Sep 1, 2012; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks mascot and cheerleaders perform for the crowd against Jacksonville State. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
Unfortunately for college fans around the nation, there are no ranked teams playing one another in the second weekend of college football. However, there is plenty to watch so get your popcorn ready.
It is weekends like these, where very little is expected, in which we get the upsets and the crazy endings that draw us back to football weekend after weekend.
So you will want to be watching, not only to see if the Razorback defense can turn it around against the Warhawks, but to see how Missouri and Texas A&M are welcomed to the SEC, to see which Nerd Bowl is better, and to see if Savannah State can put points on the board after Oklahoma State bludgeoned them last week in Stillwater. To the games we go...
Saturday at Noon
Auburn at Mississippi State- Last year's game was one of the year's best finishes. Expect no different this season. Bulldog coach Dan Mullen will look to capture his first win in the SEC West against someone other than Ole Miss, while Auburn is looking to avoid starting 0-2 and starting the inevitable demise of Gene Chizik. Mullen moves to 4-12 against the Western Division with a win on Saturday.
University of Central Florida at Ohio State- The Buckeyes should have an easy go against the Knights tomorrow, but with the team still learning Urban Meyer's offense there are no guarantees. UCF's coach George O'Leary is no slouch and will keep it interesting until Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller and Co. wear down the inferior Knights.
No. 24 Florida at Texas A&M- The Aggies welcome College Gameday to the scene as they begin their hard road towards an SEC Championship. They will soon find out about that SEC speed everyone raves about every week of the season as opposed to once a year against Arkansas. No doubt College Station will be rocking for one of A&M's most anticipated games ever.
Arkansas vs. University of Louisiana-Monroe- Sure there are questions about the defense, but is that not always the case for the Hogs? Find solace in this: Tyler Wilson put up better numbers than any quarterback in Razorback history in season openers and Cobi Hamilton will be back healthy. Defensive coordinator Paul Haynes will show off some of his available athleticism and calm Hog fans nerves. Arkansas wins in Little Rock.
Nebraska vs. UCLA- Husker quarterback Taylor Martinez returns back to his home state to face his childhood favorite team, who did not give him a scholarship offer. Set out to prove that he was worth a letter, Martinez is coming off of a career-high five touchdown pass game against Southern Miss a week ago. The Jim Mora-led Bruins gave up 24 points to the Rice Owls week and must play better this week to win. Nebraska may be down their first-team All-Big Ten running back in Rex Burkhead but still wins in California.
No. 7 Georgia at Missouri- Another SEC beginning, as the folks in Columbia welcome the Bulldogs, who despite winning last week fell a spot in the polls. The key matchup for this game will be how Tiger quarterback James Franklin handles the pressure from the Bulldogs front seven, which is one of the best in the country. The Bulldogs might have blitzed three times last week and looked as if they were saving themselves from providing Missouri coach Gary Pinkle (8-2 all-time against the SEC) any tape on their tendencies. In a close game, the Bulldogs win.
Vanderbilt at Northwestern- The SEC's other James Franklin will lead his Commodores to the windy city to take on the Wildcats in the first of two Nerd Bowls on Saturday. Can you imagine some of the trash talking on the field? Northwestern escaped New York in typical last-second style with a victory over Syracuse. If the referees had made the right call in the Dores opening game, they might be ranked and 1-0 in the SEC. Enjoy Franklin's last year, Vandy. He wins again for you.
Duke vs. No 25 Stanford- Nerd Bowl II on the night will feature an always struggling Duke team traveling to California to take on the post-Andrew Luck Cardinal. Stanford is discovering that life without the most highly-rated quarterback since their own John Elway is not and will continue to not be as fun. However, they will experience some success still for years to come because of the recruiting base that was built while Luck was there. The Cardinal win here to start 2-0 on the year.
Upset special- Pay attention to Air Force at No. 19 Michigan. Sure they have a strong defense, but the Wolverines were embarrased last week and will hope to not fall again after a tough start. The Falcons run a triple-option attack, which is never easy, especially if your mind is elsewhere, like stuck on last week.
Best game without a ranked team- Penn State over Virginia. The Cavs struggled last week against Richmond, but do have the talent at quarterback in Alabama transfer Phillip Sims to have a solid year.
If I could go to one game- I promise that I will not follow Gameday around all season, but the matchup in College Station is intriguing. If A&M loses this game the letdown could very well lead to a losing season, and the Gators need to start strong in the SEC to cool their coach's hot seat.
Record for the season- 8-1