After a terrific first week, college football takes a step back in the number of quality games. Even some early season conference games are potential mismatches. The gem of the week could be Michigan State traveling to Oregon, with the sentimental favorite being Notre Dame's final game against longtime rival Michigan. The only other game of note could be unranked, but always dangerous Virginia Tech, going into The Horseshoe to take on an uncertain Ohio State team that was challenged last week for three quarters by an outmanned Navy squad.
Last week: 21 - 5 (But it really wasn't that good)
(20) Kansas State (1-0) @ Iowa State (0-1): Iowa State got rolled by FCS power North Dakota State last week and now take a big step up to face the Wildcats. I just don't see how the Cyclones can be competitive this week. Kansas State 41 Iowa State 17
(24) Missouri (1-0) @ Toledo (1-0): Toledo is a mid-major program with just enough firepower to give the Tigers some concern, especially on the road. Missouri wasn't particularly impressive last week in its win over South Dakota State. If I was looking for an upset this week, this one would be it. Just for the record, even though Missouri is in the SEC, I really don't consider them an SEC team, if that makes any sense. Toledo 30 Missouri 28.
(4) Oklahoma (1-0) @ Tulsa (1-0): In some years, Tulsa may be able to give the Sooners a run for their money, but not this one. Oklahoma should win this one going away. Oklahoma 37 Tulsa 14
Western Illinois (1-0) @ (18) Wisconsin (0-1): The Badgers let on get away against LSU last week and they'll be looking to take it out on a team that went 4 - 8 in the FCS last season.
Wisconsin 48 Western Illinois 10
McNeese State @ (19) Nebraska: McNeese State got to the FCS playoffs last season and put up some big numbers on the way. They shocked South Florida in a 53 - 21 rout, so Nebraska should be on guard. I'm not a big Cornhusker fan and the Cowboys have a lot to play for. Nebraska has a recent history of stubbing their toe early in the season. McNeese State 31 Nebraska 30.
Florida Atlantic (0-1) @ (2) Alabama (1-0): The Tide struggled a bit against West Virginia, but shouldn't have any trouble with the Owls. Alabama 41 Florida Atlantic 13
South Carolina St. (1-0) @ (23) Clemson (0-1): Clemson had a monumental fourth quarter collapse against Georgia last week while their opponent this week was defeating Benedict 63 - 0...yeah, I've never heard of them either. I find it hard to believe that Clemson could lose this week. Clemson 37 South Carolina State 16
(14 USC (1-0) @ (15) Stanford (1-0):This is one of the premier games of the week, although it's not too hard to qualify for that distinction since most top FBS teams are taking the week to pad their records with blowout wins against FCS opponents. Both of these squads have playoff aspirations, but with the strength of the Pac-12, a loss here would probably eliminate one of them. I really like USC this year, so I'll take the Trojans, even on the road. USC 27 Stanford 24
(15) Ole Miss (1-0) @ Vanderbilt (0-1): Vandy looked terrible in an opening loss to Temple, while Ole Miss put some late window dressing on their victory over Boise St. The Rebels are just plain better here. Ole Miss 34 Vanderbilt 13
(7) Michigan State (1-0) @ (3) Oregon (1-0): From a rankings perspective, this is THE game of the week. Michigan State's defense will be tested in ways that no Big Ten team can match, and Oregon's offense will have to face perhaps it's toughest foe of the season. I've been a big Spartan believer for a couple of years and I won't get off the bandwagon this week. Michigan State 31 Oregon 30.
San Jose State (1-0) @ (5) Auburn (1-0): Auburn looked pretty average, at least defensively, for the first half last week before Arkansas brought out a different team for the second half. However, San Jose State hasn't performed well in contests against the big boys, and the Tigers are definitely a member of that club. Auburn 37 San Jose State 23
(17) Arizona State (1-0) @ New Mexico (0-1): The Sun Devils should have little difficulty with the Lobos. While New Mexico's offense can produce points, their defense is porous and Arizona State can light up a scoreboard. Arizona State 47 New Mexico 21
East Carolina (1-0) @ (21) South Carolina (0-1): The Gamecocks were all but embarrassed last week against Texas A&M while East Carolina rolled over an FCS opponent. It's always difficult to assess teams after the first game, because the Aggies could end up being very good, which would put the loss into perspective. However, East Carolina always plays the Big Five conference teams tough, as the Pirates usually have a chip on their shoulder in those games. I didn't like what I saw last Thursday, so I'll make one of my friends happy by picking a big upset here.
East Carolina 34 South Carolina 30.
Murray St. (1-0) @ (25) Louisville (1-0): Bobby Petrino led his Cardinals to a big win over MIami last week and the only way they lose this one is if they experience a huge letdown. I don't see that happening. Louisville 37 Murray St. 13
Michigan (1-0) @ (16) Notre Dame (1-0): The story here is the end to what has been a longstanding and historic college football rivalry. The other story is the game. Notre Dame was impressive last week and I think they'll continue that success against the Wolverines. Notre Dame 27 Michigan 24
Citadel (0-1) @ (1) Florida State (1-0): Really? No comment here. Florida State 310 Citadel -27
Northwestern St. (0-1) @ (10) Baylor (1-0): Really again? Baylor - as many as they want to score Northwestern St. 10
Sam Houston St. (1-1) @ (12) LSU (1-0): Sam Houston State plays someone called Incarnate Word later in the season. Come on. Why bother? LSU 54 Sam Houston St. 7
Lamar (1-0) @ (9) Texas A&M (1-0): Oh brother, it just gets better and better. Or is that worse and worse? Texas A&M 42 Lamar 20
Virginia Tech (1-0) @ (8) Ohio State (1-0): A young Hokie squad could give Ohio State fits. They're athletic and very fast. Ohio State struggled last week against a team not nearly as physically gifted. My sister will be in the Horseshoe for this one and hopefully will see the Hokies give the Buckeyes a good fight. I have to go with the homer pick in this one. Virginia Tech 27 Ohio State 24
San Diego State (1-0) @ (20) North Carolina (1-0): San Diego St. finished last season on a 5 - 1 roll after a close loss to Fresno State. I'm still not a big believer in the Tar Heels, especially after giving up 29 points to Liberty last week. The late east coast start is a benefit to the visiting Aztecs. Although I'm an ACC guy, this one really worries me.
San Diego State 34 North Carolina 31
Memphis (1-0) @ (11) UCLA (1-0): The Bruins struggled at Virginia last week, but were pretty much in control most of the game. That game kicked off at 9:00 am PDT, so I'll give them a bit of a pass. This time, Memphis has to play at 9:00 pm CDT, so the situation is reversed. Look for UCLA to bounce back, but Memphis won't go away easily. UCLA 27 Memphis 17
Georgia Tech (1-0) @ Tulane (0-1): Tulane will be breaking in a brand new campus stadium, giving them a home field feel they never had in the cavernous Superdome. The Yellow Jackets had trouble putting away Wofford last week. This is actually a tough pick, but I'll stick with Georgia Tech to run their way to victory. Georgia Tech 30 Tulane 24
BYU (1-0) @ Texas (1-0): Texas comes into this game short-handed, with injuries and suspensions depleting the starting lineup. However, I think Charlie Strong's club will find a way to win.
Texas 27 BYU 20
Maryland (1-0) @ South Florida (1-0): South Florida has struggled the last couple of years, while Maryland hopes to continue to rise now that they're in the Big Ten. Both teams took on FCS opponents last week. The Bulls struggled to defeat Western Carolina while Maryland easily dumped James Madison. Maryland 37 South Florida 20
Ohio (1-0) @ Kentucky (1-0) : After a dismal 2 - 10 season in 2013, the Wildcat faithful hope that Mark Stoops can field a competitive team in 2014. The Bobcats from the MAC pose a good test, but I look for Kentucky to prevail. Kentucky 27 Ohio 20
Oregon State (1-0) @ Hawaii (0-1): The Rainbows gave Washington all they could handle last week. Oregon State struggled. I like Hawaii to put an island licking on the Beavers.
Hawaii 24 Oregon State 21