Three weeks in and still no one has become the front runner as a potential BCS Buster. Can that change as Week 4 of the college football season hits us?
Well, after Bowling Green got worked over good by Indiana last week the hopes rest on the not so broad shoulders of one team most likely—Fresno State.
The Bulldogs couldn't play last weekend against Pac-12 foe Colorado thanks to a ton of flooding in and around the Boulder area and that may have been a bit of a blessing in disguise as Fresno State got a jump start on what is easily their biggest game of the season.
As we head into more and more conference play across the country we are introducing a new feature here on the BCS Buster Watch—our "Game of the Week."
So before we get there let us remind you of of what went down last week in my picks.
Week 3 Results: 3-2
Last week was a close one for me going under the .500 mark, but a narrow Va Tech victory (like I predicted, albeit not that low scoring) and Ohio holding serve at home over Marshall led me to a 3-2 record last week. Usually it would've been a six-pack of results, but the Fresno State at Colorado game was canceled.
Last Thursday saw two interesting games take over national TV with La Tech losing at home to Tulane and looking bad doing it as well as Troy losing to Arkansas State in a battle that will likely see the Red Wolves be a true Sun Belt contender.
Season Record: 13-5
Week 4 Game of the Week:
Boise State (2-1) at Fresno State (2-0); Friday, 9pm ET on ESPN
These two teams aren't in the same Mountain West division and could wind up playing each other once again later in the season in the first ever Mountain West Championship Game, but this game is massive for both teams' chances of becoming legit on the national level.
Fresno State is receiving votes in just about every poll I've seen and with good reason. Chances were had they taken down Colorado last week we'd be talking about a Top 25 team. Derek Carr is setting the world on fire in the passing game, averaging 330.5 yards a game passing with eight touchdowns to just one interception on the year.
However, Boise State seems to own the Bulldogs, having last lost to them back in 2005. However, this isn't the dominant Broncos team we've seen in the past and the Bulldogs are a vastly improved team this season as well. BSU needs Joe Southwick to outduel Derrick Carr and the Bulldogs need to find a way to have a running game.
Either way this should be one hell of an entertaining Friday night game and I personally can't wait for it. It may be the best game in all of college football this week.
Prediction: Fresno State 44, Boise State 37
Rest of the Six-Pack:
Houston (2-0) at Rice (1-1); Saturday, 3pm ET on FSN: The battle for the city of Houston actually has big implications for both teams. Rice is looking to be a contender in their division and Houston is looking to establish themselves as a contender in their new home of The American. Rice took down Kansas (and yes, let the jokes begin), but the real story is that they also played half-way decent football against Texas A&M until Johnny Football came to the rescue.
It is the 15th straight meeting and 40th overall between the two biggest schools in the the city of Houston. What will be interesting to watch is the running battle in this game as Rice racks up 249 yards rushing a game (26th nationally) and Houston's Ryan Jackson is averaging 7.2 yards a carry on the season for the Cougars.
This could be the last year of uninterrupted games in the rivalry, so it is a big deal in more than one way. Look for Houston's passing game to give Rice's defense all it can handle, but if Rice wins it will be because their offense became the beset defense they could've hoped for
Prediction: Houston 33, Rice 30
Utah State (2-1) at USC (2-1); Saturday, 3:30pm ET on ABC/ESPN2: This wasn't supposed to be on the list at all, USC was supposed to be world beaters this season and Utah State would be no match for all those four and five-star prospects across the field from them.
Oops. Not so fast after three weeks of college football season and that makes this game super intriguing. Additionally there's the full-blown man crush we here at CBR have on Utah State QB Chuckie Keeton. That not withstanding, he actually is the best QB on the field this Saturday at the L.A. Colisuem and his arm plus escapablity will test a more aggressive USC front seven.
No Silas Redd once again for the Men of Troy and that means more Madden as well. His ability to work over or not work over the Utah State defense and help his team win this game. However, don't underestimate the Aggies defense either. This game will be close for at least three quarters and it isn't out of the realm of possibility that USC keeps it close—Yes, I think USC gets pounded in this game because the talent gap isn't as big as one expects.
Prediction: Utah State 31, USC 23
Texas State (2-0) at Texas Tech (3-0); Saturday, 7pm ET on FSN: Did anyone see what the Red Raiders have done to start the season happening? That's a good question considering Tech was going to start the season with a freaking walk–on at quarterback. Instead Baker Mayfield is just four yards short of 1,000 yards passing coming into the in-state battle against the Bobcats and has looked like everything new head coach Kliff Kingsbury could have hoped for in a Texas Tech QB.
Both teams come in undefeated and that is intriguing, however Texas State has gotten there by beating a terrible FBS team in Southern Miss and a terrible FCS team in Prairie View A&M. This game is highlighted more to see where the Bobcats actually are against a good FBS opponent.
The numbers suggest they aren't that great themselves, ranking 110th in passing and 77th in rushing yards per game nationally. Expect Texas Tech to role big eventually, but look for the Bobcats D to slow them down in the first quarter.
Prediction: Texas Tech 41, Texas State 17
Toledo (1-2) at Central Michigan (1-2); Saturday, noon ET on ESPN3: Welcome to the backup QB bowl. No, seriously it very well could be as it appears Toledo's Terrance Owens is a game time decision and the Chippewas are down to their 3rd string quarterback already.
This game is huge as the loser could put themselves in the outside looking in category for the MAC West division title. Especially given how Ball State and Northern Illinois are looking to start the season. Not only that but this game will tell us a lot about where a program like Toledo actually stands.
How much can you really know when you too on both Florida and Missouri out of the SEC to open up your season, right? As for the Chippewas, this will tell us a lot about their 3rd string QB, Cooper Rush, who has completed just 53.8 percent of his passes so far this season with four touchdowns to two interceptions.
Toledo's David Fluellen is the best player on the field for this game and after rushing for 143 yards and two touchdowns last week, expect him to get close to that again in the Rockets road win.
Prediction: Toledo 37, Central Michigan 27
Wyoming (2-1) at Air Force (1-2); Saturday, 10:15pm ET on ESPNU: Both of these schools were thought of as potentially intriguing options for sleeper Mountain division contenders and after the early part of the season both of these teams need this win badly.
Air Force didn't look great defensively against the passing attack of Boise State last week, giving up 287 yards to Joe Southwick who completed 27-of-29 passes. The Falcons are now in an 0-2 hole in conference play. Simply put, the Falcons hopes of being a player in the division race hinge on this week.
The bad news for the Falcons is that Wyoming loves to chuck the ball and they are good at it as well. Wyoming ranks 19th nationally in passing, averaging 319 yards through the air and they nearly did the Huskers in at their own place with 383 yards through the air.
Give me that Cowboys offense, even in Colorado Springs in a blowout. Despite the fact that the Cowboys won't stop the AF rush attack. They can out point the Falcons any day of the week.
Prediction: Wyoming 44, Air Force 21