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How to watch 2016 college football, Week 2: TV schedule, streaming, and the 'best' games

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Good morning! This is the Read Option, your daily college football newsletter. Sign up for this in your inbox! Below, you'll find TV/streaming info for every FBS game of this weekend, in a chart showing you what to watch when.

The most eyeball-worthy thing of Week 2 is not a matchup, but a location.
The most eyeball-worthy thing of Week 2 is not a matchup, but a location.
Battle at Bristol

College football's opening weekend was great, wasn't it? Five or seven days, depending on your calculations, with a handful of games we'll all remember all the way through the end of the season. Four matchups between ranked teams, the highest Week 1 total in more than a decade! What could possibly go wrong?

Week 2 is what could go wrong. All the bad games were shoved into this weekend in order to make the opening to-do a real spectacle.  The NFL also starts up this weekend, meaning college football retreats into a corner for a few days.

There are good games, interesting games, and games that will go so sideways they'll be watchable. There just aren't very many of them. That's OK, though, because if you follow the plan below, you'll enjoy the whole thing just fine. And as always, something completely bonkers will happen.

In each time slot, I've forced myself to pick at least one WATCH THIS game. Otherwise, games are sorted based on a subjective assessment of stakes, competitiveness, and entertainment value ... and this week, everything's graded on a curve.

Thursday

Mercifully, Week 2 will give you time to prepare yourself. There are no FBS games and no games on national TV, and the NFL is starting anyway.

Friday

WATCH THIS Maybe watch this This is a football game
8 p.m. ET #13 Louisville at Syracuse
ESPN2, WatchESPN
Maryland at FIU
CBSSN

UofL vs. Cuse should be pretty fun. Lamar Jackson vs. a Dino Babers offense, with the stronger team having to go on the road? That might be one of the best Friday games of the year, and might be the best chance all week for a ranked team to lose. Or the Orange might get rocked.

Elsewhere, Maryland's on Extremely Weird Road Game Upset Alert.

Saturday

WATCH THIS Maybe watch this This is a football game
Noon ET Penn State at Pitt
ESPN, WatchESPN
Rice at Army
CBSSN
UCF at #5 Michigan
ABC, WatchESPN
NC State at East Carolina
ESPNU, WatchESPN
Lamar at #6 Houston
WatchESPN
Wyoming at Nebraska
ESPN2, WatchESPN
Nicholls at #9 Georgia
SEC Network, WatchESPN
Cincinnati at Purdue
BTN, BTN2GO
(Yeah, it's that rough)
Prairie View A&M at #20 Texas A&M
SEC Network, WatchESPN
CMU at #22 Oklahoma State
FS1, FOX Sports GO
Indiana State at Minnesota
ESPNews, WatchESPN
Howard at Rutgers
BTN, BTN2GO
Boston College at UMass
WatchESPN
12:30 p.m. ET Troy at #2 Clemson
ACC Network, WatchESPN
Charleston SU at #3 Florida State
ACC Network, WatchESPN
1 p.m. ET Stony Brook at Temple
WatchESPN
2 p.m. ET Georgia State at Air Force
CampusInsiders.com
(Because of these clothes)
Youngstown State at West Virginia
ROOT Sports Pittsburgh
Utah State at USC
Pac-12 Networks, P12N Live
2:30 p.m. ET Ohio at Kansas
FSN, FOX Sports Go
(What? KU is favored!)
3 p.m. Mercer at Georgia Tech
ACC Network, WatchESPN
WATCH THIS Maybe watch this This is a football game
3:30 p.m. WKU at #1 Alabama
ESPN2, WatchESPN
Tulsa at #4 Ohio State
ABC, WatchESPN
Akron at #10 Wisconsin
BTN, BTN2GO
SMU at #23 Baylor
FS1, FOX Sports Go
Nevada at #18 Notre Dame
NBC, NBCSports.com
Kentucky at Florida
CBS, CBSSports.com
(Very high Debacle Factor)
ODU at Appalachian State
WatchESPN
UConn at Navy
CBSSN
North Dakota at Bowling Green
WatchESPN
Wake Forest at Duke
ESPNU, WatchESPN
Eastern Illinois at Miami (Ohio)
WatchESPN
Illinois State at Northwestern
BTN, BTN2GO
4 p.m. ET Ball State at Indiana
ESPNews, WatchESPN
Wofford at #19 Ole Miss
SEC Network, Watch ESPN
UTSA at Colorado State
CampusInsiders.com
MTSU at Vanderbilt
SEC Network, WatchESPN
5 p.m. ET Idaho at #8 Washington
Pac-12 Network, P12N Live
5:30 p.m. ET Idaho State at Colorado
Pac-12 Network, P12N Live
6 p.m. ET FAU at #25 Miami
ACC Network, WatchESPN
Elon at Charlotte
ConferenceUSA.com
NC A&T at Kent State
WatchESPN
Morgan State at Marshall
beIN Sports
WATCH THIS Maybe watch this This is a football game
7 p.m. ET Arkansas at #15 TCU
ESPN, WatchESPN
South Carolina at Mississippi State
ESPN2, WatchESPN
UTEP at #11 Texas
Longhorn Network, WatchESPN
Georgia Southern-South Alabama
WatchESPN
NIU at USF
CBSSN
ULM at #14 Oklahoma
SoonerSports.com
McNeese State at UL Lafayette
WatchESPN
SCSU at Louisiana Tech
ConferenceUSA.com
Bethune-Cookman at North Texas
ConferenceUSA.com
Savannah State at Southern Miss
TBA
Maine at Toledo
WatchESPN
NC Central at Western Michigan
WatchESPN
7:30 p.m. ET ¡El Assico! (ISU at #16 Iowa)
BTN, BTN2GO
Arkansas State at Auburn
SEC Network, WatchESPN
EMU at Missouri
SEC Network, WatchESPN
BYU at Utah
FOX, FOX Sports Go
North Carolina at Illinois
BTN, BTN2GO
Jacksonville State at #21 LSU
ESPNU, WatchESPN
8 p.m. ET #17 Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech
ABC, WatchESPN
New Mexico at New Mexico State
WatchESPN
(Yes, I will overrate any rivalry)
Southern at Tulane
WatchESPN
UNLV at UCLA
Pac-12 Network, P12N Live
10 p.m. ET Texas Tech at Arizona State
FS1, FOX Sports Go
Sac State at Fresno State
TBA
10:15 p.m. ET Washington State at Boise State
ESPN2, WatchESPN
10:30 p.m. ET Cal at San Diego State
CBSSN
Virginia at #24 Oregon
ESPN, WatchESPN
10:45 p.m. ET Grambling State at Arizona
Pac-12 Network, P12N Live
Midnight ET UT Martin at Hawaii
Oceanic PPV
WATCH THIS Maybe watch this This is a football game

Lemme explain the MUST-WATCH picks:

  • Penn State and Pitt are decent Power 5 teams that hate each other in awkward ways and don't get to play all that often these days. That's the only storyline of national interest in the entire early block.
  • Western Kentucky-Alabama gets top billing over similar-sounding games in a desperate middle shift -- I have to pick something -- because Conference USA favorite WKU can ball, especially on offense. The Hilltoppers will have a better final margin against Alabama than USC did, and you tuned in for that game without complaining.
  • Business picks up, relatively, later. Arkansas-TCU is one of the season's best non-conference games, tempered quite a bit by both teams struggling against weak competition in Week 1. According to Vegas, this is the best ranked game of the week, as the Frogs are only favored by six points.
  • Georgia Southern-South Alabama could be one of the Sun Belt's biggest and best games of the year, considering USA beat Mississippi State last week. Or maybe MSU is just very bad.
  • Here's why you should watch ¡El Assico!, and it's the same article as last year and next year.
  • Here's why you should watch BYU-Utah. This is an actual story that does not insult an entire state.
  • Here's why you should watch Tennessee-Virginia Tech:

Enjoy the many good moments sure to arise, and then we get a much, much better Week 3. We can do this.

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