College football Week 3 preview: Storylines and matchups to watch in 27 games

The games seem closer. The crowds seem louder. The energy is palpable. The ratings are evidently up.

The first two weeks of the 2022 college football season have been an absolute blast. We always grade chaotic periods on the "How does it compare to 2007?" scale, and while it would have felt a lot more 2007ish if Alabama had managed to lose to Texas last week, I'll give it a 4 out of 5 rating on that scale thus far.

Can college football keep it up, or are we due a more stolid week? Nonconference games in SEC land and out west will tell the tale. Here's everything you need to follow in Week 3, including in-depth breakdowns on five of the week's biggest games, plus my favorite bets and 19 more games you should keep an eye on.

Tyler Van Dyke's big moment and massive anxiety in College Station

No. 13 Miami at No. 24 Texas A&M (9 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App)

Texas A&M's loss to Appalachian State was one of the stories of Week 2, and justifiably so. The Mountaineers forced A&M's Haynes King to beat them, knowing he probably couldn't, and they seemingly won every big play in the game (while seemingly losing just about every first and second down). It wasn't an incredibly sustainable recipe, but it did the job.

For a while, it looked like A&M's opponent this week, Miami, was going to suffer the same fate against a different Sun Belt visitor. Southern Miss led Mario Cristobal's Hurricanes 7-3 heading into the final minute of the first half. Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke began the game just 7-for-14 for 70 yards and an interception, and second-quarter sacks and a fourth-down interception stalled drives.