College football viewing guide: Week 2 could surprise (or suck)

College football’s second weekend won’t be as awesome as its first.


You never know, though.

What made last week highly anticipated was the plethora of games between ranked teams.

What made it actually awesome was how competitive many of those games were.

If we can get the latter this weekend, the former won’t be missed too much.

Here’s an assist in planning your viewing for Saturday.

Noon window

This is looking pretty bleak, to be honest. The closest spread in a game including a top 25 team is Oklahoma State-Central Michigan (FoxSports1). The Cowboys are 21-point favorites.

If you like fights, Penn State’s trip to Pittsburgh (ABC) might be worth keeping an eye on. Penn State features sophomore running back Saquon Barkley, one of the nation’s best players, while Pitt is in its second year under Pat Narduzzi, the Ohio native who was the architect of Michigan State’s stellar defenses under Mark Dantonio.

Mid-afternoon (3:30) viewing

Ohio State takes the field at 3:30 to entertain Tulsa on ABC. The Buckeyes are 28.5-point favorites as they tune up for a prime-time game at Oklahoma in week three.

If Urban Meyer’s boys take the suspense out of this one early, the best chance for chaos might come in Wisconsin, where the suddenly 10th-ranked Badgers are 23.5-point favorites against 1-0 Akron.

Iowa State-Iowa (Big Ten Network) could offer some surprises, too, although I am buying the Hawkeyes more this season than I was last.

Evening shift

Although Arkansas is not ranked, the Razorbacks are only seven-point underdogs at old Southwest Conference rival TCU. The 15th-ranked Horned Frogs are an intriguing team this year as they have some rebuilding to do on offense but still have one of the best coaches in America in Gary Patterson.

(Ohio State fans hoping to scout Oklahoma probably won’t be able to without buying a pay-per-view because the Sooners’ game against Louisiana-Monroe isn’t on real TV since the Big 12 doesn’t have a real TV deal.)

For novelty and to get a sneak peak at two teams likely to disappoint before the season is over, you can check out Virginia Tech at overrated (No. 17) Tennessee from Bristol Motor Speedway on ABC.

Late-night show?

If there is any game worth staying up for, it’s probably Virginia-Oregon (ESPN). The 24th-ranked Ducks are 24-point favorites against the Cavaliers, who are looking for their first win under new coach Bronco Mendenhall. Oregon is always good for at least one spectacular flameout per season, so why not this week?

Washington State-Boise State (ESPN2) and California-San Diego State (CBS SN) have some potential, too.

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