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How To Football: Week Two

How does college football follow up the “Best Kickoff Ever”? Well...

Believe or not, football season is not over! Yes, that’s true. Still playing football and everything. LSU even has 11 more games! 11! And those are the just guaranteed ones. Why, there could be 12, 13, or even 14 more games.

And they play this weekend, along with damn near everybody else in college football. So maybe trade in your pitchforks and machetes for whisky and food and make plans to be in or around Tiger Stadium this Saturday. And if you’re a conscientious objector to LSU football, use this article to help navigate the waters that is week two of the college football season.

Birds With Teeth Shift

Due to opening weekend extending all the way to Monday, there will be no Thursday games this week and the pickings on Friday night are slim (like they always are). We get two games on Tailgate Eve, the most notable being Louisville at Syracuse. llvll just dropped a 70 spot on Charlotte off the back of quarterback Lamar Jackson’s eight touchdowns (six passing, two rushing) and 405 combined yards, so it will be interesting to see how Dino Babers’ new Cuse will try to match up to him. Over on The Forbidden Network, DJ Durkin’s Maryland takes a recruiting trip to Miami faces an early season road test against the Florida International University Panthers.

Keystone Shift

After a 16-year cold war, Penn State and Pitt will meet on the football field once more. During their hiatus, Penn State has gone from college football blue blood at the front of the Big Ten to a middle of the college football pecking order team due to some heinous events while Pitt has turned the corner from middling Big East team to an ACC member with a lot of promise and excitement around the program. And if you’re not clued in to the no longer dormant rivalry, one thing that time has not changed is the hatred that exists for each other.

Scott Frost’s second game as head coach of UCF is considerably harder than his 1st obstacle of South Carolina State: Harbaugh’s Michigan in the Big House. Michigan dismantled Hawaii easily, and Wilton Speight took the reigns as starter for UM. This game will clue us in much more to who the Wolverines are this year than the Hawaii game did.

The rest of the nooners are pretty unimaginable non-conference games. Central Michigan @ Oklahoma State is probably the best game of the rest of the bunch that includes Wyoming @ Nebraska, Boston College @ UMass (you read that right), and Troy going down to the lake to play Clemson.

2:30 Sharp Shift

Well before last Saturday, the afternoon shift looked good. Kentucky was going to try to snap their 29-game losing streak to Florida, the longest active losing streak against one team. But then Kentucky went and lost to Southern Miss to start their year. To be fair, Florida struggled to put away UMass but put them away nonetheless. And then there is Wake Forest, who played a dismal game in a 7-3 win over Tulane trying to best Duke for the first time in four years this week.

Alabama and Ohio State, for all their perceived differences, are scheduling Group of Five teams, with Alabama’s being considerably more respectable because they’re playing Western Kentucky, the team that could honestly reach bowl eligibility if they were in the SEC East.

Notre Dame will try to bounce back from their incredible game with Texas that resulted in a two overtime loss for the Irish by welcoming Nevada and their pistol offense to the most boring stadium on Earth. Also on FS1, Trey Quinn’s SMU Mustangs go down to Waco to play Baylor (disclaimer: Trey Quinn cannot play this season).

The BNR Shift

This is your stop, LSU fans. After the disappointing loss at Lambeau, LSU comes home to play Jacksonville State. While this is an FCS game sandwiched between a big game and the SEC opener for LSU, Jacksonville State is no cupcake. The Gamecocks are coming off of back to back 10 win seasons, the last of which they made the FCS Championship game. JSU has a history of upsetting SEC teams (hey Ole Miss!) so this will not be a mercy killing at all. But this game will be an opportunity for LSU to come out and wipe the bad taste out of their mouths from last week and perform. Hopefully Brandon Harris and the offense opens up more and it’s a nip and tuck performance, but the Gamecocks have a penchant for hanging around with big teams.

There’s a lot of novelty to watching Virginia Tech and Tennessee at Bristol. Bristol has provided some of NASCAR’s most memorable moments. It’s huge despite the track being so short, and it’s loud. At the end of each summer there’s a night race there (the BNR) and the tempers are the only thing hotter that the air outside. And it’s awesome that there’s going to be a football game. there. The environment is going to be insane and I’m going to re-watch that game for Sunday. But don’t expect much else from that game. We all watched Tennessee have to go to overtime to survive Appalachian State but lost in the shuffle Saturday is Virginia Tech having to fight off Liberty late in Justin Fuente’s debut for the Hokies. Maybe it will be a good game in terms of scoreline, but don’t expect the highest quality of football from that game.

No, what’s likely to be the best game of the shift is going to probably be Arkansas at TCU. Both teams also looked very unimpressive in week one, with Arkansas avoiding their traditional September mid-major loss to Louisiana Tech and TCU pulling away from South Dakota State late Saturday night. This is a clash of two former Southwest Conference teams as well a clash of two offensive ideologies: the Horned Frogs with a technically perfect spread and the Razorbacks with a manball power run offense.

#BDWMF comes into Starkville to ravage Mississippi State following their loss to South Alabama, so that should be fun to watch as well. By “fun to watch” I mean “just look at the scoreboard, looking directly at Will Muschamp football may cause crippling depression”.

BYU also turns from their win against Arizona to their MOST HATED RIVAL Utah in the latest installment of The Holy War. Much like Penn State and Pitt, this series was supposed to be on a hiatus, but that was ended last year when both teams accepted a bid to play in the Las Vegas Bowl, where Utah topped BYU in a crazy 35-28 game.

¡Faltaría a mi deber si no mencionase la mayor rivalidad en todos los college football, el espectáculo más grande en el mundo de los deportes, el santuario logro humano, EL ASSICO!

Sandstorm Shift

Late on Saturday night, we get a PAC-12 showcase where three teams from the conference take on power five teams/Boise State. On FS1 Texas Tech plays Arizona State, and that game has the most LIT possibility out of every other game on the docket because we don’t really know enough about either team. Just behind that game is Washington State at Boise State. Washington State just lost to Eastern Washington, so the Cougars are ready to go on a revenge tour (again) ala John Wick and scorch the blue turf red. Just like Eastern Washington! Finally, Oregon lays the smackdown on Virginia.

But we’re not done yet. Because at 10:59 PM, an old friend is stopping by to say hello. Or I should say aloha?