UCF @ #5 Michigan 12 Noon Eastern Big Ten Network
The UCF Knights are coming off of a disastrous season last year and a visit to The Big House is most likely the last thing they need to be facing as they struggle to right the ship, but regardless the date with the Wolverines is next up on the schedule. The Maise and Blue are looking for a second tune up game on the heels of a brutal domination of Hawai'i in the opener.
Michigan has its eyes set on a Big Ten Championship and a shot at another national title. Leading the charge will be sophomore passer Wilton Speight who will be looking to tighten the stranglehold on his starting role in Jim Harbaugh's offense. On the defensive side of the ball Michigan features a stingy defense that gave the Rainbow Warriors fits last week. While anything can happen, it looks like championship caliber football is back in Ann Arbor.
Lamar @ #6 Houston 12 Noon Eastern ESPN3
The Cougars made a statement last week against Oklahoma. This week they will face Lamar in the final tune up before they open conference play. For Houston it is an opportunity to fix some things that hurt the team against the Sooners, especially some glaring weaknesses in the defensive secondary. If the Cougars want to prove themselves worthy of playoff consideration them they will have to eliminate the busted coverages that kept Oklahoma in last weeks game.
Charleston Southern @ #3 Florida State 12:30 Eastern ACC Network/Watch ESPN
Charleston Southern travels to Tallahassee to face Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles without a good portion of their team. The Buccaneers will be without 14 players who were suspended for NCAA rues violations. Facing FSU at full strength would have been a Herculean task for the team, but the news makes things even more difficult. In fact, Fisher could have probably found a tougher test for his team against some of the powerhouse high school teams in the Sunshine state. This one will not be pretty folks.
Troy @ #2 Clemson 12:30 Eastern ACC Network/Watch ESPN
The other contender out of the ACC has a tougher challenge than Florida State, but not overly so. Clemson also identified some areas to work on last week, and the Trojans will be the unfortunate victims who are sacrificed to the Tigers as they attempt to iron out their issues. If that were not enough they will also have to face the hostile Death Valley crowd that will be fired up for the return of football. After a win over Auburn on the road last week those Clemson fans are ready for a little bloodletting at home.
Tulsa @ #4 Ohio State 3:30 PM Eastern ABC/Watch ESPN
The Buckeyes also have their sights set on Big Ten Glory and a shot at the national championship. The conference title and a chance to fulfill dreams will likely be on the line when the Buckeyes and Wolverines meet late this season but there is a lot of football between now and then. The next victim for Urban Meyer's charges will be the Tulsa Hurricane. The Buckeyes lost a lot of talent after last season and they will be looking to get some players some real-world experience this weekend. The biggest question will not be if the Buckeyes cover the 28 point spread, but how much will they cover it by?
Western Kentucky @ #1 Alabama 3:30 PM Eastern ESPN2/Watch ESPN
Nick Saban and his Rolling Tide wasted no time in assuring Jerry Jones that points could be scored in droves in AT&T Stadium on opening weekend. Don't look for them to slow down at all against the Hilltoppers in Tuscaloosa this time around. Alabama is explosive and very few teams are going to stand in their way. Like them or not, the Tide puts on a convincing show and until someone puts a stop to them they are going to continue to dominate.
#17 Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech 8 PM Eastern ESPN
Tennessee was supposed to be a force this season, ranked in the Top 10 to start the season. That didn't last long as they squeezed out an overtime win over Appalachian State last week, which plummeted them in the polls. They look to turn it around this week, but they have one of the tougher opponents of any Top 25 team this week in Virginia Tech. The Hokies aren't what they once were, but will certainly present a challenge for the Volunteers in what should be one of the better games of the week.
Other Top 25 games:
12 PM Eastern Central Michigan @ 22 Oklahoma State FS1
12 PM Eastern Prairie View A&M @ 20 Texas A&M SEC (alt)
12 PM Eastern Nicholls State @ 9 Georgia SEC Network
3:30 PM Eastern Nevada @ 18 Notre Dame NBC
3:30 PM Eastern Southern Methodist @ 23 Baylor FS1
3:30 PM EST Akron @ 10 Wisconsin BTN
4 PM Eastern Wofford @ 19 Ole Miss SEC Network
6 PM Eastern Florida Atlantic @ 25 Miami ACC Digital
7 PM Eastern Arkansas @ 15 TCU ESPN
7 PM Eastern UTEP @ 11 Texas Longhorn Network
7 PM Eastern ULM @ 14 Oklahoma Oklahoma PPV
7:30 PM Eastern Jacksonville State @ 21 LSU ESPNU
7:30 PM Eastern Iowa State @ 16 Iowa BTN
10:30 PM Eastern Virginia @ 24 Oregon ESPN
The pickings may be slim if you are looking for a quality match up. The slate does not offer up a single contest featuring ranked squads, but there are opportunities to check out the teams that will be battling for the top spots all season long.