Thursday, Sep. 4
South Carolina at Vanderbilt
Well, we have two SEC teams coming off wins. In theory it could be a good game. Last season Vandy won 17-6 and started the Gamecocks on a hard downward spiral of losing the rest of their games. This year South Carolina is healthy and ready to play. Vandy may very well be better than last season, when they got within spitting distance of bowl eligibility.
Friday, Sep. 5
Navy at Ball State
Hmmm...to be honest, I don’t know what to say. Both won last week against FCS teams. Navy will again be playing without Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada behind center. They did fine without him last week, but I think Ball State provides tougher competition than Towson. Ball State has a schedule that is winnable top to bottom and could very well go undefeated.
Saturday, Sep. 6
Connecticut at Temple
I know a lot of old school fans will think, why did I put this on here? Take a look at what these two have done recently. Connecticut shared the Big East title last season, and Temple has greatly improved in the last couple as well. Temple’s win over Army last week is more impressive than Connecticut’s win over Hofstra.
Miami (OH) at Michigan
Before everyone says I am crazy, remember Appalachian State, Oregon, and Utah. A decade ago these teams would have been lucky just to score on Michigan in the Big House. Now they've all beaten Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The Redhawks may not be the class of the MAC, but they aren’t the bottom either. As long as Michigan is retooling the offense, I am not counting anyone out.
New Hampshire at Army
Last week I said I probably wouldn’t put another FCS team in the write-up except for the App St. at LSU mention. Then I regretted not including Delaware at Maryland when they only lost 14-7. Thus, I am including this one this week.
New Hampshire has been a pretty good team in the FCS but only went 7-5 last season after nine, 11 and 10-win seasons prior to that. If the 7-5 record is the start of a downward trend, then Army has a chance.
BYU at Washington
BYU is looking to bust the BCS—and it starts in Washington. While they may be the bottom of the Pac-10 lately, the Huskies are still a BCS conference team. Beating them would be a nice starting step for the Cougars.
Washington needs a win to get on track and quell the shouts for Ty Willingham’s head. Jake Locker is still the main weapon but may get help if TE Michael Gottlieb is able to go this week.
Cincinnati at Oklahoma
I was convinced that without Ben Mauk, the Bearcats would struggle. Instead they won 40-7. Sure, it was Eastern Kentucky from the FCS, but they won nine games last season. Oklahoma is Oklahoma—and Oklahoma at home is even more dangerous.
Ole Miss at Wake Forest
With the losses by Virginia Tech and Clemson, it looks like Wake Forest is the new front runner for the ACC. Wake Forest blew away Baylor to open the season.
Lots of people are big on Mississippi being improved. Beating Memphis is a good start but not a huge statement.
Oregon State at Penn State
Or as I like to call it, the Beavers at Beaver. This game looked better before Oregon State lost the opener to Stanford. Based on last year's records we have two 9-4 teams playing. I know teams go through changes in the offseason, but it looks like Oregon State got the worst of it, while Penn State may have changed for the better.
West Virginia at East Carolina
This is a game that might not have been on people’s radar before last weekend, when East Carolina upset Virginia Tech. West Virginia is out to prove they are still nationally relevant after Rich Rodriguez's departure. East Carolina is out to prove last week wasn’t a fluke.
South Florida at Central Florida
With the raise of South Florida on the national scene and Central Florida’s CUSA conference title last season, this game becomes more attractive than in the past. Well, as long as it doesn’t turn out like last year's blowout.
Minnesota at Bowling Green
Can Bowling Green beat two BCS conference teams two weeks in a row? Last week it was a ranked Pitt team. This week they try their hand at the Big Ten's Minnesota. The Gophers were last in the conference a year ago and barely escaped Northern Illinois last week. Now they travel to Bowling Green, who in my opinion is better than NI.
UNLV at Utah
I have heard the best time to beat a team is when they are coming off a big win. Utah beat Michigan in the Big House last week, and now they open conference play with UNLV. UNLV hasn’t been a power player in the Mountain West in past years but did beat Utah last season 27-0.
Miami at Florida
Miami has won six in a row against Florida and leads the series by three. Miami is in year two under Randy Shannon, and many believe they are still rebuilding. Florida is a totally different team under Urban Meyer than what the Canes saw the last time these teams played.