The second week of College Football should be a rather easy one for the national champion contenders, with Alabama hosting Western Kentucky, USC visiting Syracuse and LSU hosting Washington. The most interesting games should be SEC debuts for Missouri, hosting Georgia, and Texas A&M hosting Florida.
Western Kentucky at Alabama (1) (3:30 PM ET)
There were no problems for the national champions against the Michigan Wolverines last week in Cowboys stadium, and there shouldn’t be any against the visiting Hilltoppers this week in Alabama”s opener at Bryant-Denny Stadium. With a visit to Arkansas next week, many thought Saban would give some younger players some touches and playing time, but that doesn’t seem to be his plans. Alabama are 38 point favorites according to the odds makers, as Western Kentucky have never beaten a Top 25 team and lost their only game against the Tide 41-7 back in 2005.
USC (2) at Syracuse (3:30 PM ET)
The spread says the Trojans are a 27 point favorite, but there’s a lot of excitement despite the uneven scales as its the Trojans first visit to the state of New York since 2000, even putting up a billboard sign in Times square. Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib threw for 470 yards and four touchdowns in the Orange’s 41-42 loss on the opening weekend, but the bad play of Syracuse’s defense and special teams means Matt Barkley and Marqise Lee should have a very enjoyable afternoon.
Washington at LSU (3) (7:00 PM ET)
Under Les Miles, the Tigers are 28-0 against non conference opponents, usually of poorer quality. The rebuilding Huskies struggled against San Diego State in the opening week, winning 21-12 but losing running back Jesse Callier and right tackle Ben Riva, which means three freshman will be starting in the offensive line against one of the top three defensive fronts in the nation. LSU played Washington in Seattle three years ago, winning 31-23, and hosted the Huskies 29 years ago, winning 41-17. They’ll probably cover the 24 point spread, despite not having the flashiest offense in recent history.
Fresno State at Oregon (4) (6:30 PM ET)
The Ducks will try and channel their first half display against Arkansas State from last week, leading 50-3 after two quarters. Marcus Mariota had no problem assuming the quarterback role, while De’Anthony Thomas and did very well both on the ground and with his receiving. Fresno State did very well on the opening weekend, beating Weber State 37-10, but they’ve lost all their games against Oregon, including their most recent match-up in 2007, with the Ducks winning 57-21.
Florida A&M at Oklahoma (5) (7:00 PM ET)
Landry Jones had some problems getting in sync with his new receivers in El Paso, as the Sooners stumbled to a 24-7 win over UTEP, but Bob Stoops doesn’t seem to be worried, with Damien Williams to help in the running game and an FCS opponent that shouldn’t pose too much of a problem or gain too many yards in their visit to Norman.
Savannah State at Florida State (6) (6:00 PM ET)
After the Tiger from the FCS lost by 84 points against Oklahoma State, there isn’t a real preview to speak of. The Seminoles did receive some bad news this week, losing defensive standout Brandon Jenkins, but on the short term side of things, playing against a team that’s likely to go scoreless once again in something we need to see less and less of at the top level of College Football.
Georgia (7) at Missouri (7:45 PM ET)
Missouri begin their SEC career with a visit from the most disappointing of the top 10 teams last week, beating Buffalo. Two teams that haven’t met since the 1950’s, Georgia come in as slight favorites, probably missing Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree, still hoping to make life very hard for Tigers quarterback James Franklin, but it seems the beginning of a new SEC East rivalry is the biggest headline of the Bulldogs visit to the second Columbia in the division.
The rest of the games involving Top 25 Teams –
Louisiana Monroe at Arkansas (8), 7:00 PM ET
East Carolina at South Carolina (9), 12:21 PM ET
Michigan State (11) at Central Michigan, 3:30 PM ET
Ball State at Clemson (12), 12:30 PM ET
Wisconsin (13) at Oregon State, 4:00 PM ET
UCF at Ohio State (14), 12:00 PM ET
Austin Peay at Virginia Tech (15), 1:30 PM ET
Nebraska (16) at UCLA, 7:30 PM ET
New Mexico at Texas (17), 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma State (18) at Arizona, 10:30 PM ET
Air Force at Michigan (19), 3:30 PM ET
Grambling State at TCU (20), 7:00 PM ET
Miami (FL) at Kansas State (21), 12:00 PM ET
Purdue at Notre Dame (22), 3:30 PM ET
Missouri State at Louisville (23), 3:30 PM ET
Florida (24) at Texas A&M, 3:30 PM ET
Duke at Stanford (25), 10:30 PM ET