Even though few things can match the excitement of the first week back with college football, there will still be plenty to be excited about for week two. Lots of teams ranked in the Top 25 will be facing off, and it is sure to be a bloodbath.
No. 12 Auburn University vs. No. 5 Clemson University
After starting last season 1-2, Auburn went on a six-game winning streak. The following four games did the Tigers no favors, as Auburn went 1-3 down the stretch, including a loss at Alabama and to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.
Transfer quarterback Jarrett Stidham will take over quarterbacking duties for the Tiger offense. Stidham had a stellar freshman year at Baylor University, where he started three games for the Bears. In Stidham’s first start, he threw for over 400 yards and had three touchdowns against Kansas State.
Clemson, the reigning national champions, are coming off a year where the only blemish on their resume was a one-point loss to the University of Pittsburgh. The Tigers beat three Top 4 teams last year.
Clemson will have to replace a number of impact players, including starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, leading rusher Wayne Gallman and leading receiver Mike Williams.
Kelly Bryant was named Watson’s replacement as quarterback. Bryant saw action in four games last year, passing for 48 yards and one touchdown.
No. 7 University of Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Ohio State University
This could easily be one of the most exciting matchups of the entire season, and it is only week two.
After a 1-2 start last year, including a loss to Ohio State in Norman, Oklahoma, the Sooners won out and finished the season 11-2 with a Sugar Bowl win over Auburn University.
Heisman Trophy candidate Baker Mayfield is back for the Sooners, who accounted for 40 touchdowns last year, but OU will have plenty more to make up. OU lost not one, but two thousand-yard rushers in Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine. The Sooners also lost Dede Westbrook, who had 1,524 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns.
Ohio State was one game away from the national title last year, as the Buckeyes finished the regular season 11-1, but were shut out by Clemson in the playoffs 31-0.
Senior quarterback J.T. Barrett will lead the Buckeye offense this year, as Barrett passed for 24 touchdowns to only seven interceptions last year. Barrett was also second on the team in rushing yards last year with 845 yards and tied for the team lead with nine touchdowns.
No. 14 Stanford University vs. No. 4 University of Southern California
Stanford quietly had a nice season last year, finishing the year on a six-game winning streak after a 4-3 start with a win over the University of North Carolina in the Sun Bowl.
Stanford will have to replace one of the most explosive players in college football last year, Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey accounted for almost 2,000 yards on offense, finding the end zone 13 times on the ground and three through the air.
USC was headed towards a disappointing season last year, starting with a lackluster 1-3. After that, the Trojans were golden, finishing the season on a nine-game winning streak, including a 52-49 win over Pennsylvania State University in the Rose Bowl.
In his freshman year, Sam Darnold threw for over 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns for USC. With his performance in the second half of the season, Darnold emerged as a Heisman Trophy candidate and a potential number one pick in the NFL Draft if he chooses to enter.