As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Oregon State @ Wisconsin (ESPN): So did you hear that Oregon State lost to Sacramento State last week? Yeah….
- Florida Atlantic @ Michigan State (ESPN2): This may end up being closer than the other noon Big Ten game. Okay, probably not, but still.
- Iowa @ Iowa State (FSN): I’m sure the Cyclones will give it the ole college try, but it’s hard to see how they will prevail in the end.
- Central Michigan @ Kentucky (ESPNU): Speaking of bad losses, did you see that Louisville lost to FIU last night? Yeah, anyway, Kentucky should still prevail here.
- San Diego State @ Army (CBSS): Army’s not off to a good start this season, and I doubt it will get better against the Aztecs.
- Toledo @ Ohio State (BTN): Comparing their depth charts, Ohio State should be able to win this with 30 players, much less 85.
- Mississippi State @ Auburn (SEC): So remember that time Auburn almost lost to Utah State? Oh, wait, that was last week. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs handled their mid-major patsy with easy, obliterating a hapless Memphis squad 59-14. Now, Auburn did rally in the 4th quarter and eventually get their act together, so presumably motivation will not be an issue in this first test of the Tigers’ mettle. I still have to go with Miss State though.
12:30: Rutgers @ North Carolina (ACC): My thoughts on this game: “eh”. I think UNC will win.
- Alabama @ Pennsylvania State (ABC): Okay, now things get interesting. Well, sort of. I’m going to roll with the conventional wisdom that between two teams with uncertain quarterback situations and the likely return of Alabama’s stout 2009-style defense, this will be a slow scoring affair that ultimately ends in the Tide’s favor.
- Cincinnati @ Tennessee (ESPN2): I’ve been to both Cincy and Knoxville now, and I have to say, I don’t really want to live in either. I think I liked Knoxville better though so I’ll go with the Vols.
- Nevada @ Oregon (FX): Last Saturday, Oregon entered the Les Miles Reality Distortion Field, waking up several hours later with no memory of where they had been or how they ended up with a 40-27 loss. However, someone told Chip Kelly that Chris Ault has all the answers, setting us up for a thrilling action movie style obliteration of the Wolfpack. 60+ points for the Ducks may not be out of the question.
- Virginia Tech @ East Carolina (FSN): VPI was lauded last week for actually managing to beat their DI-AA opponent in convincing fashion. So that means this week it’s back to Business as Usual for Beamerball. Hokies win 22-20 on a blocked PAT return.
- Texas Christian @ Air Force (Versus): Yeah, so about that TCU being awesome thing. While Boise took care of business against the Bulldogs, TCU lost to Baylor and had their vaunted defense shredded in the process. (Well, technically they lost to Robert Griffin III, but anyway.) Maybe they did it on purpose to spite the Mountain West moving the TCU-Boise game from Fort Worth to Boise. Anyway, damage is now done. TCU’s defense doesn’t get a rest, however, switching gears to defending Air Force’s custom triple option attack. They should come out on top this time, though.
- Stanford @ Duke (ESPNU): What’s the over/under on this game? Let’s see…. ah, 110. I would take the over if I thought Duke would put up more than 10 points. Then again, that still might not be a bad idea.
- Purdue @ Rice (CBSS): This is actually kind of a tossup. Which is more of a statement about Purdue than Rice. I mean, the Boilermakers should win, but this may be the pick I’ll be the least sure about all day.
- Eastern Illinois @ Northwestern (BTN): Thankfully, this one does not give me pause. NU wins.
- North Carolina State @ Wake Forest (ACC): Some years, Wake Forest is a plucky, hard to deal with opponent that gives the rest of the ACC a run for it’s money. I don’t think this is one of them.
4:30: South Carolina @ Georgia (ESPN): By all rights, South Carolina should win. There is a strong trend I’ve seen on other sites of not really believing the situation and that the Gamecocks can stand up to the pressure. But know this: it would be so awesome if UGA is 0-2 after today.
- Brigham Young @ Texas (ESPN2): Narrow, offensively-challenged 14-13 victories over Ole Miss do not inspire much confidence heading into Austin.
- Texas-El Paso @ Southern Methodist (FSN): Let’s see… UTEP had to go to OT to beat Stony Brook last week, meaning they should rout SMU this week.
- New Mexico @ Arkansas (ESPNU): I think the most interesting aspect of this game is that’s a home game at Arkansas’s other stadium, War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
- Fresno State @ Nebraska (BTN): I still admire Pat Hill’s willingness to play anyone, anywhere, but I doubt after the welfare fraud thing that broke the other day that this game is going to improve his mood much.
- Alabama-Birmingham @ Florida (SEC): BLAZERS. GATORS. FEEL THE EXCITEMENT. Well, excitement-like-substance anyway.
- Utah @ Southern California (Versus): Oh, right, this is a conference game now. Well, Utes, you wanted to sit at the table with the big boys. Time to prove you belong. Trojans should still win.
- Connecticut @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Well, they both beat their DI-AA opponents last week so I can’t really tell how bad or not bad these two teams are. I’ll go with Vandy ’cause I like them better.
- Georgia Tech @ Middle Tennessee State (ESPN3): Meanwhile, mere miles outside of Nashville will be supposedly the first sellout in the history of MTSU DI-A football. GT still had plenty of mistakes last week. Bad snaps are one thing – I’m still mad about the sloppiness on special teams, including two boneheaded plays on punts on a blocked field goal. I find the carryover of one of last year’s biggest problems a troubling concern. Outside of that, it was fun to see this, if only for a little while:
Anyway, it’s hard to make an overall judgement about the team at this point. Last year, this is where we faltered. Will we stand up to scrutiny this time?
- Notre Dame @ Michigan (ESPN): This was supposed to be an EPIC CLASH and two midwestern powers RETURNED TO GREATNESS. A funny thing happened on the way here, though, namely that ND went and lost to South Florida. Whoops. The Wolverines dispatched their directional school opponent (though, in fairness, USF could beat Western Michigan every day and twice on Sundays) with ease. Notre Dame probably won’t go down as easy, but it’s hard to imagine the Irish getting the stops they need or the offense they need either. Brian Kelly may spontaneously combust, though. So there’s a reason to watch.
- Boston College @ Central Florida (CBSS): I have a bad feeling about this. You don’t just walk into Bright House Networks Stadium and expect to leave without a fight. Also, UCF scored 62 points last year, which BC may not score for another 2 or 3 games.
Apologies for the lateness, it’s been a busy week. For me, at least, this is my first full Saturday of football, and believe me, I am looking forward to it. For my musings as the day goes on, you could do worse than subscribe to my Twitter feed. Much worse. Until then.