Lamest time window: The early shift is the weakest, but it’s a solid slate all day (even if there’s only one marquee matchup).
Noon: No. 22 Colorado is must-watch TV in Deion Sanders’ home debut against Nebraska (Fox). No. 10 Notre Dame at North Carolina State (ABC) is a fine second option.
3:30: No. 20 Mississippi at No. 24 Tulane (ESPN2) should be the most entertaining game, but the most intriguing one is No. 23 Texas A&M at Miami (ABC).
6: A week after hanging 73 on Arkansas State, No. 18 Oklahoma should get a challenge from SMU (ESPN+).
6:30: Former Gators quarterback Emory Jones accounted for seven touchdowns in his Cincinnati debut. Can he knock off Pitt in the first ACC game on The CW?
7: No. 11 Texas at No. 3 Alabama (ESPN) is one of the biggest non-conference games of the season, and No. 13 Oregon should be on upset watch at Texas Tech (Fox).
7:30: Don’t feel bad about rooting for Washington State, a Pac-12 leftover, to upset No. 19 Wisconsin (ABC).
8:30: Southern Miss hung with Miami for a half last year. Can the Golden Eagles scare No. 4 Florida State (ACC Network)?
10:30: Fresh off a 669-yard outburst, Cal hosts Auburn (ESPN) in the schools’ first meeting.
Jimbo vs. Miami (again)
Miami’s Mario Cristobal and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher have been more impressive on the recruiting trail than on the field at their current stops. We doubt either is on the hot seat — Cristobal’s only one game into Year 2, while Fisher’s buyout would exceed $75 million — but this is a monumental matchup for the perception and trajectory of both tenures. Fisher is 8-1 in his career against the Hurricanes, including a 7-1 mark when he was at FSU.
Local of the week
UCF receiver Xavier Townsend (Berkeley Prep)
He scored the Knights’ first touchdown as a Big 12 member last week against Kent State while leading the team with five catches for 81 yards. What can he do for an encore at Boise State?
Nick Saban is 28-2 at Alabama against his former assistants and will try to make it 29-2 by beating Texas’ Steve Sarkisian. The most interesting wrinkle here is at quarterback. Texas’ Quinn Ewers was one of the top recruits of the modern era, helped the Longhorns hang with the Tide last year and threw three touchdowns and no interceptions in last week’s romp of Rice. Alabama’s Jalen Milroe was a wild card but accounted for five scores in the season opener. Can Milroe continue playing at a high level against one of the most talented teams in the country?
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This week in Coach Prime …
After surviving a shootout in last week’s upset of TCU, Deion Sanders’ Buffaloes will have to withstand a more smash-mouth opponent in Nebraska. Matt Rhule’s Cornhuskers rely more on physicality than outside speed, which makes this a different, potentially tougher matchup for Colorado. Another item to watch: Does the altitude in Boulder hinder the ability of two-way star Travis Hunter to play another 100-plus snaps?
Eye on the NFL draft
Michael Pratt could have had bigger opportunities but chose to remain at Tulane for another year. His four touchdown passes in Week 1 moved him past former Gibbs High/Bucs quarterback Shaun King and into a tie with Patrick Ramsey for the most in Green Wave history (72). Mississippi will be one of the most talented defenses he sees all season, which makes this a big opportunity for him to impress NFL scouts.
Arizona State’s Jaden Rashada was the only true freshman quarterback to start in Week 1. Rashada, the former Gators signee at the center of a multimillion-dollar name, image and likeness dispute, threw two touchdown passes in his debut but has a much tougher challenge against Oklahoma State in a fun late-night matchup.
Stat of the week
Current/former UCF quarterbacks passed for 13 combined touchdowns in Week 1, as noted by The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy: Mikey Keene (4, Fresno State), John Rhys Plumlee (3, UCF), Thomas Castellanos (2, Boston College), Dillon Gabriel (2, Oklahoma) and Parker Navarro (2, Ohio).
Run, run, run
It was only one week, but four state teams rushed for more than 200 yards in their debuts (Florida Atlantic, Miami, USF and UCF). The Knights’ 389 rushing yards are the most in the country, just ahead of No. 2 USF (374).
“I’d love a packed RayJay. I know it’s been a minute since that’s happened. We’ve got to give them a reason to come. … Hopefully the reason is an exciting brand of football with a bunch of kids that are playing their tails off.” — USF coach Alex Golesh on the Bulls’ home opener
“I wasn’t physically sick in my stomach and throwing up.” — FSU president Richard McCullough on his nerves before the Seminoles’ opener against LSU.
By the numbers: Week 2
33 — Consecutive wins in home openers for Florida leading into a matchup with lowly McNeese
11 — Consecutive losses for USF, the longest streak in program history
17 — Career touchdown catches for Texas A&M’s Ainias Smith, tied for seventh in program history with the Bucs’ Mike Evans
4 — Republican presidential candidates expected to attend the Iowa-Iowa State game: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former President Donald Trump, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and businessperson Vivek Ramaswamy
13-0 — The Pac-12′s record through Week 1. It’s the best record by any Football Bowl Subdivision conference through the first weekend since at least 1980, according to the data firm Stats Perform
2 — Tackles for loss by Duke’s Anthony Nelson (Jesuit High), one of five Blue Devils to record at least one in the upset of Clemson
2,920 — Career rushing yards by Southern Miss’ Frank Gore Jr. (son of the former Miami and NFL star)
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