Two weeks into the college football season, our impressions are cloudy. We have begun to play the transitive-property game -- "Virginia obliterated Illinois? Nebraska must be terrible!" -- and we have shooed away certain early results with an "ain't played nobody" dismissal (hello, Auburn). We have no idea what to make of teams and units that are sending conflicting small-sample messages, from Oregon (beat Ohio State, nearly lost to Fresno State, outgained on a per-play basis by both) to Florida's quarterbacks (big plays and interceptions abound).
Week 3 will clarify at least some of our intuitions. Alabama's first true road game with Bryce Young behind center comes at No. 11 Florida, the only team to stay within a touchdown of the Tide a year ago. Fresh off of a pair of cupcake feasts, Auburn visits Penn State for a Citrus Bowl-like nonconference affair. Cincinnati's two-game College Football Playoff audition starts in Bloomington, Ind., while Oklahoma faces an old rival. And we could get the greatest set of Pac-12 After Dark games that we could possibly wish for.
Let's talk about the storylines you need to follow most closely this weekend.
All times are Eastern.
We'll soon learn what we need to about Florida's offensive firepower
No. 1 Alabama at No. 11 Florida (3:30 p.m., CBS)
Alabama's 26-23 comeback win over Georgia in 2017's national championship game was historic for a number of reasons. It was an incredible game, for starters, and it was the coming-out party for maybe the greatest recruiting class in the history of college football: Bama's 2017 class, which won two national titles and boasted eight first-round draft picks, two Biletnikoff winners, three Heisman finalists (one winner) and two current NFL starting quarterbacks.
It was also virtually the last time Bama had to win a game primarily with defense. Since the start of the 2018 season, Alabama has scored at least 31 points in 40 of 43 games -- 12 of 15 in 2018 and 28 of 28 since. The Tide have allowed more than 31 points just six times in that span, 40-plus in their only three losses (vs. Clemson in 2018 and vs. LSU and Auburn in 2019).