50 Bold Predictions for College Football Week 2
Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
After a blowout-filled opening weekend, we can only hope that Week 2 of the 2012 college football season offers up a few more dramatic games.
At first glance, this weekend's slate isn't exactly filled with many huge, important matchups.
There are no games that feature two teams ranked in the Top 25. However, when you dig deeper, there are definitely a few games that will be worth watching.
Georgia at Missouri, Florida at Texas A&M, Nebraska at UCLA, Auburn at Mississippi State and Oklahoma State at Arizona should all be entertaining contests that could go either way.
With Saturday quickly approaching, it's time to forecast what's going to happen this weekend. Here's a look at 50 predictions for Week 2 of the college football season.
LSU Will Sack Keith Price 5 Times
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
One of the biggest surprises of Week 1 was the fact that LSU's defensive line didn't have any sacks against North Texas.
That will certainly change this week, though.
Defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery, as well as defensive tackles Bennie Logan, Anthony Johnson and Josh Downs, will all be looking to take down Washington QB Keith Price.
The Huskies offensive line ranked 101st in the country with 34 sacks allowed last season, which doesn't bode well for Price, who will also have to deal with the Tigers hunting him throughout the game.
Price may be a great athlete, but even he won't be able to elude Mingo, Montgomery and company.
Florida’s Passing Game Will Improve
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Jeff Driskel's performance in Florida's opening win over Bowling Green certainly wasn't exhilarating. Driskel completed just 10 passes for 114 yards, and he didn't produce many explosive passing plays.
Now that Driskel's gotten a feel for live-game action, though, he should be able to improve his passing numbers when the team takes on Texas A&M in College Station this weekend.
The Aggies ranked 109th in the country in pass defense last season, giving up an average of 276 yards through the air per game. Plus, the team is breaking in three new full-time starters in the secondary this year.
Driskel should have plenty of opportunities to prove that he's got the skills to back up the enormous hype he received coming out of high school.
The 6'4", 237-pound sophomore should finally show off his big arm and be able to push the ball down the field on a more consistent basis against A&M this weekend.
Oklahoma Will Score 10 Touchdowns
Dominique Whaley and Landry Jones
Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE
Everyone expected Oklahoma's offense to come out and light up UTEP's defense in the team's season opener.
The Sooners only managed to score 24 points in what turned out to be a much more difficult game than many were expecting.
After having to deal with criticism for their lackluster performance all week long, QB Landry Jones, WR Kenny Stills, RB Dominique Whaley and the rest of the offense will be looking to pile up the points against a weak Florida A&M team on Saturday.
While clobbering the Rattlers really won't prove anything, look for Oklahoma to still try to send a message by scoring every chance it gets.
Taylor Martinez Will Wow His Home State Fans
Eric Francis/Getty Images
After struggling to find consistency in the passing game during his first two years as a starter, Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez finally looked like a top-level passer against Southern Miss last weekend.
Martinez torched the Golden Eagles secondary in the 49-20 victory, completing 76 percent of his passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns.
The junior signal-caller's 212 passer rating was the fifth-highest in the country, and it indicates that Martinez is ready to become more than just a running quarterback.
The California native will be looking to put together another big performance in Week 2 when he heads back to his home state to square off with UCLA.
If Martinez can put together another big game, he should start to gain buzz as a legitimate Heisman contender.
Michigan Will Play with Something to Prove
Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
Michigan got embarrassed by Alabama 41-14 in front of a national audience on opening weekend.
That's the type of disastrous loss that can either linger with a team or motivate it.
Since the Wolverines have a solid head coach in Brady Hoke and plenty of veteran leadership on both sides of the ball, they should be able to rebound and play much better against Air Force on Saturday.
QB Denard Robinson and the rest of the team will be playing with something to prove in front of their home crowd, and we should see a much better effort out of them in Week 2.
Air Force may have a dangerous rushing weapon in RB Cody Getz, but besides him, the Falcons just simply can't match up with Michigan in terms of overall size, strength and speed.
James Franklin Will Surpass 300 Yards of Total Offense
Dak Dillon-US PRESSWIRE
Missouri's James Franklin is one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks in college football.
After failing to receive much national notoriety for his impressive debut campaign in 2011, Franklin will finally have the chance to prove himself against an SEC-caliber defense this weekend, when the Tigers make their conference debut at home against East division foe Georgia.
The Bulldogs have one of the most talented defenses in the country, but Franklin is the type of playmaking quarterback that could cause plenty of trouble for the highly-touted unit.
The speedy 6'2", 225-pound junior totaled over 300 yards of offense on five different occasions last season, and he has the chance to accomplish that feat once again this Saturday.
Kiehl Frazier Will Throw 3 Interceptions
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Auburn's Kiehl Frazier had one of the worst performances out of any quarterback in the country in Week 1. Frazier completed just 11 passes, threw an interception and was sacked twice in a 26-19 loss to Clemson.
The sophomore signal-caller could be in store for even more trouble this weekend when Auburn makes the trip to Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs secondary features a future top-15 NFL draft pick, CB Johnthan Banks, along with other ball-hawking defensive backs such as Nickoe Whitley and Corey Broomfield.
If Frazier doesn't find a way to improve his accuracy and decision-making, Banks, Broomfield and Whitley will make him pay.
Le’Veon Bell Will Have Fewer Than 20 Carries
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell proved that he's the type of feature back that can carry a heavy workload in the team's 17-13 victory over Boise State.
Bell toted the rock a whopping 44 times for 210 yards and scored both of the team's touchdowns against the Broncos, showing that he's ready to be the MSU's true offensive MVP in 2012.
The Spartans won't need to work the big, powerful 6'2", 244-pound junior nearly as much against Central Michigan this weekend.
The coaching staff realizes that there's still a lot of football left to be played, and they need Bell as fresh as possible for Big Ten competition.
Look for the big back to get his fair share of touches in the first half. However, if the Spartans are cruising with a comfortable lead in the second half, they should give Bell some rest and let Larry Caper see some action.
Johnny Manziel Will Struggle Against Florida’s Secondary
Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
If there was ever a secondary that you wouldn't want a freshman starting quarterback to face in his first game, it's Florida's.
The Gators are loaded with premier playmakers in the defensive backfield, such as safety Matt Elam and cornerbacks Marcus Roberson and Josh Evans.
Florida faced 52 pass attempts in its 27-14 victory over Bowling Green in Week 1, yet the Gators gave up just 25 completions and allowed just 4.3 yards per attempt.
Johnny Manziel may be a talented quarterback with a bright future ahead of him, but he's definitely going to have a tough time finding openings in Florida's pass coverage on Saturday night.
Alfred Blue Will Lead LSU in Rushing
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Kenny Hilliard was LSU's most productive rusher in the Tigers' 41-14 win over North Texas last week, as he ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
Alfred "You're My Boy" Blue had an outstanding performance of his own, though, as he rushed for 123 yards on just 16 carries.
The 6'2", 215-pound junior displayed remarkable speed and explosion for his size.
He seems like he's ready to become a star in 2012.
While Hilliard, and LSU's other top backs Michael Ford and Spencer Ware, will each get their share of the carries against Washington, Blue will be the team's top rusher on Saturday.
USC Will Look Sluggish in the First Half
Lane Kiffin and Matt Barkley
Harry How/Getty Images
It's no secret that West Coast teams can often have trouble adapting to the time difference when they fly across the country to play a game on the East Coast.
We may see that play a role in USC's trip to New Jersey to battle Syracuse at MetLife Stadium.
Don't be surprised if the Trojans come out and have a somewhat sluggish first half on Saturday.
Penn State’s Offense Will Look Even Worse Than It Did in Week 1
Matt McGloin and Bill O'Brien
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Pitiful is a good word to describe how Penn State's offense looked in a scoreless second half of the team's 24-14 loss to Ohio last week.
The Nittany Lions will now try to rebound on the road at Virginia, which will be easier said than done.
The Cavaliers have plenty of defensive difference-makers, including LB Steve Greer, DE Eli Harold and CB Demetrious Nicholson, who will make it tough for Penn State to move the ball on a consistent basis.
The offense just isn't the same without RB Silas Redd and WR Justin Brown, and it looks like it's going to be a tough first season for new coach Bill O'Brien.
David Amerson Will Play Like an All-American
Before the start of the season, N.C. State's David Amerson was being touted as the best eligible cornerback prospect for the 2013 NFL draft.
He certainly didn't resemble anything close to that in the Wolfpack's 35-21 loss to Tennessee, though.
Amerson was burned for two long touchdowns in the first half. Overall, he failed to make the type of impact that you would expect from a cornerback who picked off 13 passes last season.
The 6'3", 194-pound junior will try to redeem himself and prove that he's an All-American-caliber player when N.C. State takes on Connecticut this Saturday.
The preseason projected top-10 NFL draft pick is a lot better than the player we saw last week, and Amerson should be able to shut down the Huskies receivers.
Stepfan Taylor Will Rush for over 200 Yards
Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
Now that star quarterback Andrew Luck has moved on to the NFL, the torch has been passed to RB Stepfan Taylor, who will be in charge of carrying the offense in 2012.
Taylor bailed out the Cardinal in their surprisingly close 20-17 win over San Jose State last week, rushing for 116 yards and a touchdown.
The 5'11", 215-pound senior will likely see a heavy workload in the team's game against Duke this weekend.
Since the Blue Devils defense gave up an average of 4.9 yards per rush last season, it wouldn't be surprising if Taylor ended up breaking the 200-yard rushing mark for the first time in his career on Saturday.
Collin Klein and John Hubert Will Carve Up Miami’s Defense
Collin Klein and John Hubert
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QB Collin Klein and RB John Hubert accounted for 375 of Kansas State's 493 total yards of offense in a 51-9 win over Missouri State last week.
The dynamic backfield duo will be looking to do the same thing to Miami's defense in Week 2.
The Hurricanes are coming off a poor defensive performance in which they gave up 537 yards and 32 points to a Boston College team that ranked dead last in the ACC in both scoring offense and total offense last season.
If Miami's defense doesn't tighten up, Klein and Hubert are going to carve the 'Canes up on Saturday.
Kenjon Barner Will Be the Star of Oregon’s Offense
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QB Marcus Mariota and RB De'Anthony Thomas were the two Oregon offensive players who garnered the most attention after the Ducks demolished Arkansas State 57-34 in Week 1.
However, RB Kenjon Barner had a terrific game as well, as he totaled 74 yards of offense on just 10 touches and scored two touchdowns.
Don't be shocked if Barner is the one who has the biggest performance against Fresno State on Saturday.
The 5'11", 192-pound senior has been waiting three years for his time to shine, and he looks like he's ready to make the most of the opportunity in 2012.
Oregon State Will Hold Montee Ball Under 100 Rushing Yards
Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Wisconsin RB Montee Ball has been held under 100 yards rushing in just four of the last 20 games he's played in. However, Oregon State has the type of defense that could contain Ball this weekend.
The Beavers defensive line features two of the most underrated defensive ends in the country, sophomores Scott Crichton and Dylan Wynn, along with a big run-stuffing defensive tackle, 6'4", 290-pound senior Andrew Seumalo.
Ball only averaged 3.8 yards per carry in the Badgers' 26-21 win over Northern Iowa last week, which is a far cry from the 6.3 yards per carry he averaged in 2011.
It's clear that Wisconsin's three new starting offensive linemen are still getting used to their new full-time roles. They're going to get put to the test by Oregon State's underrated front four on Saturday.
Purdue’s Defense Will Cause Problems for Everett Golson
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Purdue's defense hasn't received a lot of publicity, but the Boilermakers do have some standout playmakers on the defensive side of the ball.
The team's two powerful and explosive defensive tackles, Kawann Short and Bruce Gaston, along with playmaking cornerback Ricardo Allen, are some of the best defenders in the Big Ten this year.
Short, Gaston and Allen could all cause problems for Notre Dame QB Everett Golson, who will be making just his second career start on Saturday.
Golson looked pretty solid against a bad Navy defense last week, but he's going to face a major step up in competition when the Irish host Purdue on Saturday.
Jeff Tuel and Marquess Wilson Will Hook Up for 2 Touchdowns
Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Washington State's offense looked listless and completely ineffective in the team's 30-6 loss to BYU last week.
You can bet that new head coach Mike Leach let his players know that kind of effort will not be tolerated. We should see a more focused and energetic performance from the offense this weekend.
QB Jeff Tuel and WR Marquess Wilson are the two Cougars that have to really step up against Eastern Washington on Saturday.
Tuel and Wilson are both solid players who should finally get on the same page. Expect them to connect for a few long touchdowns against the Eagles.
Western Kentucky Will Score 14 Points
Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE
Given that Alabama just held Michigan to 14 points on a neutral field last week, you would have to figure that the Tide will completely shut down Western Kentucky's offense on Saturday.
That may not necessarily be the case, however, as the team could be saving its best effort for a big game at Arkansas next weekend.
The Hilltoppers have some dangerous playmakers on offense, such as QB Kawaun Jakes, running backs Keshawn Simpson and Antonio Andrews, WR Austin Aikens and TE Jack Doyle.
If the Tide send in the subs early in this likely blowout, it wouldn't be surprising to see Western Kentucky sneak into the end zone a few times in the second half.
UCF Will Scare Ohio State
Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE
Central Florida looks like the early favorite to win the Conference USA championship this season.
The Knights are loaded with athletes on both sides of the ball, and they could potentially put a scare into Ohio State when they visit Columbus this weekend.
The Buckeyes are coming off a blowout win over Miami (Ohio) in Week 1. However, they may now be looking ahead to next week's big nonconference showdown with Cal instead of focusing their full attention on George O'Leary's crew.
UCF is not the type of team you want to overlook. If Ohio State doesn't bring its best effort, this game could be a lot closer than many analysts predict.
Giovani Bernard Will Not Be Stopped
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North Carolina RB Giovani Bernard had a fantastic freshman campaign in 2011, as he rushed for over 1,200 yards, caught 45 passes for 362 yards and scored 14 total touchdowns.
What's so scary is that Bernard looks like he's ready to have an even bigger season in 2012.
Last week, the explosive and versatile offensive weapon totaled 203 all-purpose yards and scored three touchdowns in the team's 62-0 blowout win over Elon.
And he only touched the ball 13 times.
This week, Bernard will look to continue to pile up yards any time he gets the ball in his hands, and it doesn't look like Wake Forest will be able to stop him.
Florida State Will Show Mercy on Savannah State
Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE
Last week, Savannah State proved that it has no business being on the same field as a BCS team. The Tigers got absolutely demolished and embarrassed, losing 84-0 to Oklahoma State.
Florida State could hang 100-plus points on Savannah State if it wanted, but the Seminoles will likely show some mercy on the MEAC team.
Look for QB E.J. Manuel and the rest of the offense to score about seven or eight touchdowns on the Tigers before sending in the backups, in order to at least let the Savannah State players hold on to some of their dignity.
Oklahoma State vs. Arizona Will Be a Shootout
Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
Oklahoma State beat Arizona 37-14 in Stillwater last season. However, this year's game in Tucson should be a lot closer and a lot more high-scoring.
Right now, most Las Vegas books have the over/under for this one hovering around 70 points. With the way these two offenses are set up, though, it wouldn't be surprising if they topped that total before the fourth quarter.
Another FBS School Will Lose to an FCS School
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Four FBS teams—Middle Tennessee State, Idaho, Pittsburgh and Memphis—lost to FCS opponents on opening weekend, and there were a few other teams, like Wisconsin, that survived close scares.
This weekend, teams like Minnesota, Boston College, Washington State, San Jose State, SMU, South Alabama, Buffalo, Colorado State and Western Michigan better be on alert, because there's a good chance that another FCS school could pull off a stunner in Week 2.
Todd Gurley and T.J. Yeldon Will Continue to Be Offensive X-Factors
Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
Georgia RB Todd Gurley and Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon seem like they're going to be two of this year's breakout star freshmen.
Both Gurley and Yeldon played key roles for their respective teams in Week 1.
The two of them combined for 364 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns.
Look for the two freshman backs to follow up their outstanding debuts with two more big performances this weekend.
Markus Wheaton Will Be a Handful for Wisconsin’s Secondary
Jim Z. Rider-US PRESSWIRE
Oregon State WR Markus Wheaton is one of the fastest and most explosive players in all of college football.
Wheaton could certainly be quite a handful for Wisconsin's secondary this weekend.
Badger cornerbacks Marcus Cromartie and Devin Smith better have their hamstrings stretched out, because it's not going to be easy keeping up with the speedy senior receiver.
South Carolina’s Offense Will Produce at a High Level
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South Carolina's offense could only muster up 272 yards of total offense in a 17-13 win over Vanderbilt in Week 1.
The Gamecocks know that type of offensive output isn't going to get them to Atlanta this year.
Look for the offense to produce at a much higher level this week against East Carolina.
Not to make any excuses for the poor showing, but the injury to QB Connor Shaw really hindered the flow and the rhythm of the offense against the Commodores.
If Shaw's healthy and ready to go this week, he and star RB Marcus Lattimore should help the offense be much more efficient and productive against the Pirates.
Andrew Maxwell Will Show Improved Decision-Making
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Michigan State's new starting quarterback Andrew Maxwell experienced a few major bumps in the road during his debut against Boise State.
Maxwell completed just 22 of his 38 passes and threw three bad interceptions in the 17-13 win over the Broncos.
However, it was his first game, and mistakes were obviously to be expected.
Maxwell should learn from his struggles and play much better against Central Michigan on Saturday.
The 6'3", 212-pound junior is a former 4-star recruit. He is just as talented as his predecessor, Kirk Cousins.
Maxwell has the skills to succeed. He just needs to get used to game action and learn that you can't make every throw. Sometimes it's just better to throw it away instead of forcing a pass into coverage.
Bjoern Werner Will Dominate Again
Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE
Before the season started, I said that Florida State's Bjoern Werner was the best underclassman defensive end prospect available for the 2013 NFL draft.
So far, Werner looks like he's ready to live up to that label.
Werner had four sacks and five tackles for loss in the Seminoles' season opener last week.
Admittedly, it came against a weak and overmatched Murray State offensive line, but that's still an extremely impressive performance.
Look for the ferocious and powerful edge-rusher to once again spend most of his time in the backfield this week when Florida State takes on Savannah State.
Louisiana Tech Will Light Up Houston
Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Things certainly aren't looking all that great for Houston right now.
The Cougars are coming off an embarrassing loss to first-year FBS member Texas State in Week 1.
It seems as if the team is dealing with some internal turmoil, which isn't a good sign, especially since it has a game with Louisiana Tech coming up.
The Bulldogs are one of the most talented non-BCS teams in the country this season.
With players like QB Colby Cameron and receivers Quinton Patton and Myles White, they have the type of offensive firepower to really light up a team like Houston.
Johnathan Franklin Will Continue to Impress
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin had the third-highest rushing total of Week 1, as he gained 214 yards on the ground in a 49-24 win over Rice.
Franklin hasn't received much attention outside of the Pac-12 during his career.
Still, over the last two years, he was one of the most consistent and productive rushers in the country, compiling over 2,100 yards on the ground and scoring 14 touchdowns.
The 5'11", 195-pound senior should start to receive the recognition he deserves if he keeps up the pace he's set early on this season.
The talented Bruin back has the chance to make a big statement in a spotlight game against Nebraska this weekend, and he should rise to the occasion.
Maryland Will Get Embarrassed by Temple Again
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
After barely beating William & Mary 7-6 at home in Week 1, Maryland looks like the early front-runner to be the worst BCS team in college football this season.
Last year, the Terrapins were embarrassed by Temple 38-7 on their home field, and the same thing is going to happen again in Philadelphia this year.
The Owls have a stout defense, led by DT John Youboty, LB Nate Smith and safety Justin Gildea.
Plus, they have one of the most underrated running backs in college football, Matt Brown, who should really enjoy attacking Maryland's depleted defense.
Illinois vs. Arizona State Will Be Worth Staying Up For
Arizona State Sun Devils
Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE
This week's late game is Illinois at Arizona State, which kicks off at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Although both teams are unranked and don't figure to be in contention in either of their respective conferences this year, this game still has the potential to be one of the best matchups of the weekend.
First-year coaches Tim Beckman and Todd Graham will both be looking to make a statement in the nationally televised game, and there should be a lot of intensity in Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday night.
USC Will Beat Syracuse
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
It may take a quarter, or even a half, for the USC players to adjust to playing in the East Coast time zone. However, the Trojans will eventually prove their superiority over a mediocre Syracuse team.
The Orange won't be a pushover like Hawaii, though.
Syracuse has a veteran quarterback in Ryan Nassib, a reliable receiver in Alec Lemon and a bunch of tough and intelligent defensive players, like linebackers Dyshawn Davis and Marquis Spruill and safety Shamarko Thomas.
In the end, though, USC just has too much talent on offense with QB Matt Barkley, running backs Curtis McNeal and Silas Redd and wide receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods.
It could be interesting for a half, but ultimately the Trojans will pull away and prove their dominance in front of the crowd at MetLife Stadium.
Prediction: USC 48, Syracuse 17
Nevada Will Beat South Florida
Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
If you don't know the name Cody Fajardo already, you will after this weekend.
Fajardo led Nevada to a huge 31-24 road win over Cal in Week 1, and he's going to guide the Wolf Pack to their second straight win over a BCS opponent in Week 2.
South Florida has to fly across country to Reno to take on one of the most underrated teams in the country.
The Bulls have more overall athleticism and speed on both sides of the ball, but Chris Ault's squad is the more fundamentally sound and better-coached team.
If Nevada can beat BCS opponents in back-to-back weeks, you should begin to hear the argument about why the Wolf Pack belong in the Top 25.
Prediction: Nevada 33, South Florida 20
Iowa Will Beat Iowa State
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Iowa has won 21 of the last 29 meetings against in-state rival Iowa State. The Hawkeyes are about to make that 22 of the last 30.
Kirk Ferentz's squad will have revenge on its mind after losing to the Cyclones 44-41 last year.
QB James Vandenberg, RB Damon Bullock and receivers Keenan Davis and Kevonte Martin-Manley will get their payback on Saturday.
However, Iowa State has the kind of tough, physical players, like RB Shontrelle Johnson and linebackers A.J. Klein and Jake Knott, to make this one interesting.
In the end, though, Iowa has the home-field advantage, the revenge factor and more total playmakers on both offense and defense.
Prediction: Iowa 28, Iowa State 17
Virginia Will Beat Penn State
Kevin Parks and Mike London
Geoff Burke/Getty Images
This game has all the makings of an ugly, grind-it-out, low-scoring affair.
The bottom line is Penn State's offense is just not very good, and it's hard to see the Nittany Lions making enough plays on the road to beat an underrated team like Virginia.
The running back duo of Perry Jones and Kevin Parks will hammer away at a Nittany Lion defense that showed a lack of conditioning last week.
Ultimately, the Cavaliers will be able to wear them down and come away with a tough, hard-fought victory at home.
Prediction: Virginia 20, Penn State 6
Vanderbilt Will Beat Northwestern
Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE
If it wasn't for a missed pass-interference call, Vanderbilt very well could have pulled off the biggest upset of Week 1 by beating South Carolina.
Instead, the Commodores are now 0-1 and still searching for their first victory.
One thing's for sure, though: This is not the same Vanderbilt team we've grown accustomed to seeing over the last decade.
James Franklin has changed the attitude and the mindset within the program. It also helps that he's got talented offensive playmakers such as QB Jordan Rodgers, RB Zac Stacy and WR Jordan Matthews at his disposal.
Look for that dangerous offensive trio to go into Northwestern and help lead the Commodores to their first victory of the season on Saturday.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 34, Northwestern 23
Notre Dame Will Beat Purdue
Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE
Notre Dame better be careful on Saturday, because this Purdue team has some legitimate athletes and speed on both sides of the ball.
New starting quarterback Everett Golson doesn't have to win the game by himself, but he also can't afford to make any critical mistakes.
If the Irish can avoid any momentum-shifting turnovers, they should be able to control the game with running backs Theo Riddick and George Atkinson III and wear down Purdue's defense over the course of four quarters.
Prediction: Notre Dame 26, Purdue 17
Kansas State Will Beat Miami
Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
Many initially considered Kansas State's 28-24 win over Miami early in the 2011 season to be an upset.
However, we came to learn over the course of the season that the Wildcats were clearly the better team, as they went on to win 10 games and rank in the Top 15.
This year's game won't be as close as that four-point outcome.
QB Collin Klein and RB John Hubert are a dangerous duo, and Miami's defense just doesn't have enough talent in its front seven to slow them down.
Prediction: Kansas State 37, Miami 23
Wisconsin Will Beat Oregon State
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
Wisconsin has been known for having meltdowns on the road in recent years.
In fact, during Bret Bielema's six years as head coach, the Badgers are just 16-12 in true road games.
This weekend's trip to Oregon State has trap game written all over it, which is why Bielema better have his team focused and ready to play.
Oregon State has a dangerous passing combination in QB Sean Mannion and WR Markus Wheaton.
Ultimately, though, Wisconsin will prove to be just too strong in the trenches, and that will be the deciding factor.
Prediction: Wisconsin 32, Oregon State 20
Ohio State Will Beat UCF
Rob Leifheit-US PRESSWIRE
Central Florida has enough athleticism on both sides of the ball to make this game more interesting than it looks on paper. The Knights should be able to stick with Ohio State into the second half.
Eventually, though, the Buckeyes' size and strength advantage will come into play, and dynamic dual-threat quarterback Braxton Miller will be able to make enough plays to get the "W."
Prediction: Ohio State 40, UCF 27
Connecticut Will Beat N.C. State
Danny Wild-US PRESSWIRE
N.C. State QB Mike Glennon didn't even look like a starting-caliber quarterback against Tennessee, much less the potential NFL draft pick that many think he can be.
Glennon's four interceptions were obviously troubling, and what's even more concerning is that he'll now have to get over his turnover woes on the road against a tough and talented UConn defense.
The Huskies have many defensive playmakers, including DE Trevardo Williams, linebackers Yawin Smallwood, Sio Moore and Jory Johnson and cornerbacks Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Dwayne Gratz.
That group should be able to keep the Wolfpack in check.
If Connecticut RB Lyle McCombs can put together a strong day on the ground, N.C. State will be in a lot of trouble.
Prediction: Connecticut 27, N.C. State 23
Nebraska Will Beat UCLA
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez will play in his home state of California for just the second time ever in his college career on Saturday, and you can bet that Martinez will be looking to put on a show.
UCLA has playmakers on defense to make things interesting, including DE Datone Jones, LB Eric Kendricks and safety Tevin McDonald.
However, Martinez's motivation will eventually prove to be the difference in this one.
Prediction: Nebraska 45, UCLA 27
Arizona Will Beat Oklahoma State
Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
All right, I have to pick at least one Top 25 team to fall this week, and that team is Oklahoma State.
Sure, the Cowboys may have just embarrassed Savannah State by 84 points, but that means absolutely nothing. That game shouldn't even be counted as an exhibition.
Now, it's time to see how freshman quarterback Wes Lunt and the rest of the 'Pokes handle a quality opponent on the road.
Oklahoma State may have the best player on the field, RB Joseph Randle, but Arizona's Matt Scott looks like the type of quarterback who's got some magic up his sleeve this season.
Prediction: Arizona 48, Oklahoma State 41
Mississippi State Will Beat Auburn
Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
Mississippi State looks like it could be a team to watch out for in 2012, while Auburn looks like a team that has some major flaws to fix on both sides of the ball.
Auburn QB Kiehl Frazier isn't a starting-caliber quarterback right now, and the Bulldogs have the type of experienced playmakers in the defensive backfield to expose his weaknesses.
Mississippi State QB Tyler Russell, on the other hand, looks like he really soaked up Dan Mullen's tutelage over the offseason. He seems like the perfect player to lead Mullen's potentially explosive offensive attack.
The Tigers have won 10 out of the last 11 meetings, but the most recent games in this series have usually been decided by less than a touchdown.
The Bulldogs are finally ready to break through this year and take down Auburn in front of a cowbell-clanging crowd at Davis Wade Stadium.
Prediction: Mississippi State 30, Auburn 20
LSU Will Beat Washington
Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
I'm a big fan of Washington QB Keith Price. Personally, I think he's one of the best players in college football.
The problem is, I'm not a fan of any quarterback that has to go up against LSU's defense in Death Valley at night, because that's just a recipe for disaster.
Price has the explosive arm talent to make a few big plays, but the Huskies just don't have anywhere near the talent on defense to stay in a game with the Tigers on the road.
If LSU plays like it's capable of, this game will get ugly.
Prediction: LSU 56, Washington 24
Georgia Will Beat Missouri
Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE
Missouri QB James Franklin is the type of elite dual-threat quarterback who could cause headaches for any defense in college football. He should have a big day against Georgia's defense.
The Tigers have enough talent on defense to compete with the Bulldogs and keep QB Aaron Murray and the rest of their offense contained. However, the big difference-maker might just be freshman RB Todd Gurley.
If Gurley is really as good as advertised, he should lead Georgia to a hard-fought victory on the road against a dangerous Missouri team.
Prediction: Georgia 31, Missouri 27
Florida Will Beat Texas A&M
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
It's a bit strange that the marquee matchup of Week 2 features two teams that won just six regular-season games each last season.
However, both Florida and Texas A&M are better this year than their 2011 records would lead you to believe.
The Gators have one of the most talented defenses in the nation, and they have the type of playmakers in the front seven who will really cause a lot of stress for the Aggies' new freshman quarterback, Johnny Manziel.
However, Manziel has one of the best offensive lines in the country, led by future first-round NFL draft picks Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews, to protect him.
Plus, he has plenty of help at the skill positions with RB Christine Michael and receivers Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu.
Still, asking Manziel to pick apart a defense the caliber of Florida's in his first-ever collegiate start is simply asking too much.
Prediction: Florida 33, Texas A&M 23