Week 3 preview: SEC has four ranked teams squaring off

Sep 21, 2022, 5:18 PM | Updated: Sep 22, 2022, 5:21 am

Arkansas defensive lineman Jordan Domineck (14) prepares to sack Missouri State quarterback Jason S...

Arkansas defensive lineman Jordan Domineck (14) prepares to sack Missouri State quarterback Jason Shelly (3) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

(AP Photo/Michael Woods)

              Florida running back Trevor Etienne dives for yardage against South Florida during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
              Arkansas defensive lineman Jordan Domineck (14) prepares to sack Missouri State quarterback Jason Shelly (3) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
              Miami running back Thaddius Franklin Jr. (22) is stopped for a 1-yard loss by Texas A&M defenders, including linebacker Edgerrin Cooper (45), during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)
              Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright (20) reacts to scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Akron, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Georgia and Alabama have held down the top two spots in the AP Top 25 the past three weeks and are a good bet to stay there after this weekend’s games.

The rest of the Southeastern Conference — at least the top half — is proving to be pretty good, too, but that could change with four of its eight ranked teams playing each other.

On Saturday, No. 10 Arkansas will play at No. 23 Texas A&M in Arlington, Texas, and No. 11 Tennessee is at No. 20 Florida.

The Razorbacks (3-0, 1-0 SEC) have made a steady rise since opening at No. 19 in the preseason poll, though are last in the SEC in pass defense, allowing 353 yards per game.

The Aggies (2-1) are hoping to get some offensive mojo going after scoring 34 combined points against Appalachian State and No. 25 Miami. Texas A&M averages 313 total yards, last 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) have been Fun ‘n’ None — 0 TD passes in 77 attempts through three games. The Vols (3-0) are favored but Florida has won 16 of the past 17 meetings, including the last five.

The What to Watch rundown for this week of college football, presented by Regions Bank:


No. 5 Clemson at No. 21 Wake Forest

Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson has called Clemson the measuring stick in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Demon Deacons haven’t measured up to the Tigers in quite a while.

Clawson is 0-8 against Clemson and Wake Forest hasn’t won in the series since 2008, a stretch of 13 straight games. The Tigers have won the past four games by an average of 38 points, but oddsmakers are expecting this one to be closer — FanDuel has Clemson as a 7 1/2-point favorite.


Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud was a Heisman Trophy finalist a year ago and has put himself in the conversation again this season.

The second-year starter has put up bigger numbers each passing week, topped by last week’s 367-yard, five-touchdown performance against Toledo. Stroud has thrown for 941 yards, completed nearly 73% of his passes and has 11 TDs and no interceptions through three games.

Stroud and the third-ranked Buckeyes will get a tough test this week against Wisconsin, which is top 10 in total defense and scoring defense.


.824 — The ACC’s win percentage in nonconference games, best since at least 2000.

10 — Points allowed by top-ranked Georgia, best in the FBS.

11.13 — Yards per carry by Penn State’s Nicholas Singleton, best in the FBS.

13 — Years since Kansas last started a season 3-0. The Jayhawks play Duke (3-0) in a football showdown between schools known as basketball bluebloods.


No. 17 Baylor (2-1) at Iowa State (3-0)

The Bears had a slipup against No. 19 BYU, but are still among the favorites to win the Big 12.

They may have to go through the Cyclones to get there.

Iowa State is off to its first 3-0 start since 2012 and has one of the nation’s stingiest defenses, allowing 27 points per game. The Bears can still put up some big offensive numbers — 501 yards against Texas State last week — so this will be strength on strength.


The hope is starting to drain out of Boulder in Colorado coach Karl Dorrell’s third season.

The Buffaloes are 0-3 for the first time since 2012, have been outscored 128-30 and athletic director Rick George felt the need to issue a statement of support for Dorrell.

Colorado is near the bottom of 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.


More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/mrxhe6f2

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

3 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

3 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

3 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

3 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

3 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

3 months ago

Week 3 preview: SEC has four ranked teams squaring off