Game of the week
Arizona State at Stanford
The teams haven’t met since 2010. Stanford kept things simple in a closer-than-expected victory at Army. The Cardinal doesn’t win pretty, it just wins with an excellent offensive line and power running game. Arizona State benefited from an officiating goof at the end of last week’s game against Wisconsin, and the Sun Devils will take it. It’s Stanford’s and the Pac-12’s first big game of the season and the Cardinal looks to make a statement.
Upset of the week
Michigan State over Notre Dame
In the Spartans’ first two games, they scored two offensive touchdowns and four on defense. But last week, Michigan State found an offensive spark in quarterback Connor Cook, who threw four touchdown passes in a victory over Youngstown State. If the Spartans can find any offense, they can be a formidable Big Ten contender. The Irish should be inspired after last week’s lackluster victory over Purdue, but Michigan State has a motivational purpose of its own: Notre Dame beat a favored Spartans team in East Lansing last season.
Others to watch
Tennessee at Florida
This rivalry helped define college football in the 1990s. Remember the characters? Steve Spurrier, Phil Fulmer, Peyton Manning and Danny Wuerffel? But the Gators have won eight straight in the series. Both are coming off stinging losses, Florida in a turnover-fest at Miami, and the Vols in a blood-letting at Oregon, but the Gators are farther along.
North Carolina at Georgia Tech
The Tar Heels scored 50 in this meeting last season — and lost by 18. Yellow Jackets quarterback Vad Lee threw four touchdowns passes against Duke last week, and if Tech and score by throwing it, the Coastal Division might have its favorite.
Utah at BYU
The Holy War. Dennis Erickson is the Utes’ co-offensive coordinator and they’re averaging nearly 50 points. That’s not as impressive as what BYU did to Texas two weeks ago.
On the horizon: Sept. 28
LSU at Georgia
The Zach Mettenberger game
Oklahoma at Notre Dame
Irish spoiled Sooners’ 2012 season
Wisconsin at Ohio State
Best Big Ten teams in last three years
| Blair Kerkhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org