It’s preferable to have some college football than none at all. But let’s be honest: There have been worse weekends. There are no matches involving clubs in the US LBM AFCA Coaches Poll on the Week 3 schedule. There are just as many non-conference games involving Power Five teams as there are contests between Power Five teams and opponents from the Championship Subdivision. 19 teams are competing against FCS opposition overall.
The only game with a spread under a touchdown is No. 15 Kansas State’s road trip to former conference rival Missouri, even though every school in the Top 25 except No. 5 Southern California is playing.
There is a tendency for college football madness to strike when you least expect it, like during a week when absolutely no craziness is anticipated. However, given the schedule for Saturday, this weekend would be a wonderful opportunity to catch up on teams that may have slipped your radar over the first three weekends of the regular season.
These five unbeaten teams are worth your time to watch on Saturday:
- MATCHUP/TIME/TV: vs. Virginia Tech (3:30 p.m. ET, BTN)
Rutgers participated in and lost the Gator Bowl versus Wake Forest when Texas A&M was forced to cancel due to an epidemic of COVID-19 infections in 2021, despite finishing the regular season with a losing record. But since 2014, when Kyle Flood was their head coach, the Scarlet Knights haven’t actually qualified for the postseason.
To reach six victories in the fourth year of Greg Schiano’s second stint, the team must defeat Virginia Tech as a roughly touchdown underdog. With games against Wagner, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Indiana between September and October, going to 3-0 might put Rutgers within striking distance of bowl eligibility as the regular season nears its conclusion.
No. 17 Oregon State
- MATCHUP/TIME/TV: vs. San Diego State (3:30 p.m. ET, FS1)
Both Pac-2 participants are completing their tasks: Washington State recently defeated Wisconsin for the second year in a row, while Oregon State has demonstrated the qualities of a true New Year’s Six contender. DJ Uiagalelei, a quarterback transfer from Clemson who has started well for the Beavers, has led an offence that hasn’t turned the ball over yet and hasn’t even been required much in the fourth quarter of either of two routs.
He has accounted for eight touchdowns overall. San Diego State, despite the Aztecs had trouble getting anything going in last weekend’s 35-10 loss to No. 25 UCLA, possesses the rugged approach to offer a tougher test.
No. 8 Washington
- MATCHUP/TIME/TV: at Michigan State (5:00 p.m. ET, Peacock)
Even better than Caleb Williams’ Southern California, this offence may be the finest in the Pac-12 and the entire nation. The Huskies have continued where they left off from the previous season, racking up 568 yards against Boise State and another 563 yards against Tulsa while ranking second in the Bowl Subdivision at 9.2 yards per play. Quarterback Michael Penix has thrown eight touchdowns and completed 73.1% of his passes. Coach Mel Tucker will be absent due to his suspension, making it difficult to forecast what the Spartans will bring to the table.
The game, though, will be the toughest for Washington to far and will give an indication of how the offence will perform as the calendar heats up with a battle against rival Oregon in the middle of October.
- MATCHUP/TIME/TV: vs. Brigham Young (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
There is some hope that Arkansas will outperform preseason predictions and move up from fifth in last year’s division standings to the top three as early season results indicate the top of the SEC West may not be up to the usual quality. Realistically, the Razorbacks’ chances of going over seven victories in the regular season for just the second time since 2011 are increased by the SEC’s newfound volatility.
That would necessitate defeating BYU in a matchup of two struggling offences. Despite playing Western Carolina and Kent State, the Razorbacks are ranked 84th in the FBS for yards per play, while the Cougars are tied for 92nd place after playing Sam Houston State and Southern Utah.
Following this, Arkansas will play four games in a row against No. 14 LSU, No. 19 Mississippi, No. 19 Texas A&M, and No. 10 Alabama.
- MATCHUP/TIME/TV: at Nevada (10:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN)
After playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2008 one year ago, Kansas is rapidly approaching the postseason following last week’s remarkable 34-23 victory against Illinois. Jalon Daniels, the quarterback, made his comeback in that triumph after missing the opener against Missouri State. After ranking sixth nationally in yards per play last season, the Jayhawks’ offensive potential was never in question.
Though there are still some unanswered questions regarding the defence, improvement on that side of the ball will determine if KU advances further under coach Lance Leipold. Against Illinois, the defence gave up 6.1 yards per play, roughly in line with the average against Power Five opposition last year, but it did result in two forced turnovers.
Nevada, the Jayhawks’ opponent this week, is arguably the poorest team in the nation, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to defeat them before they begin conference play against BYU on September 23.