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September 13, 2010
The schedule for the upcoming slate of games is listed merely as Week 3. Yet, for some unbeaten -- and largely untested -- teams, it's Validation Week.
Baylor, Texas Tech, Air Force, Arizona State, Clemson, Wake Forest and Maryland are unbeaten. They're also unranked. Skeptics could point to wins over the likes of Sam Houston, Morgan State, Presbyterian and Portland State, and dismiss them as virtually unchallenged, too.
That changes Saturday. They all face opponents ranked among the nation's top 25.
Obviously, any win would be great cause for celebration. It'd be great cause for validation, too.
Best game: Iowa at Arizona, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
Iowa travels to Tucson to face Arizona in the week's only matchup involving ranked teams. The Hawkeyes prevailed 27-17 last season in Iowa City, but that was before Nick Foles was named Arizona's starting quarterback. Led by Foles, the Wildcats are averaging more than 46 points per game this season. On the other hand, Iowa's defense, led by All-America E Adrian Clayborn, has surrendered just one touchdown in both of its games.
Don't overlook this one: Air Force at Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net
On the midweek marquee: California at Nevada, Friday, 10 p.m., ESPN2
Coach most under the gun: Minnesota's Tim Brewster
Best coordinator chess match: Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst vs. Arizona State defensive coordinator Craig Bray
BCS-buster watch: East Carolina at Virginia Tech
Best individual matchup of the week: Washington WR Jermaine Kearse vs. Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara
Best unit matchup of the week: Georgia Tech offensive backfield vs. North Carolina linebackers