Sep. 14—Last weekend's college football games were awesome. Do I say that mainly because the Oregon Ducks defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 35-28? Yes, yes I do. But there were some other exciting, close games. Notre Dame barely got by Toledo 32-29. I'm a Bowling Green State University alum, and we are hated rivals with Toledo, but if there's a chance for an upset, I'm all for it.
Pittsburgh defeated Tennessee 41-34, Minnesota narrowly beat Miami (Ohio), Jacksonville State won on a walk-off Hail Mary against Florida State and Michigan defeated Washington 31-10 with no passing game.
It was a fun weekend of college football. What will Week 3 bring? I can't wait to find out. Here are my top five games from this upcoming weekend.
Alabama at Florida
Alabama has manhandled its first two opponents with dominant wins over Miami and Mercer, an FCS opponent. I have already said that nobody is going to defeat them. I don't think Florida will either. But I believe it will be will be more competitive.
Auburn at Penn State
I'm personally most excited for this game this weekend. I'm not saying that because I now live in Alabama or grew up in Big Ten country, but I'm saying it because this will be another one of those "prove it" games for both teams. Penn State opened the season with a 16-10 victory over Wisconsin. It was a boring game on the scoreboard, but it was a battle. The Nittany Lions easily took care of Ball State this past weekend.
Penn State has a senior quarterback in Sean Clifford who's got Jahan Dotson at the wide receiver position. I think he may be one of the best wide receivers in the country.
But Auburn comes into Happy Valley with an early 2-0 record under new head coach Bryan Harsin. They've outscored their two opponents (Akron and Alabama State) 122-10. Auburn could have won those games with me as head coach, and I have never coached football a day in my life.
Bo Nix has been efficient at the quarterback position, Jarquez Hunter and Tank Bigsby had monster games this past weekend and the defense has been stellar. I'm pumped for this game, but I'm sure my excitement pales in comparison to what Auburn fans around here are feeling.
Arizona State at BYU
BYU is 2-0 after a 24-16 victory against Arizona in Week 1 and 26-17 victory over in-state rival Utah in Week 2. BYU quarterback Jaren Hall has five touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his first two games. As I have mentioned before, he's not Zack Wilson, but he's so far proven he's not bad.
Herm Edwards (You play to win the game!) is now in his third year as head coach of the Sun Devils. He's a solid coach, but I'd be lying if I thought he'd have any success coming from the NFL into the college game.
I do think it helps, however, with a quarterback like Jayden Daniels. He can pass and he can do things with his legs. ASU is 2-0 and this is their first "real" test. This game should be a fun one.
Michigan State at Miami
I have many family members that have attended Michigan State University. But as a Michigan fan, it hurts me to see the Spartans do well on the field. It's early, but Kenneth Walker, a transfer from Wake Forest, has been a star. He had 23 carries for 264 yards and four touchdowns in their opening win against Northwestern. He had seven carries for 57 yards and one touchdown against Youngstown State.
The Spartans are full of talented, experienced transfers. Every team now uses the transfer portal like free agency in the NFL and if any team won this offseason in the transfer portal, it was them. Not much to say about Miami. They got walloped by Alabama (everyone does) and barely escaped with a win against App State. Neither of these teams are great, but I suspect it to be close and competitive until the end.
South Carolina at Georgia
I suspect this game will be a blowout for the Bulldogs, but if J.T. Daniels is still out, you never know. Georgia's defense is really good, and I believe it's the only team that stands any chance with Alabama not just in the SEC, but probably the playoffs.
I'll give South Carolina this. They have one of the more interesting stories at the quarterback position with Zeb Norland. He was a graduate assistant on the team a few months ago, now he's the starting quarterback with eligibility remaining. The journalist in me loves that.
—Devlin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org