor’s Cup.


Boston College Eagles vs. Clemson Tigers

Clemson came up short in a second half comeback against Georgia Tech. Boston College has rolled in two wins so far this season. This game could go a long way in showing the country who is a contender and who is a pretender in the ACC.

Who needs the win more: Clemson

Yes, a win by BC would show that the program is not going to take a step back after a rough offseason. Clemson on the other hand would fall to 0-2 in the conference with a loss.

While both teams need a win. The slight nod goes to Clemson.


Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Purdue Boilermakers (Potential trap game for Purdue)

Northern Illinois bounced back last week after a close loss to Wisconsin. Purdue lost a winnable game against Oregon. Purdue missed an extra point and failed to make a two point conversion late in the game after a touchdown.

Who needs the win more: Purdue

The Huskies are a good football team and stayed close with a good Wisconsin team. Purdue has a new coach who would love to take this program to a bowl in his first season. The Boilermakers need to win their out of conference games and winnable conference games if they want to go bowling.

Northern Illinois is not a “gimme” win for Purdue. Purdue has to let go of last week’s tough loss and be ready to play this week.


Tennessee Volunteers vs. Florida Gators

We all know about the Lane Kiffin comments when he took the Tennessee job and his accusations of cheating by Urban Meyer. Tennessee fell at home to UCLA last week.

Florida has conference and national championship sights this season. The Gators have not been tested this season so far and are happy to welcome Kiffin to the SEC.

Who needs the win more: Florida

The question is not will the Gators win. It should be how much will they win by. Florida cannot get caught up in wanting to teach Kiffin a lesson and set themselves up for an upset.

This will be the first game of many Kiffin will face in his first year in the SEC. The Volunteers coach might have written some big checks that his team will have to cash.

One thing to watch in this game will the Gators drop 60 or 70 on Tennessee.

USC Trojans vs. Washington Huskies (Potential trap game for USC)

USC went into the Horse Shoe and beat the Buckeyes. Washington broke the longest losing streak in the country after beating Idaho.

Who needs the win more: USC

The Huskies coaching staff comes from USC and know the program well. Washington might have a little letdown after the big win.

USC kept its national title hopes alive after beating Ohio State. The Trojans will face their former offensive and defensive coordinators in this game.

If Washington can forget about last week’s win they could give the Trojans a game. The fans will be into this one like the LSU game if the Huskies can keep it close.


Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Oklahoma Sooners (Potential trap game for Oklahoma)

Tulsa has not had any problems going 2-0 so far this season. Oklahoma bounced back after losing to BYU the first week of the season.

Who needs the win more: Oklahoma

The Sooners will start Landry Jones for the second straight game after Sam Bradford’s injury. Oklahoma cannot afford to lose to a Tulsa team that can light up the scoreboard.

The Tulsa defense might have a chance to make some stops since it will be Jones, not Bradford, behind center. The offense will put up its numbers but cannot turn the ball over.

If the Sooners want to stay in the national title picture they need to keep things going until Bradford can return.


Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Virginia Tech Hokies

Nebraska is 2-0 to start the season but has not been tested in their first two games. The Hokies bounced back after losing to Alabama to beat Marshall soundly.

Who needs the win more: Both

Nebraska wants to prove they are back nationally and a win over the Hokies on the road would go far in proving that they are. The Cornhuskers face their first test of the season in this game.

Virginia Tech wants to keep its very slim title hopes alive. A win over the Cornhuskers would give the Hokies a big win to propel them back in to the title picture.


Utah Utes vs. Oregon Ducks (BCS implications)

The Utes looked uninspired in their win over San Jose State. Oregon bounced back after a horrible start of the season at Boise State.

Who needs the win more: Utah

Oregon gets its second shot at ruining a team’s BCS dreams. The Ducks would love a big win to get the focus off the end of the Boise State game for once and for all.

Utah knows they have to win every game on their schedule if they even want a chance at playing in a BCS game. A loss and the Utes are out of the BCS race.


Wyoming Cowboys vs. Colorado Buffaloes

Wyoming played with Texas for a half before losing. Colorado lost again to Toledo. The loss to the Rockets puts the Buffaloes in a 0-2 hole to start the season.

Who needs the win more: Colorado

Dan Hawkins has to be on borrowed time. After losing to Colorado State and Toledo this team looks no closer to returning to the top of the Big-12 than when Hawkins took over.

If the Buffaloes want to go bowling they need to turn things around fast. Hawkins might not keep his job if the Buffaloes fall to 0-3.

Michigan State Spartans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Both of these teams are coming off loses last week. The Spartans got upset at home against Central Michigan. Notre Dame lost to Michigan because of bad play calling by Charlie Weis.

Who needs the win more: Notre Dame

The Irish head coach has got to be feeling the heat this week. Notre Dame had a chance to put away Michigan on the road. Weis chose to pass twice late in the game and not force the Wolverines to use their three time outs.

Like Hawkins in Colorado if Weis loses this game at home he will be out of a job as well.


Virginia Cavaliers vs. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

The Eagles are a perfect 2-0 to start the season. Virginia on the other hand has lost to FCS team William and Mary and TCU.

Who needs the win more: Virginia

The Eagles are a very good football team and should win this game. If Virginia coach Al Groh wants to keep his job he will have to beat the Eagles at the Rock.

The Cavaliers will need to win in Hattiesburg if they hope to help Groh keep his job. A 0-3 start would seal Groh’s fate.


Arizona Wildcats vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

The Hawkeyes and the Wildcats are both 2-0. Iowa put a beat down on in-state rival Iowa State last week. Arizona took care of Northern Arizona in week two.

Who needs the win more: Both

The Hawkeyes do not get the time advantage that Minnesota does since this is an afternoon game. Both Arizona and Iowa are playing for conference pride. A win by Arizona gives the PAC-10 more bragging rights over the Big Ten. A win by Iowa takes some of the sting off the Ohio State loss.


Connecticut Huskies vs. Baylor Bears

The Huskies lost a heartbreaker to North Carolina last week and lost their starting quarterback this week to a knee injury. The Bears have not played since beating Wake Forest on the road in week one.

Who needs the win more: Baylor

If Baylor wants to be a bowl team they have to win all their non conference games. The Big-12 has plenty of hard teams to beat. The Bears do not need to put themselves in a hole by losing non conferences games.


Navy Midshipmen vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (Potential upset by Navy)

The Midshipmen got their first win of the season last week over Louisiana Tech. Pitt has not been tested this season winning easily over their first two opponents.

Navy proved they were a good team in a close loss to Ohio State. The Panthers are more of an unknown having not played a tough opponent yet.

Who needs the win more: Both

The Midshipmen have no chance at an automatic bowl bid since they do not belong to any conference. Navy has to win their six games as quickly as possible to look attractive to bowls.

Pitt would love to show they will be a force in the Big East. A win over a good Navy team would show the Panthers are for real.

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Oregon State Beavers (Potential upset by Oregon State)

The Bearcats are the only ranked team in the Big East and have not been tested so far this season. The Beavers won a close game against UNLV but are 2-0.

Who needs the win more: Both

Cincinnati makes the cross country trip to make a statement, not only for the program Brian Kelly has built but for the entire Big East. The early start time should not be a problem for Cincinnati, unlike it was for Maryland.

Oregon State made big noise last season after beating USC. The Beavers had a PAC-10 title in their hands until they lost to Oregon. Oregon State can use a win in this game to show the rest of the PAC-10 they are for real.


Florida State Seminoles vs. BYU Cougars

The Seminoles were upset at home against Miami and barely escaped at home against Jacksonville State. BYU upset Oklahoma in their first game of the season. The Cougars spent week two putting a beat down on Tulane.

Who needs the win more: Both

Florida State still has plenty of games against tough competition for the rest of the season. After a loss and a close game against an FCS team the Seminoles need to reestablish their past dominance.

BYU is not just thinking it’s a BCS buster but could be a national championship contender. The Cougars' upset against Oklahoma and future games against TCU and Utah could propel BYU far this season.

A loss, any loss, by BYU will end their BSC hopes and possible national championship hopes.


Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

The Bulldogs were beaten by Auburn last week. The Commodores could not get past LSU. Both Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are 1-1 on the season.

Who needs the win more: Vanderbilt

The Bulldogs are rebuilding after the Sly Croom era and do not look to factor in to the SEC bowl picture. The Commodores are hoping for a second straight bowl. A win over the Bulldogs is necessary if Vanderbilt hopes to get to six wins.


Georgia Bulldogs vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

The Bulldogs bounced back from the Oklahoma State loss with a win over South Carolina. Arkansas won its opener and has had two weeks to get ready for Georgia.

Who needs the win more: Both

Georgia still has some big games on its schedule and would like to finish second in the SEC East in what many consider a down year. The Bulldogs would like a road win over what is thought of as an improved Razorback team.

Arkansas remains the great unknown in the SEC. They were a 5-7 team last season and picked by some to be a bowl team this season. The Razorbacks can show the rest of the SEC how good they are with a win.


West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Auburn Tigers

The Mountaineers got revenge on East Carolina for last season’s loss last week. The Tigers scored more than three points this year beating Mississippi State. This is the second meeting ever between these teams.

Who needs the win more: Both

Auburn is riding high with two wins to open the Gene Chizik era. The Tigers are looking for revenge for their loss last season to West Virginia. Auburn is looking to rise in the SEC once more.

West Virginia hopes to continue the dominance it has had over the SEC. Under Rich Rod the Mountaineers were one team that had the SEC’s number. West Virginia looks to get a huge road win against the SEC for the Big East.


Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Texas Longhorns

The Longhorns struggled early but eventually blew out Wyoming. Texas Tech has done as it always has. After Graham Harrell the Red Raiders have just plugged Taylor Potts at quarterback.

Who needs the win more: Texas

Texas Tech would love to beat the Longhorns again. Texas wants to get revenge for last season when Harrell and Michael Crabtree beat the Longhorns in the final seconds.

The Big 12 started with three teams in the Top 10 and now just Texas remains. In consecutive weeks Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have lost to underdogs. Texas hopes that trend ends this week and they get their revenge at home.


There are many more games to watch this weekend. These caught my eye the most. Remember to check out the Mayweather vs. Marquez fight Saturday night and a full slate of NFL games on Sunday and Monday.