In what’s shaping as much as be one of many weirder seasons in current reminiscence, enable us to introduce you to the weirdest one-sided matchup previously decade.
No. 7 Texas A&M and No. 16 Arkansas meet on Saturday having performed one another 77 occasions relationship again to 1903. The 2 former Southwest Convention rivals now play yearly at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in a contest branded because the Southwest Basic.
They took a break following the Hogs’ departure for the SEC in 1991 and did not resume play till 2009, with Arkansas successful three straight. In 2011, they met simply six days after A&M introduced it was leaving the Huge 12 for the SEC. The Aggies blew a 35-17 second-half lead and misplaced 42-38.
However since 2012, when the Aggies formally rejoined the Hogs within the SEC West, it has been all A&M, with the Aggies going 9-Zero towards Arkansas in that span.
However that streak does not inform the entire story of how wild the video games have been, irrespective of the standard of both crew. Three of the video games — in 2014, 2015 and 2017 — went into extra time. In 2014, Arkansas blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead. In 2015, they misplaced an eight-point lead with three minutes left. In 2017, the Aggies received a 50-43 thriller after Christian Kirk scored his third landing of the sport in OT and the Aggies picked off Austin Allen to finish the sport. In all, 5 of the previous seven showdowns have been determined by a single rating, together with the 2019 recreation that includes a traditionally unhealthy Arkansas crew that misplaced its 13th straight SEC recreation beneath coach Chad Morris.
Additionally of word: The Aggies knocked beginning Arkansas quarterback Nick Starkel out of that recreation. The identical Nick Starkel who entered the 2017 season as A&M’s beginning quarterback earlier than getting injured within the opener towards UCLA and giving approach to Kellen Mond. Starkel opted to switch, then transferred once more to San Jose State, the place he is now beginning.
Final 12 months, the sport was performed in School Station due to the pandemic, with the Aggies cruising to a 42-31 win.
Now the sport returns to Arlington on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS) and this 12 months’s twist is that each groups are ranked for simply the third time within the historical past of their rivalry. After the Hogs flattened Texas two weeks in the past, loads of message-board bragging rights are on the road — both Arkansas can declare a state championship in Texas, or the Aggies can show their SEC mettle over the incoming Longhorns. In the meantime, in the actual standings, the winner turns into the most important risk to Alabama’s West chokehold.
The massive video games
No. 18 Wisconsin at No. 12 Notre Dame (at Soldier Discipline in Chicago, midday ET, FOX): Here is Notre Dame’s probability to show it is higher than what it has proven the primary few weeks. Shut wins towards Florida State and Toledo are nothing to really feel nice about, and a two-touchdown win over Purdue is not a glowing endorsement for a crew that expects to compete amongst faculty soccer’s finest yearly. For Wisconsin, they’ll add a non-conference ranked win to their resume. It will not essentially make up for the loss towards Penn State earlier within the season, but when that continues to be their solely loss and so they win out, they’re in Playoff enterprise.
No. 9 Clemson at NC State (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App): The Tigers come into this recreation off a 14-Eight win towards a Georgia Tech crew that was a large underdog. Clemson’s offense hasn’t come near dwelling as much as the hype it obtained earlier than the season, and will probably be going towards an NC State protection that is presently 23rd in Invoice Connelly’s SP+. The Tigers ought to and will probably be favored on this recreation, however they will have to point out some form of life on offense earlier than folks actually begin smashing the panic button with this crew. It actually helps that their protection hasn’t allowed a single offensive landing this season.
Rutgers at No. 19 Michigan (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN App): This recreation has an intrigue about it that we’re undecided anyone anticipated coming into the season. Rutgers is 3-0, and Michigan, additionally undefeated, has been arguably the perfect crew within the Huge Ten East. The Scarlet Knights will probably be with out two cornerbacks, Max Melton and Chris Long, who’re suspended after being taken into police custody due to a paintball gun incident. Melton, who’s a starter, has two interceptions, a blocked punt, a fumble restoration and eight tackles this season. That may actually be advantageous for Michigan and Cade McNamara, who’s proving to be one among Jim Harbaugh’s finest quarterbacks since he turned the pinnacle coach in Ann Arbor.
Southern Miss at No. 1 Alabama (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Community/ESPN App): One other benchmark for greatness is the one actual intrigue on this one. Nick Saban can win his 100th straight recreation towards an unranked opponent. That is longer than the subsequent three longest lively streaks mixed (Clemson with 36, Notre Dame with 35 and Cincinnati with 24).
Akron at No. 10 Ohio State (7:30 p.m. ET, BTN): Should you’re actually into evaluating the groups we imagine to be Playoff contenders, you must truly maintain tabs on this recreation. Ohio State’s protection has been giving up yards at a clip we merely aren’t used to. The Buckeyes gave up 408 yards towards Minnesota, 505 towards Oregon and 501 towards Tulsa. They can’t sustain that sort of tempo and anticipate to be within the Playoff in January. Ryan Day switched defensive playcallers final week towards the Golden Hurricane from Kerry Coombs to Matt Barnes, and whereas the change did not make a lot of a distinction, it will be a scenario value watching because the Buckeyes’ season progresses. Ohio State hasn’t misplaced to a crew within the state since 1921, and that most likely will not change on Saturday. However keep watch over the field rating right here.
West Virginia at No. 4 Oklahoma (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN App): The true intrigue right here is seeing if Oklahoma’s offense can return to kind and show they belong at this lofty rating. Final week, Nebraska held the Sooners to the fewest factors (23) since Lincoln Riley arrived in Norman. Spencer Rattler, the preseason favourite for the Heisman, appears to be like to have fallen from rivalry. However none of that can matter if the Sooners can maintain successful, irrespective of the margin or variety of fireworks. West Virginia is 0-25 all time on the highway towards top-five groups.
Arizona at No. 3 Oregon (10:30 p.m. ET ESPN/ESPN App): UCLA misplaced to Fresno State final weekend. USC has already fired its coach. It seems the Geese must survive the season to be the convention’s solely hope for a playoff spot. This recreation appears to be like like a secure guess: The Wildcats are 0-3, 28-point underdogs and coming off a loss to Northern Arizona.
A person of his phrase
Final week, Portland State coach Bruce Barnum provided to purchase anybody’s beer (and as many as they needed) at his namesake Barny’s Beer Backyard at Hillsboro Stadium to encourage followers to come back out and watch his Vikings. On Tuesday, the coach had the receipts: a $14,448 bar tab.
— Bruce Barnum (@CoachBarnum69) September 21, 2021
The most effective jerseys of the week
— UTEP Soccer (@UTEPFB) September 20, 2021
The most effective NIL shirt but
— DJ Graham (@djgraham_) September 21, 2021
One of many highlights of Week Three is already one of many highlights of the title, picture and likeness period, with Oklahoma’s D.J. Graham promoting T-shirts together with his Odell Beckham Jr.-approved interception featured.