A Big Test for Florida Awaits in Week Two
The first weekend of college football has come and gone.
We saw defending champion Alabama dismantle the No. 8 ranked Wolverines from Michigan in the marquee game Saturday night and Michigan State defeat a ranked Boise State team on Friday night.
Other than those two games none of the ranked teams faced off against another ranked team. Week two will not feature any game with a ranked team squaring off against another in the top 25.
This does not mean that fans should spend their Saturday at Home Depot or Bed, Bath, and Beyond, if they have enough time that is.
These are the top five games I will be sure to watch in week two of the college football season.
Florida at Texas A&M: The first SEC clash for the Aggies welcomes the Gators to College Station. Florida struggled against Bowling Green in the opener. This will be the first game of the season for Kevin Sumlin and his A&M team after their opener vs. Louisiana Tech was postponed due to Hurricane Isaac.
Auburn at Mississippi State: The conference opener for each team will be a pivotal game for each team. Auburn dropped their opener to Clemson and State pounded FCS subdivision Jackson State. As close to a must-win in week two as you can get for each school that play in the daunting SEC west. Provided State can get past the Tigers, they have a very favorable schedule the next five weeks.
Purdue at Notre Dame: The Irish had put an offseason full of suspensions and controversy behind them as they put up 50 in Ireland vs. an overmatched Navy team. Purdue cruised to a 48-6 win over Eastern Kentucky behind the arm of Robert Marve who passed for 300 yards and three scores. Purdue needs this game to gain the confidence necessary to compete in the Big 10.
Miami (Fl) at #22 Kansas State: Each team won their opener, but Miami will have to contain K-State quarterback Collin Klein if they are going to start out 2-0. This is not a good Miami team and is exactly the type of team K-State needs to beat if they are to repeat their 10-win season of 2011. Miami tailback, Tavon Johnson will be a challenge for the State defense to contend with as he ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns on only seven carries.
Vanderbilt at Northwestern: In a game featuring two of the more prestigious academic institutions in the country this figures to be an ultra-competitive contest. Vanderbilt lost a tough one to No. 9 South Carolina Thursday night, and the Wildcats escaped the Carrier Dome with a 42-41 win over Syracuse. Vanderbilt cannot afford to drop to 0-2 in a season they had high hopes for, and Northwestern needs their defense to show up after giving up 470 yards and four touchdowns to Orange quarterback Ryan Nassib in the opener.
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Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.