Games to Watch: The Second Week of College Football

Bryan FlynnAnalyst ISeptember 10, 2009

The first week of the season had plenty of surprises and one major upset. Oklahoma not only lost to BYU but the Sooners have been plagued by injuries so far this season.

The Sooners should get a break in week two playing Idaho State at home. That is as long as Oklahoma can get through the game without losing any more players.

Week two of the college football season has coaches potentially on the hot seat and some possible upsets and trap games.  There is a ton of games with interesting possibilities this weekend.

So without further ado here are the games to watch this week.


Thursday Night

Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

The Tigers head to Atlanta with a short week of practice to take on the triple option of Georgia Tech. Both teams are coming off easy opening week wins.

Who Needs the Win More: Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets hope to contend for the ACC title this season. Clemson could be a solid team and maybe earn a bowl bid. After last week the ACC needs a dominant team to point to. If Georgia Tech is going to win their division they need to win this game.


Friday Night

Colorado Buffaloes vs. Toledo Rockets

Both teams are coming in to this game looking for their first win of 2009. The Rockets lost to Purdue. Colorado got upset at home by in-state rival Colorado State.

Who Needs the Win More: Colorado

After losing the first game of the year, Dan Hawkins needs a win to start pulling himself off the hot seat. Another loss could be the end of the Hawkins era at Colorado.


Saturday and Saturday Night

Syracuse Orange vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State rolled over Akron the opening week and Syracuse pushed Minnesota to overtime. The Orange could push the Lions at home. This might not be the same Syracuse team we have seen the last few years.

Who Needs the Win More: Penn State

The Big 10 had near upsets in several games and a chance for the conference to make a statement nationally the Nittany Lions cannot catch up the upset bug. Penn State has Big 10 title hopes and BCS dreams; they cannot overlook the Orange.


North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Connecticut Huskies

The Tar Heels are one of two ranked teams in the ACC that did not lose their opening game. The ACC is looking to rebound after a tough first week. Connecticut gets to make a statement for a Big East conference.

Who Needs the Win More: North Carolina

The ACC cannot afford to have any more ranked teams lose. The conference as a whole took a hit last weekend. The Tar Heels could be setup for a trap game on the road against the Huskies.


Stanford Cardinal vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Stanford put a beat down on Washington State to open the season. Wake Forest came up short against Baylor after a late rally. Wake Forest looks to rebound and Stanford hopes to keep rolling.

Who Needs the Win More: Both

The Cardinal need every win they can get to become bowl eligible, especially with the Pac-10 looking tougher this season. Wake Forest needs the win so they do not fall to 0-2 before conference play starts. The Demon Deacons get a slight extra nod in the need category.


Duke Blue Devils vs. Army Cadets

Duke lost to FCS team Richmond last week at home. The Cadets won against Eastern Michigan. Duke is looking to rebound and Army has to win since it has no conference schedule to depend for a bowl bid.

Who Needs the Win More: Duke

After losing to Richmond in the opening game, David Cutcliffe has to be on the hot seat. Another loss could put an end to Cutcliffe’s time on Tobacco Road. The Blue Devils have to win.


Fresno State Bulldogs vs. Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin struggled to put away Northern Illinois in a first game win. Fresno State wants to make a statement that they are not going to let Boise State be the only BCS buster.

Who Needs the Win More: Fresno State

The Bulldogs need to win to help their own chances to be a BCS buster. A Fresno State win would help the WAC get some respect and also not be seen as just a one team conference.


Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Iowa State Cyclones

The Cyclones rolled over North Dakota State in their opener. The Hawkeyes needed to block two field goals in the final seconds to beat Northern Iowa. Two questions: did Iowa overlook Northern Iowa? Or are they that good?

Who Needs the Win More: Iowa

Iowa needs to win and win big on the road. After nearly being upset at home in the first game of the season, Hawkeyes fans have to be worried. If Iowa State wins this game, Iowa could be in for a tough season in the Big 10.


Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Buffalo Bulls

The Bulls went on the road to beat a good UTEP team. Pittsburgh handled an over matched Youngstown State Team. Buffalo was a bowl team last season as the MAC champion.

Who Needs the Win More: Pittsburgh

The Panthers might have their best chance to be a BCS team this season with several teams in the Big East rebuilding. Pittsburgh cannot overlook the Bulls in Buffalo. The Bulls would love to have a big win against one of the BCS conferences.


Texas Longhorns vs. Wyoming Cowboys

Both the Cowboys and the Longhorns both won their opening games. This could be an upset if Texas looks ahead to next week’s revenge game against Texas Tech. Wyoming has beaten teams from a BCS conference. Just ask Ole Miss.

Who Needs the Win More: Texas

The Longhorns will be on the road against a team they should beat. If they get caught up thinking about getting revenge on Texas Tech they could be in a dog fight. Texas and Oklahoma State are in the driver’s seat in the Big-12 South with all the injuries to Oklahoma. They do not need to slip up against a team they should beat.


BYU Cougars vs. Tulane Green Wave

After getting a big win over Oklahoma on a neutral field, BYU is the best bet so far to be a BCS buster. Tulane got a beat down from Tulsa at home. The Green Wave gets a chance to ruin the BCS dream.

Who Needs the Win More: BYU

BYU has to avoid two things this week. The first is a letdown after the big win over Oklahoma. The other thing is overlooking Tulane with a date at home against Florida State up next. The Cougars have to keep focused on their goal and not overlook any team on the schedule.


TCU Horned Frogs vs. Virginia Cavaliers

This is the first game of the year for TCU who has dreams of being a BCS team later this season. Virginia on the other hand lost to FCS team William and Mary. The Cavaliers added to the ACC’s bad opening week with the loss.

Who Needs the Win More: Both

If TCU wants to be a BCS team they will have to finish the season undefeated. They cannot afford to drop this game and make it. Al Groh has to be on the hot seat at Virginia after the loss to William and Mary. The Cavaliers could go a long way to helping Groh keep his job by beating a ranked team.


Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Michigan Wolverines

The Irish and the Wolverines both won big in week one. This game is the appetizer to a great main course later Saturday. Both teams want to reestablish their place at the top of college football. Michigan rallied behind Rich Rodriguez in week one. Notre Dame could be fighting to save Charlie Weis' job all season long.

Who Needs the Win More: Notre Dame

Rich Rod could use the win after taking some heat this offseason and a week before the season started. Weis needs the win more. The Fighting Irish might have to win 10 games to keep Weis in a job and a loss early could seal his fate. The Irish have to keep winning to save their coach.


East Carolina Pirates vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

The Pirates beat a good Appalachian State team to open the season. West Virginia struggled to get past Liberty. This is a rematch of a great game last season. The Pirates upset West Virginia in Pat White’s senior year.

Who Needs the Win More: Both

East Carolina is thought to be the best team in C-USA and they have high hopes this season. A win over the Mountaineers on the road could go a long way. West Virginia wants to prove it is not headed for a setback after the graduation of White. Both these teams would like to grab a big “W."


UCLA Bruins vs. Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee started slowly but in the end blew out Western Kentucky. UCLA won at home over San Diego State. Last season UCLA upset the Vols for a big win early in the season and started the grumblings that ended Phillip Fulmer's time as head coach.

Who Needs the Win More: Both

If UCLA wants to be a bowl team they need to win as many games as they can. If the Bruins want to recruit against USC, two straight wins over Tennessee will go a long way. The Vols have to play Florida next and will want to feel good about themselves before that game. Another loss to UCLA could get the Tennessee fans grumbling again.


James Madison Dukes vs. Maryland Terrapins

Maryland went to California only to get blown out by the Bears. The time-zone difference could have been a factor. The Dukes have spent the whole offseason getting ready for this game. James Madison is ranked sixth in the FCS polls heading into this game.

Who Needs the Win More: Maryland

After the ACC lost two games against FCS teams in the opening week, Maryland cannot afford to lose to another FCS team. The Terrapins cannot afford to fall to 0-2 in the season and a second loss would put Ralph Friedgen on his way out the door.


Vanderbilt Commodores vs. LSU Tigers

Vandy and LSU both won their opening game. The 'Dores won in a rout while LSU had a hard time putting Washington away. The Tigers played in their longest road trip ever and the long trip and the time zone could be why LSU struggled.

Who Needs the Win More: Both

LSU needs to show that they are back on top of their game after the poor showing against Washington. The 'Dores need every win they can get to reach the magic number of six. LSU needs to win the first conference game of the season so they do not fall behind Ole Miss and Alabama early.


South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Georgia Bulldogs

South Carolina had a hard time scoring points but got a win over North Carolina State on the road. Georgia fell on the road against a very good Oklahoma State team. This is the first conference game for both teams in the tough SEC.

Who Needs the Win More: Georgia

Both teams need a win but Georgia does not want to lose the first two games of the season. Rumors are that the starting quarterback could be out for Georgia, making a win all that more important. South Carolina would love to get a win over Georgia either way.


Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Auburn Tigers

The Bulldogs and the Tigers opened the season with a win. This will be the first SEC game for both coaches. Auburn took a lot of heat over their coaching hire and State fans could not be happier.

Who Needs the Win More: Auburn

The Tigers can help their coach out by starting the season out 2-0. The Bulldogs are a rebuilding project and will not be a factor in the SEC race. Auburn thinks they have a bowl ready team on the plains. A loss to Miss. State could put that in jeopardy early.


Air Force Falcons vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Air Force won big over Nickels State in their first game of the season. Minnesota needed overtime to get past Syracuse. On a weekend the Big 10 can make a statement every Big 10 team needs to show up with wins.

Who Needs the Win More: Minnesota

The Gophers open their new stadium in this game. Minnesota needs to show progress after a slow start in their first game. The Gophers need a big game if they are going to be a factor in the Big 10.


USC Trojans vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

This is the main event of the weekend. The Trojans won big against San Jose State to open their season. The Buckeyes ran in to a tough Navy team but won off a pick deuce. The Trojans and the Buckeyes have national title hopes and want to win this game.

Who Needs the Win More: Ohio State

Both teams need a win but with the beating the Big 10 and the Buckeyes have taken for not showing in non conference games and bowls they need it more. The game is at home for Ohio State and they can help the whole conference use this weekend to make a statement. The Buckeyes need to win this game not only for their season but for their conference as a whole.


Purdue Boilermakers vs. Oregon Ducks

By now everyone knows what happened in Oregon’s first game. The Boilermakers won their opener against Toledo. This game is a chance for a Big 10 team to beat a Pac-10 team. Oregon gets a chance to do something positive after their last game.

Who Needs the Win More: Oregon

After the first game of the season Oregon needs a win. They play a good Purdue team who would like to win this game but Oregon can put the talk behind them from the Boise State game. If any team needs a win more this weekend it is the Ducks.


One other thing this week is the start of the new NFL season. Enjoy every single game you can see now that the games count. Have a great football weekend and watch as the season unfolds.


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