By Josh Kramer
Week 1 ended up providing a little fun. As is typically the case though, it was littered with blowouts. Even the “marquee” matchup (Alabama vs Michigan) ended up being a butt-whipping. Unfortunately, Week 2 doesn’t get a whole lot better. Blame the current BCS system (which will not be around that much longer) for turning non-conference play into mismatch play as teams look to pad their resumes with lopsided victories.
Here are the marquee matchups:
Purdue at Notre Dame: Fighting Irish by 10
Headline: Fighting Irish “outfight” Purdue for the Shillelagh Trophy.
Not too many rivalries in college football go all the way back to 1896. This one does, and has played without interruption since 1946. For Notre Dame, a matchup with one of the traditionally (at least in recent history) weaker teams in the Big Ten is the calm before the Michigan storm (Notre Dame plays Michigan State and then Michigan the next two weeks).
Both teams played their opener with a key player suspended (Caleb TerBush and Tommy Rees). Purdue will let TerBush start despite an outstanding performance by Robert Marve in the opener. Rees will continue to ride the pine. Though Purdue is a decent team, history in this rivalry is against them as is typically the case. Notre Dame is 55-26-2 against Purdue and has not lost to the Boilermakers since 2007. Don’t expect that streak to end at the historic confines of Notre Dame Stadium.
Wisconsin at Oregon State: Badgers by 21
Headline: The Badgers turn Reser Stadium into a makeshift Camp Randall as they route the Beavers.
Due to inclement weather, Oregon State gets the distinct pleasure of opening their 2012 campaign against the defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin Badgers. Though Oregon State is traditionally very tough to beat at Reser Stadium, this is not exactly the opener the Beavers had envisioned. Luckily, Wisconsin showed high-vulnerability in a very ugly opening victory against Northern Iowa.
I don’t think anyone in Corvallis forgets the vicious beating Wisconsin laid on the Beavers last year at Camp Randall. If only the Rodgers brothers had never graduated. Last week’s wake-up call will only motivate an already immensely talented Badgers teams as they face their first road test. Expect this game to be ugly from the onset as Wisconsin imposes their will on an overmatched Beavers team from start to finish.
LSU at Washington: Tigers by 27
Headline: Heisman hopeful Keith Price learns the hard way about Les Miles and the very talented LSU defense.
America, meet Keith Price. If you don’t remember, he was the quarterback who went toe to toe with RGIII at last year’s Alamo Bowl (Baylor won 67 to 56). Keith Price, meet the LSU Tigers defense. I don’t think it will end up being a happy relationship. There is a reason why LSU has gone 28 and 0 in non-conference games since Les Miles took over in Baton Rouge.
The loss of the Honey Badger definitely stings. Similar to Alabama though, LSU is a factory and does not rest their laurels on one player. Besides, Odell Beckham looked fairly comfortable returning punts (took one to the house for a score). LSU will run away with this one due to being the far superior team in every facet of the game. The real question will be how will Zach Mettenberger and the passing game progress after a very mediocre first game?
Georgia at Missouri: Bulldogs by 7
Headline: The “Show Me State” gets shown what SEC football is all about in their conference debut.
Welcome to the SEC Missouri. Your grand prize is debuting against the Georgia Bulldogs. Click your feet and you won’t end up in Kansas Dorothy. Though this game is going to be played at Faurot Field, Georgia will provide an “SEC” feel from the kickoff. Sheldon Richardson (Missouri DT) may think that Georgia was playing “old man football” against Buffalo, but it won’t feel that way come Saturday night.
There will be a sellout crowd. A national television audience. And a whole lot of disappointed Tigers. Despite the potential absence of key defensive starters Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree, Georgia will show what SEC speed truly means. Whether the Bulldogs play “old man football” or not, Aaron Murray and the Georgia Bulldogs will leave the “Show Me State” having showed Missouri what SEC football is all about.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.