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College Football: Top 10 Upsets To Watch for in Week 3

Daniel BarnesCorrespondent IIISeptember 13, 2011

College Football: Top 10 Upsets To Watch for in Week 3

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    Week 2 of college football saw quite a few upsets that almost happened, but fell off at the last minute.

    Fresno State was neck and neck with Nebraska until the fourth quarter. The same goes for Toledo and Ohio State, Virginia Tech and East Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina and BYU and Texas.

    So far this season, there haven't been many big upsets with most BCS teams starting off against cream-puff small schools or FCS programs. This week, all that will change.

    There are a lot of potentially big upsets that could happen in week 3. Here are the top 10 to watch for:

10. No. 6 Stanford @ Arizona

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    Stanford is obviously a great team, but they've yet to be tested. They rolled through San Jose State and Duke for a combined score of 101-13.

    With Andrew Luck still getting great protection by Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro, Stanford's passing attack is absolutely top notch. The defense has been solid as well.

    Arizona had high expectations coming into this year, but couldn't get the job done against Oklahoma State, who beat them 37-14 last week. Expect them to try and reestablish themselves as contenders in the Pac-12 against Stanford this week

    While Arizona is a great team and has the home field advantage, I don't think they'll be able to get it done.

9. No. 3 LSU @ No. 25 Mississippi State

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    Before Mississippi State lost a close game to a surprisingly good Auburn team, they were looking like a fourth contender for the AFC West. Despite starting off 1-1, they're still a top notch team.

    LSU, on the other hand, has proven itself more than any other team in the nation after they blew out then No. 3 Oregon 40-27.

    Mississippi State came into this season with a chip on its shoulder. Mississippi State was relatively ignored while analysts gave credence to Alabama, LSU and Arkansas as legitimate contenders for the SEC West crown.

    Now with an early loss, that chip has gotten bigger. Mississippi State wants to repair the damage that the Auburn loss caused and a win against LSU would certainly do that.

    LSU might suffer from overconfidence, so watch for the Bulldogs to potentially surprise people.

8. No. 24 Texas @ UCLA

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    UCLA lost its first game to potential BCS buster Houston, but won last week against San Jose State. Texas managed to stay undefeated against Rice and BYU, but BYU had them reeling and Texas should consider itself lucky to be 2-0.

    While UCLA is far from a great team, I think Texas is overranked. Despite moving on from Garrett Gilbert, they still don't seem to know if Case McCoy is ready to fill his brother's shoes. And you know what they say, "if you have two quarterbacks, you have none."

    Texas is ready to be knocked out of the rankings and UCLA could be the team to finish what BYU started.

7. No. 17 Ohio State @ Miami (FL)

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    Two historic powerhouses recently wrapped up in scandal and now in disarray happen to play each other this week. Ohio State is the obvious favorite, but they dropped the ball against Toledo this week and had to come from behind to edge them out.

    Miami has a lot of players returning who weren't available to play against Maryland. Even without those players, Miami only lost 24-32 to a very good Terps squad.

    Ohio State barely kept it together against Toledo, a MAC team, who they beat 27-22. Miami could present a big challenge for the Buckeyes and with Ohio State traveling all the way down to Miami, don't be surprised if the Hurricanes come up with the win.

6. Tennessee @ No. 16 Florida

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    As a Tennessee fan, this is one of the potential upsets I'm looking forward to the most. Neither Montana nor Cincinnati has been able to do anything to stop the deadly offensive trio of Tyler Bray, Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers.

    While Tennessee's defense has been shaky, there have been definite signs of improvement, as the Vols were able to limit running back Isaiah Pead to 90 yards after one big run.

    Florida has completely dominated its competition thus far, stomping Florida Atlantic 41-3 and UAB 39-0. Still, shutting down those two teams still doesn't say much about how good Florida really is.

    One of the most vicious rivalries in the SEC continues this Saturday as Tennessee looks to end Florida's winning streak in the swamp and prove that they are a contender in the SEC East.

    Tennessee's passing attack may very well carry the day in the Swamp.

5. Washington @ No. 11 Nebraska

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    You remember the two times these teams met last year, right? I'll refresh your memory.

    Nebraska played Washington (then piloted by No. 8 overall pick in the NFL Draft Jake Locker) in Week 3 and Nebraska won 56-21. The game wasn't even as close as the score made it look.

    Then, Nebraska ended up facing Washington in the Holiday Bowl. Everyone laughed, knowing that Nebraska would roll through Washington as if the Huskies didn't even show up. To everyone's surprise (and to Nebraska's chagrin), Washington won the game 19-7.

    This year, Nebraska and Washington find themselves squaring off in Week 3 yet again, and you can bet that both of them are ready and raring to go.

    Washington may not pull the upset, but it'll certainly be a close game.

4. No. 21 Auburn @ Clemson

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    The Tigers vs. the Tigers. This was an early game last season and even with Cam Newton at the helm, Auburn had to go into overtime to snag a 23-20 win.

    This year, Auburn is not as good as they were last season and Clemson isn't bad themselves. Clemson rolled through Troy 43-19 before having a surprisingly close game against Wofford. I assume this was a fluke.

    Auburn had a big win last week against Mississippi State after nearly getting knocked off in the first week by Utah State. Both these teams have already seen some ups and downs.

    Clemson is clearly an underdog, but a close game last season combined with a home field advantage could give them the edge they need to upset Auburn if they can find a way to slow down Michael Dyer.

3. No. 15 Michigan State @ Notre Dame

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    Notre Dame started this season ranked No. 16 in the AP Poll based purely on hype. Thus far, they have not lived up to that hype and lost their first two games against the surprisingly good South Florida Bulls and Michigan Wolverines.

    That said, both of those games were very close and Michigan's miraculous comeback win could only have been engineered by Denard Robinson. Notre Dame is still a good team, just not a great team.

    Michigan State has rolled through its first two opponents as it continues on its mission to reclaim the Big Ten title. Unlike Notre Dame, they haven't played any good teams yet (Youngstown State and Florida Atlantic).

    Notre Dame is battle tested but hasn't come away with a win yet; Michigan Sate has two wins but hasn't been tested. This game will give everyone a better idea of just how good these two are.

2. No. 18 West Virginia @ Maryland

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    Maryland is my sleeper pick to win the ACC. They've only had one game and it was against a Miami team that had two of its best players suspended, but I like what I've seen so far from Danny O'Brien: he has all the makings of a future first round pick.

    West Virginia sits in a different position: they are the top team from a conference that no one takes seriously. Last year's Big East champion just lost to Vanderbilt.

    West Virginia has beaten Marshall 34-13 and Norfolk State 55-12. Neither of those teams are very good and Geno Smith has been inconsistent, but he has had flashes where he looks like an elite talent. After all, he did lead his team to six touchdowns and a field goal in one half last week.

    I think this will be a hard fought, high scoring game and will be an excellent start to what should be a very exciting Saturday. Too close to call.

1. No. 1 Oklahoma @ No. 5 Florida State

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    This is the second time this season that two Top Five teams have played each other (and we're only three weeks in). Did Christmas come early this year?

    This looks to be a phenomenal matchup. Oklahoma has maybe the best offense in the country and a defense that's nothing to sneeze at. Florida State is great on both sides of the ball and is the favorite to win the ACC by a large margin.

    To make things even better, the underdog (if you really can call Florida State that) is hosting the game, which ought to even the playing field.

    This game will be epic. Florida State has a very real chance to upset No. 1 Oklahoma, so don't miss it.

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