NCAA Football Report (Week 3)

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The NCAA football season continues to shift and change as much as it has for the last few years with teams losing and winning games to prove that they belong.

The idea is always to get to that top four spot and get into the playoff and for some teams, it is easier than others.

Certain teams need only not lose more than a game to get there while others have to run the table and include a few key wins against big teams.

It is the pursuit of these wins that causes teams to schedule games very carefully and make sure that they are playing just enough big teams to increase their strength of schedule but not scheduling enough that the entire season is running the gauntlet.

Creating the perfect schedule can be an art for some coaches as they have to get teams that can boost their rankings and get them into the top four.

Of course, not every week has to be a great team for most programs and as a result, teams schedule some of the weaker teams to make sure they can get the wins they need.

Most teams will schedule a team from the division just below their own that usually gets the recruits that nobody wanted in the top division.

Division I-FCS is simply a different level of talent as they are not the top recruits in the country and usually go to these schools because they have been passed on by other schools.

For many of the Division I-FBS schools, these FCS teams are easy pickings because the talent level is just so much higher on an FBS team.

That doesn’t stop an FCS team from taking a win every now and then and many times they can sink an FBS team’s chance to make the playoff while lasting forever as massive upsets.

The FCS may not be as great but FBS teams still need to be careful not to let that massive upset happen.

That is often why they stick to some of the smaller FCS schools and it is certainly why they consistently avoid the beasts of the FCS in North Dakota State.

The NDSU Bisons are the best program in FCS football winning the last five FCS national championships.

FBS teams tend to avoid them as much as possible because they are the best team in FCS and if any FCS team was going to upset an FBS school it is the Bisons whose players would love to show FBS schools that they missed out.

Not many teams are willing to take the risk though as there is little to win a game with the Bisons.

If they win it is not a big deal all they did was beat a school they were expected to win.

If they lose it is a massive upset that ends their chances of becoming a playoff team.

It is a lose-lose situation for many teams but every now and then someone takes the risk and usually, it doesn’t pay-off.

Since 2010 the Bisons have won six games against FBS teams including five consecutive games since 2011.

The Iowa Hawkeyes were willing to take the risk this week though as the #13 ranked team looked to beat the FCS powerhouses and maybe use their FCS game to gain a little respect.

That plan did not come to fruition though as the Hawkeyes learned why the biggest programs avoid the Bisons at all costs.

The Bisons came out on top taking the win in an upset that many did not think was as much of an upset.

The game was a big one for the North Dakota State program as they proved that they are one of the better teams in college football.

They may not have faced Alabama or Ohio State but they did beat their first ever top 25 team.

It is a big move as recruiting is sure to get that much better now that everyone knows they are the best FCS team in the country.

It is also a bad thing for the program as no FBS team is likely to want to play the Bisons after this win.

Just like the Hawkeyes, it is a lose-lose situation for teams and that is never a good thing for a coach just trying to fill out their schedule with an easy win.

Still, it would be great if the fear subsided and one of the biggest programs in the country took on the best team in FCS in a true test of the difference between the two levels of Division I.

For that to happen one program will need to get rid of the fear that they have in losing out on the playoff and take a risk to play a good game.

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Key Scores:
#1 Alabama Crimson tide 48-43 Ole Miss Rebels #19
– Over the last two years, the Tide have been one of the best teams if college football but they have not been able to solve the Rebels who have handed them two straight losses and they gave them a test this year two but the Tide got over their demons

#10 Louisville Cardinals 63-20 Florida State Seminoles #2
– It was one of the featured games as the Cardinals were poised for an upset on the day they honoured Louisville native Muhammed Ali and they got that upset with Lamar Jackson leading the way in his biggest game yet

#12 Michigan State Spartans 36-28 Notre Dame Fighting Irish #18
– The Irish dropped their first game of the season putting them on unstable ground as they renewed a rivalry with the Spartans who came into South Bend and took the win sinking the hopes of the Irish making the playoff this year

North Dakota State Bisons 23-21 Iowa Hawkeyes #13
– It was the biggest upset that everyone expected as the Hawkeyes took the risk of invited a five-time champion to play and the Bisons took full advantage with the big win to show that they aren’t that far off from FBS schools

Next Week:
Georgia Bulldogs vs. Ole Miss Rebels (Saturday, September 24th; 12:00 pm ET)
– The SEC conference has begun their conference play leading to some great game including this one between two teams that now need to run the table if they want a chance at the SEC title or a big bowl game

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Michigan State Spartans (Saturday, September 24th; 12:00 pm ET)
– They took out one of their biggest rivals in the Fighting Irish to give them, even more, confidence as the Spartans are looking to take the Big Ten this year and they will need to beat another team with title hopes in Wisconsin

Florida Gators vs. Tennessee Volunteers (Saturday, September 24th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Volunteers have made good on their promise in the preseason as they have played well and still could challenge for the SEC title but they will need to get by an always tough division starting with the Gators

Stanford Cardinal vs. UCLA Bruins (Saturday, September 24th; 8:00 pm ET)
– McCaffrey got his first national exposure and took advantage and now he gets another chance to prove that he is the best player in College Football as the Cardinal take on the Bruins to assert their dominance in the Pac-12

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