With two full weeks of college football in the books, the identities of most teams are starting to become known, and Vegas is collecting more data. But there is still value to be found on the schedule, and that's no different for the Week 3 slate, which features a trio of top-25 matchups and several other interesting games.
No. 1 Alabama's trip to No. 11 Florida is the headliner, but No. 22 Auburn's trip to No. 10 Penn State and No. 19 Arizona State's trip to No. 23 BYU ensure we'll have captivating games to watch -- and wager on -- in the afternoon, evening and late-night windows. The day also brings non conference games for several top-10 teams and conference openers for No. 6 Clemson, which hosts Georgia Tech, and No. 2 Georgia as the Bulldogs host South Carolina.
Let's look at the biggest games and their spreads and try to figure out what it all means. Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
No. 1 Alabama (-14.5) at No. 11 Florida: Florida played Alabama closer than anyone last season, falling 52-46 to the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game before Bama completed its march to a national title. But these Gators still have a lot to figure out, and that's reflected in the spread for their home showdown Saturday with the Crimson Tide on CBS. Even if Florida does start Anthony Richardson over Emory Jones at quarterback, asking a redshirt freshman making his first career start to keep it close against the nation's No. 1 team is a tall order.
No. 22 Auburn at No. 10 Penn State (-5): Auburn is outscoring opponents 122-10 through two games, but knowing what to make of the Tigers under first-year coach Bryan Harsin is difficult considering those two victories came against Akron, a lower-tier MAC team, and Alabama State of the FCS. Penn State has been tested against Wisconsin and Ball State, which is an upper-tier MAC team, and has passed both tests. The atmosphere at Beaver Stadium for a top-25 night game should be lit, and that will make things even tougher for an Auburn team making a steep jump in level of competition.
Nebraska at No. 3 Oklahoma (-22): These former Big 12 rivals split their last two meetings -- both decided by a single possession -- in 2009 and 2010. But they haven't played since the last round of conference realignment put them in different leagues, and the programs have gone divergent directions since then. That's reflected in this spread as Oklahoma enters as an overwhelming favorite against a Nebraska team that was rumored to be looking for a way out of this game back in the spring.
No. 8 Cincinnati (-3) at Indiana: This game represents an opportunity for Cincinnati to prove itself on the national stage in a way the Bearcats couldn't last season due to the scheduling limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though Indiana's Week 1 loss to Iowa dropped the Hoosiers from the polls, it would still constitute a big win for a Cincinnati squad striving to become the first Group of Five team to make the College Football Playoff. The Bearcats struggled in the first half against Murray State last week, but they may have been looking ahead to this one.
No. 15 Virginia Tech at West Virginia (-2.5): Virginia Tech won the most-recent meeting between these border state foes back in 2017 and enters this one ranked, but the Hokies are nevertheless underdogs on the road. West Virginia's 30-24 loss at Maryland in Week 1 apparently hasn't soured the oddsmakers on what the Mountaineers can accomplish in coach Neal Brown's third season. Being an underdog didn't bother the Hokies against North Carolina in Week 1, though, and Virginia Tech can validate its upset of the Tar Heels with a strong showing here.
No. 19 Arizona State (-2) at No. 23 BYU: The Cougars and Sun Devils are meeting for the first time since 1998 in what became a top-25 matchup following BYU's big win over Utah in Week 2. The environment at BYU's LaVell Edwards Stadium for that game was electric, and it should be again for this game even though Arizona State isn't a rival. The Sun Devils have a couple of routine victories against overmatched foes under their belts, and this will be a massive upgrade in quality of opponent and hostility of environment.
Best of the rest
South Carolina at No. 2 Georgia (-31)
Georgia Tech at No. 6 Clemson (-29.5)
New Mexico at No. 7 Texas A&M (-26)
Purdue at No. 12 Notre Dame (-7.5)
No. 16 Coastal Carolina (-10.5) at Buffalo
Michigan State at No. 24 Miami (-7.5)
Northern Illinois at No. 25 Michigan (-27)
Minnesota at Colorado (-2.5)
UCF (-7.5) at Louisville
Nevada (-3) at Kansas State