Power ranking 10 games on a poor Week 3 schedule that are still worth your time
As my dog likes to say … woof.
That’s the only word to describe this year’s slate of Week 3 matchups. We don’t have a single matchup between ranked teams and there’s certainly not a lot of meat on the bone when it comes to TV viewing.
However, that doesn’t mean Week 3 is completely devoid of interesting games. First of all, no matter who your favorite team is playing, you should always watch and support them (cough, Alabama fans, cough). My team, Mizzou, is hosting Southeast Missouri State — an FCS school — but you’d better believe I’ll be tuned in at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time on … *scans listings* on … *scans some more* the SEC Network alternate channel.
Always support your team. But, when you’re done doing that, here are 10 games this weekend that are still worth watching:
10. No. 9 Florida at Kentucky
This game was more enticing, but now it has lost most of its luster. Kentucky QB Terry Wilson is out for the year and Florida will be without WR Kadarius Toney and could be without star CB CJ Henderson.
Still, it’s an SEC East battle between 2 teams that don’t particularly like each other, so it should be entertaining.
Game details: Saturday at 7 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN.
9. Kansas State at Mississippi State
These aren’t Bill Snyder’s Wildcats anymore. Through 2 weeks of the season, Kansas State is averaging 50.5 points per game. Yes, you read that right. When Connor O’Gara informed me of that on a recent episode of the SDS Podcast, I had to look it up because I didn’t believe him.
Chris Klieman has this offense firing on all cylinders for once. Granted, the offensive performances have been against Nicholls and Bowling Green, but it’s still a step up from years past. Meanwhile, Mississippi State’s defense hasn’t allowed 30 points or more in 16 consecutive games:
Consecutive games allowing 30 points or less:
Mississippi State 16
Notre Dame 15
Michigan State 14
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 9, 2019
Something’s gotta give in Starkville on Saturday afternoon.
Game details: Saturday at noon Eastern time on ESPN.
8. Arizona State at No. 18 Michigan State
When the Spartans traveled out to Tempe last year, this game fell squarely into the Pac-12 After Dark madness. The Spartans allowed 13 unanswered points in the 4th quarter and lost 16-13 on a field goal as time expired.
Michigan State’s defense is once again stifling and the offense is once again inconsistent, so we’ll see what this weekend’s matchup has in store for the Sun Devils and Spartans.
Game details: Saturday at 4 p.m. Eastern time on FOX.
7. North Carolina at Wake Forest
Two ACC teams playing each other in conference action, right? Wrong. This game won’t count in the ACC standings as the Tar Heels and the Demon Deacons are in different divisions and scheduled it as a nonconference matchup.
ACC game or not, it’s still a Friday night primetime battle between 2-0 schools. North Carolina has been impressive in Mack Brown’s return and freshman QB Sam Howell has played well, taking down South Carolina and Miami.
Wake’s wins are over a solid Utah State team and Rice. This should be a sneaky-good matchup.
Game details: Friday at 6 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN.
6. Texas Tech at Arizona
For fans of offense, this game will be a must-see contest. And since it falls in the Pac-12 After Dark category, you know something crazy is going to happen. Arizona is allowing 43 points per game, including 41 to FCS Northern Arizona last weekend. That’s … well, not great.
Meanwhile, even without Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech can score. With QB Khalil Tate, so can Arizona. This final score could end up being something insane like 77-70.
Game details: Saturday at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN.
5. No. 2 Alabama at South Carolina
There’s no way this would have made the cut most other weeks, but with the way freshman QB Ryan Hilinski played in his first start last weekend, it has a bit more excitement in it. Here’s where we’re obligated to mention that Alabama is a much different team than Charleston Southern.
How will Hilinski fare against one of the best defenses in the country? We’ll find out Saturday afternoon.
Game details: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time on CBS.
4. No. 19 Iowa at Iowa State
Since Syracuse got blown out at Maryland on Saturday, ESPN’s College GameDay will head to Ames instead of the game between the Orange and No. 1 Clemson. The battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy is usually close, and the Cyclones will be rested and hungry.
After needing triple overtime to beat FCS Northern Iowa in Week 1, Iowa State had a bye in Week 2. Iowa basically had an off week, shutting out Rutgers 30-0 in its Big Ten opener. Whatever happens this weekend in Ames, it’s sure to be intense.
Game details: Saturday at 4 p.m. Eastern time on FOX Sports 1.
3. Pitt at No. 13 Penn State
Pitt is 1-1 after losing to Virginia in Week 1 and then eking out a victory over Ohio in Week 2. However, it’s a rivalry game, so as the cliche goes, throw out the records when these two teams play.
Penn State is ranked No. 13 in the country and has won the past 2 against Pitt. This game will be played at Beaver Stadium, so Penn State should take care of business, but you never know with this rivalry.
Game details: Saturday at noon Eastern time on ABC.
2. No. 20 Washington State vs. Houston
This is technically a neutral-site game, since it’ll be played at the Houston Texans’ home stadium, but it’s still in Houston, so it will be a home crowd for Dana Holgorsen’s squad in a battle of the Cougars.
Mike Leach’s Cougars are ranked, but heading on the road like this is never easy. This game is sure to feature plenty of creative offense, as two of the best offensive minds in today’s game are on the sidelines.
Game details: Friday at 9:15 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN.
1. Hawai’i at No. 23 Washington
You’d think the Rainbow Warriors were members of the Pac-12 based on their early-season schedule. Already, Hawai’i has a Week 0 win over Arizona and a Week 2 victory over Oregon State. The latter win prompted coach Nick Rolovich to tweet out a picture of the Rose Bowl logo (where the highest-ranked, non-Playoff Pac-12 team usually plays).
However, the Rainbow Warriors have yet to leave their island, and coming to the mainland is always a tougher task. On Saturday afternoon in Seattle, they’ll take on a 1-1 Washington team that is fresh off a home loss to unranked Cal.
If Rolovich and his squad pull off this upset (and don’t sleep on that offense), the Twitter trolling should be epic. This game doesn’t fall into the Pac-12 After Dark category, as it’s at 4:30 p.m. local time, but I’m anticipating a high-scoring, fun affair.
Game details: Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time on the Pac-12 Network.
ESPN’s Chris Fallica points out that the last time there were no ranked matchups, chaos broke out:
First weekend without a ranked matchup since Week 7 2017- Saturday 10/14/17. What happened that weekend? 7 ranked teams lost, 5 lost as favorites, including 3 as favorites of 16+ points. One of those big favorites which lost – Clemson at Syracuse that Friday night.
— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) September 11, 2019
Will that happen again this weekend? Keep an eye on the games mentioned above.