College Football Predictions Week 2: Ranked Teams on Upset Alert

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 6, 2013

COLUMBIA, SC - AUGUST 29:  Jadeveon Clowney #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels 27-10 at Williams-Brice Stadium on August 29, 2013 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Week 2 of the college football season has a lot to live up to after an exciting Week 1, but there are some intriguing matchups involving ranked teams that could end with an upset result.

The Georgia Bulldogs were the most notable team to be upset last week. Although Georgia's loss was to a talented Clemson Tigers squad, the Bulldogs high hopes for the 2013 season were dashed in a moment thanks to one bad game.

And that's all it takes in college football, which makes every single gameeven against lesser opponentsimpossible to take lightly.

Let's take a look at some teams who are in danger of being upset in Week 2.


No. 23 Baylor Bears (vs. Buffalo Bulls)

The Bulls gave an inspiring effort against the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes in Week 1, but they fell short in their attempt to pull off an epic upset. Instead, the Bulls lost 40-20 but not before exposing some weaknesses in the Buckeyes' game.

Baylor had a much easier time in its season opener. Against the lowly Wofford Terriers, the Bears dropped 69 points on their opponents and compiled nearly 700 yards of total offense.

The Bears likely won't have such an easy time against Buffalo as the Bulls held the Buckeyes to just 244 yards during the final three quarters after falling behind 23-0. Quite a valiant effort for a road team against an elite opponent.

Despite a highly-touted Ohio St. defense, the Bulls' quarterback, Joe Licata, was 19-of-32 passing for 185 yards with two touchdowns and one pick. Licata didn't have much support from his rushing attack after running back Branden Oliver totaled just 73 yards at 2.8 yards per run, but those numbers figure to improve against a Baylor defense that is still suspect despite a strong finish to 2012.

The last meeting between these two squads was in 2010 with Baylor winning 34-6. However, this year's Buffalo squad looks to be much improved, and it stands a great chance to continue turning heads with a win over Baylor.


No. 6 South Carolina Gamecocks (at No. 11 Georgia Bulldogs)

The luster quickly came off of the Bulldogs season after losing to Clemson in Week 1, while the Gamecocks have nothing but big expectations after starting off the season 1-0. But as quickly as Georgia's hopes were dashed, the same can happen to South Carolina in Week 2.

South Carolina looked sluggish to say the least against the North Carolina Tar Heels last week. Star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney looked out of shape, and quarterback Connor Shaw was less than impressive after completing 11-of-20 passes for one touchdown, good enough for a QBR of 43.3.

On top of that, the Tar Heels were able to compile almost 300 yards of total offense, including 194 from the arm of Bryn Renner and a combined 108 yards between running backs Romar Morris (69) and A.J. Blue (37). In total, the two North Carolina backs averaged 4.6 yards per carry.

If the Gamecocks want to start the season 2-0, they must play far better than their Week 1 performance on both sides of the ball.

For the defense, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and running back Todd Gurley are two of the best at their respective positions in the college game and are a major upgrade from what South Carolina faced last week.

Steve Spurrier's squad must pull their heads out of the sand in this contest or else it'll be back to .500 for South Carolina.


No. 14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (at No. 17 Michigan Wolverines)

While it wouldn't be considered a major upset if the Irish were to lose to the Wolverines, the polls have Notre Dame as the better team, making this an upset situation. The Irish will have a tough task ahead of them going into Ann Arbor against a much better squad than they faced in Week 1.

Notre Dame's defense did surrender just one touchdown in its previous contest, but that was to a Temple Owls team without much talent. The Irish allowed 362 yards of total offense to the Owls, including 134 on the ground to the tune of 4.6 yards per carry.

Michigan brings many more weapons to the table this week, with quarterback Devin Gardner's ability to hurt Notre Dame with his arm and legs, as well as great depth in the running back department with Derrick Green and Fitzgerald Toussaint.

So with their ability to air it out and pound the rock, the Wolverines will be able to put some points on the board. It remains to be seen if the Irish can match that production if their defense isn't up to par.

Granted, Tommy Rees and the Irish offense looked solid after compiling 543 yards of total offense against Temple, but again that was against much lesser competition.

Notre Dame has been considered a bit overrated this season, and its matchup with Michigan could prove that. The Irish are 1-6 in their last seven games in Ann Arbor, so Notre Dame's hopes of staying undefeated are not looking good.