Here we go, week one is in the rear view mirror and week 2 is straight ahead. On the menu for our well-refined pallets are a handful of Saturday match-ups that should not disappoint with appetizers on Thursday and Friday. So grab your beverage of choice and find your happy place...it's time for the second edition of Games to Watch.
Arizona @ UTSA ~ 7pm CT (Fox Sports 1)
This is the only game in D-1 football that's being played on Thursday. While it may not be the most appealing matchup, UTSA has a nice dual running back attack in Jarveon Williams and David Glasco II that could frustrate the Wildcat defense. Both UTSA and Western Kentucky reside in Conference USA (quiz hint) and this could be a rough preview of what the Illini will have to deal with on Saturday morning.
Pitt @ Boston College ~ 6pm CT (ESPN)
A rivalry will be renewed this weekend as these teams haven't played each other in 10 years; the overall series is 19-16 in favor of Pitt. With James Conner running wild for the Panthers last week, BC's ability to stop the run will be the determining factor. Should be a fun one under the lights.
#14 USC @ #13 Stanford ~ 2:30pm CT (ABC)
If you choose this to be your primary game of choice, be sure to watch with your TV muted as the Stanford Band will be in attendance, and the current over/under line for hearing Fight On or Tribute to Troy is 53 times per game. All band issues aside, this game will clearly identify who the best college program in the state of California is.
NIU @ Northwestern ~ 2:30pm CT (BTN)
Northwestern can't lose twice at home...right? The winning-est Illinois D1 college football program in the last 5 years rolls into Evanston looking to knock off a wounded Wildcat team, who fell last week to a previously 1-10 Cal Golden Bear program. Should be a really fun game with a lot of offense.
#7 Michigan State @ #3 Oregon ~ 5:30pm CT (FOX)
Game of the week between two of my favorite teams in college football. This one is all going to come down to Michigan State's defense and Oregon's offense. We know the Ducks can score--a lot. The main question will be how often they can put the ball in the endzone. Providing MSU's defense can keep this one close, it should be a dandy of a ball game. Plus, the possibility of Gus Johnson calling this one further solidifies my desire to watch.
Michigan @ #16 Notre Dame ~ 6:30pm CT (NBC)
The final chapter in this rivalry will surely provide fireworks. Two rock solid QB's in Everett Golson and Devin Gardner will be leading two potent offenses under the lights and both defenses played well against inferior opponents in week one. Michigan didn't play well in South Bend 2 years ago--will this be their redemption? All I will say is that I deeply respect and cherish rivalry games, and to see one end due to contractual nonsense is silly. So beat the sh*t out of 'em, Michigan. Go Blue (can't believe I just said that).
Virginia Tech @ #8 Ohio State ~ 7:00pm (ESPN)
UPSET ALERT! J.T. Barrett will have to get used to the word blitz, because that's what the Hokies will do on defense. Starting in his first game in the Horseshoe, this game could ultimately end in disaster for the Buckeyes if Barrett tries to force any throws and not settle in early.