As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Auburn @ Clemson (ABC): It’s Tigers v. Tigers once again. Tough to predict, though. Clemson hasn’t really done much of anything at all. Auburn meanwhile has escaped by the skin of its teeth twice so far this season against bad teams (Utah State) and decent teams (Mississippi State). Coaching matchups don’t help either, as I trust Dabo and Chizik about as far as I can throw them. Complete tossup to me – I’ll give the edge to Auburn.
- Pennsylvania State @ Temple (ESPN): Meanwhile, Pitt wonders what it has to do to get some love from the Nittany Lions.
- Pittsburgh @ Iowa (ESPN2): Speaking of Pitt (seriously, I didn’t even realize this was next) they’ll take on a moribund Iowa squad that just lost to Iowa State. If the Big East will make any noise this year, it has to start with games like this. Personally, I don’t think they can do it.
- West Virginia @ Maryland (ESPNU): Well, at least Maryland will look less wacky this time around. WVU should roll.
- Eastern Michigan @ Michigan (BTN): Given what we know now, which, granted, isn’t much, at least Michigan is still playing an exciting brand of football. They shouldn’t need any excitement or last minute heroics to beat Eastern Michigan, though.
- Mississippi @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Every year it seems like this game is the game Ole Miss should win. And then they don’t! That’s why this is an underrated game to watch. That said, Ole Miss should still win though.
- Duke @ Boston College (ACC): I think BC can manage to win this one. The fact I’m even having to think about it says a lot more about BC than it does Duke.
- Kansas @ Georgia Tech (ACC/FSN): I tried briefly to think of a way to describe this game without drawing on last year’s debacle. I can’t. Allow me to play psychologist for a moment, though. Does drawing on a loss like that really work? Or do you get your players so worked up about avoiding another debacle on that scale that they screw up again, or perhaps in an even more horrific fashion than the previous time? I suppose there’s only way to find out.
1:30: Colorado State vs. Colorado (@Denver, CO; FSN): This has to be one of the few mid-major vs. major rivalries out there, I would think. Or, at least one that forces the major portion of the equation to play it every year at a neutral site. Of course, having already suffered a 34-17 rout to a mid-major school, it’s hard to go with the Buffs in this one.
- Michigan State @ Notre Dame (NBC): I don’t think Sparty’s going to need any last minute shenanigans to prevail over the Irish.
- Tennessee @ Florida (CBS): I might tune in to the start of this one just to hear the CBS intro music. Chills up my spine, every time. Anyway, as for the actual game, Florida’s had a couple of walkovers and so has Tennessee. For no apparent reason, I like the Gators in each of these teams’ first true test.
- Washington @ Nebraska (ABC/ESPN): Speaking of revenge games, if there’s anyone in this world who would be looking to avenge an embarrassing loss, it would be Bo Pellini. Nebraska wins going away.
- Texas @ California-Los Angeles (ESPN/ABC): Texas found a semblance of an offense last weekend. UCLA hasn’t had one of those in years.
- Texas Tech @ New Mexico (Versus): I think even Tommy Tuberville can break 50 points in this one.
- Virginia @ North Carolina (ESPNU): Both of these teams have close wins over shaky teams (Indiana and Rutgers, respectively) making this one hard to call. This should be a close slapflight of a game, probably breaking in favor of the Tar Heels.
- Northwestern @ Army (CBSS): I’ve got a sinking feeling Army’s going to straight to 0-3.
- Miami @ Minnesota (BTN): Tune in to see Jerry Kill back on the sidelines for UMN, but otherwise this is the Miami in Ohio, so even the Gophers should be able to wax those guys.
4:00: Arkansas State @ Virginia Tech (ACC/FSN): Speaking of waxing, er, let’s use another mataphor. Beatdown? That seems apropos for VPI, who won 17-10 last weekend at ECU. It’ll be physical, and perhaps uncomfortably close, but VPI will get ahead and stay ahead sometime in the early 2nd half.
6:00: Navy @ South Carolina (ESPN2): South Carolina has the kind of defensive line that gives Paul Johnson derived offenses fits. Okay, in fairness, they’ll give all sorts of offenses fits. Navy may try some unconventional tactics but I suspect Clowney will remind fans of the GT/Navy offense of the havok Da’Quan Bowers wrought for Clemson against Tech last year. Based on that, I don’t think this one’s going to be close.
- Louisville @ Kentucky (ESPNU): I guess this used to be a mid-major vs. major rivalry, but let’s face it, this is just a warmup for basketball season anyway. Especially since the Wildcats should win this pretty easily against a banged up, not very good Louisville team.
- Arizona State @ Illinois (BTN): I have a feeling that this may get ugly, and not in a good way for Illinois.
- Kent State @ Kansas State (FCS): Ah, the Flashes are just the sort of out-of-conference opponent Bill Synder loves.
- Ohio State @ Miami (ESPN): First off, best nickname, far and away for this game: the Ineligibowl. With that out of the way, let’s talk football. Both of these squads are depleted, yes, but only one of the managed to lose to Maryland two weeks ago and it wasn’t Ohio State. Buckeyes should be able to get up for this one and prevail.
- North Texas @ Alabama (SEC/FSN): Tide rolls.
- Troy @ Arkansas (SEC): I love it when Troy plays the “plucky, hard-to-dispatch team from the Sun Belt” role but considering their shellacking from their game with Clemson it’s hard to envision anything but a blowout against the Razorbacks
- Oklahoma @ Florida State (ABC): Listen carefully, and you will hear the sound of a million TV remotes being pressed to their local ABC stations for this one. That said, this may be the best FSU team in 10 years. I may even root for them in the off-chance a win by them restores some measure of respect for the ACC. But realistically, Oklahoma will line up with advantages on both sides of the ball and two weeks to prepare. Thanks to home field advantage, it probably won’t be an embarrassment like last year, but it’s hard to see how the end result will be different.
- Syracuse @ Southern California (FX): Gus Johnson will try his best, but I highly doubt even he can rescue this probably snoozer in the Trojans’ favor.
9:15: Utah @ Brigham Young (ESPN2): So when both those 8:00 games are decided, flip over here for the Holy War. This game is usually a lot of fun to watch, and it’s nice to see that at least for now the game was preserved. Hard to say who’s going to win this year’s edition, but I’ll give the Stormin’ Mormons a slight edge.
- Oklahoma State @ Tulsa (FSN): I like these late night games, though of course I am on the West Coast so they’re not really that late. What all three of these probably will be, though, are blowouts. This one probably has the best chance to not be a complete blowout.
- Hawaii @ Nevada-Las Vegas (CBSS): For instance, you see this game and you think it might be a shootout. You’d be wrong, though, as UNLV is probably one of the five worst teams in the country.
10:45: Stanford @ Arizona (ESPN): Arizona already gave up 37 points to Oklahoma State last week. Andrew Luck and Co. might double that.