The 2016 college football season got off to a fantastic start in Week 1 with some great games taking place throughout Labor Day Weekend. Week 2’s slate of games? Well, it’s not so great…
The first week of the season was marked by marquee matchups like Notre Dame-Texas, Ole Miss-Florida State, USC-Alabama, Houston-Oklahoma, and UNC-Georgia. There were four games played between Top 25 teams during the first week of the season. Additionally, six other Top 25 teams played schools from other Power Five conferences (if you count Rutgers, that is).
All totaled, it made for the perfect start to the college football season.
This week? It’s like Roger Goodell made the schedule so as to not distract from the start of the NFL season.
There are zero matchups between Top 25 teams in Week 2. In fact, this week might as well be an episode of Cupcake Wars. Here’s a list of teams that are playing the Top 10 in the country (No. 7 Stanford has a bye):
Western Kentucky, Troy, Charleston Southern, Tulsa, UCF, Lamar, Idaho, Nicholls, Akron.
Most of those schools are so far off the radar that they aren’t even candidates for Big 12 expansion!
There are only five games between Top 25 teams and power conference schools. So this is your list of the top games in Week 2 of college football. It’s not exactly a collection of games that will have you glued to your television screens, so you may want to spend one last Saturday doing some outdoor home improvement projects or doing something crazy like spending time with friends or family.
#13 Louisville at Syracuse (Friday night)
#15 TCU vs Arkansas
#16 Iowa vs Iowa State
#17 Tennessee vs Virginia Tech (Bristol Motor Speedway)
#24 Oregon vs Virginia
Requisite reaction GIF:
The standout primetime game of the week is Tennessee and Virginia Tech playing at a NASCAR track. One of those teams is coming off a very fortunate overtime win in their home opener against Appalachian State where they got what seemed like 37 consecutive fortunate bounces and breaks go their way to get the victory. The other team was trailing in the first half at home to Liberty. That matchup doesn’t exactly scream “College Football Playoff preview,” unless the NCAA wanted to move the semifinals to Daytona and Talladega.
As for some of those other games featuring “Power Five” schools? Iowa State and Virginia both lost to FCS schools in Week 1. The less said about those teams, the better.
Looking ahead to next week’s schedule of games and there’s an exciting mix of premier conference and non-conference action. Ohio State-Oklahoma, Michigan State-Notre Dame, Alabama-Ole Miss, and FSU-Louisville are all Top 25 matchups. Sandwiched in-between those two great weeks of action is, well, nothing. That’s what this week of college football is: a meatless, soulless sandwich of nothingness.
In each of the last two years, college football has treated us to Michigan State-Oregon when they were both ranked in the top 10, as well as multiple Top 25 conference matchups. The last time we had the second week of the college football season without any games between Top 25 teams was 2012, but at least there were eight games between Power Five schools and ranked teams. This year? It might as well be a glorified preseason week for nearly all of the contenders.
And that’s a shame because last week felt like a celebration of college football and a weekend-long festival. The games were tremendous, there were multiple Top 10 upsets, and the ratings were even better. To immediately slam on the brakes after all that excitement is a downer.
There’s not even a Thursday night football game, so the stage is entirely cleared for the NFL’s season-opening kickoff. Couldn’t somebody at the NCAA or one of the conference offices have looked at the schedule and given a friendly suggestion to move one of these games around, so we could at least have something to hang our hats on for Week 2’s schedule besides Western Kentucky-Alabama?
If you’re one of those people who likes college football more than the NFL, then you certainly cherished last weekend. This weekend? Hopefully, it’s the one Saturday this fall where you’ve got a fall wedding scheduled.