So here we are, staring up at Week Two of The Sixer. The contest — totally not sanctioned by, campaigned for or a party of FBSchedules, by the way — is off to a rousing start. This week, we’ll travel to games in the Big Ten, Big 12, and SEC. We’ll also even include our friends in the Mountain West and the ranks of the independents. They’re not all oil paintings, but here are your six games we have chosen across the nation. You’re all concerned about the standings — naturally — and here are those standings:
There’s still time for you to join this contest that is completely not sanctioned by FBSchedules and may or may not have a prize at the end of the rainbow. It’s free to enter! Just click this link to join.
Time to get rolling, but before we do…you asked for it, our trivia question!
Trivia question (answer at the end of the article): Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma teams have lost six games in the month of September. Who were the six teams to beat Oklahoma in September since Stoops’ arrival in 1999?
Iowa (1-0) at Iowa State (1-0) | The Cy-Hawk Trophy
4:45pm | FOX
- Quarter of a hundred: An Iowa victory would send the Cy-Hawk Trophy to Iowa City for the 25th time since 1977. The trophy shows a solid base, with the schools’ respective Hawkeye and Cyclone mascots, a football and stalks of corn atop the base. It can be viewed here.
- I got 99 yards and this drive is all of them: Iowa’s sports information department mentions that the Hawkeyes’ 12-play, 99-yard drive in last week’s 31-14 victory over Illinois State was the school’s first such drive in 13 years. The drive represented just shy of 23 percent of the Hawkeyes’ 431-yard offensive output in the contest.
- A big home-field advantage: This will be the most heavily-attended contest between the schools at Ames’ Jack Trice Stadium. The facility’s largest-ever capacity was 56,800 in 2013. After a renovation to, among other things, close in the end zone, the facility now seats 61,500. That same number of fans filed in to see the Cyclones’ 31-7 victory over Northern Iowa last week.
Print that, tweet that, whatever: Both teams coasted to victories over talented FCS foes last week. This series is known for wacky outcomes. This one should be no different.
#19 Oklahoma (1-0) at #23 Tennessee (1-0)
6:00pm | ESPN
- The missing Linc: Oklahoma’s new offensive coordinator has paid immediate dividends. The Sooners’ sports information department notes that the 439 passing yards by OU against Akron last week was a higher output than in any game they played in 2014. Riley and transfer quarterback Baker Mayfield speak a similar language, with both having a background — at different times — in the Texas Tech spread/air raid offense.
- Restoring Rocky Top: Butch Jones’ rebuild process at Tennessee has caught the attention of the nation, and one milepost was passed last week. After seven years of starting the season unranked and not having won a game while in the Top 25, that string went by the boards with the Vols’ 59-30 victory over Bowling Green last week.
- Rare meetings for stalwart programs: This is the second year of a home-and-home between the two schools, with Oklahoma hammering Tennessee 34-10 in Norman last year. Prior to that game, the schools had only met twice in the Orange Bowl (1939 and 1968).
Print that, tweet that, whatever: It’s going to be nearly impossible to slow Oklahoma’s offense, but talk about a “statement win”…this would be one for Tennessee.
Kentucky (1-0) at South Carolina (1-0)
7:30pm | SEC Network
- Top this: Of all the wacky happenings in the SEC last year — and there were many — the game between these two in Lexington last year might have been the wackiest. South Carolina notched 21 consecutive points in the contest, only to be followed by Kentucky doing the exact same. The Wildcats notched the 45-38 decision on an interception and return by Bud Dupree with just over two minutes remaining.
- Polar opposites: Sure, we’re only one game in, but looking at the statistics for these teams almost show totally different methods of play. Kentucky threw for 257 yards in a 40-33 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette last week, rushing for 178. South Carolina, meanwhile, rushed for 254, throwing for 140 in beating North Carolina. Amazingly enough, however, both teams allowed 232 yards passing to their opponents last week.
- How things have changed: Kentucky’s last victory in Columbia came during the 1999 season. The Wildcats claimed a 30-10 win in a season that almost seems inconceivable to those who follow the Gamecocks 16 years later. South Carolina went 0-11 that year in Lou Holtz’ first season in Williams-Brice. He took South Carolina to back-to-back Outback Bowls following that season.
Print that, tweet that, whatever: Which South Carolina team is the real one? The one we saw in the first half, or the one we saw in the second half? So many questions.
#7 Oregon (1-0) at #5 Michigan State (1-0)
8:00pm | ABC
- Back-to-back: Much like Oklahoma-Tennessee above, this is the second game of a home-and-home involving these two teams. Oregon defeated Michigan State 46-27 in Autzen Stadium in Eugene last season. The schools played twice in back-to-back years before this series; 1998 (Michigan State victory) and 1999 (Oregon victory), and 1979 (Michigan State victory) and 1980 (Oregon victory). Marcus Mariota tossed the pigskin for 318 yards and three scores in last year’s Duck victory. That 1999 victory by Michigan State, coincidentally, began the Spartans’ 16-season winning streak in home openers.
- Two of the top six: This matchup already has enough juice on its own; however, there is another reason to pay attention. Oregon leads FBS teams in victories in this decade (60), with Michigan State in sixth place (54). The Spartans are tied with Stanford for that spot.
- What gives?: In that same time period, Oregon leads the FBS in passing touchdowns with 183. Michigan State has allowed just 80 touchdowns through the air during that stretch, including the two they surrendered last week to Western Michigan.
Print that, tweet that, whatever: Nighttime in East Lansing is pretty special to witness. Will Oregon continue to look vulnerable like they did (at times) last week?
#14 LSU (0-0) at #25 Mississippi State (1-0)
9:15pm | ESPN
- Tiger dominance: LSU has lost just twice in 23 outings against Mississippi State. One of those losses came last year in Baton Rouge. The Bulldogs claimed a 34-29 victory over the Tigers, in a game in which Josh Robinson and Dak Prescott combined for 302 rushing yards and two scores. Prescott also threw for 268 yards and two more touchdowns.
- Bulldog consistency: Mississippi State’s sports information department notes that the Bulldogs have put up 15 consecutive games of 420 yards or greater of total offense. The last opponent to hold the Bulldogs under that “magic” number was Ole Miss in the 2013 Egg Bowl (296 total yards).
- Hunting a hundy: A win in this game would give Les Miles a stunning 100 victories as the Tigers’ head coach in games in which his team has been ranked in the Top 25. Just 28 such games have resulted in losses for Miles and the Tigers.
Print that, tweet that, whatever: This one has “24-21, down to the last possession” written all over it, doesn’t it?
#20 Boise State (1-0) at BYU (1-0)
10:15pm | ESPN2
- Get used to this: Boise has lost just once in five tries against BYU (at Provo in 2013); however, the series record will have plenty of chances to even out. The teams are in the middle of a reasonably unprecedented 12-game series that is scheduled to end in 2023.
- Second-best is okay: The Broncos have won 10 consecutive games, good for the second-longest streak among FBS teams. Ohio State extended their streak to 14 consecutive games with Monday night’s victory over Virginia Tech. Air Force was the last team to defeat Boise, registering a 28-14 victory in Colorado Springs on September 27, 2014.
- A new leader: BYU quarterback Taysom Hill was counted on to lead the Cougars this season; however, he will miss the season after being injured in the season-opener against Nebraska. Freshman Tanner Mangum had a pretty incredible debut under center for BYU, completing 7-of-11 passes for 111 yards and the game-winning, 42-yard touchdown lob to Mitch Mathews in traffic at the goal line as the final seconds left the clock. Dick Harmon of the Deseret News has a compelling read on the not-so-ordinary freshman.
Print that, tweet that, whatever: On paper, this looks like a good spot for a Boise victory. However, counting BYU out — especially after last week — may prove foolish.
Trivia answer: I asked earlier: Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma teams have lost six games in the month of September. Who were the six teams to beat Oklahoma in September since Stoops’ arrival in 1999?
Oklahoma did not lose a September game under Stoops in his first six seasons. TCU (9/3/05, 17-10), UCLA (9/17/05, 41-24), Oregon (9/16/06, 34-33), Colorado (9/29/07, 27-24), BYU (9/5/09, 14-13) and Kansas State (9/22/12, 24-19) handed the Sooners September defeats in 53 contests with Stoops as the head coach.