If you look at this week’s schedule, it’s not exactly the most attractive slate of games you’ve ever seen on a Saturday. Particularly if you compare it to what we had last weekend.
On college football’s opening weekend, there were four games played between ranked teams, and plenty of other interesting options available. This week, 23 of the 25 teams in the current AP Top 25 will be playing, but the problem is none of them will be playing each other. So when you look at the schedule, there really isn’t a clear-cut, MUST-WATCH option available to you, but don’t be fooled.
Just because there aren’t any playoff preview type games doesn’t mean there aren’t games worth your time.
These are the games you’ll want to pay attention to.
Penn State Nittany Lions at Pittsburgh Panthers — ESPN, Noon: Neither team is ranked at the moment, but there aren’t many better ways to start your Saturday than with a good, old-fashioned rivalry. There was a time when these two in-state rivalries met on a regular basis. In fact, they played just about every season between 1900 and 1992 with a few exceptions. Then Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993, and since then they’ve only played four times with Penn State winning three. Saturday’s matchup will be the first time these programs have played since 2000 (which Pitt won 12-0). Here’s to hoping this becomes a regular thing again.
Kentucky Wildcats at Florida Gators — CBS, 3:30 p.m.: Florida had been ranked in the preseason AP Poll, but I guess the Gators struggled a bit too much against UMass for the voters’ liking. This week, they’ll face Kentucky in one of the two SEC conference games this weekend. Last we saw Kentucky, the Wildcats were blowing a 35-10 lead against Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles and former offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. I’m sure they’ll be looking to get that bad taste out of their mouths.
Arkansas Razorbacks at No. 15 TCU Horned Frogs — ESPN, 7 p.m.: From 1923 to 1991, these two were both members of the old Southwest Conference. Then Arkansas moved on to greener pastures in the SEC, and TCU hung around for a few years before the SWC disbanded and became the Big 12. The Horned Frogs then went on an adventure between a number of conferences before returning to the version of the Big 12 with 10 teams. History lesson aside, both of these teams had their struggles last week, but both won and will be looking for an even better start with a win on Saturday.
Brigham Young Cougars at Utah Utes — Fox, 7:30 p.m.: If you don’t live in Utah, you probably don’t fully understand this rivalry. Let’s just say there’s a reason it’s referred to as The Holy War, as things get quite feisty between these two fan bases. Seriously, any time I just mention one of these schools on Twitter, I can count on Utah and BYU fans showing up in my mentions arguing with one another for hours. It’s hilarious. If the game is half as entertaining as the arguments between fans, it’s going to be good.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Tennessee Volunteers (at Bristol Motor Speedway) — ABC, 8 p.m.: They’re playing this game on the infield of Bristol Motor Speedway. Yes, that’s right. They’ve put a football field inside a racetrack, and the place has a capacity of 153,000. If they all show up, it’ll be a college football attendance record. Oh, and the football game itself should be pretty fun. Not as fun as if there was an actual NASCAR race going on at the same time, but still pretty fun.
Washington State Cougars at Boise State Broncos — ESPN2, 10:15 p.m.: There are actually a couple late-night possibilities for you on Saturday night, but I believe this one has the best chance of being both interesting and meaningful. Yes, Washington State is coming off a loss to Eastern Washington, but the Cougars opened 2015 with a loss to an FCS team (Portland State) and still went on to have a strong year. Then there’s Boise State, who last week looked like the only real threat to Houston Cougars as the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six qualifier.
Best of the rest
Iowa State Cyclones at No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes — Big Ten Network, 7:30 p.m.
North Carolina Tar Heels at Illinois Fighting Illini — Big Ten Network, 7:30 p.m.
Texas Tech Red Raiders at Arizona State Sun Devils — FS1, 10 p.m.
Virginia Cavaliers at No. 24 Oregon Ducks — ESPN, 10:30 p.m.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / What to watch: College football games you need to see in Week 2