Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) throws during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mercer, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

College Football Top 25 Matchups Week 3

In what has already been an exciting start to the 2021 college football season, week three boasts three top-25 matchups with major playoff implications.

No. 1 Alabama @ No. 11 Florida

Headlining Saturday’s games is a rematch of the 2020 SEC Championship Game. No. 1 Alabama travels to the Swamp for a matchup with the 11th-ranked Florida Gators. This is the first time since 2014 that the teams have met in the regular season and the first time since 2011 that they meet in Gainesville.

A historical SEC matchup, Alabama has dominated the series in recent years winning the last seven matchups, including four in the SEC Championship Game. The last time these two teams met in the Swamp was in the 2011 season, when No. 3 Alabama dominated the No. 12 Gators 38-10. Florida’s last win in the series was in the 2008 SEC Championship Game, when Tim Tebow led the Gators to a 31-20 victory over the No. 1 Crimson Tide on their way to winning their second national championship in three years. The next season, Alabama would dominate 32-13 to start their seven-game win streak.

Heading into Saturday’s matchup, Florida head coach Dan Mullen talked about how having home field advantage makes a huge difference with stadiums back in full capacity.

Adding to his statement, Mullen discussed how hard it is to beat Alabama and head coach Nick Saban, who won his seventh total national championship last season.

On the other side, Saban praised Mullen for his success at every stop he has made as a coach.

Live coverage from Gainesville starts at 10:00 a.m. with SEC Nation making its return to campus for the first time since 2018 on the SEC Network. The Gators quest for revenge against the Crimson Tide begins at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.

No. 22 Auburn @ No. 10 Penn State

No. 10 Penn State plays host to an Auburn team who recently moved three spots up in the AP Top 25 Poll. Recently announced as Penn State’s 2021 “White-Out” game, ESPN’s College Gameday will also make the trip to Happy Valley.

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Auburn began the season unranked, but after two wins by more than 50 points, the Associated Press ranked the Tigers at No. 22 in their most recent poll.

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On the other side, the Nittany Lions began the season ranked No. 19, but have moved up into the top-10 after upsetting Wisconsin in week one and dominating Ball State in week two. Head coach James Franklin had a lot to talk about heading into this week, including being rumored as a candidate for USC’s head coaching position.

ABC’s primetime game this week, live coverage of the game begins at 7:30 p.m.

No. 19 Arizona State @ No. 23 BYU

The final ranked matchup on Saturday sees No. 19 Arizona State travel to Provo to take on No. 23 BYU. The Cougars are coming off of an upset-victory over rival Utah, which ended a seven-game losing streak against the Utes. After dominating their first two games of the season, Arizona State has their first major test before entering Pac-12 play. Kickoff of the top-25 matchup is at 10:15 p.m. on ESPN.

Full Slate

Along with the three top-25 matchups, there are plenty of games on Saturday with high implications. Nebraska travels to Norman, Okla. for a matchup with No. 3 Oklahoma at 12:00 p.m. West Virginia hosts No. 15 Virginia Tech in another noon matchup. Finally, Michigan State takes a trip down south to face No. 24 Miami in a game with major upset potential. Live coverage of the game starts at 12:00 p.m. on ABC. The full slate of this weekend’s games can be found here.

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