Watchability Rankings: Week 2
Week 2 of the college football season is here, and what better way to spend it than by watching 12 games involving SEC teams, whether you are lounging on your couch or viewing on the go via your favorite mobile device?
Now that Week 1 is behind us, we’ve learned a few things about each conference team, and now we’ve rated all 12 games in terms of watchability.
These rankings are subjective but also account for league and national impact along with how exciting and how close the games will be. Games are ranked on a 1-to-5 Georgia Dome scale (the site of the SEC Championship Game), with 5 being the most watchable game and 1 being the least.
Note: All times ET
5 Georgia Domes
No. 17 Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech, Sat. 8 p.m., ABC — This game is making a lot of news for where it’s being played – Bristol Motor Speedway. Plus, because the matchup is being held at a racetrack, there’s a really good chance it could draw 150,000 fans to set an attendance record for a college football game. Michigan set the current record in 2013 when 115,109 fans attended a game against Notre Dame. As for the participants, Tennessee is coming off a game it easily could’ve lost at home to Appalachian State, while Virginia Tech struggled with Liberty in Blacksburg before giving new head coach Justin Fuente his first victory with the Hokies. This week’s SEC slate is not the greatest, but this game could be the best of the bunch.
Arkansas at No. 15 TCU, Sat. 7 p.m., ESPN — It’s another game that features two teams that struggled last week, but this one has a chance to be good, at least from an offensive standpoint. The Horned Frogs scored 59 points but surrendered 41 and 461 yards to South Dakota State. Meanwhile, Arkansas struggled to a 21-20 home victory over Louisiana Tech. The Razorbacks will have to contend with Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill. In his debut with the Horned Frogs, Hill passed for 439 yards, seventh-most in TCU history, while accounting for five total touchdowns. He did it against an FCS team, but he might give the Hogs a tough time.
4 Georgia Domes
Western Kentucky at No. 1 Alabama, Sat. 3:30 p.m., ESPN2 — Alabama was arguably the most impressive team in college football last week. And we’re looking forward to seeing what Jalen Hurts can do for an encore. In his debut as Western Kentucky’s starting quarterback in last week’s 46-14 victory over Rice, Mark White passed for 517 yards and 3 TDs. He’s only the third WKU QB in history to throw for more than 500 yards in a game.
Nicholls State at No. 9 Georgia, Sat. Noon, SEC Network — Freshman quarterback Jacob Eason lived up to the hype in his Georgia debut, rallying the Bulldogs to a 33-24 season-opening victory over North Carolina. Even though Eason completed 8-of-12 passes for 131 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions, there’s a chance he’ll start this week’s game on the sidelines. Considering the opponent, Nick Chubb might not be hard-pressed to match the 32 carries and 222 rushing yards against the Tar Heels, and the next step in his comeback is definitely worth watching. This will be the Colonels’ season opener.
3 Georgia Domes
Kentucky at Florida, Sat. 3:30 p.m., CBS — Last week, Kentucky blew a 35-10 lead at home to Southern Mississippi in a game against an offensive coordinator, Shannon Dawson, it fired at the end of last season. Meanwhile, Florida looked less than impressive in its 24-7 home win over UMass. The most intriguing thing about this matchup is whether the Gators can extend their winning streak over the Wildcats to 30 straight games. Mark Stoops will try to do everything he can to avoid an 0-2 start.
South Carolina at Mississippi State, Sat. 7 p.m., ESPN2 — The Gamecocks won at Vanderbilt in Will Muschamp’s head-coaching debut last week. But Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs weren’t so lucky, losing at home to South Alabama. We knew the post-Dak Prescott era wasn’t going to be easy, but it wouldn’t be a total surprise if Mississippi dropped its first two games.
2 Georgia Domes
Arkansas State at Auburn, Sat. 7:30 p.m., SEC Network — Thankfully, Gus Malzahn has decided to scrap his three-quarterback system after it produced 38 yards and 3 points in the first half of last week’s home loss to Clemson. After having a chance to beat the No. 2 team in America on the final play of the game, Malzahn faces the team he coached in 2012 before taking the head job at Auburn. The Red Wolves lost at home by three touchdowns to Toledo last week.
1 Georgia Dome
Eastern Michigan at Missouri, Sat. 7:30 p.m., SEC Network Plus — The Tigers play their home opener after losing 26-11 at West Virginia in Barry Odom’s head-coaching debut. Eastern Michigan is coming off a season-opening 61-14 win over Mississippi Valley State.
Jacksonville State at No. 21 LSU, Sat. 7:30 p.m., ESPNU — Les Miles’ team took a huge tumble in the polls after losing to Wisconsin at Lambeau Field. Jacksonville State, which nearly won at Auburn before falling in overtime last year, beat North Alabama 31-12 last week.
Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt, Sat. 4 p.m., SEC Network Plus — Even though the Blue Raiders walloped Alabama A&M 55-0 in their opener, this is a game the Commodores should win.
Wofford at Ole Miss, Sat. 4 p.m., SEC Network — The Terriers won at Tennessee Tech by two touchdowns last week. The Rebels are still recovering from blowing a 22-point lead to Florida State on Labor Day. It’ll be interesting to see how many series Chad Kelly and the rest of his fellow starters end up playing.
Prairie View A&M at No. 20 Texas A&M, Sat. Noon, SEC Network Plus — Trevor Knight scored the game-winning touchdown against UCLA last week in his debut with the Aggies. The Panthers beat Texas Southern 29-25 a week ago.