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Rant-O-Matic: Previewing USC Trojans vs. Stanford Cardinal and Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Michigan State Spartans

Here’s the latest edition of Rant-O-Matic for September 14, 2012.

USC Trojans vs. Stanford Cardinal

In one of the most hyped-up matchups of Week 3, Matt Barkley looks to defeat the Cardinals for the first time in his career before jumping to the NFL in April. Barkley has been nothing short of phenomenal over the first two weeks of the regular season and is coming off an impressive outing against the Syracuse Orangemen in which he completed six touchdown passes.

However, Barkley will face a much tougher task on Saturday against a Cardinals team loaded with depth at the linebacker position. If Stanford can find a way to take advantage of USC’s struggles at offensive line like Syracuse did, Barkley could be in for a long game.

Even if that does happen to be the case, Barkley realizes how important this game is for both USC and his chances at finally earning a National Championship—so expect him to display another solid performance for the third-straight week.

Prediction: USC 38, Stanford 28

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Michigan State Spartans

Le’Veon Bell has made quite the case to be considered one of the top Heisman Candidates over the first two weeks after rushing for 280 yards and four touchdowns. Michigan State’s defense looked impressive so far in 2012 and has yet to allow an offensive touchdown, but expect the Spartans to pound the ball with Bell like they did in Week 1 against the Boise State Broncos.

Michigan State has won 10 of the last 15 games in this rivalry and whether Everette Golson or Tommy Rees is calling the shots—expect the Spartans to make it 11 of 16 against the Irish.

Prediction: Michigan State 27, Notre Dame 20