It’s Week 3 of the college football season, and hope is floating, or whatever that saying is.

The Big Ten is coming back and the fall slate is looking beefier as a result.

But this is a week when the football gods flexed their muscle to remind us of the reality we’re in. We got the excitement of an old Southwest Conference rivalry being rekindled with the matchup scheduled just six days before Houston and Baylor were set to play. Then just one day before said matchup was to happen, Baylor found itself on the wrong side of the Big 12’s threshold for COVID-19 positives and had to cancel.

New Baylor coach Dave Aranda has already seen three debut games postponed or canceled — against Ole Miss, Louisiana Tech and now Baylor. And Houston has lost an opponent twice in one week.

But SMU coach Sonny Dykes had reason for optimism when he revealed Friday that the Mustangs have had zero positives in 1,320 tests in the past month. #PonyUp indeed.

Back on the field, there is a matchup featuring two Top 25 teams this week! Now we’re talking. At Louisville, they’re pumped for College GameDay, and the basketball dude wants the Cardinals to air it out. Get ready for a big day with a look at the best stuff around the country. Including an inflatable orange.

Top 25 games (and best of the rest)

All times Eastern. Lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Tulsa at No. 11 Oklahoma State (Line: -23.5), noon, ESPN/ESPN App
Austin Peay at No. 13 Cincinnati (N/A), noon, ESPN+/ESPN App
No. 19 Louisiana (-16) at Georgia State, noon, ESPN2/ESPN App
Syracuse at No. 25 Pittsburgh (-21.5), noon, ACC Network/ESPN App
South Florida at No. 7 Notre Dame (-24.5), 2:30 p.m., USA
No. 14 UCF (-7.5) at Georgia Tech, 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN App
No. 23 Appalachian State (-4.5) at Marshall, 3:30 p.m., CBS
The Citadel at No. 1 Clemson (N/A), 4 p.m., ACC Network/ESPN App
No. 17 Miami at No. 18 Louisville (-2.5), 7:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN App

Louisville’s going deep

At Louisville, Louie the Cardinal got help from basketball coach Chris Mack and athletic director Vince Tyra with some prep work for GameDay’s arrival.

Mack, for the record, is a big fan of throwing it deep.

Raising the bar

Troy’s uniform reveal is [imagine a flames emoji here].

Speaking of …

Georgia got the internet buzzing with its uniform video, featuring some oft-discussed black jerseys, but this time with a Dawg collar.

From the great beyond

UCF’s very shiny mascot, Knightro, has revealed his new powers by reviving the Citronaut, a combo citrus/space explorer who was the first mascot of the former Florida Technological University, which is now UCF.

Gotta get down for Fry day

North Texas is playing a Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex foe this weekend and will be honoring legendary coach Hayden Fry, who coached at both schools, with some sweet throwbacks.


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