FCS upset watch, Week 2: Can James Madison, South Dakota add to the list?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

North Dakota State, Eastern Washington, and six other FCS teams pulled off stunners on the road last weekend. Whose turn is it in Week 2?

The story of college football last weekend was FCS schools from around the country knocking off FBS schools, sometimes in blowout fashion. Eastern Washington beat No. 25 Oregon State. North Dakota State stunned Kansas State, a team that made the Fiesta Bowl just nine months ago. The American has a losing record vs. the FCS. In all, eight little guys took down big guys, a new record for a single weekend.

In Week 2, there are plenty of FCS schools looking to continue the trend against the big, bad FBS programs. Here are the most likely upsets for Saturday using stats expert Bill Connelly's formulas:

Colorado vs. Central Arkansas

Spread: Colorado +14; Simulation: Central Arkansas by 2.6

Get your popcorn ready in Boulder, because this game has all the makings of a big school overlooking a small one after picking up a big win the week before. The Buffaloes, who were downright awful last season, are coming off an emotional win over in-state rival Colorado State and still have a long way to go before being competitive on a weekly basis. No. 7 Central Arkansas racked up 58 points in their season opener behind the arm of savvy quarterback Wynrick Smothers and have talent on both sides of the ball.

Kansas vs. South Dakota

Spread: Kansas +23.5; Simulation: Kansas by 2.0

The Jayhawks are on an 11-game losing streak dating to last season and are expected to struggle once again in the Big 12 this season. South Dakota won a hard-fought game over UC-Davis last weekend, 10-7, and will be playing their Super Bowl in Lawrence. It is somewhat surprising to see the computers view Coyotes so favorably after winning just one game. KU figures to be rusty after not playing last Saturday, though, and if they don't come out focused with conference play right around the corner, another FBS-FCS upset could be in store for the state of Kansas.

Akron vs. James Madison

Spread: Akron +3; Simulation: James Madison by 7.6

The computers like No. 25 James Madison to pull off the upset, and it's not hard to see why. Akron was blown out by UCF last weekend and did themselves no favors with two turnovers and a handful of silly penalties, while JMU impressed in their season opener against another FCS foe. Add in that the Zips may be looking ahead to next week's matchup with Michigan, too.

Iowa vs. Missouri State

Spread: Iowa +24.5; Simulation: Iowa by 14.3

Oh, Iowa. There's no shame in losing to a quality program like Northern Illinois, but the way the Hawkeyes' offense completely disappeared in the second half is a major concern. Missouri State isn't that good and both the oddsmakers and computers like the Hawkeyes to get back on track with a win, but if the second-half offense shows up once again, it could be a long day in Iowa City.

California vs. Portland State

Spread: California +28; Simulation: California by 12.2

The Golden Bears looked pretty good in Sonny Dykes' debut, falling short of Northwestern in the fourth quarter. They come into Week 2 as heavy favorites over Portland State, though there are some reasons to be concerned. After a deflating loss last weekend, there's always the chance the team comes out flat. Freshman quarterback Jared Goff made a few poor decisions in his first career start, and a couple more turnovers could make things interesting. Add in that two huge games with Ohio State and Oregon awaiting on the schedule, and there's cause for concern.

SMU vs. Montana State

Spread: SMU +10; Simulation: SMU by 4.9

This game won't do much on the national scale, but this is clearly a game where an upset is possible. SMU is a slight favorite in Vegas and on the computers, mostly because of quarterback Garrett Gilbert's impressive debut against Texas Tech last weekend. Where the Mustangs will have trouble is on defense, and Montana State can definitely score the ball. They dropped 39 points in the first half of their season opener and then pulled back. Ranked No. 2 in the latest FCS poll following their quarterfinals appearance in last year's FCS Tournament, the Bobcats have the firepower to come away victorious.

Arkansas vs. Samford

Spread: Arkansas +32.5; Simulation: Arkansas by 13.4

Arkansas is a heavy favorite in this one, and while they should win with relative ease, the computers think this game could be a lot closer than the large spread. Samford has played a couple of SEC teams in recent years and won't be overwhelmed in Fayetteville. The Bulldogs, ranked 24th in the latest polls, probably won't win, but they could at least hang with the Razorbacks for a couple of quarters.

All of Bill Connelly's picks can be found here.

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