By Garrett Shearman:
The first week of FBS football has come and gone, and it gave us just one ranked matchup. GUESS WHAT, THIS WEEK WE GET THREE. THAT’S LITERALLY THREE TIMES MORE RANKED MATCHUPS. Without further preamble, let’s talk week two cupcakes:
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs @ Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Fox Sports 1, 8:00 p.m. EST
The only Thursday game this week pits two of the best offenses in Conference USA against each other. I don’t know what seems more implausible: Jeff Driskel playing for a team called the Bulldogs or Jeff Driskel leading a competent offense.
Miami Hurricanes @ Florida Atlantic Owls
Fox Sports 1, 8:00 p.m. EST
Last week, teams called the Owls (FAU, Kennesaw State, Rice, and Temple) went 4-0. Will our new nocturnal overlords continue their dominance in week two?
The Florida Atlantic U-10
Utah State Aggies @ #24 Utah Utes
ESPN2, 9:00 p.m. EST
Early season rivalry games are fun, especially when you don’t really care who wins. This game may not seem consequential to anyone outside the Beehive State (that’s Utah’s official state nickname—Hey! You learned something!), but these guys don’t like each other. They both hate BYU more, but each team has enough hate to go around. And isn’t that what college football is really about?
South Florida Bulls @ #11 Florida State Seminoles
ESPN, 11:30 a.m. EST
USF-FSU: The Palindrome Bowl. That’s the only observation I have for you.
Jacksonville State Gamecocks @ #6 Auburn Tigers
SEC Network, Noon EST
Hopefully this won’t be the most exciting Gamecocks-Tigers game you’ll see this year.
Oregon State Beavers @ Michigan Wolverines
ABC, Noon EST
Easily the best matchup of the day, this game pits two playoff contenders against each…Oh sorry I thought we were talking about Oregon vs. Michigan State. This is Michigan vs. Oregon State. Do not make yourself watch this game.
Yellow and blue rodents-31
Orange and black rodents-22
Appalachian State Mountaineers @ #12 Clemson Tigers
ESPN3, 12:30 p.m. EST
It’s only fitting to bring up Appalachian State whenever recently discussing Michigan. Although, I don’t think App State will do to Clemson in 2015 what it did to Michigan in 2007.
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks @ #3 TCU Horned Frogs
Fox Sports 1, 3:30 p.m. EST
You’re not actually going to watch this one either, are you?
Purple Sam Houston State-not quite 70
Tulane Green Wave @ #15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
I have a hard time believing the Green Wave are going to be able to make a splash in a landlocked city.
#9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Virginia Cavaliers
ABC, 3:30 p.m. EST
This one’s going to be a lot closer than some people would think, because some people think Notre Dame beat a good team last week. The Irish may have beaten a good defense, sure, but holding the Longhorns’ deplorable offense to three points is no difficult task. In their first road game of the year, I anticipate Notre Dame will face more challenges than they did last week en route to a too-close-for-comfort win.
Also, I might be wrong. Take that into consideration.
#10 Georgia Bulldogs @ Vanderbilt Commodores
CBS, 3:30 p.m. EST
Remember the last time Georgia went to Nashville? Because I guarantee you Georgia remembers what happened the last time Georgia went to Nashville. The Commodores’ defense is very talented and very capable of stifling Brian Schottenheimer’s offense for a few quarters, but after a few quarters of Chubb, Michel, and Marshall, I suspect the Dawgs will pull away in the second half.
Fresno State Bulldogs @ #17 Ole Miss Rebels
ESPN2, 3:30 p.m. EST
Living in Fresno may not seem so bad once these players experience the majesty of Northern Mississippi.
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders @ #2 Alabama Crimson Tide
SEC Network, 4:00 p.m. EST
Middle Tennessee State wants Bama! Wait, no they don’t. They want the $1.5 million dollars Bama is giving them to show up to Tuscaloosa.
Toledo Rockets @ #18 Arkansas Razorbacks
SEC Network Alternate, 4:00 p.m. EST
Toledo is very good at losing to mediocre SEC teams, so does that mean they stand a chance against a (seemingly) good SEC team? Lol probs not.
#19 Oklahoma Sooners @ #23 Tennessee Volunteers
ESPN, 6:00 p.m. EST
Prepare your ears to hear the same two fight songs enough times to make your ears bleed. In one of only two ranked matchups on the day, we’ll figure out very quickly if the hyped Volunteers deserve their top-25 ranking. I really like Oklahoma’s ability to air it out against Tennessee’s depleted secondary. The Vols gave up nearly 600 yards to Bowling Green last week in their season opener, and if their defense has a repeat performance against the Sooners, things could be over early.
#22 Arizona Wildcats @ Nevada Wolfpack
CBS Sports, 7:00 p.m. EST
For me, this game being played at Nevada puts Arizona on upset alert. Win or lose, I think the most upsetting part for the Wildcats will be having to return to Tuscon, where they chose to go to school for some strange reason.
Ball State Cardinals @ #16 Texas A&M Aggies
ESPNU, 7:00 p.m. EST
The general populace can only hope that another early-season loss derails the Aggies early on in the season, but I don’t see that happening…not this week at least. Give it another week.
Ball (So Hard) State-13
#21 Missouri Tigers @ Arkansas State Redwolves
ESPN3, 7:00 p.m. EST
Mizzou’s tough schedule gets even tougher as they upgrade from an FCS opponent in week one to an FBS team (hardly) in week two. Gee, you gotta wonder how they keep getting 10 wins every season.
Ark State: 20
Lamar Cardinals @ #4 Baylor Bears
FSN, 7:30 p.m. EST
I’m starting to think Art Briles wouldn’t be opposed to playing a middle school team in the first few weeks of the season. He’ll get to play against a middle school team when the Baylor Bears take on the Texas Longhorns in December.
Idaho Vandals @ #8 USC Trojans
8:00 PAC12 Net
A traditional powerhouse playing a cupcake on the Pac 12 network? Hahahahaha there’s no way you’re watching this game.
Men of Potatoes-0, or at least it might as well be 0.
Men of Troy-63, or something like that.
#7 Oregon Ducks @ #5 Michigan State Spartans
ABC 8:00 p.m. EST
If last year’s matchup is any indication, this will be an instant classic…until the fourth quarter when Oregon’s ridiculous offense reminds you that they’re Oregon. In all seriousness, this game really does have the potential to be one of the best games of the year. Not too many top-10 matchups happen in the first few weeks of football, so just enjoy the novelty.
#14 LSU Tigers @ #25 Mississippi State Bulldogs
ESPN, 9:15 p.m. EST
In yet another cats vs. dogs pairing, we get our first quality SEC west game of the year. I don’t quite know how to judge these teams (especially because LSU’s only game of the year so far was canceled), and I’m inclined to say both may be a tad overrated at this point. But hey, a night game in the SEC West is enough to get anyone’s blood pumping, it’s just a shame that two of the only three ranked matchups on the day have a bit of a broadcast overlap. Have fun repeatedly mashing the ‘previous’ button on your remote.
#20 Boise State Broncos @ BYU Cougars
Knowing Boise State, and seeing what happened with BYU at Nebraska last week, CHAOS WILL REIGN SUPREME.
#13 UCLA Bruins @ UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
10:30 CBS Sports
I don’t think UNLV gets any extra points for having such a cool alliterative nickname, but I wish they did. Maybe that way they’d stand a chance against UCLA.