After a fairly mediocre couple of weeks to start the season, we're starting to get some really interesting contests in Week 3. Due to some "real life" stuff, we're just going to dive right in this week. All time listed are central and rankings are from the AP until the BCS poll comes out in October.
LOUISIANA-MONROE at AUBURN - Saturday, September 15th - 11:21 a.m. SEC Network/ESPN-GP/ESPN3
Normally this game wouldn't even get a sniff from this column, but last week's results made it must see TV. Louisiana-Monroe upset #8 ranked Arkansas and Auburn slipped to 0-2 after absolutely stinking things up in Starkville. Basically, LA-Monroe has shown they have the guns to be a giant-killer and Auburn has shown some remarkably inept play. It could spell disaster on the Plains or they may finally click enough to beat a Sun Belt squad. If LA-Monroe happens to win, they'll have two SEC-West victories so far which would (theoretically) put them at the top of the division. We are all Warhawks this weekend.
#18 FLORIDA at #23 TENNESSEE - Saturday, September 15th - 5:00 p.m. - ESPN
Who really knows if either of these teams are Top 25 material. Florida looked like crap against Bowling Green and squeaked past a TAMU program known for not being able to finish a game (but they're great for the first 30-45 minutes!) Tennessee has beaten an FCS team and NC State (so really, two FCS teams.) It is an important game in the SEC East race though as both of teams could potentially figure in the final mix. Separation and/or a tiebreaker is at stake in Knoxville on Saturday. Kind of a meteor game in my book, but I hate Florida less, so you know, "Go Gators" or something.
ARIZONA STATE at MISSOURI - Saturday, September 15th - 6:00 p.m. - ESPN2
Neither team is ranked, but Missouri is looking to bounce back after getting thumped by Georgia in their SEC opener. My football schadenfreude is inclined to be all "Go Sun Devils" after Sheldon Richardson made the "old man football" comment. However, I don't really want to see the SEC noobs look like total crap out of the gate, though them losing would help ticket prices fall some more. Arizona State has waxed an FCS team and Illinois so no idea how much that is really worth. Never thought I'd have to be interested in Missouri football on a regular basis, but they're on the horizon of our schedule, so I'll be tuning in after our victory in Fayetteville.
#2 USC at #21 STANFORD - Saturday, September 15th - 6:30 p.m. - FOX
Man. I hate Lane Kiffin. Go Trees.
#20 NOTRE DAME at #10 MICHIGAN STATE - Saturday, September 15th - 7:00 p.m. - ABC
Here's how a Notre Dame season often goes: win a couple of early games against bad teams (Navy & Purdue) and then they get ranked based on something Knute Rockne accomplished before Hawai'i or Alaska were states only to run into a brick wall once they meet a half decent team. Hopefully that pattern holds up in East Lansing on Saturday night. Go Sparty!