NCAA College Football Rankings: Best AP Top 25 Games for Week 3

Sam YoshidaContributor ISeptember 14, 2011

NCAA College Football Rankings: Best AP Top 25 Games for Week 3

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    Week 3 is upon us and it is going to be an exciting one. Eleven Top 25 teams are playing away from home this week. While some teams are still stuck playing cupcakes, some teams have some interesting games scheduled. Here we’ll rank the top games we’ll see by the Top 25 teams. I don't expect too many upsets to happen, but there are some intriguing AQ vs AQ games going on that should stir up the pot a little bit.

Top 25 vs. FCS Opponents

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    Each of these teams don’t need their own slide. All of these games are likely to be blowouts and no one cares to see these teams beat up on the little guy. Unless you’re a fan of one of these teams.

    • No. 7 Wisconsin faces Northern Illinois.
    • No. 12 Oregon vs. Missouri State.
    • No. 19 Baylor vs Stephen F Austin.
    • No. 20 South Florida vs. Florida A&M

No. 2 Alabama vs. North Texas

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    What could have easily been put in the previous slide, this game won't be close. North Texas is always the bottom dweller of the Sun Belt while Alabama is looking for another berth in the national championship.

No. 9 Texas A&M vs. Idaho

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    With Texas A&M out to prove everyone they belong in the SEC, they won’t take it easy on Idaho, who has already gotten blown out by Bowling Green this year.

No. 13 Virginia Tech vs. Arkansas State

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    This game won't be close by just looking at the stats. Virginia Tech looks strong this year, and I don’t expect Arkansas State to be VT’s James Madison this year.

No. 23 TCU vs. Louisiana Monroe

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    TCU is still trying to heal from that disappointing loss to Baylor in Week 1. Look for the defense to come alive and harass ULM’s offense. This will be another game for TCU’s offense to keep improving before it gets deeper into the Mountain West.

Tulsa vs. No. 8 Oklahoma State

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    Don’t sleep on Tulsa. Quarterback G.J. Kenne is looking to have a breakout year. Tulsa continues its gauntlet non-conference schedule against Oklahoma State. If Tulsa can somehow upset Oklahoma State, that will carry a lot of confidence going into Boise next week, but Oklahoma State will get the job done and will still win by 10-plus points.

Toledo vs. No. 4 Boise State

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    Toledo has also improved a lot over the past couple of years. Last year’s MAC West champion gave Ohio State a scare last week. This game will be Toledo against Boise State, who just came off a bye week. Will the bye week help or hurt the Broncos after their impressive performance against Georgia?

Arizona vs. No. 6 Stanford

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    It’s been hard to gage how good Arizona really is. They definitely looked sloppy against Oklahoma State. Stanford is better than Oklahoma State, but Arizona still has Nick Foles and it’s at home. Maybe the Wildcats will pull out an impressive performance, but I think Andrew Luck and Stanford will still come out on top.

No. 11 South Carolina vs. Navy

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    Here is a test to see how good the Naval Academy really is. After taking care of FCS opponent Delaware and FBS bottom dweller, Western Kentucky, Navy will travel to South Carolina with its powerful running game.

    South Carolina is the front-runner of the SEC East. They were able to get by East Carolina as well as win a close game against Georgia. It should be an interesting game to watch. The winner will be the one whose defense decides to show up.

No. 16 Florida vs. Tennessee

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    Tennessee has looked pretty impressive in their first two games. While the passing attack has definitely been on cue, Coach Dooley would like to see more from his running game. While Tennessee is young, Florida is even younger and has also looked equally impressive. This should make for a great SEC matchup.

Miami (FL) vs. No. 17 Ohio State

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    After losing to Maryland in Week 1, Miami will look to rebound from a drought they have been having after their great improvement a couple years ago. They’ll try to comeback against a team they could have beat last year in Ohio State. Hopefully they will limit the turnovers and be able to put out a more impressive performance at home.

Illinois vs. No. 22 Arizona State

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    Arizona State will try to avoid a letdown after beating a ranked Missouri team last week. Arizona State’s offense has looked great so far. Illinois’ offense has also looked impressive, but it hasn't been against the most powerful of opponents. Arizona State has already proved it’s for real, but here’s a chance for Illinois to do the same.

UCLA vs. No. 24 Texas

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    This should fit for an interesting matchup of teams that are still trying to get back on track. After losing to Houston in the first week, UCLA barely got by WAC opponent San Jose State last week.

    Texas has also underperformed, especially on offense. They looked good during the second half of last week’s BYU game. It will be fun to see if Texas can get revenge on the team that upset them at home last year to start their dramatic skid.

No. 10 Nebraska vs. Washington

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    While this game may not be very close it will still be an exciting game to watch. In part three of this heated series, Nebraska will look to put the hurt on Washington after Jake Locker and the Huskies upset the Cornhuskers in their bowl game last year. Washington has barely been able to get by Eastern Washington and Hawaii so I will have to give the advantage to the Cornhuskers.

Clemson vs. No. 21 Auburn

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    This matchup could definitely go either way. Many people are just waiting for Auburn’s bubble to burst after barely scraping by Utah State and needing a last-second defensive stand to get pass Mississippi State.

    Clemson is also a question mark. After dismantling Troy they barely squeezed by FCS opponent, Wofford. Here’s a chance for a member of the ACC to prove they can play with the SEC.

Maryland vs No. 18 West Virginia

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    Maryland and its terrible uniforms will look to establish themselves as a true contender of the ACC by taking on a ranked opponent at home. West Virginia will look to overcome their slow first quarter starts to continue their road for a BCS berth.

Notre Dame vs. No. 15 Michigan State

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    This game is probably considered a must-win for Notre Dame. After two disappointing losses, the Irish will try to salvage their season by taking on a tough Michigan State team. After beating up on patsies like Youngstown State and Florida Atlantic, Cousins and the Spartans will look to tell the country they mean business.

No. 25 Mississippi State vs. No. 3 LSU

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    Another SEC clash takes place at Mississippi State on Thursday. Mississippi State is still trying to recover after that devastating loss to Auburn last week while LSU looks to keep showing the nation that their dominating defense is the best in college football. It should be a great game. If Mississippi State loses they’ll find themselves in a rough 0-2 spot in the SEC and will make it tough to win the SEC West.

No. 5 Florida State vs. No. 1 Oklahoma

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    There’s really no reason to explain why this is the No. 1 matchup of the week. It’s the second time this year already in which two Top Five teams from different conferences will face each other. This game definitely has some national championship implications. Oklahoma crushed Florida State last year 47-17, but this year may be a little different. It should be closer at least.