Conference play is upon us and it is good.
Of course, not everybody is ready to begin conference play quite yet. Only those conferences that play a nine game in-conference schedule have a pressing urgency to get such play under way in week 4. That leaves the Pac 12 to take center stage. ESPN's College Gameday program is in Tucson today to highlight the games in the PAC including the UCLA @ Arizona matchup.
We highlighted the PAC slate in our picks and odds piece earlier this week. Beyond the compelling games in the West, there are certainly some other games of national interest that I'll be keeping my eye on today.
- Ole Miss, which some in this forum questioned as an offensive power a week ago, is fresh off a great win over Alabama and has a chance to earn another conference win against Vanderbilt today. There shouldn't be a ton of drama around it, but 2-0 would be a great start for the Rebels.
- In the Big 12, TCU will get tested by Texas Tech. This is a surging Red Raider team who is averaging 54 points a game including a huge win on the road at Arkansas a week ago. I'm not sure if Tech can capture the magic two weeks in a row, but it is always a fun thing to see surprise teams emerge in a young season. Maybe Tech is one of those teams this year.
- There are no Peyton Mannings or Tim Tebows going here today. But legacy SEC powers collide as the rebuilding Tennessee Vols visit the rebuilding Florida Gators. I liken much of the journey that the Gators are on to the one that the Huskies are traveling. As irrational as it sounds, I like to see Florida do well because of the kharmic connection between our two programs.
- Arkansas is at home against Texas A&M today. It's pretty much a must-win for the struggling Razorbacks. It'll be interesting to see if Bret Bielema's squad can pick themselves up off the mat.
- If you are looking for an upset special, you picked the wrong week. I don't see any out of PAC game that is emitting that kind of vibe in an obvious way. However, it would not shock me to see Texas and young QB Jerrod Heard build on some of the momentum that they mounted in the second half of the Cal game and carry that forward to an upset over #24 Oklahoma State.
This is your open thread, Husky fans. Enjoy your gameday today.