Week one had some great surprises. BYU winning in Arlington vs. Oklahoma will get discounted by some national media because of Sam Bradford's injury, but they were holding their own while he was in there, plus OU's defense wasn't injured. BYU had to score, and they got just enough. Notre Dame and Michigan also began to re-assert themselves as top programs in the midwest and look who happens to play each other this week...
Two programs that hit rock bottom also appeared to pick themselves up off the mat with good showings in defeat were Syracuse and Washington. Washington had one too many turnovers again LSU and Syracuse had one unfortunate turnover in OT against Minnesota, but neither one appears to be the pushover they've been in prior seasons.
The schedule itself is a little bit lighter like other Week Two schedules from past seasons.
Clemson at Georgia Tech (ESPN HD, 7:30pm) - 1st ACC conference game to be played this year and both schools. Georgia Tech's run attack was in full force against Jacksonville St. but one concern could be the lack of work Johnathan Dwyer got in the game as he sat out the 2nd half and only had seven carries for 95 yards, 74 of that coming on the 1st play of the game. Clemson's CJ Spiller also sat out much of the game vs. Middle Tennessee, but because he was dinged up. No word on his status.
There isn't much to whet the appetite early in the afternoon. Syracuse at Penn St. (12pm, Big Ten HD) provides some intrigue for me, but I'm not naive to think that the Nittany Lions should be highly favored. Stanford at Wake Forest (12pm, Raycom HD) and Pittsburgh at Buffalo (12pm, ESPN+) also bear watching, but not with great detail.
Notre Dame at Michigan (ABC HD, 3:30pm) – National telecast here and both teams came out on fire against lesser opponents. Both Casey Clausen and Tate Forcier were efficient, Clausen also providing the downfield element to the ND offense. Michigan got a lot of mileage out of their ground attack too and maybe Rich Rodriguez's offense is rapidly taking hold in season #2.
Houston at Oklahoma St. (FSN HD, 3:30pm) – The Cowboys got a huge win vs. Georgia in the game where Boone Pickens Stadium was rededicated. Houston may not provide the defensive punch that the Bulldogs did to Dez Bryant and Zac Robinson, but they'll bring the passing game. Could be a wild shootout.
South Carolina at Georgia (ESPN2 HD, 7pm) – Should be a physical SEC matchup. South Carolina and Georgia brough the lumber to NC State and Oklahoma St., respectively. Steve Spurrier let everyone know that there would be more attention paid to the SC ground game and Stephen Garcia was more caretaker than ball slinger, even if the ground game didn't pile up yards. Georgia was run over by OK State and will need to provide better defense to not get behind the Gamecocks in conference.
USC at Ohio St. (ESPN HD, 8pm) – USC appeared to be going through the motions early on against San Jose St. before turning it on late. Navy is a unique team to prepare for in that the blocking schemes they use, coupled with the one-sided slant towards running the football can leave a team using personnel groupings that they normally would not rely on for a game. But Navy's ability to pass and run on Ohio St. has to be troubling. Yes, OSU struggled with Ohio last year before the USC game in LA last year, but they can't afford to repeat the same result in Columbus. USC's reliance on Joe McKnight and at least three other RBs to take the pressure off Matt Barkley will be the difference as to whether Ohio St. can hang with the Trojans.