The 10 Tastiest Cupcake Games of College Football Week 2
The early college football season is all about conference schedules and Alabama vs. Michigan and positioning yourself for a BCS run.
Often, it's all about fattening up for the grueling test of the late season, packing on those calories that are so hard to come by in the midst of October and November.
We're talking, of course, about those delicious cupcake games that have become the norm in college football these days.
Last week's 67.5-point spread between Oklahoma State and Savannah State may have been the biggest pastry of the 2012 season, but don't think the college football bakers don't have some fluff in store for your Week 2 sugar fix.
Here are the 10 games of the upcoming college football schedule that will easily satisfy your team's “need” for some empty calories.
New Mexico at No. 19 Texas
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There's nothing quite like loading up on some regional cupcakes, especially if you're a nationally recognized program looking to reassert yourself after a few years in the doldrums.
Texas is anxiously trying to get back in the Big 12 hunt after a couple of seasons of irrelevancy in the conference.
We're pretty sure a win over New Mexico—which is 3-33 over the last three seasons—is going to help much, just like Texas's 37-14 win over Wyoming last week didn't do much for the Longhorns' poll numbers (Texas stayed put at No. 19).
But starting out 2-0 is a lot better than running your engine to the red line early, right?
Missouri State at No. 24 Louisville
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After knocking off Kentucky for the second year in a row, the Cardinals cracked the Top 25, coming in at the No. 24 spot.
Kentucky is so bad, the Wildcats are conveniently forgotten by SEC-philes in their “everyone is our conference is better than everyone in your conference” arguments.
But as bad as Kentucky is, Louisville will get even less fight out of the Missouri State Bears.
The Bears do reside in perhaps the toughest FCS conference in the nation—the Missouri Valley Football Conference—but they haven't been successful there.
One might even go so far as to call Missouri State the Kentucky of the MVFC.
The Bears were 2-9 in 2011, and are coming off a 51-9 drubbing at the hands of Kansas State.
Louisville will start 2-0 for the first time since 2007.
Central Florida at No. 15 Ohio State
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There are plenty of creative names for this game: “NCAA Sanctions Game,” “Lack of Institutional Control Classic” or “Bowl Ban Bowl.”
No matter what you call it, we're going to see a pair of teams that are limited to 12 games in 2012 as both Ohio State and Central Florida are ineligible for the postseason this year.
But while Ohio State is a large enough program to maintain a very high level of competition through sanctions, Central Florida is not.
Things are going to be rough for the Golden Knights in the Horseshoe on Saturday, and while this may not be the game with the most saturated fat, it certainly should be a delicious treat for the Buckeyes.
Ball State at No. 12 Clemson
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The trick for No. 12 Clemson has always seemed to be avoiding the big letdown.
With such high expectations early in the season, that's the case again in 2012. But Tigers fans need not worry too much about Week 2 as Clemson welcomes lowly Ball State to town.
The Cardinals just haven't been the same program since Brady Hoke left town following the 2008 season, where Ball State started 12-0 and cracked the Top 25.
Ball State followed that up with a 2-10 season, and has been struggling to return to bowl eligibility ever since (the Cardinals were eligible last season at 6-6, but were not selected for a bowl game).
Clemson, on the other hand, is doing all it can to get that nasty taste of last season's Orange Bowl out of its mouth.
And a Ball State-flavored cupcake may just do the trick.
Clemson was impressive in its 26-19 victory over Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic last weekend, and Ball State is no Auburn. The Tigers should have no problem in this one, and there will be plenty of cream filling to go around for the stat sheets.
No. 10 Michigan State at Central Michigan
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Yes, Sparty has cracked the Top 10 after an (at times) impressive win over then-No. 23 and perennial opening week AQ-team slayer Boise State.
Now, curiously, the Spartans hit the road for their Week 2 cupcake game against Central Michigan.
Apparently, Michigan State, ever the magnanimous institution looking to avoid becoming the arrogant type of winner, signed a decade-long agreement with the three Michigan MAC members (Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan) to not only play 12 games against the MAC programs over the next 10 years, but to do so once on each of the campuses of the MAC schools—something Michigan State hasn't done since 1899 when Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State) defeated Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan), 18-0 in Ypsilanti.
The first of such visits is this Saturday in Mount Pleasant against Central Michigan.
Both teams are a long way off from where they were in 2009 when CMU waltzed into Spartan Stadium and upset MSU.
Michigan State has won 22 games in the two seasons since—most among Big Ten teams over that span—while Central Michigan has posted just six combined wins since that magical 2009 season which saw the Chippewas finish 12-2.
Last week, Central Michigan even had trouble holding off Southeast Missouri State, requiring a 38-27 fourth-quarter comeback win after trailing for practically the entire game.
It may be a victory for Central to get MSU to come and play in Kelly/Shorts Stadium, but that will be the only victory the Chips get on Saturday.
Austin Peay at No. 17 Virginia Tech
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After escaping a scare by Georgia Tech on Monday, the Hokies sure could use a little fluff for their short turnaround this week.
Lucky for them, it's Austin Peay coming to town!
The Austin Peay Governors are notoriously bad, and haven't sniffed the FCS playoffs since, well, forever.
This perennial doormat of the Ohio Valley Conference is fresh off of a 49-10 beatdown at the hands of FBS doormat Western Kentucky, and Virginia Tech is heads and shoulders—on stilts—above Western Kentucky.
This game is so full of sugar, the Hokies will be flying high by halftime.
Presbyterian at Georgia Tech
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When searching for FCS opponents, you don't have to go too far out of your way to find bad ones down South. The South just isn't the football power in the FCS that it is in the FBS.
But to find the truly terrible, you have to do a bit of searching—and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have done just that.
The Yellow Jackets need a little pick-me-up after literally throwing away the game against Virginia Tech in overtime on Monday.
The comfort food of choice this weekend will be the Presbyterian Blue Hose.
Yes, Blue Hose, as in the stockings worn by a Scotsman in full Gaelic dress.
As socks don't really instill a sense of fear—or pride for that matter—it's probably not surprising the Presbyterian College hasn't won many games of late.
What's more, Presbyterian is a brand spanking new FCS program, having made the jump from Division II in 2007. And the Hose weren't much better in Division II, making the playoffs but once, in 2005, losing in the first round.
The Yellow Jackets should enjoy the sweet nectar of this cupcake, and keep an eye on some of those rushing yard records!
Florida A&M at No. 6 Oklahoma
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The Oklahoma Sooners are eager to erase the memories of last season, coming up woefully short of preseason expectations.
A great way to do that is to start the season with a couple of sleepwalking wins over teams like UTEP and this week's tasty treat, Florida A&M.
The Rattlers aren't a bad FCS program, per se, but Florida A&M hasn't earned a playoff berth since 2001. About the only noteworthy story to come out of FAMU over the past decade has been the hazing death involving its famous “Marching 100” marching band.
There will be no massive upset on this Saturday, as FAMU not only plays one of the top teams in the FBS, but does so in a notoriously difficult environment.
And you can bet that the folks in Norman have the oven already preheated.
Savannah State at No. 5 Florida State
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We were going to put this game on the top of our Week 2 tasty cupcake countdown list, but after last week's performance by Alabama, we're reserving that spot for the Crimson Tide and their hapless opponent for Saturday.
Instead, we find the fattening Florida State Seminoles in the No. 2 spot on our countdown.
Why so high? A couple of reasons. First, we saw how much Savannah State can really accomplish, or rather not accomplish against top FBS teams last week.
The Tigers actually failed to prevent Oklahoma State from covering the massive, record-setting 67.5-point spread. We know Oklahoma State has a good offense, but the Pokes also pitched a shutout against Savannah State.
Now on to our second reason: This is the second FCS team Florida State has faced already this season.
We know there are excuses as to why Florida State had to schedule Savannah State after already having Murray State on the schedule, but seriously? Somehow Florida State was unable to convince some Sun Belt or MAC program to come and take a bludgeoning?
When Florida State wins this game, not only will the Seminoles be approaching a diabetic coma from all the early-season cream puffs, but it will put Florida State on track to become the last program in the Top 10 to actually become bowl eligible this season.
Since only one game against FCS opponents counts towards bowl eligibility, the Seminoles can't officially become bowl eligible until they reach their seventh win of the season (October 13 against Boston College will be the earliest opportunity).
In reality, this game will tell us two things we've already seen in this very young season: Savannah State can't hang with the FBS programs and Florida State is fully capable of running up the score against a team with 63 scholarships.
Western Kentucky at No. 2 Alabama
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OK, so this game would have likely made our list no matter what had happened between Alabama and Michigan last weekend.
But since the Crimson Tide showed that they are a cut about the rest of the nation with last week's thumping of the Wolverines, we just couldn't resist featuring this as our cupcake of the week.
Alabama had absolutely no problem dispatching Michigan, and Western Kentucky is no Michigan.
The Hilltoppers joined the FBS as a full-time member in 2008. They won two games that season, both against FCS programs.
In 2009, WKU went 0-12. In 2010, again won just two games, but thankfully against FBS opponents this time (although they were both Sun Belt programs).
Last season, the Hilltoppers finally broke through—sort of—to put together a decent 7-5 season. But they still have yet to beat any program from a BCS AQ conference, and those seven wins weren't enough to attract any bowl offers (WKU has trouble putting fans in the seats).
While it's beginning to look like Western Kentucky is emerging from the fog of FBS transition, the program is still a long, long, long way off from coming anywhere close to competing with an AQ program, much less one from the SEC.
If Alabama can knock off a Top 10 team like Michigan by a score of 41-14, what will the margin of victory be against Western Kentucky?
At least Alabama isn't playing a team from the FCS. That giant, cream-filled, sugar-coated, frosting-topped cupcake will have to wait until Alabama's November 17 date with Western Carolina.
Still, WKU's inferiority compared to Alabama is more than enough to make this game the tastiest cupcake of Week 2.