By: David Folz
Following the opening weekend of college football, we get into week two, which features some real intriguing action. The problem is, there are so few intriguing games that it will be hard for fans to not just pick out five to seven games and just plop in front of the television and want to watch those games.
Here is what to watch for in Week 2:
The SEC era begins anew: Texas A&M and Missouri both play really big games for their SEC openers. College Gameday is at College Station for the matchup between Florida and Texas A&M and the whole atmosphere will be intense. Kyle Field is known for the 12th Man effect, and that will be the case Saturday afternoon. At primetime in Columbia, Missouri on Saturday, Missouri takes center stage in their SEC debut against #7 Georgia. The Tigers will be on everyone’s upset alert watch because they have the talent and the ability to beat the Bulldogs.
Big Ten notables on the road: Just to prove how well your team is to polls is how to perform on the road. Three Big Ten teams in the middle of the rankings and another expected to be good play on the road this weekend, three of them against Pac 12 teams. Michigan State plays at Central Michigan, Nebraska at UCLA, Wisconsin at Oregon State, and Illinois at Arizona State. Do not be surprised if the home teams in that set get two or even three wins this weekend. Other intriguing matchups for the Big Ten are Penn State playing at Virginia, Northwestern at home against Vanderbilt, and Ohio State taking on UCF.
Blowouts aplenty lie in this weekend: If you thought last weekend was so bad for scheduling and results, just be aware of this weekend. Clemson vs. Ball State, South Carolina vs. East Carolina, Virginia Tech vs. Austin Peay, USC vs. Syracuse, Louisville vs. Missouri State, Alabama vs. Western Kentucky, Florida State vs. Savannah State, Oklahoma vs. Florida A&M, TCU vs. Grambling State, Arkansas vs. Louisiana-Monroe and Texas vs. New Mexico could all have 40+ point differentials, either by the end of the game or the first half. Good thing many of those schools need the money to keep going or else it would not look very well to either side.
Top 5 Games to Watch for this weekend:
5. Washington vs. LSU: It’s more Keith Price vs. the Tigers. The only way the Huskies beat the Tigers this weekend is if Price has a superior game. It’s not inconceivable to think that Price will not have a huge game, but this weekend is so dry on great or even really good games that this game will be a primetime matchup. Don’t discount the Huskies, but surprising the Tigers will take a heroic effort from their quarterback in this one.
4. Purdue vs. Notre Dame: This is a rivalry for the Shillelagh Trophy (if you don’t know what that is, look it up, or play a NCAA Football version from 2003 to 2006) and it features two teams who could be in the mix for big things. For Notre Dame if they win this game in a big margin then they could be big factors in games this year that involve them and the Big Ten rivals of Michigan and Michigan State. For Purdue, it could be a lot to win against the Fighting Irish but if they did win, it would mean many things for the Boilermakers but most notably that they would be someone to look at as a sleeper pick in the Big Ten.
3. Nebraska vs. UCLA: In many ways UCLA is like Purdue, only from the Pac 12. The game has more to do with how much UCLA can gain than Nebraska will lose if the Cornhuskers do indeed lose. Another thing to watch for is the Taylor Martinez watch, as he comes off his best game of his career a week ago against Southern Miss. UCLA will have to have their first test of the Jim Mora era against the Cornhuskers and would go a long way to proving how good they can be if not this year, then years to come.
2. Florida vs. Texas A&M: The obvious storylines are there. A&M’s first game in the SEC, Florida’s QB troubles, College Gameday is there, all the storylines are set up for a big game. How about another storyline in coaching: Kevin Sumlin in the SEC vs. Will Muschamp, who was supposed to be a high powered offensive guru. The Gators have struggled on offense for about two years now, and now have many questions going into their opener in conference play, which is the last thing you need when someone as talented as the Aggies show up.
1. Georgia vs. Missouri: The other SEC opener features James Franklin’s debut at quarterback for Missouri in a SEC game, the Tigers first game in the SEC and the many questions facing Georgia’s defense, which wasn’t very impressive against Buffalo. The high powered offenses will be on display in this matchup, and if you needed any more reason to watch this game, it’s at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri. As with Texas A&M at home, Missouri at home will be a rocking party and it could lead to the two newbies in the league scoring their first league wins.