NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The second football Saturday of the year yields its riches in Columbus, Ohio, and Ann Arbor, Mich., as four traditional powers square off in a kind of swapping of their oldest rivals: No. 7 Ohio State takes on No. 3 Southern Cal, sworn enemy of No. 18 Notre Dame, which takes on its second-most hated annual foe, unranked Michigan, blood feudist of Ohio State. It's like some kind of 1970s mash-up.
Not all of these programs are, here in the 21st century, at the same level, with the Irish and the Wolverines scrambling and scrapping to climb back to the elite of college football after years (or in ND's case, decades) of inconsistent play -- and losses to their rivals in Ohio and L.A.
Meanwhile, intriguing match-ups abound around the country: The Ball Coach's South Carolina Gamecocks head to Athens to face No. 21 Georgia, a loser in its opener at Oklahoma State; Purdue visits a beleaguered and now unranked Oregon, which fell controversially to No. 11 Boise State in the season opener for the second year in a row; and everyone's Pickens-fueled favorite for a BCS bowl, the No. 6 Cowboys of Oklahoma State, welcome the flamboyant offense of unranked Houston into Stillwater.
It's also no surprise that the two made their feet heard as as soon as possible in week one.
Spiller earned ACC player of the week honors after last week's 37-14 win over Middle Tennessee and taking the season-opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. But after a 50-yard punt return that set up another score, Spiller came up lame with a hamstring tweak and missed the rest of the game. Reports say that Spiller will be ready to go tonight, but no assurances can be trusted when discussing persnickety lower body problems on a speed specialist."He
Both teams got a shortened week, so look for those same lingering mistakes and injuries to pop up in this match-up. Since it's lining up to be a defensive battle, many may point to Clemson's front seven as the key. Defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins turned in four tackles, one for a loss, in last week's effort. Middle linebacker Brandon Maye, a first-team freshman all-American last season, paced the Tigers with 14 tackles and two quarterback pressures.
Still, this same defense showed little improvement from last year in allowing Middle Tennessee to convert 45% of its third down opportunities. And don't forget, it was third downs that really killed Clemson throughout 2008.Corner's Choice: Georgia Tech 33, Clemson 28
-- Sung Moss