The Week 3 schedule in college football promises to have some very good matchups with a few promising to have BCS ramifications going forward.
It's really never too early in the sport of college football to start looking down the road to January, when the game's biggest matches begin to take fold. One or two early season losses from preseason favorites could change the outlook of the entire landscape.
These three matchups appear to have a lot at stake and will be fun to watch on Saturday.
USC (2) vs. Stanford (21)
USC came into the season as the No. 1 ranked team, and with quarterback Matt Barkley at the helm and a bevy of talented receivers, there appears to be not too many teams that could stop their array of offensive stars.
Through two games the Trojans still look like the team to beat in the Pac-12 and a program that could make a push for the BCS title, but they have had their struggles with Stanford recently. Barkley, for one, has never beaten the Cardinal; in fact, they are the only team within the conference he has yet to beat in his college career.
If Stanford is to have any shot in this game, they will have to run the ball effectively and keep Barkley and his cohorts off the field. If USC is to lose on Saturday their title shots aren't completely wiped out, but it will make it that much more difficult.
These two teams have played remarkable games in recent memory. Last year's OT game certainly comes to mind. This week's match shouldn't be any different; expect it to be competitive throughout.
Notre Dame (20) at Michigan State (10)
Notre Dame is looking to start 3-0 for the first time since 2002, and their strong start in 2012 indicates they may be ready to make that push. But standing in their way is Michigan State, who has looked tremendous early on and could be a serious BCS contender in the coming months.
According to ESPN Notre dame has lost their last nine contests against teams ranked in the AP Top 10 by an average of more than 15 points.
That doesn't bode well heading into Saturday, as the Spartans have shown a balanced attack in the first two games and should be a handful for coach Brian Kelly. The Spartans should have no problem with the Irish on Saturday, making them a team to look out for as the season progresses.
Alabama (1) at Arkansas
While Arkansas is reluctant to tip their hand and reveal whether or not quarterback Tyler Wilson will be active for Saturday's big SEC showdown, ESPN is reporting he will likely not play. What that means is the Razorbacks could be without their senior signal caller, a player who has put up big numbers so far this year and would have given the Tide a serious problem.
Even with Wilson, Arkansas still doesn't have the talent to hang with No. 1 Alabama, but his absence could make this a blowout loss. Needlessly said, the SEC is the best conference in college football, and even with a team as talented as Alabama, anything can happen.