Last week's decent opening weekend of college football felt like a cool dip in Barton Springs on a sweltering day. Perhaps with a smattering of those hot topless chicks that lay around tanning. But let's be honest, while last week's slate was decent, it was the equivalent of a Dixie-cup of tainted Mexican tap water after a week's trek through the Sahara. We'd have been thrilled regardless, just because it was the return of college football. This weekend's schedule of games is the equivalent of a dip in the Fountain of Youth after the same journey, followed by a steak from Morton's, a nap, a few hours with the finest harem in Asia, capped off with an endless buffet at Kreuz market. It's week 2, and I'm not so sure this isn't going to be the best weekend of college football this season.
This freaking preview is about a million words. You've been warned. So pack a snack and a change of clothes. Let us begin.
#21 Auburn at Mississippi St. (ESPN) - Dan Mullen had some nice moments last year for Mississippi State, and Chizik made an unexpected splash in his first year at Auburn. So this match-up probably will end up being better than a lot of people (me) expect. Auburn is one of the SEC guys at the end of the Top 25, along with SCAR and Georgia, illustrating one of the many examples of lazy voting we'll see this year. Oh, they're in the SEC? Throw them all in there, towards the back. But this could end up being a decent enough game. We see year two of Malzhan's spread at Auburn, which should be interesting, and we get to see Gene Chizik's chin contort and emote more effectively than the hands of a Sicilian Butcher's wife.
UTEP at Houston (ESPN) - Split Regionally with West Virginia vs. Marshall. Whatever, I don't really care, we saw Marshall get punched in the face last week by a vastly superior Ohio St. squad, who promptly exited the bar with Marshall's hot (ex) girlfriend. West Virginia and überzwerg Noel Devine will likely perform a similar performance this week, probably with Marshall's still attractive mother. Or sister. Or both. Whoever. I could care less about Houston vs. UTEP, really, but I'm sure I'll be at a bar hoping their fans start that stupid fucking siren wail so my friends and I can mock them like the functionally retarded future janitors they are, as ordained by destiny.
12 p.m. eastern:
#22 Georgia at #24 South Carolina (ESPN2) - I find it hard to get excited over this game, despite it being a solid SEC matchup early in the year. But Texas fans need Georgia to win, and win convincingly, if we don't want them to start eye-fucking our defensive coordinator. For the game itself, both teams won as expected last week, and they're both in the SEC, so the media thinks they're the cat's pajamas. And all things considered, this is about as good as it gets for 11 am kickoffs that don't take place at the Texas state fair. And in just a couple sentences, I'm more excited about this game than I was at the start of this paragraph. The power of college football, ladies and gentlemen! Both teams have really good defenses, and both teams have sketchy offenses, despite being coached by perceived offensive gurus. Georgia's AJ Green is out 3 games for selling a game jersey for money so Georgia's offense is definitely an unknown. When asked about his team's progression on offense and expectations this season, Steve Spurrier held a giant horn to his ear, then pantomimed a putting motion, complete with Chi-Chi Rodriguez flourish and sheath.
3:30 p.m. Eastern:
Iowa St. at #9 Iowa (ABC. Really, ABC?) - Iowa is being touted as another solid team that could make a run, but at this point I never have any idea with a Kirk Ferentz team. He's routinely considered one of the best coaches in college football, but his resume is peppered equally with great seasons like last year and 6-6 type stinkers. They seem on the upswing now, but who knows. My natural instinct is to dismiss the Cyclones as a bunch of hopeless morons who thought it was a good idea to fire Dan McCarney in a classic case of the fat douchebag dumping the cool hot chick, thinking he can do better, only to be smacked in the face with the reality of their painful and borderline criminal worthlessness to the fairer sex. However, it is hard to hate on Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads after that famous YouTube speech made Scipio cry like teenage girl looking down the barrel of a sold out showing of Twilight. So instead I'll simply say, "Hey, In-State Rivalry Game in Week 2" and then tell all of you that it doesn't matter, Iowa probably shoves their foot so far up State's asses that they'll be burping shoelaces.
#17 Florida St. at #10 Oklahoma (ABC) - The DeMarco Murray Shatters Into A Million Pieces Pool just re-adjusted their odds from 4-1 to 5-3 after he carried the ball 35 times last week against Utah St. Good lord, OU looked terrible and their defense looked about as stable as a Chilean copper mine. Meanwhile, Florida St. rolled in their opening game, but lets be honest, their defense should still be horrific. But at the very least, they'll have the athletes to stay on the field with OU, which is more than Utah St. had going for them. Meanwhile Christian Ponder has actually developed into a hell of a quarterback. I mean, this was news to me. I'm just as surprised as you guys. What most people were penciling in as an overrated victory over an underachieving name program a couple weeks ago is now looking a lot more competitive. This game will tell us a lot about both teams and both programs, and right now the spread is around 9 points in favor of OU. The spread on whether or not Bob Stoops throws multiple temper tantrums, acts like a colossal prick, and strokes his neck pouch while Venables and Huepel feign holding him back from the officiating crew is set at +4000.
Michigan at Notre Dame (NBC) - Week 2 of my ceremonial mourning of King Fupa takes place this weekend as the Irish take on a suddenly curious Michigan. The week 1 explosion of Denard Robinson, the new Michigan QB, has suddenly made Michigan intriguing as a team. As opposed to before, when they were just intriguing because their coach is a grade A liar and jerk on the hot-seat The A is for Asshole, in case you were wondering. Beating up on Uconn last week was worthy of notice, and Robinson went absolutely bonkers in an offense that made Longhorn fans pine for the glory days when Vince would help Greg Davis into his booster seat during team meetings. Temper some expectations, because we saw Tate Forcier come out and look the man for Michigan early last season before being broken apart and losing the job to Robinson. That being said, Denard looks legit. Both were expected to suck on defense this year, but while last week Notre Dame looked like garbage all around and tackled like a team full of Blake Gideons, Michigan held UConn to 10 points. So who knows, this could be a blood bath. Or not. But again, another game which could tell us a lot about two teams who, at this point like everyone else, are unknown quantities. I'll be pouring out one for Weiss. Remember that time he got his leg broken on the sideline because he was too busy eating a burrito and not looking at the actual game? Good times.
#12 Miami at #2 Ohio State (ESPN) - This game has the potential to be epic. It's been awhile since their BCS match-up in the early part of the decade, but both teams will almost certainly be fired up and ready to smack each other in the face, Woody Hayes-style. Jacory Harris and Terrelle Pryor are allegedly two of the best college QBs in the country this season, and we get to see them square off in a marquee game which will effect the championship hopes of both teams. The Buckeyes and that puckered sweater vest of a coach have shown a tendency to get conservative in ways that make Greg Davis look like a drunken streaker. Miami has the athletes and the defensive coaching to take that kind of predictability and shut it down like China on a human right's issue. Meanwhile, it's reasonable to expect Harris to have improved this season after another year in the offense, and if he's stopped bragging to everyone who will fucking listen that he was undefeated in High School, he could be dangerous this year. Unless he hasn't fixed his limp-wristed, casual ball handling, back footed, rainbow arc throwing style he touted last year. If that is the case, a vicious Ohio State defense could feast. This game could end in any number of ways, with none of the outcomes all that surprising. All signs point to a great contest.
7 p.m. Eastern:
#18 Penn. St. at #1 Alabama (ESPN) - Whew. This is a long writeup. I'm struggling like Sally Struthers after walking down half a flight of stairs. Ok, on the surface, this game is a marquee contest between two huge programs. Penn. St. has been improving the past few years after they took Jopa to the taxidermist and fitted his corpse with some basic animatronic functions. Which, oddly enough, tripled his charisma. This should be a good game, but most people expect Alabama to win convincingly. Ingram won't play, but Trent Richardson is better than him anyway, so it's hardly as if that matters. Also, the Lions of Nittany are breaking in a brand spankin' new QB this year, and Texas fans all saw how easy that is against Alabama's defense during last year's national title game. So all signs point to a decent Alabama win. But any college football fan is going to tune in to watch these two teams tilt.
#7 Oregon at Tennessee (ESPN2) - This contest looks to be an utter bloodbath for Tennessee. Sure, everyone is mildly curious to see if Derek Dooley ends up being a decent coach, being the 9th choice for Rocky Top after the administration placed their head in their hands and was forced to buy an ad in the local Penny Saver. And Oregon, minus the runny feces that is Jeremiah Masoli, threw up a 72 spot on New Mexico last week and allowed zero points. Greg Davis defenders pointed their drumstick at a defense that truly does its job, then waved their plastic cutlass and resumed pushing their Lucky Dog cart. Can Oregon put up a similarly impressive performance this week?
Wyoming at #5 Texas (FSN) - Again, hardly must see TV except for us Longhorn fans. Scipio has an excellent write-up here, if you haven't already perused. People can mock and ridicule me for actually being nervous about Wyoming, but we struggled early with them last year and I have less faith in the nascent stages of our offense this time around. Being at home should help. Granted, I don't think we'll lose, but the forecast calls for an 85% chance of me being Pissed-The-Hell-Off. Again, the interest here is in personnel decisions. Despite the released depth chart, does Chykie Brown continue to see substantial minutes? Does Vacarro continue to make the case that the big nickel should be our primary defensive set? Which RB will shine in the 2nd half this week? Will James Kirkendoll continue to fulfill all of the promise of the off-season reports, just as he did against Rice? Etc., ad nauseum, queue the mob of fans calling me a malcontent asshole. It's still UT football, and I still can't wait for kickoff.
9 & 10 p.m. Eastern:
Ole' Miss. at Tulane (ESPN Classic) - Listen. I'm not actually wasting any time even pretending to talk about this matchup. This is on the viewing guide for one reason, and that reason is to watch that that worthless human incarnation of Super-Aids, Houston Nutt. After getting the double fist last week by Jacksonville State, he's back for round two against Tulane. Let us all pause to consider this: Houston Nutt's SEC team was just defeated by a school who's first word is the name of the city where it is based, while the second word classifies said city as a state. I'd laugh until I cried (I did just that) if this jerk with the moral congruency of a Nazi furnace operator wasn't still, by any unbiased and fair account, about three-hundred thousand karma points short of even. If this game is close for even a few quarters, the shots of Nutt Consternation on the sidelines will be worth more to me than my own life. Go Green Wave.
Virginia at #16 USC (FSN - Probably) - This thing is getting exhausting, probably for you guys as much as my eyeballs. So I'm mailing in the next couple entries. Watch this game because its one of the few late games on TV, Lane Kiffin is like watching a mouthy 9 year old who bullies his parents on Jerry Springer, and because he literally called out his own father last week after the Trojans struggled with Hawaii. If freakin' Al Groh can put away his drool cup and find his playbook early in the season for once and make this a game, there's a legitimate chance Kiffin pounds both feet and fists on the turf during a timeout and starts sucking his thumb.
#25 at Stanford at UCLA (ESPN) - Stanford has the best pro-style QB in the country in Andrew Luck, and UCLA is an opponent that we get to play in the near future, so it's worth turning in for these things alone. It will be interesting to see a Stanford offense without a pounder like Toby Gerhardt at tailback, and I have no idea who is replacing him. What, you think I fucking follow Stanford that closely to know who they recruit? I don't. But it's on late and should be interesting. And if you look closely, you might see Slick Rick on the sidelines sending out runners with next quarter's bets for relay to the bookies. Because he's a degenerate gambler. And because he was the best man at Jerramy Steven's last rape DWI arrest court appearance. As a character witness. Irony, shit, how does that work?
Games that typically would be good enough for us to bang, but this week are Rosie O'Donnell and Roseanne Barr covered in tar and smelling salts, beckoning for a threesome:
Colorado at California - Watch as Dan Hawkins continues his quest to prove that only by offering him a contract extension can the Buffaloes hope to achieve any form of program security.
Brigham Young at Air Force - Two typically solid teams, with similar colored uniforms. Whatever. I'll watch it, but I mean, not because I can be bothered to care considering the rest of the weekend's games.
South Florida at #8 Florida - The more I think about this game, the more I want to move it off this list and back up into the regular guide. But you know what, I'm too lazy. Skip Holtz, who was a relatively hot commodity at East Carolina, takes over for Jim Leavitt at South Florida after Leavitt slapped a player across the mouth, in true Stoops Tradition, and told him to get back into the kitchen and make him a sandwich. Did you ever see that guy's haircut pop out of that visor? Listen to his husky lisp? He's hiding something. Meanwhile, Mark Mangino, outraged over the unjust dismissal, sent his wife to the soul food place owned by "those colored people, because they cook the best fried chicken." Food isn't a healthy salve, Mark. Neither is racism. Anyway, it will be interesting to see what Skip Holtz does with a South Florida team with some talent. Matt Groethe rumored to be returning for a 9th year of eligibility. And on the other side of the ball, is fumblin' John Brantley and the mighty Florida Gators. Last week, they looked like something that you'd find evacuated on the floor of a crack-house across 110th street. Potential upset? Maybe. Game starts at 12:30 and is on ESPN College Gameplan, so it's worth watching during the SCAR vs. GA game.
And...that's it. I think I broke my occipital lobe. I'm sure horrible spelling and poor grammar are legion, so I apologize in advance and ask for your understanding and leniency, mighty internet hordes.
Anything I missed? Comments? Anyone even finish?