NCAA Football Report (Week 2)

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In the NCAA there are plenty of games that nobody really pays attention to and usually, they are mostly played at the beginning of the season.

These games are usually games that are easier wins for the big programs and a chance for the smaller schools in FCS and outside of the top 25 to be put on a national stage.

Last week these games were thrown out the window for one of the best opening weeks in the NCAA.

In week 2 it was slightly different as many of the teams that skipped past the easy wins in Week 1 were scheduled to face pretty easy teams in their second week.

A lot of the major programs essentially took the week off against smaller teams to get easy wins.

Of course, it wasn’t easy for everyone with some teams struggling more than they should have against smaller schools that were meant to be easy weeks.

Not everyone scheduled an easy week though as a few teams looked to the past to bring back the biggest games of the week.

Four teams, in particular, looked to old legendary games and tried to bring past rivalries back to the forefront in Week 2.

Rivalries are the lifeblood of the NCAA and of almost any league as they present the biggest games for teams.

Whether they are played multiple times throughout a season or only once, rivalries are always the games that everyone wants to see.

That is largely because no matter how different the teams are in skill the games always seem to be better than expected.

It could be a team ranked #1 overall against a team that hasn’t been ranked for a decade and yet the game will still come down to the wire.

These rivalries usually take place on the last week of the season that has become known as Rivalry Week.

They are often the best games and some of the most important with little time to recover from a loss.

Certain schools have more than just one big rival though as they schedule big rivalry games throughout their schedule.

The problem lately though is that some of these rivals have not been good games to schedule with a system that rewards strength of schedule.

If they have a rival who has rarely been ranked in the past few years it doesn’t help with their strength of schedule ranking.

Then if those games are close, as most rivalry games are, it hurts their ranking when it comes to the end of the season.

If a team is going to schedule a close game they would prefer to do it against a team that is ranked high.

That has caused a lot of teams to drop some rivalry games in exchange for games against higher ranked teams.

Four teams this week brought games back that used to be the highlight of their schedules and in bringing them back they created the best games of the week.football-sidebar

The first was a game known as “The Holy War” between BYU and Utah that began in 1896 with a brief break in 1944-45 and more recently a break in 2014-15, although they did play a bowl game against each other in 2015.

It had always been one of the bigger rivalries but scheduling conflicts had taken the game away in the regular season for two years. Although neither team was ranked heading into the game this became one of the best games in the week.

Both teams went back and forth until the Utes stopped the Cougars on a 2-point conversion that would have won the game.

The Utes won the game which was their sixth win in a row for the series and fans can only hope that the “Holy War” continues.

Another rivalry was renewed this week and it had been lost for years with the last game being played in 2000.

Both Pittsburgh and Penn State had played the game starting in 1893 and consistently from 1900 until 2000.

It was widely considered one of the most important games in the NCAA every year.

Both teams had constantly been ranked near the top of the rankings and often this game was a de-facto National Championship game.

Both teams were not the same in the 1990s and eventually they began to look elsewhere to find other competition.

They finally brought the game back this year and the in-state rivalry did not disappoint.

The Panthers came out on top after fending off an 18-point fourth quarter by the Nittany Lions to take the win.

It was a week where a lot of teams took a week off scheduling smaller teams but for four teams it was a time to renew rivalries making two great games on an otherwise boring week.

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Key Scores:
#2 Clemson Tigers 30-24 Troy Trojans
– The Tigers survived an intense first week and came out on top as they went into a second week looking for an easy day but they got a test from the Trojans and barely got away with their second win of the season

#16 Georgia Bulldogs 26-24 Nicholls Colonels
– The Bulldogs had made their mark in the first week of the season as they looked great and had some wondering if they could make a big splash this year but then they met Nicholls who gave them a test putting up 10 points in the fourth and shutting out the Bulldogs but they survived

#17 Tennessee Volunteers 45-24 Virginia Tech Hokies
– There was a tonne of pressure on the Vols coming into the season and the pressure only increased when they stepped in front of the largest college football crowd ever at Bristol Motor Speedway but they came out on top impressing only more

Central Michigan Chippewas 30-27 Oklahoma State Cowboys #22
–  The Cowboys have constantly been in the mix for the Big 12 title and a playoff spot but they may find it tough after they took a loss in the biggest upset of the week as another unranked team took out someone in the top 25 against the Chippewas

Next Week:
Florida State Seminoles vs. Louisville Cardinals (Saturday, September 17th; 12:00 pm ET)
– The ‘Noles have a lot of eyes on them this year as a favourite to challenge Clemson for the ACC title but they have a tough test as the Cardinals are playing well right now and hope to announce to everyone that they are ready to compete

North Dakota State Bisons vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (Saturday, September 17th; 12:00 pm ET)
– They are simply the greatest FCS team in the history of the NCAA and they finally get their chance against an FBS team as the Hawkeyes look to show the differences between the two divisions and the Bisons hope to show just how good they are

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Ole Miss Rebels (Saturday, September 17th; 3:30 pm ET)
– For the last few years, the Rebels have been a thorn in the side of the Tide as the most dominant teams of the last decade hasn’t been able to figure out Ole Miss in the last two years with the Rebels hoping to do it again, this time, around

Michigan State Spartans vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Saturday, September 17th; 7:30 pm ET)
– The Irish are back on track with an easy win against Nevada but now they step up in competition as once again they take on a top team with the Spartans looking to knock off the Irish and the Irish still holding on to the thin hope of a playoff berth

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