NCAA Football

Five Possible Week Three College Football Upsets

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Five Possible Week Three College Football Upsets

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

One of the best things about college football is the non-conference games because they more than anything else give fans a glimpse into the comparative strengths of the respective conferences.

In Week Three, there are plenty of good non-conference games to watch, maybe invest a rooting interest in, or perhaps take in purely for amusement purposes. This is the week where a body of work in two weeks works its way into the equation. One game is one game and maybe a team has a bad game, but two games is the start of a trend. Although it’s probably not a good idea to get caught up in comparative scores, looking at how each team did in the first two weeks provides an indication of how well-oiled the offense is and what kind of problems, if any, appear on defense.

A team that starts off well against good FBS competition provides the kind of value a team that hammers an FCS foe cannot provide.

Another thing to look for is the track record of the coaches involved. Central Florida has one of the best non-BCS coaches in George O’Leary, who had his team at or near the top of Conference USA for the last few seasons. There is every indication that UCF will be one of the top contenders in the new AAC and the Black Knights should be competitive against any foe they face. They travel to Penn State this Saturday.

Any time a team is listed as an underdog there is some value there, and here are five mostly slight underdogs who could very well win outright this week.

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5. Bowling Green over Indiana

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Indiana is a 2.5-point favorite in this one, but Bowling Green is a well-coached team, led by Dave Clawson, coming off two impressive wins. The way the Falcons handled Tulsa (34-7) was an eye-opener. On the other side, Navy came into Bloomington and walked away with a win as an underdog last week. The Falcons not only cover but win the game outright.

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4. Louisiana Monroe over Wake Forest

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In this case, the Monroe doctrine dictates take an undervalued bowl team, which LMU is, over a struggling Wake Forest team which lost at Boston College last week. Even though the game is on the road, the Warhawks are a team which won at Arkansas last year and beat Tulane, 63-10, a year ago. They can be given a pass this year for a 34-0 loss to Oklahoma in their road opener because they bounced back strong with a 48-10 win over Grambling State last week. The Warhawks are three-point underdogs but win this outright.

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3. Duke Over Georgia Tech

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Even though Duke is an eight-point underdog here, it is at home in Durham, NC which should be enough. You can throw out the 45-0 win over North Carolina Central in the opener but not the 28-14 win at Memphis last week. Memphis is a school that won its last three games last season. That game likely prepared the Blue Devils better than Georgia Tech's 70-0 win over visiting Elon in its only game. If Duke doesn’t win, it figures to cover this inflated spread.

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2. Central Florida over Penn State

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If George O’Leary had not fudged his resume, he’d probably be the Notre Dame head coach now. He’s that good of a coach. Penn State also has an excellent coach in Bill O’Brien but is 15 scholarship players short of UCF as the NCAA sanctions really start to kick in this season. O’Leary’s coaching plus more players should certainly be enough to cover the six-point spread if not win the game outright.

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1. Memphis over Middle Tennessee State

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Even though this is a road game for the Tigers of the AAC, there should be an equal number of fans on both sides in this in-state game. There is also a revenge factor for the Tigers, who lost to MTSU last year and have improved considerably since then. The Blue Raiders are a five-point favorite, but Memphis figures to win this game outright.

Mike Gibson is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @papreps , “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.