COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP- Week 2 Recap

A seemingly tame second week lineup of games turned out to be quite telling, culminating in one of the stranger starts to a college football season that I can remember. There weren’t a ton of upsets. Instead, it was the margins of victory (and lack thereof) that created the real shockwaves. I’ll start by conveying two fairly obvious observations:

  • Michigan is not very good at all. I, among many others, really thought that after the hellish week that followed the Appalachian State loss, the team would be motivated and on a mission to prove a point. That couldn’t have been any further from the truth, and after a 39-7 home crushing at the hands of Oregon, Wolverine fans may be forced to accept the possibility that this year’s team is potentially terrible. The defense gave up 620 yards of total offense, an all-time record for Michigan, and at times looked to be functioning on a high school level at best. It was almost too ridiculous to be true, and after Chad Henne went out before the half, the team basically gave up on all fronts. It’s starting to look like Michigan may have trouble salvaging a winning season, because they’ve got a lot tougher teams to play than Oregon and Appalachian State.
  • LSU is very, very good. The dominating 48-7 thrashing of Virginia Tech in the Bayou last night was truly amazing considering the strength of that Virginia Tech defense. Sure, LSU’s defense played a great game as well, holding the Hokies to only a single touchdown,  but what was more impressive was the Tiger offense, which marched down the field and scored at will throughout the night. USC had the week off, but I doubt anything they’ll be able to do next weekend will be even in the same universe of impressiveness. As for Virginia Tech, I still think they’ve got a really good football team, I just think it’s possible that they ran into a rough opponent that may very well be on a completely different level than everyone else. LSU is my new #1.

Other moments of note from week two’s action included:

  • No top ten teams lost to lesser ranked opponents this week, but West Virginia, Louisville and Wisconsin struggled mightily against opponents that shouldn’t have given them any trouble at all. The same can be said for Texas A &M and Hawaii, who held out through multiple overtime games against opponents that they should have beaten by 20. My revised rankings reflect these performances.
  • All of a sudden Penn State looks like they may be the team to beat in the Big Ten. With Michigan falling completely off the radar and the Wisconsin and Ohio State offenses looking anemic, Penn State’s Happy Valley domination of Notre Dame was about the only thing that made the Big Ten look good at all.
  • The Big East is probably the second best conference in football right now. How did that happen? Aside from three teams that all have Top 10 talent, now South Florida and Cincinnati add their names to the discussion after upsetting Auburn and Oregon State respectively.
  • Steve Spurrier finally got a program building win as the Gamecocks went into Athens and beat Georgia with strong defense. After the Bulldogs rolled to an easy victory over a fairly tough Oklahoma State team on opening weekend, I didn’t see this one coming at all, and with really only two elite teams in the SEC, there’s lots of room for South Carolina to move themselves up.
  • Don’t look now, but Oklahoma is playing some very good football. Miami didn’t really have a good time in Norman and took a 51-13 beating home with them to prove it. The X factor for the Sooners was finding a quarterback, and right now, Sam Bradford looks like the real deal. The Red River Valley is shaping up into quite a game.

WHAT TO WATCH NEXT WEEK:

  • Notre Dame at Michigan, 3:30 EST, ABC: Well, the good news is that no matter what happens, one of these two teams will get a much-needed victory in what is shaping up to be a classic pillow fight between these shaken rivals. Of course these teams have never faced each other winless. It almost makes you wish they hadn’t changed the rules to allow overtime in college football–wouldn’t it be hilarious to see this one end in a tie? Anyway, I’m not real sure what to make of this game, you’ve basically got a horrible defense against a horrible offense and then a fairly strong offense against a fairly strong defense. I’m gonna go with Michigan I guess but not by a lot.
  • #21 Tennessee at #4 Florida, 3:30 EST, CBS: The defending champs get their first real test as the Vols roll into the Swamp and look to move back up into the SEC’s elite. It won’t be easy, as Florida’s explosive passing game could burn Tennessee in similar fashion to Cal.
  • #16 Ohio State at Washington, 3:30 EST, ESPN: This game all of a sudden looks much more intriguing after the Huskies knocked off Boise State to end the nation’s longest winning streak and now sit at a surprising 2-0 going into the third week of the season. Has Ty Willingham turned this program around? This homefield battle against a somewhat vulnerable Ohio State team will be telling.
  • #12 Arkansas at #24 Alabama, 6:45 EST, ESPN: Any SEC game is exciting to me, and for those that don’t remember this game from last year, let’s just say that the Tide still isn’t happy about how that one turned out. This time they’ll have the homefield advantage and a chance to knock off a highly respected opponent, but they’ll have to really lock down defensively.
  • #14 Boston College at #15 Georgia Tech, 8:00 EST, ESPN 2: This is a huge early season ACC matchup between two teams that have both played well enough to be thinking about a BCS bowl game, especially with conference favorite Virginia Tech not exactly clicking. The winner controls its own destiny, although both will have to get past the Hokies later in the season.
  • #1 USC at #17 Nebraska, 8:00 EST, ABC: The Trojans aren’t likely to have it as easy this time around in this battle of storied programs. They’ll have to travel into enemy territory and the Huskers will be jazzed and thinking upset. Nebraska didn’t exactly look great against Wake Forest last week, so they’ll have to make some improvements if they want to be competitive here, but you can’t ever underestimate the energy of a home crowd at night. Just ask Virginia Tech.

  TOP 40 OF THE MATTY:

  1. LSU (2-0)
  2. USC (1-0)
  3. Texas (2-0)
  4. Florida (2-0)
  5. West Virginia (2-0)
  6. Wisconsin (2-0)
  7. Rutgers (2-0)
  8. Oklahoma (2-0)
  9. California (2-0)
  10. Penn State (2-0)
  11. Louisville (2-0)
  12. Arkansas (1-0)
  13. Virginia Tech (1-1)
  14. Boston College (2-0)
  15. Georgia Tech (2-0)
  16. Ohio State (2-0)
  17. Nebraska (2-0)
  18. Hawaii (2-0)
  19. Texas A & M (2-0)
  20. UCLA (2-0)
  21. Tennessee (1-1)
  22. Oregon (2-0)
  23. South Carolina (2-0)
  24. Alabama (2-0)
  25. Georgia (1-1)
  26. Clemson (2-0)
  27. Missouri (2-0)
  28. Texas Tech (2-0)
  29. TCU (1-1)
  30. South Florida (2-0)
  31. Kentucky (2-0)
  32. Washington (2-0)
  33. Iowa (2-0)
  34. Arizona State (2-0)
  35. Cincinnati (2-0)
  36. Purdue (2-0)
  37. Auburn (1-1)
  38. Florida State (1-1)
  39. BYU (1-1)
  40. Maryland (2-0)

HEISMAN RACE:

  1. Darren McFadden, Arkansas
  2. John David Booty, USC
  3. Ray Rice, Rutgers
  4. DeSean Jackson, California
  5. Colt Brennan, Hawaii
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