If you looked at the college football schedule in early February, the best week two matchup would immediately stand out. Your eye would be drawn to the game that featured two top-10 teams with two legitimate Heisman contenders.
That game doesn’t exist anymore.
Back in the olden days when West Virginia was in the Big East, they signed a home and home contract to play Florida State in 2012 and 2013. Because of the Mountaineers move to the Big XII they had to drop a non conference game.
Thankfully WVU saved its game against FCS opponent James Madison instead of playing the lowly Seminoles. If not for the sacrifice of the FSU game, WVU might have had to give up a game against the mighty Maryland Terrapins, winners of two games last year. If you think about it West Virginia had to keep its rivalry with Marshall intact (a game that has been played exactly 12 times, and the Thundering Herd has lost every time) or else West Virginians would never know who was the best team in the Mountain State (hint: it’s The Mountaineers).
Even with all the snark, I think WVU made the right move. At HP we know that the team that matches an easy schedule with decent talent has the best chance to find themselves in a BCS game. The Mountaineers know this. 10 times out of 10 you have to drop FSU.
Even if it would have been the matchup of the week and excited the hell out of every college football fan. (Poor Savannah State.)
So what is the game of the week? Three games you might not expect. For most prognosticators Georgia-Missouri is at the top followed by maybe Washington-LSU and some U versus State game. Chew on these:
Utah at Utah State. Utah State is a good football team. Last year the Aggies seven regular season wins under represented the talent of the team. In 2011 only one of their six losses was by more than a touchdown.
Not much to say about Utah other than the fact that they probably deserve Stanford’s place in the top-25 polls.
This looks like the last Utah-Utah State game for the foreseeable future so expect both teams to come out swinging for the fences. This could be the game of the weekend, before the weekend even starts.
Vanderbilt at Northwestern. In my eyes this game looks like a repeat of last weeks NW-Syracuse game. You might not particularly care for either team but you will still be sucked in.
Nebraska at UCLA. Is Taylor Martinez actually good now? Can Jonathan Franklin replicate his week one heroics? Will Rex Burkhead be back to 100%? Is Jim Mora for real? Will there be more Nebraska fans at the Rose Bowl than Bruins? This game has intrigue.
HP and I would normally put up our weekly picks her but we are going to do a head to head feature each week to see who has got a better feel on the pulse of Vegas. Expect our picks later today.