Around College Football Week Three

Thank goodness Saturday’s almost here.

Finally, we can focus on football … football on the field.

Welcome back to The Campus Game, where the focus stays between the white lines and away from the yellow tape, blue language, and black marks.

Want to talk about Reggie Bush returning his Heisman? Sorry, let’s focus on Denard Robinson earning one.

Interested in A.J. Green selling a game jersey for a thousand dollars? Nah … check out Andrew Luck of Stanford looking like a million bucks.

Seeking words of wisdom about Tennessee’s shower habits? Yuck – let’s just discuss how the ACC stunk last weekend.

College football generates more excitement and passion than any American sport. With that attention comes increasing media coverage and scrutiny, and news from off the field can nearly overwhelm what’s taking place on the gridiron.

Off-field topics cannot (and should not) be ignored, but they should never cause us to take our eyes off the ball.

That’s what makes Saturdays so special.

A few last thoughts on week two …

* Michigan continued its climb back to national relevance with the aforementioned QB Denard Robinson rolling up over 500 yards against Notre Dame. You will not see a better individual performance this season, but Rich Rod should be careful not to wear the young man out. The Wolverines should get to 5-0 before their in-state showdown with Michigan State on October 9th.

* Big Ten cohort Ohio State pummeled Miami in a somewhat sloppy game, and the Bucks schedule is soft as church music until a trip to Wisconsin on October 16th. Really would not surprise me for the annual Ohio State-Michigan game to decide the Big Ten (not historically unusual but few thought that might happen this season).

* Less impressive is USC. The Trojans struggled to get past Hawaii and Virginia. Lane Kiffin and crew may slip by another few weeks (at Minnesota and Washington State), but the guess here is the men of Troy lose four or five this season.

* The ACC may not be as strong as the Mountain West. I actually had pretty high expectations for the league, but last week was about as ugly an outcome as you are likely to see. Miami whipped by Ohio State, FSU overwhelmed at Oklahoma, Georgia Tech clipped by Kansas, Virginia Tech humiliated by James Madison … a pretty bad week.

Around the Nation

This week’s slate lacks the glamour of week two, but still provides some interesting pairings.

In the SEC and Big 12, conference action heats up, while the national scene offers a few intersectional games – especially PAC-10 vs Big Ten games.

East: Unbeaten Maryland could earn a return to the Top 25 with a victory over #21 West Virginia. The Mountaineers got a gift from Marshall to move to 2-0 after trailing most of the game. U Conn of the Big East visits an improving Temple program.

Midwest: The Big Ten-PAC 10 rivalry usually plays out in the Rose Bowl, but we get several matchups of the two leagues this week. Arizona State visits Wisconsin … both are 2-0 but Wisconsin looks better. USC travels to the land of 10,000 lakes to play Minnesota … had a chance to visit beautiful TCF Bank Stadium this summer and it’s a showplace. Notre Dame continues an early season gantlet with a trip to tough Michigan State.

Southwest: Tommy Tuberville gets his first taste of the Texas Tech-Texas game when the Horns come calling in Lubbock. Oklahoma hosts undefeated Air Force, the Falcons fresh from pasting BYU.

West: Impressive Cal travels to Nevada for a Friday night game. Nebraska faces a road test at Washington. Boise takes its Bronco show on the road to Wyoming, a place where Cowboys have tamed a few horses before. Another Big Ten-PAC 10 game is a big one … Iowa at Arizona.

Around the South

The best conference game in the SEC is probably Arkansas at Georgia. The Hogs have rolled up big numbers against weak opponents to this point, so the Dogs should be a major test for Ryan Mallett and company. Georgia tries to rebound from a pretty physical whipping at the hands of South Carolina.

Florida travels to Rocky Top to face Tennessee. Neither has looked great, but the Gators seem to be finding some consistency as games wear on. Same cannot be said of Vols … after a fine first half against Oregon, UT folded at the first sign of trouble.

The best intersectional matchup sees Clemson go to Auburn in a battle of Tigers. The ESPN Game Day crew will be on the Plains so maybe you can catch Erin Andrews or Chris Fowler sipping a lemonade at Toomer’s Corner.

Check back Friday for Professor’s Picks.

To see a complete list of televised games this weekend, please visit the National Football Foundation (usually posted by Thursday afternoon).

Enjoy the games.

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