Whenever I think about Week 2 in college football (pick a season), I am reminded that sometimes ... just sometimes ... the worlds of people on one plane must collide with those of another plane. Am I right Katy Perry.
Such is the case with college football and the prevalence of FCS / FBS matchups that infiltrate our televisions and streaming feeds on this particular week of the season. It's big boys versus little boys all over the country with a precious few matchups of actual national interest to discuss.
One of the more interesting matchups involves the PAC 12 when Oregon travels to East Lansing to rematch with the Michigan State Spartans. The Ducks actually trailed by a couple of scores in the second half of last year's game before Marcus Mariota waved his magic wand. This year projects to be a different kind of game. The Ducks have a different make up on offense and it remains to be seen how that plays against Michigan State's stout defense. Of more concern is how the Ducks - in particular their secondary - were physically matched (if not beaten) by FCS Eastern Washington last week. The old cliche is that teams improve the most between weeks one and two. We'll see if that applies to the Ducks in the highlight game of the weekend.
Other interesting notes to whet your whistle this weekend:
- I've already previewed SDSU at Cal, but I remain intrigued by this game. The Aztecs are a ground-n-pound team with a stout rushing attack and a veteran defensive back seven. Of the teams Cal plays before they get to UW, SDSU may be the best proxy for comparison. We'll see if the Aztecs can show Chris Petersen and co the line on the putt when it comes to the Golden Bears
- Tennessee is getting a lot of love this (#23 in the polls) and I'm not exactly sure why. This weekend, they'll get a chance to prove they deserve it when Oklahoma visits Rocky Top. This is a rematch from a game that Oklahoma won by 24 pts a season ago. They are going in today as a 1-point favorite. Huh? I'm guessing this one will be all Sooners.
- Want an upset pick this weekend? Watch what happens when Kentucky visits South Carolina (-7.5). South Carolina snuck away with a win against North Carolina last week that was wholly undeserved. I think Kentucky - who wasn't all that impressive either - may be ready to uncork more of a fight than the Gamecocks might be expecting.
- Sticking with my SEC analysis here, I'm also going to pay attention to Mississippi State versus LSU this weekend. MissSt is returning only seven starters from last year's team and, shockingly, are still a top 25 team. #SECBias. I expect LSU will crush the Bulldogs in what is their first game of the season thanks to a lightning storm cancellation from a week ago.
- Boise State and BYU ought to be pretty interesting, especially for Husky fans looking to get a benchmark on how good the Broncos really are. BYU suffered a huge blow when veteran QB Taysom Hill was knocked out for the season in last weekend's hail Mary win over Nebraska. But RS frosh Tanner Magnum was an elite QB prospect before taking his mission and, frankly, may be a better QB right now than Hill. This ought to be a good game between two evenly matched rivals.
I'll be your Mod-on-Call for today's game between Sacramento State and Washington. A Husky win is a clear expectation. I will be more interested in how the team executes as they transition between the Week 1 jitters and the Week 2 growth curve. Specifically, I'll be looking at how the interior of the offensive line executes on both the zone assignments (do they get hats on everybody?) as well as when guards pull on power (is their timing down and do they get the angle the RB needs them to get?). I'll, of course, also be interested to see how Jake Browning handles his reads and whether or not he gets any more comfort in working the middle of the field against any zone defenses he sees.
Enjoy Week 2, folks. Don't forget to join in on our open game thread when it opens at 10am.
Week 2 Full College Football TV Schedule