NCAA Football: Ranking Week 3's Best Games

9/12/13 in NCAAF   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

5. Boston College at USC - 3 PM ET, Pac-12 Network

Aug 29, 2013; Honolulu, HI, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler (6) throws a pass against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
This game has to be on the list. With Lane Kiffin's job security dwindling by the week, pretty much every USC game from here on out is must-see television. Unless, of course, you're actually a fan of USC. That might just be a little too painful to watch.

Boston College comes in at 2-0 with wins over Villanova and Wake Forest. Neither of those teams are at the level of USC, but then again, considering how the Trojans played last week in a loss to Washington State, that might be a good thing. Kiffin has named Cody Kessler the starting quarterback for this week, so we'll see if the Trojans can improve upon the horrendous offensive outing a week ago. 

4. #25 Ole Miss at Texas - 8 PM ET, Longhorn Network

Sep 7, 2013; Provo, UT, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown during the second quarter at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
An intriguing matchup here with two teams heading in different directions. The Rebels have been impressive in the first few weeks, and have the the potential to cause turmoil when it comes to the SEC title race. Meanwhile, Texas let BYU rush for 550 yards last week, and fired their defensive coordinator as a result. There's no way the defense can look that awful again.

Ole Miss is the better team at this point, and even though the Longhorns desperately need this game, it's hard to pick against Hugh Freeze's team given what we've seen from them thus far. This one goes down to the wire. If Texas loses, things might start to get ugly for Mack Brown.

3. Tennessee at #2 Oregon - 3:30 PM ET, ABC

Aug 31, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Nicholls State Colonels at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Oregon faces their first true test of the season against an improved Tennessee squad. The Vols are confident heading in, having won their first two games rather convincingly. The problem is, their competition was Austin Peay and Western Kentucky.

My guess is that the Ducks' offense may be a tad better than either one of those. I want to believe that Tennessee will keep it close for a while. But the fact of the matter is, Oregon's offensive is ridiculous and there's no one that can stop them. Ducks by about four touchdowns. 

 

2. #16 UCLA at #23 Nebraska - 12 PM ET, ABC

Aug 31, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins coach Jim Mora throws a pass before the game against the Nevada Wolf Pack at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Bruins enter this game with a heavy heart after the tragic passing of walk-on wide receiver Nick Pasquale. You never know how a team of college kids will respond to this type of situation. It's difficult to look at this game in the same light because of that, even if it is an early-season battle between Top 25 teams.

From a football standpoint, the key to the game will be UCLA's ability to stop Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez. But from a purely emotional standpoint, UCLA will have a lot of fans around the country this weekend regardless of the outcome.

1. #1 Alabama at #6 Texas A&M - 3:30 PM ET, CBS

Sep 7, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) looks for an open receiver during the first quarter against the Sam Houston State Bearkats at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Not all big games live up to the hype. This one will. Alabama is seeking revenge on Texas A&M from a season ago, and this is going to be one fantastic college football game. Can Alabama's defense contain Johnny Manziel? That's really the biggest question heading into this one, and ultimately, is the one that will decide the outcome in this game.

Beating the Crimson Tide two years in a row would be a monumental accomplishment for Kevin Sumlin's program. But, as we know, teams and coaches are remembered for championships. If Texas A&M can do the unthinkable and knock off Nick Saban and company yet again, not only will they be in prime position for an SEC title, but for a national title as well. Get your popcorn ready. This is going to be a beauty.

 
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