This weekend I will return to Eugene, OR, to watch Tennessee Tech at Oregon. This will be the first time I have ever seen a team from the FCS Subdivision play. Oregon is off to a solid 2-0 start, but recently lost safety John Boyett and guard Carson York to season injuries. This game will hopefully help the defense get their confidence up and provide the new starters at the safety and guard positions with a lot of reps. The Ducks will start Pac-12 play the following week at home against #24 Arizona.
- Florida State may be the fifth ranked team in the country, but this game may not be as easy as it appears. Last season, The Demon Deacons upset the Noles 35-30 at home. Wake Forest appeared to come into the season weak, but last weekend beat a good North Carolina team 28-27. The Noles will have their first real contest of the season this weekend and it will be interesting to see if the Demon Deacons can keep it close again and pull the unthinkable.
Pick: Florida State
2. #1 Alabama @ Arkansas 3:30 PM ET CBS
- Last season, this game turned into a blood bath in Tuscaloosa, as Alabama rolled Arkansas 38-14. This year, the game looked to be closer one with the game being played in Fayetteville and an explosive Razorback offense. Unfortunately, the Razorbacks come into this game limping from a huge upset last weekend against Louisiana-Monroe. They also do not have QB Tyler Wilson. This is going to be tough for Arkansas to contend with an Alabama team that may be better than they were last season. Look for the Crimson Tide rushing attack to dismantle the Razorback defense.
- Virginia won a tough game at home against Penn State last weekend. We will see if the Cavalier defense can hold the Yellow Jacket triple option attack again this Saturday. Virginia beat Georgia Tech last season 24-21. This could be one of the closer games this weekend, and will be important for both teams as they contend for the ACC Coastal Division. Virginia desperately needs this game going forward in the ACC Conference, and needs it as motivation for next week when they travel to TCU.
Pick: Georgia Tech
4. Northern Iowa @ Iowa 3:30 PM ET Big Ten Network
- This is one of those games that will fly under the radar this week. The Hawkeyes are on upset alert this weekend as a they take on a tough FCS Northern Iowa team that played Wisconsin close two weeks ago. Iowa was upset at home against in-state rival Iowa State this past weekend 9-6. Hawkeye QB James Vandenberg has yet to throw one touchdown pass this season and has two interceptions. The Hawkeye rushing attack also failed to hit 70 yards against Iowa State. Northern Iowa QB Sawyer Kollmorgen has been stellar this season throwing for three touchdowns in each of his first two games. This is going to be a low scoring affair between these two teams, and will come down to the last few minutes of the game. Iowa has given me know reason to pick them. I am going out on a limb and picking the UNI Panthers to upset Iowa at Kinnick.
Pick: Northern Iowa
- Finally, a Florida-Tennessee game that actually means something. It means so much this season that ESPN College GameDay will be in Knoxville on Saturday. Both teams are rather even this season, and both teams have each had one good win this season. It was Tennessee taking down NC State in Week 1 35-21, and Florida coming from behind at Texas A&M last weekend 20-17. Florida QB Jeff Driskel has not proven himself yet, but the Gator running game with Mike Gillislee has been solid. It will be the Gator rushing attack that will be important in getting by Tennessee on Saturday. The Volunteers will rely on QB Tyler Bray, who has passed for more than 300 yards in both games this season and six touchdown passes. This is going to be a very close game with both teams using different offensive methods to win. I have to go with Rocky Top in this game. Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley desperately needs this game.
- Last season, this matchup went down to the very end as Arizona State beat Missouri in overtime 37-30. This will be a good game again this season. The Tigers are coming off a tough home loss to Georgia. The Tigers were up 20-17 late in the third quarter, but were blown out in the fourth. The Sun Devils are coming off an impressive win over Illinois 45-14. The Sun Devil offense has looked impressive, especially the QB Taylor Kelly-WR Chris Coyle tandem. This will be the Sun Devils first road game this season, and it will be a rather tough one to win. There will not be a lot of defense in this game and will turn into an offensive shootout.
7. #2 USC @ #21 Stanford 7:30 PM ET FOX
- The Trojans have lost their last three meetings to the Cardinal. This is going to be a completely different game this season without the Cardinal having QB Andrew Luck. This season it's all about USC QB Matt Barkley and the Trojans. The Cardinal won convincingly over Duke last weekend 50-13. The Trojans were surprisingly challenged by a below average Syracuse team, but pulled away to win 42-29. It will be interesting to see how long the Cardinal can stay in the game against a much more talented Trojan team.
- This game is always a good one, with the last nine of twelve meetings being won by seven points or less. Notre Dame is coming off a close win against Purdue. We will see if the Irish have it in themselves to go into East Lansing and take down one of the toughest defenses in the country. A big matchup in this game will be Spartan RB Le'Veon Bell and Irish MLB Manti Te'o. It will be a physical battle with the ground attacks leading the way. Notre Dame isn't as solid at the quarterback position, but will be able to match the physicality of the Spartan defense on the offensive line. This should give the Irish a chance to win. This game will for sure come down to the very end.
Pick: Michigan State
- Before last weekend, I wouldn't have even considered putting this as a game to watch. Utah State is coming off an all-time high, after they upset in-state rival Utah for the first time since 1997. On the other hand, the Badgers come off a tough loss at Oregon State, where they lost in an ugly game 10-7. The Wisconsin defense appears to be fine, but the offense is going to be a mystery going into this game. The Utah State Aggies are a scrappy team with QB Chuckie Keeton leading the way. Keeton rushed for 86 yards last Friday against Utah. The Badger offense has to improve and put up points, especially RB Montee Ball, if they want to win this ballgame. This is by far the toughest game I had to pick this week.
- This is always a good matchup. Most of the time these two teams come down to the very end, except for last season when BYU annihilated Utah 52-21. Brigham Young has looked tough so far this season beating Washington State and Weber State. Utah appeared to be in good hands this season with QB Jordan Wynn returning, but Wynn injured his shoulder again last week against Utah State. Wynn officially quit the team this week due to all of the injuries he has suffered over the years. With the combination of losing last weekend to in-state rival Utah State and losing their starting quarterback, the Cougars will have a clear advantage in this game. Cougar QB Riley Nelson has looked great so far this season and the defense is only giving up an average of 9.5 points per game.
Pick: Brigham Young