Week 2 Gets More Interesting
September 4, 2007
A sixty-two game slate of games includes a number of top-notch confrontations and just 11 match-ups with lower-division schools, down significantly from the 23 such contests that took place on opening weekend.
All but three of this week's games will be played on the traditional college football Saturday, though the week gets underway with a pair of Thursday night games. There is also a lone contest on Friday.
The games below are not listed in any particular order. The predictions are based on the Congrove Computer Rankings found on this site.
LSU (-12.21) vs. Virginia Tech - ESPN GameDay
is in Baton Rouge, marking the second straight week that Virginia Tech has been involved in the show's featured matchup. LSU struggled against Mississippi State in the first half last week, but then rolled to a 45-0 win with the aid of numerous Bulldog miscues. Virginia Tech seemed weighed down by emotion in last weekend's win over East Carolina. The Hokies will have to be more focused on football this week. (See Va. Tech story and photos).
Michigan (-0.33) vs. Oregon - The Wolverines were favored by 5.08 in the preseason, but losing to 1-AA Appalachian State obviously had a big effect on that line. Oregon helped tighten the spread with its 48-27 home win over Houston.
Oklahoma (-16.76) vs. Miami, FL. - These two historically successful college football programs have met five times previously, but this is the first since Miami's 1987 national title was clinched with an Orange Bowl win over the Sooners.
UCLA (-9.22) vs. Brigham Young - The Cougars are the defending MWC champs and have won 11 in-a-row. The Bruins have entered the season with high expectations but the reality is that they are just 4-5 in their last nine games stretching back to mid-October of last year.
Texas (-6.84) vs. Texas Christian - After Texas' 8-point win at home over Arkansas State, and TCU's 27-0 home shutout of Baylor, the computer's line on this game shrunk modestly from a preseason projection of 8.32.
Boise State (-11.70) at Washington - Ty Willingham's Huskies rolled Syracuse by 30 points in the Carrier Dome, leading to speculation that Washington may be better than expected. Boise State owns the nation's longest winning streak at 14 games and this is one of the few games on their schedule that could help the Broncos land another BCS bowl berth.
Penn State (-7.08) vs. Notre Dame - Charlie Weis has announced he will start freshman Jimmy Clausen at QB. Three different quarterbacks couldn't help the Irish avert a disastrous 33-3 home loss to Georgia Tech on opening weekend. Clausen played only the final two series of last week's game.
Tennessee (-8.78) vs. Southern Miss - The Vols find themselves in desperate need of a win after last week's 45-31 loss to California. The Golden Eagles are a dangerous team to face as they've taken games from numerous BCS conference schools, many of them on the road. They seem especially adept at taking advantage of name programs when they appear vulnerable.
Auburn (-5.74) vs. South Florida - The Tigers rallied late to beat Kansas State 23-13 in last week's opener. The Bulls only managed a 27-13 home win over Elon from the Football Championship Subdivision.
Georgia (-0.86) vs. South Carolina - The Bulldogs have taken five straight, including 18-0 last year in Columbia. Blake Mitchell is scheduled to get his first start of the season at QB for the Gamecocks after serving a one-game suspension for academic reasons.
Somewhat Surprising Line
Nevada (-1.69) at Northwestern - The computer taps the Wolf Pack as a slight favorite in Big Ten country when they visit the Wildcats. Northwestern is looking for revenge after losing 31-21 in Reno last year.
Nebraska (-1.49) at Wake Forest - The Cornhuskers were actually preseason underdogs in this game, according to the computer. But the line turned in Nebraska's favor after it opened with a 52-10 dismantling of Nevada last week while the Demon Deacons were losing 38-28 at Boston College.
East Carolina (-16.38) over North Carolina - The Pirates looked pretty good in a 17-7 loss at Virginia Tech last week, but I get the feeling that Butch Davis will exceed the preseason expectations at North Carolina in his inaugural season as head coach of the Tar Heels. UNC won its opener 37-14 over 1-AA James Madison.
Oklahoma State (-9.19) over Florida Atlantic - It's true that the Owls could win up winning the Sun Belt. It's true that another Sun Belt school, Arkansas State, only lost by 8 points at Texas last week. It's also true that Oklahoma State isn't Texas. Still, the oddsmakers put the spread at around 22 points and that seems far more reasonable than the 9+ points in the computer's projection.
Central Michigan (-4.90) vs. Toledo - CMU was hapless in the opening weekend 52-7 loss at Kansas. Are the glory days going to be that short and sweet with Brian Kelly's departure, or can Butch Jones turn the Chippewas' season around with a big win in their opening conference game? The Rockets were shelled 52-24 on their own turf by Purdue last week.
Kentucky (-14) vs. Kent State - The Golden Flashes have already turned in a 23-14 win over a Big 12 school, but that was against lowly Iowa State in the debut game of the Cyclones' new head coach, Gene Chizik. It will be interesting to see if they can compete with the Wildcats and quarterback Andre' Woodson.
Michigan State (-6.77) vs. Bowling Green - BGSU will try to make it two straight road wins over Big 10 schools after the Falcons downed Minnesota 32-31 in overtime to ruin Tim Brewster's debut as head coach of the Golden Gophers. Bowling Green is 3-3 against the Big Ten since 2001 and its' three losses were by no more than 14 points. The Falcons defeated Purdue in 2003 and Northwestern in 2001 and all of the wins have come on the road.
UNBEATEN TEAMS: Sixty-eight teams are 1-0 after week 1. As the list narrows later in the year, we'll help you keep tabs with those teams that are still on track for an undefeated season. Last year, Boise State (13-0) was the only team that accomplished the task.
WINLESS TEAMS: Of the 117 teams that have played a game, 49 enter week two with a goose egg in the win column. San Diego State and Tulane - are playing their season-openers this week.
1-A (BOWL SUBDIVISION) vs. 1-AA (CHAMPIONSHIP SUBDIVISION):
Eleven teams play lower-division schools this week.
Among them, Arizona gets Northern Arizona which hasn't beaten the Wildcats since 1932.
Iowa State hosts a Northern Iowa squad that they barely defeated last year, 28-27, but haven't lost to since 1994.
Southeastern Louisiana plays the second of the three Bowl Subdivision opponents on this year's schedule. The trek to Kansas follows a loss at New Mexico State.
Southern Illinois visits Northern Illinois. SIU was a higher-division school from 1972-1985. The Huskies eked out a 23-22 win in 2004, but haven't lost to the Salukis since 1979.
Ohio State won its 19th regular season game by downing Youngstown State 38-6. Buckeye coach Jim Tressel won four national titles at the 1-AA level in his 15 seasons as head coach of the Penguins. Ohio State hosts Akron (1-0) on Saturday for the first time since 2001 (28-14 win) and only the second time in history.
Boise State has won 14 straight games over-all after its 56-7 win over Weber State. The Broncos have won 15 straight regular season games, and 37 consecutive regular season home games. The Broncos have never lost a home game to a WAC opponent (24-0). Boise State visits Washington (1-0) on Saturday.
BYU has won 11 straight games after a 20-7 victory over Arizona. The Cougars visit Arizona State (1-0) on Saturday.
Wisconsin has won 10 straight after a 42-21 home rout of Washington State. The Badgers visit UNLV (1-0) on Saturday.
TCU has won 9 straight after its 27-0 win over Baylor. The Horned Frogs visit Texas (1-0) on Saturday.
USC has won a nation's-best 34 consecutive home games after beating Idaho 38-10. The Trojans are idle before visiting Nebraska next week.
Duke has lost 21 games over-all, and 23 straight to 1-A teams after its 45-14 loss at home to Connecticut.. The Blue Devils visit Virginia (0-1) on Saturday.
FIU has dropped 13 straight games after a 59-0 thumping at Penn State in Mario Cristobal's debut a head coach. The Golden Panthers host Maryland on Saturday.
Illinois, North Carolina State and Colorado State have each lost 8 straight.
The 2006 season featured 11 new head coaches. Five led their team to a bowl game.
This year, there are 24 coaching changes for the highest number since 2001 when there were 25. We'll track their progress throughout the season.
This week, Tom O'Brien returns to Boston College with his new team - ACC rival N.C. State. O'Brien left his job as the head coach at B.C. to take the fired Chuck Amato's spot with the Wolfpack at the end of last season. Jeff Jagodzinski is the new head coach at Boston College.
Air Force, 1-0 under Troy Calhoun, visits Utah.
Alabama, 1-0 under Nick Saban, visits Vanderbilt.
Arizona State, 1-0 under Dennis Erickson, hosts Colorado.
Army, 0-1 under Stan Brock, hosts 1-AA Rhode Island.
Boston College, 1-0 under Jeff Jagodzinski, hosts N.C. State.
Central Michigan, 0-1 under Butch Jones, hosts Toledo.
Cincinnati, 1-0 under Brian Kelly, hosts Oregon State (Thursday)
FIU, 0-1 under Mario Cristobal, hosts Maryland.
Idaho, 0-1 under Robb Akey, hosts 1-AA Cal-Poly.
Indiana, 1-0 under Bill Lynch, visits Western Michigan.
Iowa State, 0-1 under Gene Chizik, hosts 1-AA Northern Iowa.
Louisiana Tech, 1-0 under Derek Dooley, hosts Hawaii.
Louisville, 1-0 under Steve Kragthorpe, hosts Middle Tennessee (Thursday)
Miami (Fla.), 1-0 under Randy Shannon, visits Oklahoma.
Michigan State, 1-0 under Mark Dantonio, hosts Bowling Green.
Minnesota, 0-1 under Tim Brewster, hosts Miami (Ohio).
North Carolina, 1-0 under Butch Davis, visits East Carolina.
N.C. State, 0-1 under Tom O'Brien, visits Boston College.
North Texas, 0-1 under Todd Dodge, visits SMU.
Rice, 0-1 under David Bailiff, visits Baylor.
Stanford, 0-1 under Jim Harbaugh, is idle.
Tulane, 0-0 under Bob Toledo, hosts Mississippi St.
Tulsa, 1-0 under Todd Graham, is idle.
UAB, 0-1 under Neil Callaway, visits Florida State.