Top 5 College Football Playoff Storylines Heading Into Week 3

It turns out that not everyone supports the troops. I’m looking at you, Michigan. For the second year in a row, Army took a Top 10 team with playoff aspirations to overtime only to fall short once again. Week 2 also confirmed that LSU is for real and should join Alabama and Georgia on the list of SEC schools who can make the College Football Playoff. Going into Week 3, my College Football Playoff is as follows:

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. LSU
  4. Oklahoma

Week 3 does not have any ranked vs. ranked matchups, but there are a few intriguing matchups that catch my eye. Look at Week 3 as a layover from last week and transitional period into next week’s huge slate of games highlighted by Notre Dame vs. Georiga. Here are the Top 5 CFP storylines heading into Week 3.

The “Jalen Hurts Show” Hits The Road For The First Time This Year

To say Jalen Hurts has been spectacular in his two games for Oklahoma would be an understatement. Through two games, Hurts is 34/41, 591 yards, 6 TDs, and 0 INTs to go along with 223 rushing yards and 3 TDs. This week will be Hurts’ first road game at OU as the Sooners head to the Rose Bowl to take on UCLA for a Saturday night showdown. A win on the road against UCLA is a lot better than a win against the Little Sisters of the Poor. Style points against Power 5 schools are important so if Hurts balls out once again, Oklahoma is in the driver’s seat for the College Football Playoff heading into conference play.

Alabama Heads To South Carolina For Its First Road Test

Ok, I’m using the word, “test,” very liberally. This is not a test for Alabama. Alabama has given up a combined 13 points in two games while South Carolina lost to North Carolina in Week 1. Plus, South Carolina is starting freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski because the Gamecocks lost senior starter Jake Bentley in Week 1. To set the scene, South Carolina is starting a freshman at quarterback and in the first SEC game of his career, he gets to face Nick Saban. Good luck, kid! Funny story. South Carolina defeated Alabama in their last meeting back in 2010. Stephen Garcia and Alshon Jeffrey are not walking through the door anytime soon, Gamecock fans.

Can Syracuse Make It Two Out Of 3 Against Clemson?

As good as Clemson has been over the past four years, there have been a few thorns in their side. One of those thorns belongs to Syracuse. Two years ago, the Orange upset the No.2 ranked Tigers, 27-24. Last year, Clemson needed backup quarterback Chase Brice, who came into the game for an injured Trevor Lawrence, to lead the Tigers on a 13-play, 94-yard game-winning drive in the final minutes to win, 27-24. This year, the Orange welcome the Tigers to the Carrier Dome for a Saturday night showdown. Forget the spread. If history repeats itself, this will be no easy game for the Tigers.

UCF Gets A Crack At a Power 5 Team

If UCF wants to dance with the big boys in the College Football Playoff, it needs to beat the big boys in a Power 5 conference. Ask and you shall receive as UCF welcomes Stanford out of the Pac-12 to Orlando. I said that style points matter so UCF not only has to beat Stanford, but they have to dominate them if they ever want to sniff the College Football Playoff. Keep an eye on the quarterback battle. K.J. Costello returns for Stanford while it’s unclear whether Notre Dame transfer Brandon Wimbush, freshman Dillon Gabriel, or sophomore Darriel Mack will line up under center.

Game With The Most Playoff Implications Outside Of The Top 10: Iowa vs. Iowa State

The battle of the Cy-Hawk is the biggest game of the weekend as Iowa travels to Ames to take on in-state rival, Iowa State. It’s so big that College GameDay will be on the scene in Ames for the first time ever. Is either of these teams going to make the College Football Playoff? I can definitively say no, but both teams are undefeated in Power 5 conferences so, in theory, they have shot still. This game has slugfest written all over it. Iowa has the better defense so I’ll take the Hawkeyes to beat the Cyclones by a field goal.

What are your top storylines for the College Football Week 3? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

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