The college football season has provided plenty of excitement and surprise thus far. While the true contenders have begun to rise up the boards during the initial three weeks of action, other have fell back into the tradition of mediocrity. The beauty of college ball remains: One loss is everything and week-to-week your team’s situation can change on a dime. Each and every Saturday, gets bigger and more important.

While the brute power of the South takes over college football once again, the trend remains:  Superior athletes, defense, more defense, explosive offense and brute SEC power. In what was an outstanding weekend for some, others were not so fortunate. All together many questions were answered and we now know that some teams, are nothing more than product of media hype. After spending my entire Saturday on the couch, flipping from game to game, many continued to impress (UCLA, Ohio State, Texas) while other teams were embarrassing and failed to live up to lofty expectations (USC, Virginia Tech, Arkansas) in must win situations.

One thing is for sure, Alabama and LSU look unstoppable, and lend the ingredients for what will be the biggest game of the year (November 3rd) since their last meeting almost a year ago. Below is my take on the top 25. Realistically, I really do feel another SEC National Championship game on the way, after the Tigers and Tide roll through their remaining games. However, mark my words that other highly regarded teams are going to rise in the next few weeks. Lets sit back and enjoy the ride into week 4.

1. Alabama (3-0): Hammered Arkansas. With Wilson sidelined, the Razorbacks had no chance and Saban’s defense was unstoppable all afternoon. 6 interceptions and 12 turnovers through three games, complete a Tide’s offense that has proved to be dominant under the leadership of QB A.J. McCarron.

Prediction: Florida Atlantic 3 @ Alabama 50

2. LSU (3-0): LB Kevin Minter (21 total-tackles) has led a stingy Tigers defense. Additionally, youngster DB’s Ronald Martin and Jalen Mills each have 2 INTS.  If RB’s Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue continue to play outstanding behind a massive O-line, Zach Mettenberger could hit his stride later in the season while people creep the run game. The only real competition; rests above.

Prediction: LSU 42 @ Auburn 14

3. Oregon (3-0): Despite meager competition all systems are-go as the offense continues to tear with an average of 329 rushing yards a contest. With 7 TDs total thus far, RB/WR De’Anthony Thomas is on pace to do something special and will be a Heisman finalist.  The defense however needs to lock down, as allowing an average of 24.3 points to Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech, isn’t impressive.

Prediction: Arizona 30 @ Oregon 55

4. Georgia (3-0): QB Aaron Murray (51/80, 842 YDS, 8 TD) may be the new Heisman frontrunner, but he will have to continue to play outstanding. Murray has the intangibles one looks for despite his average size and outstanding athletes on both side of the ball definitely help. The fact remains, that the Bulldogs could make some serious waves.  LB Jarvis Jones (1 INT, 2.5 Sacks, 3.5 TFL, 16 Total Tackles) leads the defense.

Prediction: Vanderbilt 14 @ Georgia 42

5. FSU (3-0): I still can’t get last years start out of my head, but I may not have to. Until these guys prove that they can take down the best, I am at a standstill in my opinion. A (52-0) roll-up of Wake Forest has me thinking, but the nations first ranked defense through three weeks will have to stay strong. Very strong. Who have they played this year again?

Prediction: Clemson 27 @ FSU 24

6. Oklahoma (3-0):– WR Kenny Stills (16 REC, 241 YDS, 2 TD) has come into a zone with QB Landry Jones (40/64, 474 YDS, 4 TD). But, I don’t know if I should expect a dominating performance on Saturday or another disappointment from the Sooners. Junior RB Damien Williams (19 CAR, 260 YDS, 5 TD) may be a viable answer in the backfield and the offense should continue to succeed, but defense wins big games down the line.

Prediction: Kansas State 30 @ Oklahoma 35

7. West Virginia (2-0): QB Geno Smith sports 9 TD to 0 interceptions and is dominating, elevating his status as a serious Heisman contender. LB Terence Garvin leads the defense with 20 total tackles and 2 sacks. Could West Virginia top the Big-12?

Prediction: Maryland 14 @ WVU 45

8. South Carolina (3-0): While the offense finds a rhythm in the passing game without QB Connor Shaw, LB Shaq Wilson (18 total tackles) and standout DE Jadeveon Clowney (3 Sacks) hold down the defense. A tough SEC schedule looms ahead and the Gamecocks will need some luck down the stretch in addition a lot of yards from standout RB Marcus Lattimore.

Prediction: Missouri 20 @ South Carolina 30

9. Stanford (3-0): Huge win against an overly hyped USC team. The Tree’s embarrassed Barkley, ran the ball effectively and are looking to continue the progress made during the Luck era. Beating the Trojans was a huge step one and Stanford has the men in the trenches to make a legit run for an undefeated season. Additionally, Stanford RB Stephan Taylor (67 CAR, 338 YDS, 3 TD) has been elevated on most 2013 draft boards as his performance has been stellar.

Prediction: Stanford 35 @ Washington 20

10. Clemson (3-0): QB Tajh Boyd, RB Andre Ellington, WR DeAndre Hopkins and WR Sammy Watkins have outstanding skills. A week one victory has them on their way and the ACC isn’t as strong as people thought weeks ago. If Clemson can beat the Seminoles and play tough hard-nosed football, who knows what could happen down the line with this offense. Sophomore LB Stephone Anthony has the defense playing well.

Prediction: Clemson 27 @ FSU 24

11. Notre Dame (3-0): Huge win behind the youngster QB Everett Gholson who has improved week to week. More impressive is the Irish defense. This group shut down bruiser RB Le’Von Bell. A 20-3 victory in East Lansing, could elevate this ND squad to greatness down the stretch as next few weeks will be interesting and should tell all.

Prediction: Michigan 21 @ ND 28


12. Texas (3-0): Solid victories over Wyoming, New Mexico and Ole Miss have the Longhorns off to a really solid start. If sophomore standouts RB’s Joe Bergeron and Malcom Brown continue to carry the rock effectively the offense could scare some people. QB Ash played spectacular with 326 yards, four touchdowns and no picks at Mississippi State.

Prediction: Bye week @ Oklahoma State 9/29

13.  USC (2-1): The Trojans blow it for the 4th strait year and to be honest look very average for team that was built up to be a National Champion contender. In a game that meant everything, Barkley was average strait up average and confused. Huge disappointment, however down the line this could be a great Pac-12 championship game if USC can learn, bounce back and start to roll up lesser opponents.

Prediction: Cal 10 @ USC 35

14. Florida (3-0): The Gators came to Knoxville and pushed around a Volunteer squad that was ready to make a run. LB Mike Gillislee and QB Jeff Driskel have provided the offensive power while LB Jon Bostic and DB Larentee McCray have been consistently making big plays in the backfield of opponents.

Prediction: Kentucky 21 @ Florida 30

15. Kansas State (3-0): If QB Collin Klein can continue his dominance, a repeat of last year will be possible. Although, the Sooners are ripe for a great season a upset come this Saturday is very possible and don’t be surprised. The Wildcats want to end their recent trend of looses to Oklahoma a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since October 25th, 1997.

Prediction: Kansas State 30 @ Oklahoma 35

16. Ohio State (3-0): Urban Meyer’s team is looking good and a victory over Cal is relatively impressive given the turmoil in Ohio as of lately. Depending on if QB Braxton Miller continues to respond and develop within to new system; OSU will be mighty in the near future.

Prediction: UAB 7 @ Ohio State 42

17. TCU (2-0): Having only played 2 games it is hard to know how if the Horned Frogs are legit as games on the road against Texas and West Virginia are ahead.  Despite having 487 total yards of offense QB Casey Pachall must lead his troops to points against solid competition. Kansas confused me.

Prediction: Virginia 28 @ TCU 35

18. Michigan (2-1): Some of Robinson’s runs are just straight up spectacular and video-game-esque. The Offense seems to be in a zone, however we have to realize this is against 2nd tier competition again and not Alabama! Giving up an average of 26.3 points a game through week 3 isn’t impressive. Next week, the Wolverines have a chance to rebound. The guys in the trenches must step up.

Prediction: Michigan 21 @ ND 28

19. UCLA (3-0): RB Jonathan Franklin (66 CAR, 541 YDS, 3 TD) leads the nation in rushing, boosting his status and solidifying himself as one of the top backs in the land.  QB Brett Hundley is playing well and the defense continues to step up. In this type of schedule a (8-9) win season seems more than plausible for UCLA than ever before.  Who expected USC to be (2-1) and UCLA (3-0)? I’ll be honest, not me.

Prediction: Oregon State 28 @ UCLA 21

20. Louisville (3-0): QB Teddy Bridgewater (72/88, 855 YDS, 5 TD) has been absolutely outstanding leading the Cardinals in wins over Kentucky, Missouri State and North Carolina. Watch this team continue to make waves with their under-the-radar QB and RB’s Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright.

Prediction: Louisville 35 @ Florida International 14

21Michigan State (2-1): The Spartans lost surprisingly horribly to a Notre Dame team on the rise. If another answer besides RB Le’Von Bell can come about on offense and the defense tightens up I wouldn’t count the MSU completely out of the equation.

Prediction: Eastern Michigan 0 @ Michigan State 45

22. Arizona (3-0): QB Matt Scott is completing 71.5% of his passes and this apparently is a new team. Mix in RB Ka’deem Carey (5 TDs) and a defense led by stout LB Jake Fischer (33 total tackles) the rest of the Pac-12 may be in trouble.

Prediction: Arizona 30 @ Oregon 55

23. Mississippi State (3-0): Wins over Auburn and Troy are great, however the rest of the schedule is very very tough and the Bulldogs must bring their A game. Big QB Tyler Russell (46/79, 651 YDS, 8 TD) has played very efficient, and this trend must continue.

Prediction: South Alabama 7 @ Mississippi State 35

24. Boise State (1-1): I think this team will rebound and by the end of the season should post (9-10) wins given their schedule and the depth they have built over the years. After posting 599 total offense against Miami (OH), the Bronco’s look to have found a rhythm with new QB Joe Southwick.

Prediction: BYU 17 @ Boise State: 49

25. Nebraska (2-1): QB Taylor Martinez (56/79, 713 YDS, 7TD) and RB Ameer Abdullah (62 CAR, 367 YDS, 4 TD) have the Cornhuskers offense rolling. A loss to a revamped UCLA team hurt, however games against Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State are perfect opportunities to get back on the map.

Prediction: Idaho State 10 @ Nebraska 33


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