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Game rankings: South Carolina at Georgia is best of Week 2


College football fans were treated to a great slate of games in the first weekend of the 2013 season, what with big-time games such as Clemson-Georgia and North Carolina-South Carolina on the slate. There may be fewer awe-inspiring contests across the board this week, but there are a handful that are already being greatly anticipated.

The reporters at NFL Draft 365 were polled to pick the 10 best games of the weekend, using player talent level and big-time individual matchups along with other storylines as the criteria for voting.

We also ranked every game in the six power conferences, from least watchable to most watchable. To view those rankings, use the tabs at the top of this story page.

Here's what we came up with:

10. Arkansas State at Auburn, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: The Tigers clearly outclass the Red Wolves, but there are a few interesting matchups to watch. AU center Reese Dismukes takes on one of the Sun Belt Conference's top interior defensive linemen in Ryan Carrethers, who had a huge game last week (eight tackles, 1.5 sacks). RB David Oku, who rushed for 124 yards last week on only 16 carries, will test an AU run defense that went untested by Washington State last week (65 pass attempts).

9. San Jose State at Stanford, Saturday, Sept. 7 at 11 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: Spartans quarterback David Fales nearly upset the Cardinal last season and can dramatically boost his draft stock by performing well against a front seven loaded with future NFL players. Stanford will need its defense to pick up where it left off, as the offense must replace its leading rusher and top five receivers. Quarterback Kevin Hogan does return after going 5-0 last season, including wins at Oregon and in the Pac-12 championship game and Rose Bowl.

8. Western Kentucky at Tennessee, Saturday, 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC Network

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: Star Western Kentucky LB Andrew Jackson (6-1, 260) takes on a highly regarded Tennessee offensive line. This is probably Jackson's best chance of the season to make NFL scouts notice him with future draftees such as C James Stone and OG Zach Fulton lining up for Tennessee. If he can make a few more plays like this one, his stock will climb. Another matchup to watch: Tennessee LB A.J. Johnson chasing around do-it-all WKU RB Antonio Andrews should answer some questions, as well.

7. Washington State at USC, Saturday, Sept. 7 at 10:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

Rating: 3 stars

The skinny: The Trojans didn't settle their quarterback quandary and probably won't with a run-heavy approach featuring Tre Madden and Justin Davis likely against a Washington State defense that gave up 297 rushing yards last week. On the other side of the ball, USC will need its pass rush to remain in top form with starting corners Kevon Seymour and Anthony Brown banged up. Head coach Mike Leach's Air Raid offense is starting to look more like it did at Texas Tech, but quarterback Connor Halliday threw three costly interceptions in a seven-point loss at Auburn.

6. West Virginia at Oklahoma, Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. ET, Fox

Rating: 3 stars

The skinny: The spotlight was on Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight in the opener, and he delivered with 103 rushing yards and three passing touchdowns, but the biggest takeaway was the Sooners' revived defense. Oklahoma allowed only 2.7 yards per play against Louisiana-Monroe while adjusting to a new three-man front. The Sooners will need to be stout again as West Virginia is set to feature a heavy dose of RB Charles Sims (120 rushing yards, one touchdown in his Mountaineers' debut last week) as QB Paul Millard and Clint Trickett get up to speed.

5. Oregon at Virginia, Saturday, Sept. 7 at 12:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2

Rating: 3 stars

The skinny: Mark Helfrich had the Oregon blur offense in peak form in his first game as head coach, posting a school-record 772 yards of offense while holding the ball for only 19:46. Virginia poses a slightly greater challenge on both sides of the ball, but the Ducks' rebuilt linebacker corps, featuring promising freshman Torrodney Prevot, should smother junior running back Kevin Parks (65 rushing yards and one touchdown against BYU; averaged 3.2 yards per carry).

4. Texas at BYU, Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Rating: 4 stars

The skinny: Texas deployed its new up-tempo offense for the first time last week against New Mexico State and the results were impressive once the Longhorns finally got out of their own way, finishing with 56 points and a school-record 715 yards of total offense. However, BYU's offense was offensive in its loss at Virginia -- though top wide receiver Cody Hoffman could return after missing the opener with a hamstring injury -- so the onus will be on the defense led by OLB Kyle Van Noy to keep the game close. OT Desmond Harrison, he of the back-and-forth battle over an online class taken through BYU to graduate from junior college, played some snaps in Texas' opener and should see action here.

3. Florida at Miami, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

Rating: 4 stars

The skinny: This is Florida's first visit to Miami since 2003, when Ron Zook was the Gators' coach. Miami needs a marquee win to truly get back into the national spotlight, and beating the Gators would do it. QB Stephen Morris throws to a deep receiving corps, but that receiving corps will be going against what might be the best group of cornerbacks in the nation. Miami RB Duke Johnson has speed to burn, but in three games last season against teams that, like Florida, played in BCS games, Johnson rushed for a total of 68 yards. The biggest concern for Miami, though, is whether its front seven can hold up against the run. The Hurricanes' rush defense was atrocious last season, and DTs Curtis Porter and Olsen Pierre and MLB Jimmy Gaines are on the spot to play well.

2. Notre Dame at Michigan, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Rating: 4 stars

The skinny: That this is the penultimate game in this series means there could be some bad blood, which should make the game even more intense than usual. In fact, Michigan athletic director David Brandon said Wednesday that the only way these teams play in the future is in a bowl or a "random" neutral-site game. As for this contest, can Michigan's inexperienced interior offensive line deal with Notre Dame NT Louis Nix III? That seems unlikely. One of the best individual matchups of the season will take place when Michigan senior OT Taylor Lewan (6-8, 315) goes against Notre Dame junior DE Stephon Tuitt (6-6, 322). Lewan should go extremely early in the 2014 draft, and Tuitt is a potential early pick, too. Tuitt had a sack, a forced fumble and four tackles vs. Michigan last season. The Irish would love to make Michigan QB Devin Gardner beat them with his arm. Notre Dame's secondary is better than Michigan's receiving corps unless the Wolverines can use play-action.

1. South Carolina at Georgia, Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Rating: 4 stars

The skinny: The marquee game of the day in the entire nation, South Carolina visits the Bulldogs to get the SEC East race started. Georgia's offensive line struggled in pass protection last week against Clemson, allowing four sacks. This week, they get to work against star pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney, who is looking to bounce back from a quiet opener. Georgia CB Damian Swann against South Carolina WR Bruce Ellington should be a good matchup, as should Gamecocks OT Corey Robinson working against Georgia DE Garrett Smith.

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