California at Nevada - Friday, 10:00pm ET -
The Coaches Poll has Cal ranked 24th right now after two high scoring, impressive showings against non-conference opponents UC Davis and Colorado. And Cal's quarterback Kevin Riley is ranked 3rd in the nation right now with a qb rating of 205.3! He's already thrown for 7 touchdowns against 0 interceptions. But Nevada's QB Colin Kaepernick isn't far behind in the QB ratings, coming in at 19th. Kaepernick was a big part of Nevada's dominant rushing game that finished 6th in the nation last year. He was the second leading rusher on a squad that had not one or two, but three players finish the season with over 1000 yards rushing. This year's team brings back two of those three, and has a decent replacement for the third. I remember watching Nevada play Boise State the last game of the season last year, and Kaepernick game the Broncos a lot of trouble. As far as athletic quarterbacks that are a double threat to defenses go, Kaepernick's in my top 5 or so this year. He just goes unnoticed because he's in the WAC. Should be a fun game to watch.
Arizona State at (11) Wisconsin - Saturday, 3:30pm ET -
This game won't really have the eyes of the nation or anything on it, but they are my home team, so I'm hoping they put up a good fight. ASU is facing a situation much like they did last year, where, after facing (and beating rather handily) two lesser teams, they traveled to face the then 21st ranked Georgia. Burfect and the rest of the Sun Devil Defense kept us in that game and we lost on a blocked field goal in the final seconds. This year, after again beating two smaller teams, we're headed to #11 Wisconsin. The Badgers haven't exactly been stingy on defense, giving up 21 and 14 points in their first two game, respectively. But they're a very tough team that gets a lot of offense from their running game. Fortunately for us, ASU has a very strong run defense. I think it should be a great match-up.
(9) Iowa at (24) Arizona - Saturday, 10:30pm ET -
Both of these teams have looked solid in their first couple games, though neither have been tested. And this game looks to be another quarterback showdown. Iowa's Ricky Stanzi is rated 9th in the nation, two spots ahead of Arizona's Nick Foles who comes in at 11th. I remember Stanzi from watching him last season (though I've yet to see him this year). The two are pretty similar to watch - neither is really much of a running threat, but both are smart team leaders who throw the ball great. Both offenses can put up points, but Iowa has a better defense. So I'm leaning toward the Hawkeyes getting the W. Did I mention this game is the only game this week that matches up two ranked teams? Should be exciting.
Thoughts? Comments? What are your picks for these games?