What college football’s Week 3 top-25 scores mean

Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

September 14th, 2018, 5:38 am #1

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What college football’s Week 3 top-25 scores mean, updated all weekend

Keeping track of all the ranked games, Playoff committee-style.


After a light Week 2, this weekend should give us some actual movement in the New Year’s race. We have about twice as many games with good chances of factoring significantly into Selection Sunday, and that’s before we add upsets.
Below, we’ll keep track of each top-25 game’s impact, both before and after final scores.

Remember the things the committee has mostly demonstrated it rewards: wins over final top-25 teams, wins over bowl teams, road wins, dominant wins, weirdly excusable losses, being Alabama, and not being a mid-major. It does not care what your opponent’s AP ranking was at kickoff.

All rankings AP, until the committee’s start releasing. Final scores in italics.

Probably important

Games in which the winning team will likely have a pretty high-quality Week 3 victory by season’s end.
  • No. 1 Alabama (2-0) at Ole Miss (2-0), 7, ESPN: A chance for a road win over a team likely to finish with a winning record. Outgunning and/or shutting down an offense like Ole Miss’ feels like the kind of anecdote the committee’s chair would cite on ESPN while praising Bama.
  • No. 4 Ohio State (2-0) vs. No. 15 TCU (2-0), 8, ABC: Nobody should get true road-game credit here, since Jerry World is close to TCU’s campus but likely to be a Buckeye-heavy crowd. Either OSU adds one of the year’s best non-con wins or TCU wrecks everything.
  • No. 7 Auburn (2-0) vs. No. 12 LSU (2-0), 3:30, CBS: As always, either of these teams could go anywhere between 11-1 and 7-5, but a solid resume item is pretty assured for the victor.
  • No. 10 Washington (1-1) at Utah (2-0), 10, ESPN: Utah might have a really good defense, or might just be untested. The former could mean an excellent win by Utah. It could also mean giving the committee more or less reason to worry about UW’s offense.
  • No. 17 Boise State (2-0) at No. 24 Oklahoma State (2-0), 3:30, ESPN: A Boise win in Stillwater would just about make the non-power New Year’s Six race a formality.
Maybe important

Games in which the winner will probably have beaten a decent bowl team (or better), and I’m being slightly generous in Week 3.
  • No. 2 Clemson (2-0) vs. Georgia Southern (2-0), noon, ESPNU: The Eagles appear likely to bowl.
  • No. 3 Georgia (2-0) vs. Middle Tennessee (1-1), noon, ESPNews: MTSU has a shot at .500.
  • No. 5 Oklahoma (2-0) at Iowa State (0-1), noon, ABC: Do the Clones have a defense, or were they just playing Iowa? Answers inbound.
  • No. 6 Wisconsin (2-0) vs. BYU (1-1), 3:30, ABC: ROCK FIGHT. We might soon discover BYU’s terrible 2017 was a fluke, meaning this would be a decent W for UW.
  • No. 8 Notre Dame (2-0) vs. Vanderbilt (2-0), 2:30, NBC: I think Vandy’s actually pretty good!
  • No. 16 Mississippi State (2-0) vs. UL Lafayette (1-0), 7:30, SEC Network: Sure, let’s say the Ragin’ Cajuns are a bowl team for now. S&P+ likes them.
  • No. 21 Miami (1-1) at Toledo (1-0), noon, ESPN2: This would be a pretty impressive road win for the Canes, quite far from home (about as far as Delaware to New Mexico) and against a good team.
  • No. 22 USC (1-1) at Texas (1-1), 8, Fox: Well, it’s a ranked game.
  • No. 23 Arizona State (2-0) at San Diego State (1-1), 10:30, CBSSN: Visualize telling yourself “11-1 Herm Edwards, whose non-conference conquests included the Big Ten East champ and MWC West champ ...” and embrace madness. No, stop objecting. You’re not embracing madness yet. There you go.
Not important

The committee doesn’t really care about wins vs. FCS teams, teams with final losing records, and so forth.
  • No. 9 Stanford (2-0) vs. FCS UC Davis, 2, Pac-12 Network
  • No. 11 Penn State (2-0) vs. Kent State (1-1), noon, FS1
  • No. 13 Virginia Tech’s game against East Carolina was canceled due to weather, which isn’t a big loss for the Hokies’ schedule.
  • No. 14 West Virginia’s game against NC State was also canceled. Would’ve been a really nice win for the victor, not that football matters much here.
  • No. 18 UCF’s game against UNC was also nixed. A win wouldn’t have moved the needle for the Knights anyway, as wild as that is to say about a prominent ACC program.
  • No. 19 Michigan (1-1) vs. SMU (0-2), 3:30, BTN
  • No. 20 Oregon (2-0) vs. San Jose State (0-2), 5, Pac-12 Network
  • No. 25 Michigan State (1-1): Idly recovering from Herm Edwards.
https://www.sbnation.com/college-footba ... ule-scores
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

September 14th, 2018, 5:52 am #2

Auburn/LSU is interesting . Coach O seems to perform at his best in the underdog role.  It is at Auburn so I like Auburn to win it but LSU and especially Coach O is playing for their lives and will come at them.  
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: August 10th, 2017, 5:39 am

September 14th, 2018, 7:08 am #3

Auburn's DL is going to shut LSU's running game down.  I don't see a passing game emerging.  I think we see LSU struggle to get to triple digits in total yards.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm

September 16th, 2018, 6:52 am #4

Burrows did a good job of managing the game .. nice win for LSU … 
Alabama: Heart of the South
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

September 16th, 2018, 7:42 am #5

Clemson needs to stop rotating so many players so early and get this offense an identity. They are just making big plays with superior athletes right now. Very disappointed in the OL which was supposed to be the best Dabo has had. Very disappointed in the run game outside of Etienne...stop rotating RB every series!!!! Feed #9

Higgins needs more touches! Ross is a freak as a true freshmen. Renfrow is Renfrow and Rodgers is a weapon. Those guys need majority of the targets. Chase, Thompson are good but should not steal reps from the above mentioned guys. Galloway needs to be the TE...Richard sucks.

Will be interesting to see if KB can go this week. If not we will get to see 4 quarters of TL on the road.
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Joined: October 3rd, 2013, 4:59 pm

September 16th, 2018, 7:51 am #6

I like Clemson but agree they don’t feel like a dominant team this year. Alabama is just destroying teams. Clemson is just getting it done. The good news is the season is still young and Clemson has a very favorable schedule so they have time to iron out the wrinkles before the playoffs. I will say as of right now Bama looks unstoppable. They treated Ole Miss like a mid level yesterday.

BTW, did anyone see that weird trick play North Texas pulled on Arkansas yesterday. I am on my phone and am not sure how to add YouTube video but it was crazy. Arkansas is the worst team in the SEC. I am not sure how they got so bad.
Being a Vol fan is great except for a few Saturdays in the fall.
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 11:23 am

September 16th, 2018, 9:09 am #7

DocVOLiday wrote: I like Clemson but agree they don’t feel like a dominant team this year.  Alabama is just destroying teams.  Clemson is just getting it done.   The good news is the season is still young and Clemson has a very favorable schedule so they have time to iron out the wrinkles before the playoffs.   I will say as of right now Bama looks unstoppable.   They treated Ole Miss like a mid level yesterday.

BTW, did anyone see that weird trick play North Texas pulled on Arkansas yesterday.  I am on my phone and am not sure how to add YouTube video but it was crazy.  Arkansas is the worst team in the SEC.  I am not sure how they got so bad.
I will say Clemson has played 80+ players in both Furman and GSU games so it is not like they are trying to dominate. They had the entire second team OL, receivers, etc in before the end of the 1st quarter yesterday.

The offense was good against A&M in the rain until the 4th quarter and the defense got a little gassed in the secondary but I think A&M will prove to be a good win down the stretch. They moved the football on the road, in the rain, with a lot of new starters on offense.

One must realize Clemson is replacing quite a bit on offense and while I think they are more talented than the ones they replace, they lost a good bit of experience so TE/JS and Dabo are rotating a lot trying to find the best 11 especially on the OL. We will see how it plays out but I am not concerned. Also, not many officiating crews will allow teams to hold Clemson's DL like the one at A&M did. Holding happens on every play but there is picture after picture of Clemson DL getting tackled, pulled down by jerseys, and hands outside of the "box" if you will. It was pretty bad.

That said, Clemson has some work to do. Good news is it is early and they are 3-0 and as bad as the offense has been they are top 20 in most categories and as awful as the run game has looked they have averaged 225 yards a game and they are averaging almost 10 yards per pass attempt with 2 quarterbacks rotating. Both Qbs have 43 attempts with Kelly having 400 yards and Trevor with 424 so both Qbs have been very efficient. KB has 67% completion and Trevor 60%
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