1. Butch Jones meets his ultimate "If not now, when?" game of his "If not now, when?" season. Florida has beaten Tennessee 11 years in a row, including, obviously, all three of the Jones era. Tennessee should have won the last two. There was the 10-9 loss to Will Muschamp's last UF team in Knoxville and the blown lead and the poor clock management in last year's 28-27 defeat. This year, though, Tennessee hosts a Florida team that should struggle to move the ball and force the Vols to do the same. The Gators lead the nation in total defense -- two of their opponents rank among the bottom 10 in FBS, however -- and are led on offense by a Purdue transfer in Austin Appleby.
Tennessee doesn't have Cam Sutton, but it will have Josh Dobbs and Jalen Hurd. That should be enough. If not now, when?
2. Ole Miss is one of the most interesting teams of the season thus far. Hugh Freeze's Rebels are good enough to build a 28-6 lead over Florida State and a 24-3 lead over Alabama. They're also inconsistent enough to allow the Seminoles to rip off a 39-6 run and the Tide a 45-6 run. Which version of Ole Miss shows up, and for how long? And does the psychological effect of two such losses in three weeks take its toll on Ole Miss for an 11 am local time kick?
And what of Georgia? The Dogs beat North Carolina going away, then needed a key defensive stop to hold off mighty Nicholls and threaded needle of a 4th-and-10 pass to beat Missouri. Now they have to go on the road for the second straight week.
Anything is possible here.
3. While we're on the subject, I'm going to take the opportunity to whine about SEC scheduling. One of the best things about college football are the meetings of major programs that don't happen to be rivals. I'm thinking of games like Michigan-Penn State, LSU-Tennessee and, yes, Georgia-Ole Miss.
This is Georgia's third trip to Oxford in the past 15 years, and they won't be back until 2026 at the absolute earliest. Eight-game schedules in 14-team conferences stink.
4. We haven't had a truly massive upset yet this season. Does that change tonight? Clemson hasn't won in Atlanta since 2003, and this is a season where it appears the pendulum has swung back the other way for Paul Johnson and company after a 3-9 campaign a year ago.
The key question here: Who wins third downs? Georgia Tech is 11th on third down, and Clemson is fourth in third down defense. Conversely, Clemson is 53rd on third down, but Georgia Tech is a meager 103rd in pushing opponents off the field.
And for all the talk of "What's wrong with Clemson?" Well, nothing.
5. Most of the attention in the Big Ten this season has been focused like a laser beam on Columbus and Ann Arbor.You'll have to forgive Michigan State and Wisconsin for their collective shoulder shrugs. After all, it is these two that have carried the league's water for most of this decade.
Michigan State ranks higher offensively and defensively (the Badgers are 14th in total defense and 63rd in yards per play), and beat Notre Dame last week while Wisconsin beat Georgia State by just six.
Also, how in the world did a game of undefeated, top-15 teams fall to Big Ten Network?
6. Is this the year the Arkansas-A&M series flips? Arkansas and Texas A&M played annually from 1934 through 1991, then stopped cold turkey when the Hogs left for the SEC. The series resumed under a "Southwest Classic" banner upon AT&T Stadium's construction in 2009, and the Hogs won the first three, including a rally from down 35-17 to win 42-38 in 2011.
Then the Aggies joined the SEC in 2012, and the worm immediately turned. A&M turned a 28-14 halftime deficit into a 35-28 overtime win in 2014, and a 21-13 hole with four minutes remaining into a 28-21 extra frame win in 2015.
The Ags had best not walk that tightrope a third time for fear of testing the college football gods.
Each team has a late rally already under its belt; A&M nearly blew the UCLA game before winning in overtime, and Arkansas did the same at TCU.
Any team that can keep its quarterback comfortable against the Texas A&M front while forcing Trevor Knight to make plays will have a great chance to beat the Aggies. Any team that can't, won't. Knight ranks just 68th in yards per attempt 78th in passing efficiency, and 97th in completion percentage, but he's kept the bus on the road thus far. A&M opponents, though, rank in the bottom 20 in yards per attempt and passing efficiency, and the Aggies are plus-9 in sack differential through three games.