Friday, September 8th
Maryland at Florida International, 7:30PM ET, CBSSN
Can the Terps match the Hoosiers and top the Golden Panthers on the road? FIU could pull the upset here - they haven’t had to travel yet and played last Thursday while Maryland played on Saturday - so if you want to see the departed Durkin fail, keep an eye on this one.
#13 Louisville at Syracuse, 8PM ET, ESPN2
This contest could produce the highest watchability in a desolate weekend of college football. Lamar Jackson captains the Cardinals offense, and you may have heard about him last week when he set a school record for total touchdowns with eight. That’s a lot of TDs, but making it more impressive, Jackson tallied all of his scores before halftime. As for the Orange, they should be able to put up some points as well with Dino Babers now at the helm. This game has both shootout and upset potential. What more can you ask for on Friday night?
Saturday, September 9th
Slim Pickings - Before 4PM ET
Central Florida at #5 Michigan, Noon ET, ABC
Even though the storyline has been blown out of proportion (in my opinion), I hope our Maize and Blue send Scott Frost back to the Sunshine State with his tail between his legs.
Penn State at Pitt, Noon ET, ESPN
These big cats decided to revive their long lost rivalry that’s been on hiatus since Y2K. The Nittany Lions have dominated the recent history of this matchup, giving them a slight all-time edge at 50-42-4. However, a road contest against a Panthers squad on the upswing might be more than PSU can handle. Expect defense. A lot of defense.
Western Kentucky at #1 Alabama, 3:30PM ET, ESPN2
This is a battle of reigning champions. The Hilltoppers topped Conference USA last year, while the Crimson Tide won it all. Two teams enter, one champ leaves.
Slightly Less Slim Pickings - After 4PM ET
Arkansas at #15 TCU, 7PM ET, ESPN
This looked like a better matchup before Week 1 when both teams struggled to put away mediocre opponents. This should be a solid battle, and maybe you like rooting against Bielema as much as I do.
Iowa State at #16 Iowa, 7:30PM ET, BTN
BYU at Utah, 7:30PM ET, FOX
The Holy War returns after an exciting iteration last December in the Las Vegas Bowl. Utah’s won the last five meetings and 15 of the last 22, but they are only a three-point favorite at home.
#17 Tennessee at Virginia Tech, 8PM ET, ABC
I put this game on the list for two reasons:
1) Because I want to see the Vols start the season 2-0 and end up outside of the top 25 after starting at #9.
2) They are playing at Bristol Motor Speedway, which could set all sorts of records or be a complete disaster.
Texas Tech at Arizona State, 10PM ET, FS1
The best late-night option this week. Expect offense. Oodles and oodles of offense.
Cincinnati at Purdue, Noon ET, BTN
Can the Boilermakers win back-to-back games to start the season for the first time since 2007? They aren’t favored at home, so, unlikely.
Wyoming at Nebraska, Noon ET, ESPN2
Howard (FCS) at Rutgers, Noon ET, BTN
Maryland annihilated Howard last week, while Washington did the same to Rutgers. There will be no pleasure derived from watching this game (unless you enjoy bad football).
Indiana State at Minnesota, Noon ET, ESPNews
This should be a comfy victory for the Golden Gophers, unless they continue to stockpile targeting ejections like they did last week.
Illinois State at Northwestern, 3:30PM ET, BTN
The last time Northwestern lost to an FCS team was in 2006, Pat Fitzgerald’s first season as head coach. With the Redbirds being a solid opponent - they went to the FCS quarterfinals last year - this game could bookend his time in Evanston with FCS losses.
Tulsa at Ohio State, 3:30PM ET, ABC
Another Buckeyes blowout.
Akron at Wisconsin, 3:30PM ET, BTN
The Badgers shouldn’t have a problem with the Zips, but they are primed for a letdown after upsetting LSU.
Ball State at Indiana, 4PM ET, ESPNews
Good chance #CHAOSTEAM returns to full force in Week 2 as I can’t imagine a world where the Hoosiers have a consistently solid defense.
North Carolina at Illinois, 7:30PM ET, BTN
The stage is set for Lovie Smith to earn a marquee victory in only his second game in Champaign. I doubt he does, but if the Illini keep it close, this could be fun to watch.