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2023 College Football Watch Guide - Week 2

Lots of happy Cowboys, Blue Devils, and Bobcats and one very sad Dabo.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Duke Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

After the first full weekend of college football I felt like Randy Marsh in that meme where he finally was able to use the internet again. You know the one. It wasn’t just the sheer number of games on offer, it was that many of them were just so damn good. As I wrote in last week’s Watch Guide, the week 0 games were nice to have but none of them really felt like must see TV. You can’t say the same for week one.

Everybody and their dog seems to have an opinion about Deion Sanders, either as a person or coach. But you cannot deny what we saw last Saturday in Fort Worth. For all the speculation about whether or not a team consisting of so many transfers could come together in action, the Buffaloes went blow for blow with a ranked opponent. This isn’t the same TCU that reached the national championship last year, but to grab such a high-profile win on the road in the national spotlight was the perfect start to the Prime era in Boulder.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Texas State staged an incredible upset over Baylor as 27.5 point underdogs, grabbing their first win against a power-5 opponent. Meanwhile, Wyoming erased a 17-0 deficit and forced the Texas Tech into double overtime before coming out on top as home underdogs. But the team of the week award has to go to the Florida State Seminoles after their demolition of the then-#5 ranked LSU Tigers. The Noles backed up an off season full of talk and catapulted themselves into the CFP conversation one week in.

As quickly as Florida State has risen, their ACC rival Clemson has plummeted after losing to the Duke Blue Devils 28-7 Monday night. Actually “upset” is too mild a word, this was a humiliation of the Tigers for all the college football world to see, and it was fantastic. This was Duke’s version of the 2017 Ohio State game: a world class beat down that came out of nowhere and left us all laughing at the other teams despondent coach.

And that brings us to week 2. The NFL season opens tonight, so the weekday games are somewhat light, but let’s take a look at what’s on deck and which games are most intriguing.

Week 2 - Thursday & Friday

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Murray State @ Louisville Thursday, 6:30 PM ACC Network WatchESPN
Indiana State @ Indiana Friday, 6:00 PM BTN
Illinois @ Kansas Friday, 6:30 PM ESPN 2 WatchESPN

Do yourself a favor and watch the NFL opener on Thursday night. I know this is the college football watch guide, but the Chiefs and Lions is infinitely more interesting than Murray State @ Louisville. At the very least, Friday night gives us a couple of Big Ten games with Indiana State @ Indiana and Illinois @ Kansas. I expect Illinois to bounce back from a sluggish outing against Toledo and take care of business in Lawrence.

Saturday, Sept. 9 - Morning

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Vanderbilt @ Wake Forest 10:00 AM ACC Network WatchESPN
Ball State @ #1 Georgia 11:00 AM SEC Network WatchESPN
Youngstown State @ #5 Ohio State 11:00 AM BTN
Delaware @ #7 Penn State 11:00 AM N/A Peacock
#10 Notre Dame @ NC State 11:00 AM ABC WatchESPN
#12 Utah @ Baylor 11:00 AM ESPN WatchESPN
Troy @ #15 Kansas State 11:00 AM FS1
Nebraska @ #22 Colorado 11:00 AM FOX
Delaware State @ Army 11:00 AM CBSSN
Purdue @ Virginia Tech 11:00 AM ESPN 2 WatchESPN
Holy Cross @ Boston College 11:00 AM ESPN+ WatchESPN

#12 Utah @ Baylor

Utah was impressive in its opener against Florida. The Gators never really stood a chance, even with the Ute’s star QB Cam Rising on the bench. Baylor is reeling after the upset by Texas State, but can they put up a fight and earn some pride back?

Nebraska @ #22 Colorado

Coach Prime’s power-5 debut was always going to be a television gold mine, but the game itself delivered as well. Now the Buffaloes are ranked and the Cornhuskers provide a classic Big 12 rivalry. With Matt Rhule losing last Thursday in the most Scott Frost way possible, a win against Colorado would inject major excitement back into the program.

Others of Note: #10 Notre Dame @ NC State

Saturday, Sept. 9 - Afternoon

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
South Carolina State @ Georgia Tech 12:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
New Hampshire @ Central Michigan 12:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Eastern Illinois @ Bowling Green 1:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Charleston Southern @ #25 Clemson 1:15 PM ACC Network WatchESPN
Eastern Kentucky @ Kentucky 2:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Southern Utah @ BYU 2:00 PM Big 12/ESPN+ WatchESPN
UNLV @ #2 Michigan 2:30 PM CBS
#20 Ole Miss @ #24 Tulane 2:30 PM ESPN 2 WatchESPN
#23 Texas A&M @ Miami 2:30 PM ABC WatchESPN
Iowa @ Iowa State 2:30 PM FOX
Richmond @ Michigan State 2:30 PM BTN
UTEP @ Northwestern 2:30 PM BTN
Western Michigan @ Syracuse 2:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Miami (OH) @ UMass 2:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Texas State @ UTSA 2:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Wagner @ Navy 2:30 PM CBSSN
Southern Illinois @ Northern Illinois 2:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Texas Southern @ Toledo 2:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Kent State @ Arkansas 3:00 PM SEC Network WatchESPN
Marshall @ East Carolina 3:00 PM ESPN U WatchESPN
Cal Poly @ San Jose State 3:00 PM N/A N/A
Portland State @ Wyoming 3:00 PM N/A N/A
Tulsa @ #8 Washington 4:00 PM Pac-12 Network
Austin Peay @ #9 Tennessee 4:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
SE Louisiana @ South Alabama 4:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Appalachian State @ #17 North Carolina 4:15 PM ACC Network WatchESPN

Iowa @ Iowa State

This one’s a gimme since, you know, I’m an Iowa fan and this here’s an Iowa Hawkeyes site. Nationally, it’s an underrated rivalry but more often than not it provides some quality games. Both teams failed to really impress last week, although the Cyclones were the more pleasant surprise. We’ll see if Iowa can grab their sixth straight win in Ames.

Appalachian State @ #17 North Carolina

I’ll admit, there’s not a ton of must-see games Saturday afternoon. I’m picking the Mountaineers and Tar Heels here simply for Carolina’s talent and App State’s penchant for upsets.

Others of note: #20 Ole Miss @ #24 Tulane, Tulsa @ #8 Washington

Saturday, Sept. 9 - Evening

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
SMU @ #18 Oklahoma 5:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Lafayette @ #21 Duke 5:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
New Mexico State @ Liberty 5:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Duquesne @ West Virginia 5:00 PM Big 12/ESPN+ WatchESPN
UAB @ Georgia Southern 5:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Ohio @ FAU 5:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Louisiana @ Old Dominion 5:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Morgan State @ Akron 5:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Fordham @ Buffalo 5:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
North Texas @ FIU 5:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh 5:30 PM CW CW
#11 Texas @ #3 Alabama 6:00 PM ESPN WatchESPN
#13 Oregon @ Texas Tech 6:00 PM FOX
Jacksonville State @ Coastal Carolina 6:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
UConn @ Georgia State 6:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Northwestern State @ Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Middle Tennessee @ Missouri 6:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Houston Christian @ Western Kentucky 6:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
UCF @ Boise State 6:00 PM FS1
Houston @ Rice 6:00 PM NFL Network NFL Network
Florida A&M @ South Florida 6:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Memphis @ Arkansas State 6:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Idaho @ Nevada 6:00 PM N/A N/A
Grambling @ #14 LSU 6:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
#19 Wisconsin @ Washington State 6:30 PM ABC WatchESPN
McNeese @ Florida 6:30 PM ESPN U WatchESPN
Charlotte @ Maryland 6:30 PM NBC Peacock
Eastern Michigan @ Minnesota 6:30 PM BTN
Arizona @ Mississippi State 6:30 PM SEC Network WatchESPN
Temple @ Rutgers 6:30 PM BTN
Furman @ South Carolina 6:30 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
UCLA @ San Diego State 6:30 PM CBS
Air Force @ Sam Houston 7:00 PM CBSSN
Nicholls @ TCU 7:00 PM Big 12/ESPN+ WatchESPN
Lamar @ UL Monroe 7:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Tennessee Tech @ New Mexico 7:00 PM N/A N/A
Idaho State @ Utah State 7:00 PM N/A N/A
Southern Miss @ #4 Florida State 7:30 PM ACC Network WatchESPN
UC Davis @ #16 Oregon State 8:00 PM Pac-12 Network
Eastern Washington @ Fresno State 8:00 PM N/A N/A
Stanford @ #6 USC 9:30 PM FOX
Auburn @ Cal 9:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN
Oklahoma State @ Arizona State 9:30 PM N/A N/A
Albany @ Hawai'i 10:59 PM N/A N/A

#11 Texas @ #3 Alabama

The big one of the day and rightfully so. If Texas wants to be considered, or indeed is, truly “back” they need to show up against the SEC’s powers. Starting next year these are the types of teams they’ll see week in and week out. Are they up to the challenge?

#19 Wisconsin @ Washington State

The Badgers head west for a payback game against the Cougars. You’ll recall, last year Washington State topped Wisconsin 17-14 in Madison, setting the tone for a disappointing season. However, a trip to the Pacific time zone is always fraught with peril for us Midwestern teams. Be careful, Badgers.

[Editor’s note: don’t be careful, Badgers. Be so uncareful you get your asses handed to you. Please, I’m begging you!]

#13 Oregon @ Texas Tech

In case you missed it, Oregon dropped 81 on Portland State last week. Poor Puddles had to do 546 pushups. The Red Raiders are coming off that 2OT loss to Wyoming but they did score 35, so between these two teams the mascots could be doing an entire boot camp’s worth of pushups in one night.

Others of note: SMU @ #18 Oklahoma, UCF @ Boise State, Oklahoma State @ Arizona State