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Week 2 Football: What to Watch

A look at games that might pique your interest

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at North Carolina State Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was pretty incredible, especially for the ACC with Florida State handling LSU and Duke putting together an impressive win at home over Clemson. The schedule gets even better this week, although we still have five ACC teams taking on FCS squads, so that’s pretty lame.

You might as well watch that Lions-Chiefs game on Thursday night because Murray State vs Louisville won’t be entertaining for long. Illinois-Kansas on Friday night should be pretty good. Indiana State vs Indiana would be good on the hardwood or on the baseball diamond, but this is football and that game is likely to be pretty one-sided.

Saturday kicks off early with Vanderbilt playing at Wake Forest, but nobody here cares about that or any of the other early games because Notre Dame will be in Carter-Finley taking on NC State and that is the only game that matters on Saturday.

Among those other early games to keep tabs on, Wake will get its first game of the post-Hartman era against FBS competition, although it’s just Vanderbilt, so outcomes should be taken with a grain of salt. Utah at Baylor sounds good until you realize Utah beat Florida and Baylor lost to Texas State last week. Deion Sanders gets his first home game fresh off a win over an overrated TCU squad, but the hype machine for his Buffaloes program is in full force, so prepare to be beat over the head about that game, especially if Colorado beats a bad Nebraska team. Colorado is the favorite, but SP+ likes Matt Rhule’s Nebraska by 8.5.

In the Commonwealth, Purdue at VT should be a close game even if not a good game, and Virginia is a touchdown underdog to James Madison at home, so things are going well for Tony Elliott.

In the midday games, the Texas A&M vs Miami game will tell us a lot about each program... or maybe it won’t. We thought the same thing last year and both teams ended up being bad. Iowa and Iowa State will battle for all the corn in a game where the 36.5 over/under line feels too high.

Go App State!

Pittsburgh hosts Cincinnati in the ACC’s first broadcast on The CW Network. It’ll have extra ACC flair since the Bearcats new coach is former Louisville headman Scott Satterfield. That’s going to be an interesting game.

The big game of the evening is Texas at Alabama. Bama’s the favorite, and rightfully so since Steve Sarkisian is still the head coach of the Longhorns. Keep in mind that it’s been eight months since David Pollack sat next to Nick Saban and said that Kirby Smart and Georgia are now the best program in college football. I’d bet on Alabama all year as Saban rage knows no bounds.

Other games Saturday evening that I’m keeping an eye on include Wisconsin vs Washington State, Auburn vs Cal, and OK State vs Arizona State. Each of those should be good, competitive, and entertaining games.

Also, not on the list, but I’d just like to point out that SP+ only has South Carolina projected to beat Furman by 8.7 points. Interesting.

Go Wolfpack! Go Mountaineers!

Rankings for SP+ Ratings and Sagarin Ratings listed, respectively, ahead of each team’s name.


FCS/203 Murray State @ 51/42 Louisville - 7:30pm - ACCN


FCS/172 Indiana State @ 85/94 Indiana - 7:00pm - BTN

52/41 Illinois @ 54/51 Kansas - 7:30pm - ESPN2


73/112 Vanderbilt @ 37/48 Wake Forest - 11:00am - ACCN

8/11 Notre Dame @ 50/40 NC State - 12:00pm - ABC

16/16 Utah @ 56/22 Baylor - 12:00pm - ESPN

55/49 Nebraska @ 82/90 Colorado - 12:00pm - FOX

64/59 Purdue @ 65/73 Virginia Tech - 12:00pm - ESPN2

FCS/160 Holy Cross @ 95/82 Boston College - 12:00pm - ACCNX

60/64 James Madison @ 99/86 Virginia - 12:00pm - ESPNU

FCS/237 South Carolina State @ 80/89 Georgia Tech - 1:00pm - ACCNX

FCS/217 Charleston Southern @ 23/8 Clemson - 2:15pm - ACCN

14/17 Ole Miss @ 32/55 Tulane - 3:30pm - ESPN2

15/13 Texas A&M @ 24/43 Miami - 3:30pm - ABC

33/21 Iowa @ 46/28 Iowa State - 3:30pm - FOX

105/108 Western Michigan @ 40/66 Syracuse - 3:30pm - ACCNX

77/70 Marshall @ 96/84 East Carolina - 4:00pm - ESPNU

70/54 Appalachian State @ 21/33 North Carolina - 5:15pm - ACCN

FCS/235 Lafayette @ 35/62 Duke - 6:00pm - ACCNX

38/50 Cincinnati @ 28/34 Pittsburgh - 6:30pm - CW

13/5 Texas @ 1/2 Alabama - 7:00pm - ESPN

10/20 Oregon @ 44/25 Texas Tech - 7:00pm - FOX

120/127 UConn @ 89/106 Georgia State - 7:00pm - ESPN

22/31 UCF @ 72/39 Boise State - 7:00pm - FS1

26/15 Wisconsin @ 48/46 Washington State - 7:30pm - ABC

58/69 Arizona @ 20/47 Mississippi State - 7:30pm - SECN

88/118 Southern Miss @ 11/24 Florida State - 8:30pm - ACCN

83/92 Stanford @ 7/12 USC - 10:30pm - FOX

18/30 Auburn @ 49/61 California - 10:30pm - ESPN

45/23 Oklahoma State @ 75/63 Arizona State - 10:30pm - FS1