Week 1 brought a bunch of yawns. Week 2 brought along one big upset and a load of trouble for the fast-sinking Big Ten.
Now, what will Week 3 bring?
We're about the find out.
As we head into our third weekend of college football here in the year 2012, a few themes are starting to develop. We are seeing the aforementioned Big Ten endure one of its toughest seasons in recent memory. We are seeing Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide asserting itself as the unquestioned powerhouse of the SEC, and possibly the nation. We are seeing a revitalized Pac-12, an ever-more confused Big East and at least one early Heisman frontrunner (he's a quarterback, he plays for USC, and he's got quite a future ahead of him up in the NFL).
Whether or not we see these trends continue here in Week 3 remains to be seen. But I'm guessing it's safe to say that, at very least, Alabama will just keep on rolling (sorry, Arkansas).
Here are your games worth watching for the week to come in college football.
No. 13 Virginia Tech at Pitt (noon, ESPNU): I can hear all of you out there asking, "Why is this game on the list?" Well, I'll tell you why: Because it's an awfully, awfully important game for new Pitt coach Paul Chryst. To say the Panthers have been disappointing so far this season would be something of an understatement; after being outplayed by Youngstown State and going down 31-17 in Week 1, they blundered their way through a 34-10 loss to Cincinnati last week. Now sitting at 0-2, the Panthers return home to what will most assuredly be an extremely grumpy home crowd, and if they put on a poor show here, you can expect boos to rain down pretty heavily. And pretty quickly. This could get ugly. Virginia Tech 28, Pitt 7
No. 1 Arkansas at Arkansas (3:30 p.m., CBS): Hey, remember when this was supposed to be a big game? Remember when the Hogs were supposed to give the Tide a run for their money? Remember, well, when Arkansas was still coached by Bobby Petrino, and not John L. Smith? Yeah, I remember all of that, too. But, sad as it is for the Hogs fans, those days are long in the past. Smith is the coach now. Petrino is out there in coaching exile. And as a result, this team looks lost. After that humiliating loss to Louisiana-Monroe, questions abound about both the actual talent on this team and Smith's ability to lead it. I mean, this is a pretty sad-looking bunch right now. So now they get to play Alabama, playing with lethal precision under Nick Saban. This will not end well, Hogs fans. Alabama 37, Arkansas 17
No. 18 Florida at No. 23 Tennessee (6 p.m., ESPN): Tennessee is back. Florida, well, might be back. And so, yes, the Florida-Tennessee rivalry is back. For a time in the 1990s, there was no bigger showdown in the SEC than that between the Gators and Vols. Steve Spurrier and Phil Fulmer enjoyed some truly great battles back in those days, and though Florida mostly dominated the series, the game's arrival on the college football calendar was always reason for celebration. It's been a long time since it's been that, but with both teams playing better this season, and with the SEC East looking more wide open that we might have expected, this one suddenly looms large for the bigger picture in college football. Look for a tight, tense affair--and a Vols win that will go a long way to saving Derek Dooley's job. At least for another week or so. Tennessee 24, Florida 21
No. 20 Notre Dame at No. 10 Michigan State (8 p.m., ABC): One of the more underrated rivalries in the nation. And I mean that. Almost every year, it seems, the Irish and the Spartans serve up an entertaining, hard-hitting, often thrilling game, and it looks like we've got the recipe for another classic this year. Can the Irish slow down Sparty's physical running game and withstand the pressure of what is sure to be a fired-up Spartan Stadium crowd? Answer: No. Michigan State 23, Notre Dame 20