We had a nice set of games take place that saw one top 10 matchup excite us all. I think the more exciting news was the victory that the Georgia State Panthers had over the Tennessee Volunteers.
It was the Panthers first ever win over a Power Five conference since joining the football world nearly a decade ago.
Speaking of Power Five, the Auburn Tigers proved why the SEC is one of the dominant conferences with their comeback win over PAC-12’s Oregon team.
But this week we get to see how the SEC does against two more of the Power Five in the week’s Top 25 matchups. Let’s see who plays who and how it might look in this week’s version of Games to Watch.
Top 25 vs. Top 25:
1 Clemson versus 12 Texas A&M
The first test goes to Texas A&M as they look to revenge a loss to Clemson last year. A&M came really close to beating Clemson early last season and they want a chance to do it this year.
They didn’t face QB Trevor Lawrence though, so maybe the story could be different. Especially if Lawrence manages to make silly mistakes like the two first half interceptions he had in week one against Georgia Tech. This Aggies team is tough on defense and we should be in for a defensive showdown.
6 LSU vs 9 Texas
But LSU and Texas had an easy victory in week one. LSU looked like the National Champions as they crushed Georgia Southern (55-3) to show that they are back for contention. LSU QB’s Joe Burrow looked good last game and we should see him play well again as a Big 12 defense that also gives up points.
Regardless of the points that Texas may give to LSU, they will be putting up points too. I mean when you have a QB with the talks of a Heisman, you expect him to do well. I think Texas QB Sam Ehlinger will make the best out of this game and continue to put up 45 points like they did last week against Louisana Tech.
Bounce Back Games:
16 Oregon vs Nevada:
Oregon had their chance to prove themselves worthy of being a top 10 team with a win last week against Auburn. Unfortunately, they had given up a two touchdown lead and let Auburn climb back into it with a 27-21 victory.
The Ducks would’ve had their eyes on the playoff with a big win like that, but now it’s going to be a bit harder to get there. They will use this game against Nevada to get themselves right before taking on their conference opponents, so let’s see how they do in this bounce back.
Miami vs North Carolina:
It’s been two weeks since Miami lost to Florida (24-20) in a nail-biter. Miami was having a lot of success on defense as they were able to get several turnovers from the Gators. The Hurricanes just couldn’t capitalize on the turnovers and made it a win over a top 25 team.
Instead, they find themselves in an early 0-1 hole trying to finish atop their division and make the conference championship. Can the Canes get their first win on the season against North Carolina and continue to make that fight happen?
Arizona vs Northern Arizona:
I’m not sure how we want to look at Arizona and their chances in the PAC-12, but their loss to Hawaii (45-38) a few weeks ago was a bit surprising.
I knew Arizona wasn’t that good, but Hawaii isn’t a legit opponent and Arizona had all the chances to win this game. I do think they will be able to bounce back from it and a game against Northern Arizona should help get their focus right.
Games of Interest:
7 Michigan vs Army
Michigan opened up their season last week with a 40-21 win over Middle Tennessee and honestly that is a bit concerning to me. Michigan is once again a favorite to win the Big Ten, but they struggled against a team that shouldn’t of had a chance.
I actually like Michigan’s chances to win this year, but with a tough schedule it’ll be hard to keep up with the struggles.
A game against a team like Army could be pivotal for Michigan and their season. We know they are capable of seeing big plays by the Wolverines and hopefully they can make it to an epic showdown against Ohio State.
5 Ohio State vs Cincinnati
Speaking of Ohio State, they jumped out early with a 28-0 lead as transfer QB Justin Fields shows what he got after leaving Georgia last year. Fields looked good in the 45-21 win over Florida Atlantic, but let’s see how he’ll look against a better defensive team.
Cincinnati isn’t the best defensive team, but it is a step up from Florida Atlantic and they are a pretty good football team. It’ll be interesting to see how they play against this Ohio State team after beating UCLA (24-14).
Do the Bearcats have a real chance to surprise us this early in the season? How will it affect Ohio State’s season?
14 Washington vs California
How about we take a look at another Georgia transfer in Washington. That transfer would be QB Jacob Eason and he’s ready to prove himself to the world after spending the last few years as a back up to Georgia’s Jake Fromm and Washington’s Jake Browning.
Eason had a nice performance against Eastern Washington as they won 47-14. But this is his first conference test and it’s not one that should be taken lightly.
California os one of the most unrated teams in the PAC-12 and they could very well upset Washington if they aren’t careful, so let’s see how Eason will do against them this week because it’s going to be a long battle in the PAC-12 this season.
23 Stanford vs Southern Cal
Speaking of long battles, this game is usually done a bit later in the season and it’s one of the most historical games from the PAC-12.
Both of these teams had some hard fought victories last week. For Stanford, it was a tough Northwestern team that they beat 17-7. USC beat Fresno State 31-23 in a highly surprising offensive game.
In order for Southern California to beat Stanford, they will once again need to find some offense.
Southern California might have a tougher season without QB J.T. Daniels who will miss the rest of the season due to an injury suffered against Fresno State.
Let’s see how Coach Helton plans to replace him and if they can find a way to relay around the defensive and win the game.