The Game of the Year is right around the corner – Oregon vs Michigan State – in East Lansing this Saturday. It will be the first game between two top 10 teams this season.
Outside of that matchup, there are only a handful of games this weekend that could realistically affect the playoff picture down the road. Obviously, all Duck fans will be rooting for the Green and Yellow on Saturday, but here are a few other games to consider.
TCU was probably the least impressive team in the top 10 last weekend and fell from No. 2 to No. 3 in the AP Poll as a result. This year, the Horned Frogs have expectations of a Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff berth, but a 23-17 win over Minnesota wasn’t what fans and experts envisioned to start the season. This week, TCU plays Stephen F. Austin at home and should meet their fans’ expectations by scoring points in bunches and winning this game easily.
Considering how weak the Big 12 is and the fact that the conference has no championship game, even if a team finishes with one loss, it could still be jumped come playoff time — much like last season. Root for No. 3 TCU and No. 4 Baylor this weekend as they both play cupcake teams at home. We’ll root against them soon enough.
Staying in the Big 12, keep an eye on the Oklahoma Sooners this weekend. The No. 19 Sooners travel to No. 23 Tennessee on Saturday, and ideally, the Sooners will lose that game.
If the Volunteers win, that almost instantly knocks Oklahoma out of a potential playoff spot — which means that any damage the Sooners do in the Big 12 — beating TCU or Baylor later this season, for example — will likely eliminate whatever team loses to the Sooners.
Tennessee isn’t a legitimate threat in the SEC or the playoff picture just yet, so it’s likely the Vols will drop more games as the season unfolds — while the Sooners could end up winning the Big 12 due to their mediocre schedule. Let’s root against the Sooners this weekend. Hopefully with an early loss, they can cause some chaos later in the year and upset either the Horned Frogs or the Bears.
Transitioning to the SEC, this weekend is far less eventful than the last. Only two teams play other ranked opponents while most schools are playing teams from outside the Power Five conferences.
However, one matchup to keep an eye on is No. 14 LSU on the road at No. 25 Mississippi State. Even though the Bulldogs struggled somewhat against in-state rival Southern Miss last weekend, this is still a team coming off its best season in school history last year.
LSU hasn’t played a game yet, so hopefully Mississippi State can take advantage and pull off the upset. I’m rooting for the Bulldogs in this one, and you should, as well.
This home game against LSU on Saturday is the biggest game at home until Alabama comes to Davis Wade Stadium in November — so fans should be ready to ignite some home-field advantage this weekend.
The three games mentioned are the only games featuring two ranked teams this weekend. With the action slowing down for Week 2 of the college football season, all eyes will be on Oregon against Michigan State this Saturday.
Put all your energy into rooting on the Ducks, but if you have some left over, let’s root against Oklahoma and LSU this weekend, too. Keep the chaos coming, and stay tuned every Wednesday for “Who to Root For — and Against.”
Top photo by John Sperry