Cougars and Bearcats Kick Off a Week 3 of Power Clashes
This has been a college football season like no other already.
Now, Week 3 sets up to be a big one, where some of the Power Five's marquee names could actually be early casualties in the race to be anointed as a playoff entrant.
Everybody's new favorite team -- the Other Five's Houston's Cougars -- gets the show on the road tonight when they play a tricky game at Cincinnati.
Bovada has installed them as an 8-point road favorite. Some of their reasoning can be found on our Home page:
The Bearcats are coming off a road win over Purdue, and if coach Tom Herman wants his Cougars to remain in the mix, his crew must win all of its games, possibly by big margains because of their weak overall schedule.
Style points still count, unfortunately.
Then, on Saturday, the heavy artillery gets rolled out on a few battlegrounds.
The ACC's headliner has Flordia State visiting Louisville. Everyone has FSU and freshman slinger Deondre François battling Clemson for the top spot in the Atlantic Division, but the Cardinals are also in the Atlantic's Atlantic Division -- hey, it's their lesgue -- and play both teams, so this one's a biggie all around.
Coach Bobby Petrino and his gang also have a gigantic non-conference game late in the season against Houston, so if the Cardinals can handle the Seminoles, they remain in the college playoff conversation.
Michigan and Colorado, both 2-0, meet in Ann Arbor and will use more than smartphone keyboards to settle the issue at hand.
Remember the last time the Buffaloes hit the Big House?
That's when pads were weight training within themselves and Keith Jackson reigned supreme in the broadcast booth:
Alabama, as usual is 2-0, but coach Nick Saban is unhappy with their play to date.
He really wants to be smiling -- or whatever passes for one during the season -- after all is said and done in Oxford, where Rebel chucker Chad Kelly and the Land Sharks are planning to be only the third team ever to beat a Saban squad three years running.
Oklahoma well and truly needs Big Game Bob Stoops to actually be that and design a plan to derail the Ohio State Buckeyes in Soonerland.
Incredibly, Urban Meyer has one of the nation's youngest college teams this season. They don't play like it, which is why no one seems to notice.
Notre Dame have tough home games while USC plays a tough road game with both already having a loss.
As an independent, the Irish host Michigan State after losing a wild opener to Texas and can't afford another stumble without some form of the apocalypse smiting college football. USC may have the hardest task, however, travelling to Stanford. The Trojans were pounded by Alabama on opening day, and the Cardinal can pound just as hard, especially after having a bye week to rest and prepare.
Oregon and Nebraska meet in Lincoln with 2-0 records, and a win would give them momentum going into conference play. The twist is it's another Mark Helfricht vs Mike Riley pairing, but this time, Riley's not leading Oregon State into the fray.
Both are outsiders for a playoff berth this year, but if ever there's a season where the unexpected can become commonplace, this one looks like it.
Play on, dudes.