NCAA Football: South Carolina at Georgia

College Football Week 3: Upsets Throw Playoff Race Wide Open

*Co-authored by Ishaan Chatterjee ’17 and Betsy Goodfriend ’17

 

Rhino Press’ College Football 2014 Week 3 Power Rankings

  1. Florida State (2-0)
  2. Oregon (3-0)
  3. Alabama (3-0)
  4. Auburn (3-0)
  5. Oklahoma (3-0)
  6. Texas A&M (3-0)
  7. LSU (3-0)
  8.  Michigan State (1-1)
  9. Baylor (3-0)
  10. South Carolina (2-1)
  11. Georgia (1-1)
  12. Ole Miss (3-0)
  13. Notre Dame (3-0)
  14. UCLA (3-0)
  15. Stanford (2-1)
  16. Arizona State (3-0)
  17. Kansas State (2-0)
  18. Missouri (3-0)
  19. Wisconsin (1-1)
  20. Clemson (1-1)
  21. BYU (3-0)
  22. Oklahoma State (2-1)
  23. Ohio State (2-1)
  24. Nebraska (3-0)
  25. Virginia (2-1)

 

Hot or Not?

 

virginia

Photo by ESPN

Hot: Virginia

Two weeks after nearly defeating UCLA, Virginia knocked off Louisville then ranked No. 21 in the Associated Press’ Top 25 poll. Virginia has already matched last year’s win total by going 2-1 through the first 3 weeks. Expect Virginia to be competitive in the ACC as conference play begins.

 

Not: UCLA

Even though they are 3-0, UCLA hasn’t lived up to its label as a College Football Playoff contender. After 3 straight unimpressive wins, it looks like UCLA’s run as a contender is about to end. Their next game is against Arizona State, and they need quarterback Brett Hundley to heal quickly, because their defense can only carry them so far.

 

Hot: South Carolina

The South Carolina Gamecocks bounced back from their Week 1 demolition courtesy of Texas A&M. Second-string quarterback Dylan Thompson has stepped up to fill first-stringer Connor Shaw’s shoes well. But he Gamecocks’ defense must improve for the Gamecocks to win a loaded SEC East conference that features Florida, Missouri, Georgia, and a much-improved Kentucky team.

 

Not: Big Ten Conference

For the second straight week, all fourteen teams in the Big Ten Conference looked terrible, with the exception of Michigan, Ohio State, and Nebraska, who all played “cupcake” games against overmatched opponents. Indiana lost to a Mid-American Conference opponent in Bowling Green, and new member Maryland lost to a West Virginia team they shut out 37-0 last year. Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois lost to Iowa State, TCU, and Washington, respectively. Purdue lost to a Notre Dame team ranked 11th best in the nation. And Penn State, coming off the removal of their postseason ban this past week, was plagued by an ineffective first-half offense and penalties to squeak past fellow Big Ten member Rutgers 13-10.

 

Looking Ahead to Week 4

 

Auburn vs Kansas State, 9/18/14 7:30 PM on ESPN

This game will be an offensive shootout in the first half, with Auburn pulling away in the 3rd quarter.

 

Rhino Press: AUB 31-28 KSU

 

Florida vs Alabama, 9/20/14 2:30 PM on CBS

Florida will fall to Alabama as Blake Sims solidifies his role as Alabama’s starting quarterback. The matchup will be a defensive one, but Alabama has too many offensive weapons to lose this game.

 

Rhino Press: ALA 27-23 FLA

 

Virginia vs Brigham Young, 9/20/114 2:30 ESPN

Virginia will knock off BYU and vault into the top 20. BYU running back Taysom Hill’s success will be a non-factor, as Virginia will concentrate on stopping the run.

 

Rhino Press: UVA 52-45 BYU

 

Clemson vs Florida State, 9/20/14 7:30 PM ABC

Clemson will compete with Florida State much like Oklahoma State did in Week 1, but Florida State’s running game will lead them to victory.


Rhino Press: FSU 38-34 CLEM

 

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