Game of the week
Penn State at Rutgers
Decades ago, you could have imagined these teams squaring off as members of an East-based football conference. Instead, the meeting will be celebrated as the Scarlet Knights’ first league game in the Big Ten. But the news is even bigger at Penn State. The school is now eligible for a bowl game after the NCAA essentially gave the penalized Nittany Lions time off for good behavior. When the sanctions were lifted earlier this week, students flocked to Beaver Stadium to celebrate.
Upset of the week
Texas over UCLA
The world knows how awful the Longhorns looked in its 41-7 loss to BYU. It was the most-watched game on Fox Sports 1 in the season’s first two weeks. But what nobody’s seeing is how mediocre the Bruins are playing. It took UCLA until the third quarter to put away Virginia in the opener, and the Memphis game last week was tied early in the fourth. Maybe Texas will fire up the Bruins, but if any team is going to come out with fire it’s the Longhorns, who were thoroughly embarrassed last week.
Others to watch
Georgia at South Carolina
It’s taken a 7-1 record to win the East Division the last three years (Georgia in 2011, 2012 and Missouri last season). If the Gamecocks don’t hold serve at Williams-Brice, they’ll drop to 0-2 in league play. Although South Carolina could never pull away from East Carolina last week, it scored on its final seven possessions.
Purdue vs. Notre Dame at Indianapolis
Somewhat lost in the burial of the Big Ten last week, including Michigan’s 31-0 loss to Notre Dame, was the Irish’s dominating performance. Quarterback Everett Golson was superb with three touchdown passes and the defense helped force four Wolverines turnovers. Notre Dame climbed to No. 11 in the AP poll and should get to October with a perfect mark. Then the schedule grows fangs with Stanford, North Carolina and Florida State awaiting.
On the horizon: Sept. 20 games
Auburn at Kansas State (Thurs., Sept. 18)
Thanks, Bill Snyder, for keeping this on the schedule
Florida at Alabama
So far, so good for Will Muschamp
Clemson at Florida State
Miami, Fla., at Nebraska
Those were the days, my friend
| Blair Kerkhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s Top 25 games
All games Saturday unless noted
No. 2 Oregon vs. Wyoming, 1 p.m.
No. 3 Alabama vs. Southern Mississippi, 5 p.m.
No. 4 Oklahoma vs. Tennessee, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Georgia at No. 24 South Carolina, 2:30 p.m.
No. 7 Texas A&M vs. Rice, 8 p.m.
No. 8 Baylor at Buffalo, 7 p.m. Friday
No. 9 Southern California at Boston College, 7 p.m.
No. 10 LSU vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 6 p.m.
No. 11 Notre Dame vs. Purdue at Indianapolis, 6:30 p.m.
No. 12 UCLA vs. Texas at Arlington, Texas, 7 p.m.
No. 14 Mississippi vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, 3 p.m.
No. 15 Stanford vs. Army, 4 p.m.
No. 16 Arizona State at Colorado, 9 p.m.
No. 17 Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina, 11 a.m.
No. 20 Missouri vs. Central Florida, 11 a.m.
No. 21 Louisville at Virginia, 11:30 a.m.
No. 22 Ohio State vs. Kent State, 11 a.m.