I believe Week 2 of the 2015 college football season will have a lot more drama than the opening weekend and it will do so in half of the time. Here are some of the storylines to keep an eye on:
- Early season litmus tests for some teams – Week 2 brings some pretty significant early season games like Oklahoma at Tennessee, LSU at Mississippi State and Oregon at Michigan State. Oklahoma is running an all-new offense that is even more up-tempo than before and Tennessee and it’s fans believe that ole Rocky Top is ready to make a run at the SEC East crown. We have yet to see if LSU is any good or not and Mississippi State didn’t look like world beaters in Hattiesburg last Saturday night. Unfortunately, the loser of this game will be behind the eight ball in the SEC West standings way earlier than they would like. When Oregon heads to East Lansing, Duck fans better hope that a different defense goes with them because 42 points to Eastern Washington won’t do a whole lot of good against Conner Cook and company.
- Boise State’s march through the 2015 season – The Broncos are in familiar territory in 2015: they have a chance to go undefeated and play homewrecker to the established college football order. Boise State has the best chance of any Group of Five team to earn a place in a New Year’s Day bowl game but if they go undefeated they will have a pretty decent argument as to why they should be in the College Football Playoff, especially if all the other teams from the Power 5 conferences beat up on one another. Their final true test comes Saturday night when they travel to Provo, Utah, to take on the BYU Cougars. As an agent of chaos, I hope they finish the season undefeated because college football is at it’s best when someone like Boise State is tossing wrenches into the big machine.
- Clemson’s unlikely first test of the season – Believe it or not but the Appalachian State Mountaineers have the most returning starters of any team in the country and finished the season on a 6-0 run last season beating Sun Belt opponents by an average of 21 points. That continued into 2015 when they beat Howard 49-0. I know it was only Howard but if any small school team isn’t afraid of going into Clemson’s Death Valley it would be the Mountaineers. I doubt they will be able to do anything with the Tigers’ offense but I wouldn’t be surprised if Appalachian State turns this thing into a shoot out, especially if Clemson is looking ahead to the big ACC Atlantic Division show down next Thursday night in Louisville against the Cardinals.
- AAC East Division already on the line in Cincinnati – The Cincinnati Bearcats took care of business against Alabama A&M on Saturday and cruised to a 52-10 victory but Temple shocked everyone with their complete desolation of the Penn State Nittany Lions. Cincinnati was the favorite before the season to win their side of the AAC in the first year of the division format but I doubt many had this Week 2 matchup against the Owls as a Eastern Division elimination game. Bearcat quarterback Gunner Kiel and his offensive lineman have better spent some time in the film room preparing for this early season test. On the other hand, Temple better be in the film room as well trying to figure out how to slow down Keil and company who put up some seriously gaudy offensive numbers in 2014.
- Georgia Southern’s potential disastrous start – Just two weeks prior to the 2015 season’s start, the Georgia Southern Athletic Department announced that Eagles starting quarterback Kevin Ellison would be academically ineligible for the season opener in Morgantown, West Virginia, against the West Virginia Mountaineers. We all figured that would definitely hurt the Eagles’ offense but not many people, including me, expected a 44-0 drubbing. Week 2 rolls around and the Georgia Southern Eagles home opener turns out to be against Western Michigan who looked pretty dang good last Friday night against top five ranked Michigan State. Kevin Ellison better be ready to go because a 0-2 start for the Eagles would be a disastrous beginning to what many thought would be a break out season.