Dr. Saturday

What to watch, Week 3: Thanks Louisiana-Monroe

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(US Presswire)

Week 3 was supposed to be the first great week of the season.

With several strong matchups and even a couple rivalry games, Week 3 was supposed to be the real beginning of the season.

But Louisiana-Monroe ruined that. (C'mon, we're all thinking it.)

The upstart Sun Belt team upset Arkansas in overtime last week, knocked out a couple key players and rendered the Arkansas-Alabama matchup at 3:30 p.m. ET a probable beatdown.

Now, we don't begrudge the Warhawks; no, they made Week 2 incredibly interesting, but the entire nation was looking forward to two undefeated SEC West teams squaring off in a game that could decide the West Division title. And while that's still possible, it's a long shot that the Razorbacks make this a game with their backup quarterback at the helm and their pride still bruised.

On a positive note, ULM did make its game against Auburn a must-watch, so there's that. And, of course, there was the woman, who believes Arkansas can beat Alabama 100-3, which I think made everyone's week (and is worth showing before every game).

Here's the rest of what to watch in Week 3:

• Even though the Alabama-Arkansas game will probably be a bust (though, we'll all still tune in), Tennessee-Florida at 6 p.m. ET might be a fantastic game. Through the first two weeks of the season, Tennessee is playing better than anyone expected. Florida is a little more of a question mark, but the one thing the Gators have going in its favor is history. The Gators have won the last seven meetings between the two teams.

• Notre Dame-Michigan State is always a fun matchup and should be again at 8 p.m. ET this weekend. Both teams come into the game undefeated and while Notre Dame had a little bit of an adventure against Purdue last week, all bets are off when these teams meet. Four of the last seven games have been decided by three points and who can forget the infamous "Little Giants" play by Michigan State in overtime two years ago? Here's hoping for another epic finish.

• If you've never heard the name Johnathan Franklin, then you haven't been paying attention. The UCLA running back leads the nation with 431 yards, has rushed for at least 200 yards in each of his first two games, and should put up a similar number against a Houston defense that has allowed 493 rushing yards already this season. Unfortunately, unless you're a night owl or on the West Coast you might not be up (or sober) for the 10:30 p.m. kickoff.

• If you were planning on taking in a Conference USA game this weekend, don't. Seriously, don't. Conference USA is the worst conference in the country right now, and the top teams that have kept it interesting the past couple years have had some of the worst starts. Houston is 0-2 and fired its offensive coordinator after a season-opening loss to Texas State. SMU was hammered in its opener against Baylor. Southern Miss, which along with UCF might be the cream of the crop, struggled against a Nebraska team that was handled by UCLA a week later. During the first two weeks of the season, the league's best win is Rice's 25-24 win over Kansas. Kansas...

• Nebraska, which is still reeling from its loss to UCLA last week, is hosting Arkansas State at noon ET in a game that cost the Huskers $1 million. This is a Red Wolves team that won 10 games last season, so don't think Nebraska is going to waltz through. It's important to note that Arkansas paid Louisiana-Monroe $950,000 to beat it on its home turf.

"We believe that Arkansas State is a decent program and will provide an attractive nonconference matchup," Nebraska AD Tom Osborne said. "We probably could have gotten a lesser opponent for less money but are trying to maintain a reasonably strong schedule."

We'll see if Nebraska can regroup and avoid the upset.

• UNLV is a basketball school. Bobby Hauck has the pleasure of coaching football there.

Football is mostly an afterthought at UNLV. The stadium is miles away from campus, and there's not much incentive for fans to make the drive. UNLV won two games in each of Hauck's first two seasons. The Rebels have started 0-2 this season, and there are already questions about Hauck's future as he leads his squad into a 9 p.m. ET game on Friday against Washington State (which has its own issues, including perhaps being without injured quarterback Jeff Tuel this week.

At least Hauck still has a sense of humor.

"We know we're hard to love right now," Hauck told the Las Vegas Sun. "I got a text from my mother about 15 minutes ago. She told me she loved me, but it took her two days to send it. That's a good indicator."

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(AP)

• Remember last year when college football pundits thought Florida State was going to play for a national title and then lost to Oklahoma, Clemson and then a really bad Wake Forest team in three consecutive weeks? Better believe the Seminoles do and there will be a measure of retribution when they face the Demon Deacons at noon ET. However, there's always a chance Florida State could be looking ahead to next week's pivotal Clemson game.

• TCU quarterback Casey Pachall was 9 of 9 for 201 yards and three touchdowns against Grambling last week, which was good for a 396.7 QB rating. If you don't know what that QB rating means, just know it's awesome. The Horned Frogs meet Kansas at 12 p.m. ET Saturday and while no one expects Pachall to stay perfect, he could end up being pretty darn close.

• Could Penn State finally win a game? After an 0-2 start and several players deciding to leave the team this week, the Nittany Lions face a Navy team (3:30 p.m. ET) that struggled mightily against Notre Dame in its only game this year. Penn State needs something positive to happen soon or coach Bill O'Brien might find himself without enough players to field a team and without any fans to watch.

• Can West Virginia keep its scoring streak alive when it faces FCS opponent James Madison at 4:30 p.m. ET? In their last two games — dating back to last season — the Mountaineers have scored 70 and 69 points respectively. And while you never want to see a team get blown out, seeing West Virginia's high-octane offense put 70 on a team is one of the more entertaining things in college football.

• Now that quarterback Jordan Wynn has officially retired, backup Jon Hays will now have to lead the Utes to what looks like an improbable win over BYU. This rivalry game, dubbed the "Holy War," should have a little more vitriol after Utah coach Kyle Whittingham tried to get the Cougars off the Utes schedule. After the way BYU played in its season opener against Washington State, this game could get ugly quickly.

• When Ohio defeated Penn State in the season opener, many thought the Bobcats could run the table. Heck, we here at Yahoo! have even dubbed them the next Boise State. But if there's any team that could bring that dream crashing to the ground, it's Marshall (6:30 p.m.). The Thundering Herd had a tough start against West Virginia, but still managed to score 34 points in that game. If you're looking for an upset alert, this is it.

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• Two of the best teams in the MAC, Bowling Green and Toledo, square off in the Battle of I-75 at 7 p.m. ET. If you like offense, MAC games are where it's at. Even though these teams combined for just 49 points last year, it was a fun game to watch. And here's a fun fact: The two teams actually used to play for a replica peace pipe, but they had to change the trophy when the NCAA required schools remove Native American nicknames and symbols from the game.

• Last year's USC-Stanford game was an epic overtime masterpiece that ended with a 56-48 Stanford win. But Andrew Luck ain't walking back onto this field and USC is going to be amped for some revenge. Quarterback Matt Barkley and the USC offense might have to put on a show to get noticed during this 7:30 p.m. ET tilt, especially if Alabama is at the top of its game against Arkansas (and it all comes full circle).

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