Power Ranking the Week 2 College Football Games from Worst to Best

Jonathan McDanal@@jdmcdanalContributor IIISeptember 4, 2012

Power Ranking the Week 2 College Football Games from Worst to Best

0 of 72

    College football's Week 1 left something to be desired. Apart from one or two games per day on Friday through Monday, there were precious few games even worth checking the box score for.

    If this season was a drag race, the second week is akin to the exhibition drags between the headliners. While there may not be a "Game of the Century" in Week 2, there are plenty of games that should be worth recording to watch more than just once.

    From a D2 school to major conference openers that will answer a ton of questions, here are the 72 games of Week 2 in order from worst to best.


    *Factors that went into game rankings: Conferences involved and quality of teams playing, whether a team is in the Top 25, team storyline and (in a couple of cases) information gained from Week 1.

    *Bleacher Report's Top 25 was used for the purposes of this article.

    *Kickoff times from ESPN.com and are all given in ET.

72: Texas A&M-Commerce at UTSA

1 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m.

    This goes to show you that the worst college football game of any given week is still an interesting game. While it may be the least meaningful game in terms of national championship implications, it's still a Division II team on television.

    That doesn't happen every day, and it's a red-letter day for the Division II school.

71: Northern Arizona at UNLV

2 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 10 p.m.

    After a triple-overtime loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, UNLV hosts Northern Arizona in an attempt to iron out a few more kinks before tackling Pac-12 Washington State in Week 3.

    The Rebels will need all the help they can get when facing the Cougars, and Northern Arizona could give them all the information they need to get their season rolling.

70: Stephen F. Austin at SMU

3 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m.

    After getting blown out by a Baylor squad that wasn't expected to be as good as it is, a win is just what the doctor ordered for the SMU Mustangs. A win is just what they should get against Stephen F. Austin.

69: Eastern Illinois at Western Michigan

4 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    If at first you don't succeed try, try again. After getting trounced by Illinois, Western Michigan tries again against Eastern Illinois. Maybe this attempt will work. (If not, there's always Northern Illinois on the schedule later in the season.)

68: Tennessee-Martin at Northern Illinois

5 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    After playing Iowa to within one point, the Northern Illinois Huskies should make quick work of Tennessee-Martin on Saturday.

67: Texas Southern at North Texas

6 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    North Texas just came home from a money game against a highly-ranked LSU platoon. The Mean Green turns around and faces an FCS opponent to try to get the confidence back up before facing Army in Week 3.

66: North Dakota State at Colorado State

7 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    Colorado State hosts North Dakota State in an attempt to start the season off 2-0. With a win here, the Rams would only need to win four of the remaining 10 regular-season games to snag bowl eligibility.

65: Morgan State at Buffalo

8 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.

    Buffalo schedules a win immediately after a loss to Georgia. Of course, hanging 23 points on a major SEC power is something to be extremely proud of.

64: Nicholls State at South Alabama

9 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 5 p.m.

    South Alabama is still looking for its first win after a tough loss to the UTSA Roadrunners in Week 1. The first full season for the Jaguars is full of games that are nearly impossible to win. The Nicholls State game is not one of those.

63: Illinois State at Eastern Michigan

10 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m.

    Yet another FCS vs. MAC battle. These games are always competitive, and you will not see many games all season long with as much heart on the field.

62: Southern Illinois at Miami (OH)

11 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m.

    The Miami RedHawks just came home from a sound thrashing at the hands of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Southern Illinois will be a much more competitive opponent for the RedHawks.

61: Western Carolina at Marshall

12 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    Western Carolina has new coaching staff members that were on the Appalachian State Mountaineers payroll during the upset of the Michigan Wolverines back in 2007. While the Catamounts are a program on the rise, a win over Marshall is likely too much to ask at the moment.

60: UC Davis at San Jose State

13 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m.

    After coming three points away from an overtime period with the Stanford Cardinal, more eyes will be on the Spartans for the next couple of weeks. (Of course, the same is true for the Cardinal, too.)

59: Howard at Rutgers

14 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

    Rutgers shoots for a 2-0 start to the 2012 season. The Scarlet Knights will likely make that a reality.

58: Sacramento State at Colorado

15 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m.

    Colorado seeks redemption in Week 2 after a season-opening loss to the Colorado State Rams.

57: Southern Utah at California

16 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m.

    California snags an almost-guaranteed win over the Southern Utah Thunderbirds.

56: Eastern Washington at Washington State

17 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m.

    Eastern Washington took down Idaho in the season over by a score of 20-3. If you're looking for high-profile games involving the Cougars, you'll have to wait a couple of weeks. However, this game could be closer than the numbers imply.

55: New Hampshire at Minnesota

18 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at Noon

    The Minnesota Golden Gophers have already entertained the crowd this year, taking their season opener against UNLV to triple overtime. Minnesota could potentially upset some Big Ten powers toward the end of the season.

    Week 2 could give clues as to how good this Gophers squad is.

54: Weber State at BYU

19 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m.

    BYU destroyed Washington State in Week 1. There is no reason to believe that the BYU Cougars will suffer a loss in Week 2.

53: Presbyterian at Georgia Tech

20 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    Georgia Tech lost a nail-biter in overtime to the Virginia Tech Hokies. Presbyterian is not nearly the team that Virginia Tech is. This game will be over before it starts.

52: Maine at Boston College

21 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m.

    Boston College fans will enjoy watching their team log another "W" in Week 2, but the game itself will not make up for the loss to Miami (FL) in Week 1.

51: Georgia State at Tennessee

22 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 4 p.m.

    Was Tennessee's victory over NC State a fluke, or has Dooley's system finally taken hold? An easy victory over Georgia State will help fans believe that he's on the right track.

    If the Vols struggle in this game, Dooley will begin to attract gargantuan amounts of doubt from his fans. (Maybe even his players.)

50: South Florida at Nevada

23 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:35 p.m.

    The Nevada Wolf Pack take on the South Florida Bulls in Week 2. This kicks off a brutal four-week stretch for the Bulls in which they also face Rutgers and Florida State.

49: Utah at Utah State

24 of 72

    When: Friday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m.

    Utah scheduled its FCS opponent in Week 1, which makes sense if you look at the rest of the Utes' schedule. Utah needed a game or two to get things under control before facing BYU in Week 3.

    Incidentally, beginning in Week 4, the Utes have nothing but conference foes through the end of the season.

    A WAC opponent in Week 2 simply makes sense.

48: Indiana at Massachusetts

25 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

    UMass got shut out by the Connecticut Huskies in Week 1 to the tune of 37 points. That fact alone indicates that the UMass-Indiana game should hold viewers' interest for at least the first half.

47: Texas Tech at Texas State

26 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    While the names of these two teams may be similar, the quality couldn't be more different. Last year's score was 50-10 in favor of the Red Raiders. This year's score shouldn't be much different.

46: Kent State at Kentucky

27 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

    Kent State could take down Kentucky in 2012. Kentucky is a basketball school, and even Bear Bryant couldn't change that.

    On a bright note for Kent, this is a much better opportunity than the 2011 season opener against Alabama was.

45: UTEP at Ole Miss

28 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    Ole Miss continues de-rusting against the UTEP Miners. Oklahoma just beat the Miners 24-7 in Week 1. Ole Miss should come out of this game looking better than the Sooners.

    (This doesn't mean that the Rebels are better than the Sooners, but it sure implies it.)

44: Rice at Kansas

29 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

    Kansas was far from a national powerhouse last year. Rice should make a game of this for at least two quarters. If Rice is firing on all cylinders for four quarters, Kansas may just be in for a surprising loss.

43: Idaho at Bowling Green

30 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    Bowling Green should clean up here, but Idaho could find its groove and keep it close. Unlikely? Yes, but possible.

42: Toledo at Wyoming

31 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 4 p.m.

    These two teams are comparable in skill level, and this game should satisfy someone looking for a close game.

41: Memphis at Arkansas State

32 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    Arkansas State should have this game in hand after the first possession. Watch Arkansas State closely, as it will have the opportunity to upset Nebraska in Week 3.

    If the Red Wolves look potent on offense, Nebraska could have some issues getting by them next week.

40: Louisiana Tech at Houston

33 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m.

    Houston is a shell of its 2011 self, and Louisiana Tech's original season opener has been moved to October. Even the advantage of having played a game shouldn't allow Houston to get by the Bulldogs.

39: Army at San Diego State

34 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

    The 2011 edition of this game was decided by three points. San Diego State has a decided advantage over Army, though, and Army is opening the season against an opponent who has already played against a Pac-12 team.

    Army will be fighting an uphill battle the whole game, but a victory is not out of the question.

38: New Mexico State at Ohio

35 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    The Ohio Bobcats just had an eye-opening 24-14 season-opening victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions.

    Week 2 against New Mexico State will provide a good barometer for determining whether the Bobcats are that good or the Nittany Lions are just that bad.

37: Akron at Florida International

36 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.

    Will Terry Bowden be able to lift Akron to new heights? While Florida International isn't exactly a powerhouse program, a win here would be a start.

    Bowden just got to Akron, so fans need to allow him time to develop regardless of this game's outcome.

36: Florida Atlantic at Middle Tennessee

37 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    This game features two Sun Belt teams kicking off conference play early in the season. Personally, battles for conference supremacy can't start soon enough.

35: Tulane at Tulsa

38 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at Noon

    Tulane opens Conference USA play in Week 2 against Tulsa. The conference isn't a major conference, but it's a special day when you play your first conference opponent after the long offseason.

34: Louisiana-Lafayette at Troy

39 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    The Ragin' Cajuns break the seal on conference battles against Troy in Week 2. The journey to a repeat bowl appearance could be one-third through after the final whistle here.

33: Penn State at Virginia

40 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    Judging from the Week 1 performance of the Nittany Lions, this is going to be a long season for Nittany Lions fans. However, with a good showing (win or lose) against the Virginia Cavaliers, a little hope would return to Happy Valley.

32: Missouri State at Louisville

41 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

    Louisville takes on Missouri State and tries to keep themselves in the Top 25. This sport's regular season is exciting every week simply because there's a chance the teams just outside the rankings will get in. All it takes is a team ranked between 20 and 25 losing, and your team could be the next one to replace them.

31: New Mexico at Texas

42 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m.

    Texas attempts to prove that its presence in the Top 25 is deserved by dismantling New Mexico.

30: Air Force at Michigan

43 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

    Michigan begins Week 2 with a lot to prove. After being destroyed by the Crimson Tide, people are wondering if the Wolverines are overrated or if Alabama's just that good.

29: Austin Peay at Virginia Tech

44 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 1:30 p.m.

    After an overtime victory against Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech has plenty of things to work on. Austin Peay should give the Hokies a chance to improve before taking on some cross-conference foes who could really hurt their reputation.

28: Grambling State at TCU

45 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    TCU did not play in Week 1, and still needs to analyze where all the rust is before heading into conference play against Kansas in Week 3. Grambling State is a good rust-busting team for the Frogs.

27: UCF at Ohio State

46 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at Noon

    Ohio State joins the host of ranked teams with de-facto bye weeks. Yes, any team can win on any given Saturday, but there are some coaches that you can trust to have their teams ready. Urban Meyer is one of those coaches.

26: Ball State at Clemson

47 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 12:30 p.m.

    After a hard-fought victory over the Auburn Tigers in Week 1, Clemson could use a little healing against Ball State. It won't be as good as a bye, but it will have to do for now.

25: East Carolina at South Carolina

48 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 12:21 p.m.

    South Carolina is looking for another warm-up game in Week 2. (They didn't get the first warm-up they were looking for, as Vanderbilt almost proved to the entire nation that it is out for blood in 2012.)

    East Carolina should be an entirely different game for the Gamecocks.

24: Michigan State at Central Michigan

49 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

    Michigan State pulled off a squeaker against the Boise State Broncos in Week 1. The Spartans need to regroup and practice in order to have a shot at the conference title in 2012.

23: Arkansas vs. Louisiana-Monroe (at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, AR)

50 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    The Arkansas Razorbacks take on the ULM Warhawks in Week 2 as the final opponent before opening SEC play against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Sept. 15.

22: Florida A&M at Oklahoma

51 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    Oklahoma hinted that it might be overrated by only scoring 24 points in its season opener against the UTEP Miners.

    In Week 2, the Sooners offense will be looking to prove that they are worthy of that preseason Top-10 ranking.

21: Savannah State at Florida State

52 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.

    Florida State gets one more glorified scrimmage in Week 2 before opening its conference schedule against Wake Forest on Sept. 15.

20: Fresno State at Oregon

53 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m.

    Oregon's offense continues its 2012 fireworks show against Fresno State in Week 2.

19: Western Kentucky at Alabama

54 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

    Alabama gets one more chance to fix issues in the secondary in Week 2 before taking on Tyler Wilson and the Arkansas Razorbacks in Week 3.

18: Illinois at Arizona State

55 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 10:30 p.m.

    After a day of blowouts at the hands of many of the teams in the Top 25, the Illinois Fighting Illini taking on the Arizona State Sun Devils is a welcome sight.

    While this game may just be a blowout by the Pac-12 over the Big Ten, it's still going to be more of a game than Alabama vs. Western Kentucky.

17: Washington at LSU

56 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.

    The LSU Tigers take on a Pac-12 team that has a rich heritage dating back to before the SEC was even formed. This game will let the Tigers know exactly where their defense stands, and the Tigers will take many lessons to the locker room after the final whistle blows.

16: USC at Syracuse

57 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

    The Pac-12 favorite (and national championship hopeful) USC Trojans take on the Syracuse Orange (Big East contender) in the second game of the season.

    Though Syracuse is vastly inferior on paper, the Orange offense is definitely going to test the Trojans defense throughout the game.

15: Miami (FL) at Kansas State

58 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at Noon

    A great matchup between an ACC hopeful and a Big 12 dark horse. This Week 2 is shaping up to be a sort of postseason preview of sorts with lots of decent cross-conference battles that could turn out to be excellent football games.

14: Oklahoma State at Arizona

59 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 10:30 p.m.

    Oklahoma State's offense looked like it didn't miss a beat with the departure of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon during the offseason. After an 84-point shutout in its season opener, the Cowboys do fans a solid and take on a respectable Pac-12 team in Week 2.

13: Duke at Stanford

60 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 10:30 p.m.

    Why is this game so high on the list? Simply put, Stanford barely scraped by San Jose State in Week 1. Granted, Duke's football program is not as good as San Jose State's, but Stanford still needs to absolutely dominate Duke if the Cardinal plans on doing anything this postseason.

12: Nebraska at UCLA

61 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

    Nebraska faces the UCLA Bruins in Week 2 of 2012. UCLA was a program that was a lot like last year's Denver Broncos of the NFL.

    The Bruins were in a position to be blown out in a conference championship due to the sanctions against USC. (The Broncos were allowed one game too far into the playoffs because the Steelers defense laid an egg against Tim Tebow.)

    This caused the Bruins to look extremely bad in a game they had no business being in in the first place. In 2012, the Bruins are forging ahead. This game against Nebraska will tell them how much work they have ahead of themselves.

11: Iowa State at Iowa

62 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

    Iowa State pulled off a three-point victory in overtime last year. This is an annual cross-conference matchup that looks like it will be very entertaining this year. (That's not always the case with these two teams.)

10: NC State at Connecticut

63 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at Noon

    NC State lost to a good SEC team in Week 1. Another classic cross-conference match is slated for Week 2, with the Wolfpack taking on the UConn Huskies.

9: Maryland at Temple

64 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at Noon

    Temple is entering 2012 with expectations of continued improvement. Maryland has the same idea in mind. Somebody has to lose this game, but there is still a lot of season left after Week 2.

8: Wisconsin at Oregon State

65 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 4 p.m.

    After a sketchy start to 2012 (a 26-21 win over FCS squad Northern Iowa), Wisconsin travels to Oregon State with a much more commanding victory on its wish list. The Beavers intend to bite the Badgers with a signature win of their own.

7: Vanderbilt at Northwestern

66 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m.

    After a hope-inspiring game against a highly-ranked South Carolina unit, Vanderbilt continues the quest toward unprecedented Commodore greatness against Northwestern of the Big Ten. Is Vanderbilt for real, or was South Carolina simply that far out of rhythm?

    Week 2 should give fans that answer.

6: UNC at Wake Forest

67 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m.

    This is the first of the major conference openers on this list.

    UNC and Wake Forest open conference play in Wake Forest on Saturday. After Wake narrowly escaped Liberty by three points, this game does have the risk of being over by halftime. (Luckily, there are plenty of other games to watch, just in case.)

5: Auburn at Mississippi State

68 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at Noon

    Mississippi State hosts Auburn in the first SEC vs. SEC matchup of the day. While this game will likely not determine the national champion (or even the SEC West champion, for that matter), it is a major conference opener and conference play is a sign that the season is about to get rolling.

4: Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

69 of 72

    When: Thursday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m.

    Pittsburgh could make this game completely uninteresting if it isn't careful. The good news for Pitt is that this is the only FBS football game on Thursday, so the likelihood of a channel change is low.

    After the Week 1 performance, the Panthers are looking for some serious redemption, as is the new coach. (Pitt's new coach is one of the many storylines floating around college football in 2012, and eyes will be on him if only out of curiosity.)

3: Purdue at Notre Dame

70 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

    Whether you're a Notre Dame fan, this game will garner at least a sliver of your attention on Saturday. (Even if you're just checking the score during your team's commercial breaks.)

    This is Notre Dame's first test in 2012, and it's Purdue's chance to prove that it's on the right track. A loss for the Irish here would knock them out of the Top 25 and bring the Boilermakers into the bottom of the rankings.

2: Florida at Texas A&M

71 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

    The Aggies missed their season opener due to circumstances beyond their control. This poses a problem for Texas A&M. There are a lot of little things that you learn from your season opener that Florida has learned.

    The great news for the Aggies is that Florida isn't the Florida from 2009 and prior. Texas A&M's first game in its new conference will be a battle, but it is far from a lost cause.

1: Georgia at Missouri

72 of 72

    When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:45 p.m.

    The favorite to win the SEC East travels hundreds of miles to wage war with the new kid on the block. Missouri will attempt to prove that a Big 12 contender can slip right into the SEC and hold its own.

    The Missouri Tigers could contend for a trip to Atlanta in December. A win here would put them on the fast track to representing their division in that conference championship game.