Penn State and Oklahoma Beware: Six Potential Major Upsets for Week 3
Week 3 features a number of compelling matchups featuring non-BCS teams playing against BCS-teams that could result in upsets.
A couple of the non-BCS teams are favored, including Houston over UCLA and TCU over Baylor. Even these games may be interesting with Case Keenum likely out for Houston and Baylor looking to make things interesting against the very talented Horned Frogs.
But at least a few of the other matchups are upset alerts.
Here are six games featuring non-BCS schools matching up against BCS schools that could result in upsets, listed in the order of likelihood.
And, no, Portland State over Oregon is not one of them. But I think Portland State has a legitimate shot to keep their spread within 100 points. Set small but achievable goals.
Kent State at Penn State
Penn State lets out a sigh of relief knowing that they are playing a team not named Alabama, but there is some danger here.
Kent State played reasonably well against Boston College while Penn State was looking hopeless against the Crimson Tide.
Kent State has a good quarterback in Spencer Keith and its defense is playing reasonably well. Are they good enough to beat Penn State in Happy Valley? Probably not, unless Penn State is suffering a crimson hangover.
But if they do, look for a name change for Penn State’s home turf. The home crowd will be anything but happy and it could usher in the end of the Joe Paterno era.
BYU at Florida State
Both teams suffered tough and convincing second week losses.
BYU lost badly at Air Force. and last time I checked, the Oklahoma Sooners were still scoring on Florida State.
Neither team is as bad as they looked in Week 2. Florida State will likely hold serve at home, but BYU will make it interesting. They did knock off a highly regarded Washington team in the first week of the season and also recorded an upset over Oklahoma last year.
They also have the revenge factor going for them. Their season was off to a great start last year before they got smashed by the Seminoles. Both teams are likely demoralized after last week's losses and they likely spent much of this week reading and hearing how all is lost. This week, one of them will take a step back towards respectability.
San Diego State at Missouri
San Diego State is 2-0. They have beaten up on two nobodies, but beat them up they did while bigger name teams were struggling with their own personal nobodies, and in some cases, nightmares.
While they were doing that, Missouri also recorded two relatively convincing wins over nobodies, although Illinois is at least a Big 10 lightweight, which is a couple notches above FCS teams.
Still, Missouri is being given too much credit for a 50-6 win over McNeese State, which landed them at No. 25 in the USA Today poll. That is probably the worst thing that could have happened to Missouri, who may become a bit overconfident.
This is worth keeping an eye on. SDSU is better than people realize and I'm not yet convinced Missouri is that good of a football team. An upset would not be a shocker here.
California at Nevada
California is an excellent football team while Nevada is a good team that flies under the radar. Nevada is the one non-BCS school in this list that benefits from playing at home this week.
Colorado beat Colorado State 24-3. Nevada beat Colorado State 51-6. And California beat Colorado 52-7. So, according to the transitive law of football, Colorado stinks but Colorado State is even worse. According to that same transitive law, Colorado State is lucky it does not play California.
That transitive law would also seem to point to a California win here. Good thing for Nevada that it is basically useless even as pundits constantly apply it in making predictions.
I remember one year when Florida State won the national championship after losing a couple quirky early season games. Following the string of losses (A beat B who beat C who beat D, etc.) led all the way back to Weber State.
This game will be interesting. Nevada is moving to the Mountain West as early as next season and has the potential to raise its profile with an upset here.
They are one of those sleeper teams that nobody really knows much about, even though they consistently play good football.
Air Force at Oklahoma
Both schools are coming off huge wins. The winners of the BYU-Air Force and Oklahoma-Florida State games match off while the losers lock swords in one of the other games on the list.
Air Force has one of their best teams in years, with a superb option quarterback, a host of offensive weapons, and an outstanding secondary, perhaps their best ever. They are not yet worn down by the size mismatches and a grueling academic schedule that haunts them later in the season.
This game is not on many people's scope but it carries plenty of upset potential. Oklahoma will benefit from playing at home, but Air Force will keep this interesting longer than most people expect.
If they can jump to an early lead while Oklahoma adjusts to their option attack, Air Force will have a shot here of holding on late. Look for Air Force coach Troy Calhoun to pull out all the stops in this one.
Hawaii at Colorado
Hawaii draws the weakest of opponents listed here, making its chances of leaving Boulder with a "W" very high. Hawaii played close against Southern Cal and beat an improving Army squad.
Colorado beat a wretched Colorado State squad and got creamed by California.
If this was in Hawaii, the Rainbow Warriors would likely be favored. Visitors not only have to deal with the jet lag, but also the almost compelling desire to drink My Thais on the beach in lieu of any extra practice time.
But the main reason Hawaii can, and likely will, win this is well covered in the California at Nevada entry. This has a lot more to do with Colorado's struggles than with Hawaii. Colorado just isn't very good.