NCAA Football

5 Possible Week 2 College Football Upsets

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5 Possible Week 2 College Football Upsets

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

It was often a catchphrase of the late Joe Paterno about this time of year: “A football team improves the most between its first and second games.”

When looking for potential college football upsets in Week 2, that’s really what to look for first. What teams are set to improve the most between Week 1 and Week 2? History has shown that a school that plays “up” and gives a relatively decent account of itself in Week 1 usually does better in Week 2 against a power team, than a team which plays “down” and hammers a lower-level FCS foe.

Also, there is a lot of overreaction out there. Notre Dame “only” beats Temple 28-6 and failed to cover the 30-point spread, and so the line goes from a pick to Michigan by a three-point favorite. There was probably a lot of overreaction to Notre Dame failing to cover an unreasonable high line (30 points) on one end, and Michigan hanging a 59-spot on Central Michigan on the other end.

Western Kentucky’s 35-26 win over Kentucky of the SEC tabs the Hilltoppers as a value all season. Willie Taggart, who took over the South Florida job, stocked Western Kentucky with a lot of top-level recruits, and the Hilltoppers will be a load to handle for any foe this season. The line on the Western Kentucky at Tennessee game dropped from 13 to 10 in one day. Tempting, but I'm not biting.

There are plenty of upset fish in the sea that might be biting, though; these five are among them:

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5. Washington State over Southern California

5. Washington State over Southern California
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Washington State lost to Auburn, while USC traveled to the island and looked spotty at times in a 30-15 win over Hawaii. The Cougars are way better than the 15 points they are getting, and don't be surprised if they win this game outright.

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4. Notre Dame over Michigan

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Notre Dame barely broke a sweat against Temple, but fell from a pick to a three-point dog based on not covering an unreasonable 30-point spread. Michigan might have been bloated by a 59-point effort in a win over Central Michigan, but the Chippawas did little to prepare the Wolverines for a team with the talent level of the Irish. Notre Dame wins this game outright.

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3. Navy over Indiana

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The Middies scored 10 points in the final five minutes, 30 seconds of last year's game to beat the Hoosiers, 31-30, but have inexplicably found themselves a nine-point underdog in this game. This is the opener for Navy, while Indiana's opening 73-35 win over Indiana State was little more than a scrimmage. The Middies are brilliantly coached by Ken Niumatalolo, and the win over Indiana State will do little to prepare the Hoosiers for Navy's tricky triple-option offense. If Navy doesn't win, it will almost certainly cover.

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2. San Jose State over Stanford

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Even though the game is at No. 4 Stanford, this is a neighborhood rivalry game for San Jose State. Both teams have eight-game winning streaks, and the Spartans dropped a tough 20-17 game to Stanford a season ago. This is the first game of the season for the Cardinal and it could show in terms of rust. The Spartans, who went 11-2 last year, should easily cover this 20.5 spread, and don't be surprised if they win the game outright.

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1. Temple over Houston

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If any line is skewed, it is this one. Houston is a three-point favorite at Temple despite both teams coming off losing seasons. Temple, on the other hand, won outright (not just covered) 16 of 19 home games from 2009 through 2011, so is a proven home dog. Much to the delight of most Temple fans, Steve Addazio, the run-oriented coach, is gone to Boston College and the Owls put the ball up 47 times in its game at Notre Dame under new head coach Matt Rhule. The Owl lines held up well against both Notre Dame fronts, and Temple actually had more first downs (25-21) than Notre Dame did. Houston prepared for this game, putting up 62 points on Southern, but don't be impressed by that. New Mexico also put up 62 points on Southern in the opener last year and was one of the worst teams in FBS football. Temple probably wins this game by two touchdowns or more.

Mike Gibson is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @papreps , “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.