Georgia and Alabama have held the top two spots in the AP Top 25 for the past three weeks and are a good bet to stay there after this weekend’s games.
The rest of the Southeast Conference – at least the top half – is proving pretty good too, but that could change with four of its eight ranked teams playing each other.
On Saturday, No. 10 Arkansas will play No. 23 Texas A&M in Arlington, Texas, and No. 11 Tennessee is No. 20 Florida.
The Razorbacks (3-0, 1-0 SEC) have seen a steady rise since opening at 19th in the preseason poll, although they are last in the SEC in pass defense, allowing for 353 yards per game.
The Aggies (2-1) are hoping to get some offensive mojo after scoring a combined 34 points against Appalachian State and No. 25 Miami. Texas A&M is averaging 313 total yards, the latest in the SEC.
Florida’s hope is to throw a touchdown pass. Once known as the Fun ‘n’ Gun, the Gators (2-1, 0-1) were Fun ‘n’ None – 0 TD passes in 77 attempts in three games. The Vols (3-0) are the favorites, but Florida has won 16 of the last 17 meetings, including the last five.
The summary of what to watch for this week of college football, presented by Regions Bank:
#5 Clemson at #21 Wake Forest
Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson called Clemson a gauge at the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Demon Deacons haven’t been up to the Tigers for a long time.
Clawson is 0-8 against Clemson and Wake Forest has not won in the series since 2008, a stretch of 13 straight games. The Tigers have won the last four games by an average of 38 points, but punters expect this one to be closer – FanDuel has Clemson a favorite at 7 1/2 points.
Ohio State’s CJ Stroud was a Heisman Trophy finalist a year ago and has put himself in the conversation again this season.
The second-year starter has been posting bigger numbers with each passing week, surpassed by last week’s 367-yard, five-touchdown performance against Toledo. Stroud threw for 941 yards, completed nearly 73% of his passes, and has 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in three games.
Stroud and the third-place Buckeyes will have a tough test this week against Wisconsin, which is in the top 10 in total defense and scoring defense.
numbers to know
.824 — The ACC’s win percentage in non-conference games, the best since at least 2000.
10 — Points allowed by the highest ranked Georgia, the best in FBS.
11.13 — Penn State’s Nicholas Singleton per carry, best on FBS.
13 — Years since Kansas last started a 3-0 season. The Jayhawks play Duke (3-0) in a football showdown between schools known as basketball bluebloods.
under the radar
#17 Baylor (2-1) in Iowa State (3-0)
The Bears had a slip up against BYU’s No. 19, but are still among the favorites to win the Big 12.
They might have to go through cyclones to get there.
Iowa State is in its first 3-0 game since 2012 and has one of the meanest defenses in the country, allowing for 27 points per game. The Bears may still have big offensive numbers — 501 yards against Texas State last week — so this will be strength over strength.
Hope is starting to fade in Boulder in Colorado coach Karl Dorrell’s third season.
The Buffaloes are 0-3 for the first time since 2012, they were outnumbered 128-30 and sporting director Rick George felt the need to issue a statement in support of Dorrell.
Colorado is near the bottom of the FBS in scoring, total offense, scoring defense and total defense – a very bad combination.
The road doesn’t get any easier with UCLA (3-0) in town on Saturday.