Week 3 is the last week I will be doing the "What to Watch" series for until we actually reach Week 4. At that point, every team will have a few games under their belt and will begin really digging into conference play. We won't really have a sense of what's best to watch that far into the season until the first few weeks are in the history books. That being said, Week 3 is the awesomeness. There are some MASSIVE games being played on September 16, so fire up the DVR/VCR because you won't be able to watch 'em all live.
10. Arizona State at Colorado
Saturday, September 16 - 6:00 p.m.
A Pac-10/Big XII showdown featuring the #1 "on the bubble" team in the preseason coaches' poll. Arizona State finished 26th in the voting and this game should give some indication of whether or not ASU belongs in the Top 25 at this point. You can actually catch about an hour of this game before flipping over to one of the three higher ranked games on this list that start at 7:00 p.m.
9. Iowa State at Iowa
Saturday, September 16 - 11:00 a.m.
Iowa had a disappointing 2005 season going 7-5 after being ranked #10 in the preseason. They got spanked by Iowa State 23-3 in week two and went on to beat only two teams with winning records (Wisconsin and Minnesota.) Hopes are high that senior QB Drew Tate will lead the charge to improve the Hawkeyes' fortunes in his third year as a starter and return Iowa to their 2004 form when they went 10-2. This should be the Hawkeyes' first real test after playing Montana State and Syracuse in the first two weeks.
Iowa State has had seven win seasons in four of the last five years. They dropped four conference games last year, but three of those were in overtime. Had they won any one of those games, they would've won the Big XII North and assured themselves a massive beating at the hands of Texas in the conference championship game. Their non-OT loss came at the hands of Baylor though (at home), so perhaps they finished where they should've despite the three OT losses. (A big tip o' the hat to Burnt Orange Nation for providing Iowa State factoids that I would've had to look up for myself if he hadn't written his UT-ISU preview earlier.)
(Games 7 & 8 will be posted tomorrow)