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TNIAAM Bye Week/Week 2 College Football Open Thread

Syracuse doesn't play today! But a lot of other teams do!

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

It's Saturday! And that means college football for many of us (even those of us writing this at 6 a.m. local time). Syracuse doesn't have a game this weekend because of poorly-timed EXCELLENTLY TIMED bye week, but as you're fully aware, a lot of other teams do. Consider this your place to watch those games with your fellow Syracuse fans, laugh at whatever wacky thing happens on College Gameday this morning and overall, just enjoy the gift that is a full slate of Saturday football.

Sean gave us the full schedule yesterday, but which games should be grabbing your attention the most today? Those games (along with some mini-previews) are outlined below:


South Carolina State Bulldogs at No. 23 Clemson Tigers, 12:30 p.m. ET (RSN/ESPN3): Clemson's defense was supposed to be pretty good, but it certainly didn't look great against Georgia last week. Now, they get a body bag game to recover and should cruise to an easy victory.

Richmond Spiders at Virginia Cavaliers, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN3): At one point in the preseason, you could've joked that this game was a pretty even matchup. Not so after what was a startlingly great display by the Hoos' defense against UCLA last week, though. No it's unlikely they'll contend in the Coastal, but UVa may not be the easily beatable foe we once thought they were.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Tulane Green Wave, 4 p.m. ET (ESPNEWS): After Georgia Tech struggled with Wofford for much of the first half or so of that game, I'm tempted to give the Green Wave a shot here. With Tanner Lee under center, the offense was clicking against Tulsa (even in a loss), and this team would love nothing more than to open up their new on-campus stadium with a win over their old SEC counterparts. Unfortunately, Tech's likely to run a lot more than they did last week, meaning the Green Wave will be forced to defend a true triple-option attack for the majority of this one. It'll be close, but ultimately, the Wreck get to 2-0.

Old Dominion Monarchs at NC State Wolfpack, 6 p.m. ET (ESPN3): If there's one team that looked just as bad as Syracuse last week, it's probably NC State. The Wolfpack needed a late comeback to beat Georgia Southern, and the offense looked just as feeble as last year's in a struggling 24-23 win over a school playing its first game as an FBS member. Old Dominion is also new to FBS, and has a much more high-powered offense than GSU -- so does that spell upset? It could, honestly. ODU may not be able to stop anyone on defense just yet, but Brian's Scott's run-and-shoot attack on O makes that less of a concern. NC State should be on upset watch...

Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs at Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 6:30 p.m. ET (ESPN3): Wake, this should be an easy win for you guys. The Runnin' Bulldogs are the second-easiest team on the slate (easiest would be Army), and given how bad the offense looked against UL-Monroe last week (only managed a field goal in a 17-10 loss), this season could get very ugly. Win this one for your own dignity, please.

Murray State Racers at No. 25 Louisville Cardinals, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN3): You saw what Louisville did to Miami last week. Now extrapolate that out to an FCS squad. Murray State is in trouble versus the Cardinals, but chances are you knew that already. If there are any kinks left to work out with this offense, Bobby Petrino will do so against the overmatched Racers.

Florida A&M Rattlers at Miami Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN3): After a lackluster performance against Louisville, this is a perfect opportunity for Miami to right the ship. Quarterback Brad Kaaya looked a bit rough around the edges last week, but should be able to gain some confidence against an FCS squad like Florida A&M.

Duke Blue Devils at Troy Trojans, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN3): Troy looked SO BAD against UAB last week in a 48-10 drubbing, and that likely spells doom for them against the Blue Devils, even if the game is oddly at home for the Trojans. Duke's got a lot of offensive firepower and is likely to unload all of it on Troy today.

The Citadel Bulldogs at Florida State Seminoles, 7:30 p.m. ET (RSN/ESPN3): You poor, poor Bulldogs. Chances are Florida State's none-too-pleased with how close last week was, so they'll be taking it out on the Citadel today. Hide your kids, hide your wife.

San Diego State Aztecs at No. 21 North Carolina Tar Heels, 8 p.m. ET (ESPNEWS): This is a rough road trip for the Aztecs, especially since they only got into Chapel Hill late yesterday. The time change will cause some issues, as will UNC QB Marquise Williams. SDSU will put up a fight, but the Heels and the cross-country trip may be too much for them today.

Virginia Tech Hokies at No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN): Ohio State didn't look its best against Navy, but does that spell disaster for them against a very tough Hokies defense? Really depends on whether or not the Tech offense shows up, honestly. This team's very good, and the defense will always be the main attraction, but in order to beat OSU, the Hokies will need to be able to put up a few points. This could be the upset of the day if they can get some pressure and cause turnovers early on.


Central Michigan Chippewas at Purdue Boilermakers, Noon ET (ESPNNEWS): Time to catch some game fllm of the Chippewas before Syracuse plays them last week. CMU struggled (but won) against Chattanooga on Saturday, but this game should really be a better gauge on their personnel, play-calling and overall, just how good they may be. It's worth tuning in if you're into scouting a bit.

No. 24 Missouri Tigers at Toledo Rockets, Noon ET (ESPN): Missouri's very good, but so is Toledo. In the early hours of Saturday's action, this one could go down to the wire, similar to last year's close matchup.

Ohio Bobcats at Kentucky Wildcats, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU): On paper, this doesn't seem like a game you'd want to watch, but now that Bowling Green QB Matt Johnson's out for the year, the Bobcats are the odds-on MAC East favorite. Given all the hype over UK's recruiting, this should be a decent early-season gauge on whether it'll mean on-field success.

Ball State Cardinals at Iowa Hawkeyes, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2): Iowa looked okay against Northern Iowa. Ball State is a pretty good football team... just leaving this here.

No. 14 USC Trojans at No. 13 Stanford Cardinal, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC): This could be the game you're most excited about today. SC's fun, up-tempo attack against Stanford's plodding, defensively-minded death machine. I was at last year's game when USC upset the Card and rushed the field. This one should be just as fun. (sidenote: Bill C. said some smart things about this game, which you should read).

Maryland Terrapins at South Florida Bulls, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBSS): Get a look at Maryland at full strength, and against an FBS opponent. We weren't taking the Terps lightly before, but this could give us a rough idea of just how good they really are.

No. 7 Michigan State Spartans at No. 3 Oregon Ducks, 6:30 p.m. ET (FOX): The OTHER game you probably care most about today... a rare non-conference top-10 matchup this early in the season. Given the contrasting styles of these two squads, this should be a ton of fun, and will go a long way toward deciding some early playoff fates.

East Carolina Pirates at No. 21 South Carolina Gamecocks, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU): Hey, South Carolina struggled against Texas A&M's air-raid style attack. So this week, we see if they struggle against ECU's air-raid style attack. With those freshman corners... hoo boy. Things could go south very quickly.

Michigan Wolverines at No. 16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBC): Based on last week's big win over Rice, it sure didn't look like Notre Dame missed those dismissed players. But now they get a chance to test this team against some more challenging competition. If ND wins big again, may as well move them into the top 10 -- since the media certainly will.


That's it from me. Enjoy your Saturday, and join us in the comments for all of today's game action!