SOUTH BEND IN - SEPTEMBER 04: Keith Smith #8 of the Purdue Boilermakers is stopped by Darrin Walls #2 (R) and Jamoris Slaughter #26 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 4 2010 in South Bend Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Ever get the sense that college football's early weeks are starting to resemble the NFL preseason? And they're not even like the third game of the preseason where it matters enough to get Denny Green fired up.
Last week, all we got were two trifling games that matched up top 25 teams, and one of them - as many predicted - turned out to be a blowout. But it gets even better this week. We have zero games matching top 25 teams.
Until conference games get well under way in the third or fourth week of the season, all we have now are mere beauty pageants where top teams try to look good without risking their star players' health. They play overmatched opponents, sometimes stooping to FCS schools looking for much-needed cash (read: Savannah State), in order to maintain their poll positions.
This week, LSU's 24-point spread over Washington is the smallest among the the top five teams in the simulated BCS standings. In fact, you have to go down to No. 10 Georgia to find a game not with a double-digit spread - and that's only because the Bulldogs are playing a conference foe in Missouri.
But since we're at the mercy of the schedule-makers, and it's not like you've got something else to do (what, you're going to watch your uncle play croquet?) we'll provide you with the best games of the week, as we do each Friday throughout the season:
Purdue at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m., NBC - Both teams in this Hoosier State rivalry easily won openers against overmatched opponents, and this game, if anything, should be an entertaining shootout between two high-powered offenses. The Irish have won the last four in this series and haven't lost to the Boilermakers at home since 2004.
Georgia at Missouri, 7:45 p.m., ESPN2 - The Tigers play their inaugural SEC game against an UGA team coming off an uncomfortable home victory over Buffalo. The Bulldogs can't afford to get sloppy again, especially against Marcus Murphy, who returned two punts for touchdowns last week.
Air Force at Michigan, 3:30 p.m., ABC or ESPN2 - The era of good feelings under Brady Hoke at Michigan can abruptly end with another loss after last week's annihilation by Alabama. The last time the Wolverines started the season 0-2 was Lloyd Carr's final year in 2007, when they lost to Appalachian State and Oregon.
Florida at Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m., ESPN - The Aggies welcome the Gators to College Station to begin their membership in the SEC. There has been wholesale changes at A&M after its coach and quarterback both moved on to the Miami Dolphins, but the heat is all on Florida here after last week's lackluster win over Bowling Green.
Wisconsin at Oregon State, 4 p.m., FX - Wisconsin has played at least one West Coast opponent a year since 2000 and for the most part has dominated them, last losing a regular-season matchup in 2003, to UNLV. The Beavers are eager to begin their season on a high note, after going 8-16 the last two seasons.
Nebraska at UCLA, 7:30 p.m., FOX - When these two teams met in the 1980s and '90s, they were highly-anticipated matchups between two powerhouses. Sadly, they're no longer among the elite and will be trying to climb out of their current irrelevance. For UCLA's Jim Mora, it'll be his chance to make a good first impression at home.
Oklahoma State at Arizona, 10 p.m., Pac-12 Network - Rich Rodriguez barely eked out an OT victory in his debut at Arizona while Mike Gundy's Cowboys hung 84 point on hapless Savannah State. OSU is unlikely to score that many this week in Tucson, but RichRod's Cats might not have enough firepower to keep up.
Central Florida at Ohio State, noon, ESPN2 - Call it the Probation Bowl, as both teams are among the five that are ineligible for postseason play. The Urban Meyer era is off to a roaring start after OSU thumped Miami (Ohio). Meanwhile, the Golden Knights continue their tour of Ohio after winning at Akron last week.
Iowa State at Iowa, 3:30 p.m., BTN - Iowa barely escaped with an 18-17 win over Northern Illinois in the opener, and now comes an intrastate rivalry that has heated up of late, with Iowa State holding an 8-6 edge after snapping a 15-game losing streak in 1998.
Michigan State at Central Michigan, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU - This is but a hunch, but the Chippewas have a chance to make this game competitive after getting to host the Spartans for the first time in history. Central Michigan memorably upset MSU in 2009 and has won three of eight meetings all-time.
USC vs. Syracuse (at East Rutherford, N.J.), 3:30 p.m. ABC or ESPN2 - The Trojans beat Hawaii by 39 points and dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 in the AP poll. With Alabama playing Western Kentucky this week, USC has a chance to pull back some of those voters with an impressive outing at MetLife Stadium.
Washington at LSU, 7 p.m., ESPN - LSU is 28-0 in non-conference regular-season games under Les Miles, who did not put that record together by only feasting on cupcakes. The Huskies will be more of a challenge than North Texas, but the Tigers still should have no trouble to keep that perfect record intact.
While we’re here, let’s watch some of the many fine college football videos from SB Nation’s YouTube channel: