Kickoff Weekend is over. It’s time to move on to Week 2. Was this the best Kickoff Weekend ever? It’s always difficult to say if something is deserving of being the best ever. I was unsure of Thursday and Friday lacking a strong signature game. Of the five days of college football, Friday was the lone down day. The other four days featured plenty of excitement. I’m still not sure about the “best ever” title, but Kickoff Weekend 2016 made a strong case for itself. As we look ahead to the following week, well, there’s much to desire. I was able to find a decent selection of games to preview, but in other weeks many of these games wouldn’t qualify. None of the games feature ranked teams battling each other. The majority of games on the Week 2 schedule look like glorified scrimmages. However, there is one extra special game of note. A game that probably will shatter the college football attendance record and set a bar so high only a similar situation could top it. Allow me to preview the lackluster week upcoming.
*All times are United States Eastern Standard.
Saturday, September 10
Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0) @ Pittsburgh Panthers (1-0)
12:00 PM on ESPN from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA
While not necessarily a heated rivalry, it is an in-state skirmish for Pennsylvania bragging rights. How good either teams are or have the potential to be is unknown after the first week. Neither team played an impressive opponent. This could be a close game going down to the final ticks of the clock. Both of these teams have something to prove, not only to themselves, but the other members of the conference. Seated in the B1G’s East division with Ohio State, Michigan State, and Michigan, Penn State needs this win if they want even a slight chance to compete with the “Big 3.”
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-0) @ Duke Blue Devils (1-0)
3:30 PM on ESPNU from Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, NC
An Atlantic Coast Conference game that if it were on a basketball court, people would be clamoring to see. Instead, it’s on the gridiron and no one’s noticing. Over the last few years, Duke turned its football program into a valid contender. They’ve competed in the conference and are no longer an easy win. Wake barely beat Tulane last week, and Duke played a glorified scrimmage. Wake can’t compete in the same division with Clemson and Florida State, and if they win this game, it’ll be an upset. If Duke wants to play in the ACC championship game, they can’t play down or let a win slip away.
Nevada Wolf Pack (1-0) @ #18 Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish
3:30 on NBC from Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, IN
I don’t know where Notre Dame, IN is, but that’s how it’s listed. It used to say South Bend. Nevada comes in with a victory, but it’s a close win over Cal Poly. Not the most impressive team by any stretch and not in the FBS. Notre Dame lost in double overtime to Texas in Austin a week ago. That could be in the running for best game of the season. I hate my Irish had to lose it. Brian Kelly finally decided to stop playing musical quarterbacks and announced DeShone Kizer the starter after his six total touchdown performance. The Irish defense needs to step up, but they’re young. When the offense can’t get into a rhythm, it makes things difficult. Equanimeous St. Brown looks like he could be a breakout star and replace departed Irish wide receiver Will Fuller. I’ll be watching this closely.
Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0) @ #15 TCU Horned Frogs (1-0)
7:00 PM on ESPN from Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, TX
Arkansas slipped by Louisiana Tech by a point. TCU put up big points against San Diego State, but they also gave up their fair share. This is a throwback to the days of the old Southwest Conference. TCU needs to learn how to play defense. It was an issue last year that they haven’t corrected. If Arkansas can play a little defense and take advantage of the weak effort by TCU, this could be an upset. TCU needs to jump out big and stay far enough ahead.
BYU Cougars (1-0) @ Utah Utes (1-0)
7:30 PM on Fox from Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT
An in-state rivalry game and rematch of last season’s Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. The Utes embarrassed the Cougars in that game. BYU should be seeking revenge, but I don’t know if they’ll be able to extract any. Utah has a decent chance to make the Pac-12 championship game and need this win. Even though it’s a non-conference game, bragging rights are on the line, and Utah can’t afford an early loss.
Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0) vs. #17 Tennessee Volunteers (1-0) “The Battle of Bristol”
8:00 PM on ABC from Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN
This the special game I referenced earlier. I’m about a half hour or so from Bristol. You go a couple of hours into Virginia, and you’re in Blacksburg. You go about the same time into Tennessee, and you’re in Knoxville. This is the “Game of the Week” on ABC under the bright lights of prime time. I could care less. In fact, one of those Grumpy Cat memes would sum up my feelings. I might watch for a few minutes to view the spectacle, but I don’t care about the game. I’m not a Hokies fan and I hate the Vols. Tech might be able to win this once-in-a-lifetime event. Tennessee looked horrible and didn’t so much win as Appy State couldn’t close last week.
Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0) @ Arizona State Sun Devils (1-0)
10:00 PM on FS1 from Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ
Both teams had big blow-out wins last week. Neither team played a quality opponent. Texas Tech is one of the Big-12 teams who decides not to bother with defense. This could be the most exciting game of the week. In the past both these teams have quality quarterbacks and like to throw the ball downfield. If you like high powered air attacks and lots of points, you don’t want to miss this game. Who’s going to win? I think it’s a coin flip, and it could be the team with the ball last.
Washington State Cougars (0-1) @ Boise State Broncos (1-0)
10:15 PM on ESPN2 from Albertsons Stadium in Boise, ID
I love the blue turf of Boise. Washington State lost a heartbreaker to Eastern Washington last week. They put up big points, but gave up big points. If the Broncos defense can contain the Cougars passing attack, Boise should have a win in front of the home crowd.
AP Top 25
- Miami (FL) Hurricanes
- Oregon Ducks
- Baylor Bears
- Oklahoma State Cowboys
- LSU Tigers
- Texas A&M Aggies
- Ole Miss Rebels
- Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish
- Tennessee Volunteers
- Iowa Hawkeyes
- TCU Horned Frogs
- Oklahoma Sooners
- Louisville Cardinals
- Michigan State Spartans
- Texas Longhorns
- Wisconsin Badgers
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Washington Huskies
- Stanford Cardinal
- Houston Cougars
- Michigan Wolverines (1)
- Ohio State Buckeyes
- Florida State Seminoles (4)
- Clemson Tigers (2)
- Alabama Crimson Tide (54)
Copyright © Drew Martin 2016