The best way to describe the second week of the college football season is that it’s one of those ‘in-between’ weeks. Last weekend wasn’t the most exciting week of college football that you’ll ever see, but it was the opening weekend of the season, which makes it a special occasion. And then next week, USC-Ohio State headlines a slate that’s full of excellent games.
But, the good thing about this week being an in-between week is that it allows you to focus on the opening week of the NFL season, which as strange as it may seem, I’m really not all that excited about right now.
Still, the collegiate cupboard isn’t completely bare, with a few games that could turn out to be pretty interesting, and a few potential upsets/letdown games.
Games to Watch
Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN: Consecutive Thursday night games on ESPN to start the season for the Gamecocks. With Georgia coming into Columbia next week, South Carolina best not be looking ahead, or Vandy could send them out of the top 25 just as quickly as they came in.
Ball State vs. Navy, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN: A shootout could be in the cards, though the points will be scored in different ways by both teams, as Navy boasts one of the best rushing offenses in the country, led by Shun White (19 carries, 348 yards, 3 TD vs. Towson, while Ball State has one of the nation’s best passers in Nate Davis (21 of 24, 290 yards, 3 TD, no INT last week vs. Northeastern). Number worth noting: Ball State gave an 204.3 yards per game on the ground last season. If they can hold Navy to that, it actually might be a good thing.
East Carolina vs. West Virginia, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN: Can the Pirates pull off their second straight upset of a ranked team, or will they be brought crashing down to earth by Pat White and the Mountaineers? Of the two times that ECU has beaten West Virginia in their 19 previous meetings, both were against teams that posted losing records. I don’t see the Mountaineers having a losing record, so ECU has some history reversin’ to do.
Florida vs. Miami, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN: After being suspended for Miami’s cakewalk against Charleston Southern, Robert Marve gets to make his debut under center in the Swamp. Florida hasn’t beaten Miami since 1985 (six straight defeats). Either a freshman quarterback will break Gator hearts, or it’s going to be a stomp in the Swamp.
Regional Game That Should Be National: Washington vs. BYU, 3 p.m. ET, FSN Regional – I can’t say I’m particularly high on Washington after the way that they got pasted at Oregon last weekend, but it’s not as if I was expecting them to win that one. However, the Huskies should come out much better in their home opener, and just as they knocked off Boise State at home last season, could do the same to the Cougars, who are dreaming of the BCS.
National Game That Should Be Regional: UTEP vs. Texas, 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2: I don’t doubt the Miners’ chances to give Texas a scare if QB Trevor Vittatoe has the game of his life, but unless UTEP’s defense wakes up, it’ll be okay for you to call it a night early and get ready for Sunday.
Game That’s Not Televised That Should Be: Oklahoma State vs. Houston – This one goes out to resident UH fan Kelsey, In lieu of a really eye-popping, neighbors’ cable-stealing game, I decided to pick that I think should at least be available on FSN. I know not every football fan loves a wild shootout, but I do. Zac Robinson didn’t have his best game against Washington State last week (20 of 27, 193 yards, INT, 11 rush yards, TD), but he and Case Keenum should make plenty of fireworks.
Time Slot Worth Getting Picture-in-Picture For: Saturday afternoon – The headliner of the Saturday afternoon schedule is East Carolina-West Virginia, but there are some other games worth watching as well, including the Washington-BYU game. The ABC Regional 3:30 ET slot has Oklahoma-Cincinnati, Wake Forest-Ole Miss, and Penn State-Oregon State, and for those in SEC country, you can catch Georgia’s matchup against Dan LeFevour and Central Michigan (3:30 ET, SEC TV). Not saying that one could be an upset, but LeFevour and an offense full of weapons could cause some problems for at least a little while.
Late Game Worth Staying Up For: Arizona State vs. Stanford, 10 p.m. ET, FSN Regional – There’s not really much outside of this one, honestly. ASU should win comfortably, but you can’t write Stanford’s chances off. If they can force turnovers like they did against Oregon State and have another productive, efficient offensive performance, they can stay in it.