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What to Watch, Week 2: Can Georgia remain in the national championship hunt?

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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What an opening week of college football.

It had all the trappings of late-season drama with that new season smell. If you were asleep, in a cave or just didn’t care about the start of the college football season, here’s what you might have missed:

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner served a half-game suspension, then talked trash to a couple Rice players, got benched, disrespected his coach, got banned from interviews and has caused several former college coaches/players to talk about what a terrible person he is and how much they’d like to hurt him.

But hey, at least he's started a new photo trend:

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Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin showing us the money

The FCS owned the FBS with seven – SEVEN! – wins in the opening weekend. That’s right Iowa State, Oregon State, UConn, South Florida, South Alabama, San Diego State and Kansas State, you’re all doing the walk of shame this week. Especially Kansas State, who takes ownership of this guy:

We were introduced to Famous Jameis this week as he wowed the country with a ridiculous passing performance, which included completing 25-of-27 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns. Yes, it’s too early to talk Heisman, but we’re doing it anyway. And look, he's already taking pictures with celebrities ala Johnny Manziel.

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Florida State QB Jameis Winston and country star Jake Owen

And while we’re on the subject, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater was awesome, as was Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.

You know who wasn’t good? South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who did nothing against North Carolina and then claimed he had the stomach flu.

Indiana taught us how not to field a kickoff:

Mark Dantonio: "That's a quarterback question, bro":

Georgia lost a star receiver who got a little too excited aver a touchdown:

And Colorado has started the season undefeated for the first time since 2010 and coach Mike MacIntyre really knows how to celebrate.

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I think that’s everything, so let’s look ahead to this week:

Game of the week:
No. 6 South Carolina at No. 11 Georgia, 4:30 p.m. ET
For the second consecutive week, Georgia is playing in our feature game and perhaps the Bulldogs will fare better than they did the first week. In order to do that, though, they’ll need to find the defense that decided not to show up against Clemson and allowed 575 total yards, including 242 on the ground. The Bulldogs’ offensive line also struggled to keep quarterback Aaron Murray off the ground and away from turnovers. Good luck with that against South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who had a pedestrian game against North Carolina and faced media and fan backlash for taking plays off. Despite Murray’s mistakes, he did help the Bulldogs put up 35 points. South Carolina’s defense better show up because they can’t get into an offensive shootout with the Bulldogs.

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Game to watch:
No. 14 Notre Dame at No. 17 Michigan, 9 p.m. ET

There’s been a lot of verbal jousting this week, which adds a little more intrigue to a game that already had a lot on the line. Notre Dame won this game a year ago by forcing an astonishing six turnovers, but don’t expect a similar result for the Wolverines, who have won the last three meetings with the Irish at home. This will be the first real test to see if Tommy Rees can carry the Irish back to national prominence. Rees had a mixed outing against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor in 2011 when he completed 27-of-39 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns, but he also turned the ball over three times and helped the Irish lose a 17-point fourth-quarter lead. How Rees plays in this game will be a telltale sign for the Irish future.

Also check out…
Sam Houston State at No. 7 Texas A&M 7 p.m. ET

Normally, this wouldn’t be a game to watch, but after seven FCS teams defeated FBS programs during the first weekend of the season, this game became intriguing, especially since the Bearkats were the national champion runner-up in each of the past two seasons.

Don't waste your time with:
No. 15 Texas at BYU, 7 p.m. ET

This game had the opportunity to be a great trap game for Texas – and we suppose it still could be – but BYU’s 19-16 loss at Virginia took a little of the air out of this potentially good matchup. The biggest issue for BYU last week was the Cougars’ lack of offense and if that happens against the Longhorns, the Cougars are going to get blown out at home.

Keep an eye on:
Johnny Football

What are the chances Johnny Manziel has a quiet, routine game with no taunting, antics or general ridiculousness? Yeah, we don’t think they’re very high either. So, it’s worth tuning into Texas A&M’s contest against San Houston State just to see what Manziel does next. Everyone has had an opinion about Manziel this week and most of it stems from his perceived disrespect for coach Kevin Sumlin. If Sumlin really wanted to show us all who was boss, he’d start Matt Joeckel, who started against Rice while Manziel served a half-game suspension. Now, wouldn’t that be worth watching?

Upset alert:
Western Kentucky (+13) at Tennessee, 12:21 p.m. ET

This is the second consecutive week we’ve picked Western Kentucky for the upset. The Hilltoppers came through with a big win against Kentucky, but can they top two SEC teams in consecutive weeks? It might be a stretch, but Western Kentucky is a very good team with a very good coach and will, at the very least, keep this game interesting. Bobby Petrino’s experience as a former SEC coach helped in the season opener and it will be key for the Hilltoppers to take down the Vols.

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