FCS Football: Predictions for the Best 10 Games in Week 2

It's time to build on a win or try to get the season going forward

Welcome to Week 2 of the college football season, when the season-opening fly-over for your favorite FCS team may have been downgraded to a do-over.

 

Thanks to FCS struggles against the FBS — and, of course, Jacksonville State — teams that comprised the Athlon Preseason Top 25 have combined for a sweet 16 losses already.

 

Let the redemption tour begin. It's time for teams to become the headliner and not just the opening act.

 

Here's a countdown of the 10 best games of Week 2 (and we'll focus on a number of winning teams):

 

Note: All times ET. Rank in front of team refers to the FCS Power Poll.

 

10. No. 14 Kennesaw State (1-0) at Kent State (0-1)

12 p.m., Saturday

The Big South champion Owls kick off their season against an FBS opponent. Oh wait, they've already made a Point (University) in Week 1. This time, we'll get a better gauge of the team that returned only one offensive starter.

The Pick: Kennesaw State

 

9. The Citadel (0-1) at Elon (0-1)

2 p.m., Saturday

If they're still thinking at-large playoff bids, these two talented, but schedule-challenged teams need a win in the worst way. Each lost to a nationally ranked opponent in its opener. The Citadel quarterback Brandon Rainey is coming off 166 rushing yards.

The Pick: Elon

 

8. Eastern Kentucky (1-0) at Louisville (0-1)

7 p.m., Saturday

Louisville is on short rest after falling to Notre Dame on Labor Day. The visitors from the Ohio Valley Conference have troubled FBS opponents in recent seasons and last defeated one in 2014 (Miami of Ohio).

The Pick: Louisville

 

7. No. 19 Central Arkansas (1-0) at Austin Peay (1-0)

3 p.m., Saturday

Speaking of FBS wins, Central Arkansas has already nailed one in the Bluegrass State (Western Kentucky). Austin Peay is 9-2 at Fortera Stadium since 2017, including an easy win over North Carolina Central in head coach Mark Hudspeth's debut last week.

The Pick: Austin Peay

 

6. Chattanooga (1-0) at No. 24 Jacksonville State (0-1)

7 p.m., Saturday

Can you imagine the Gamecocks getting off to an 0-2 start? Twitter would burst if Zerrick Cooper, Marlon Bridges, and Co. aren't better prepared for this rivalry matchup.

The Pick: Jacksonville State

 

5. No. 5 Maine (1-0) at Georgia Southern (0-1)

6 p.m., Saturday

Last Friday night, college football basically took a deep breath over the long Labor Day weekend, but the Black Bears were busy blowing away Sacred Heart behind quarterback Chris Ferguson. Georgia Southern, which captured six national titles on the FCS level, has won three all-time meetings.

The Pick: Maine

 

4. No. 20 North Carolina A&T (1-0) at Duke (0-1)

6 p.m., Saturday

The Aggies have posted a win over an FBS opponent in each of the last three seasons, so, yeah, why not this year? The non-conference opponents have brought out more in the MEAC power than some of their conference foes.

The Pick: Duke

 

3. No. 11 Furman (1-0) at Georgia State (1-0)

7 p.m., Saturday

Georgia State is $950,000 richer after stunning Tennessee in Week 1, which means a Furman upset this week would be priceless. If it happens, the Paladins won’t be calling for the Vols, they’ll want Alabama.

The Pick: Georgia State

 

2. North Dakota (1-0) at No. 1 North Dakota State (1-0)

3:30 p.m., Saturday

This is only the second meeting between the long-time rivals since 2003, but next year they'll be matched again in the Missouri Valley Conference. That may not go so well for UND.

The Pick: North Dakota State

 

1. No. 15 Southeast Missouri (1-0) at No. 10 Montana State (0-1)

8 p.m., Saturday

The visiting Redhawks were in Big Sky country last December, falling to Weber State in the second round of the FCS playoffs. The Bobcats already saw a little too much red and black last week (Texas Tech) and need to get quarterback Casey Bauman on track or all of Bozeman will be reaching for the official Troy Andersen panic button.

The Pick: Montana State

 

Last Week’s Record: 8-2 (.800)

Season Record: 8-2 (.800)

 

— Written by Craig Haley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Haley has covered the FCS level since 1999 and is the national writer for www.fcs.football. He appears frequently on radio shows and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter @CraigHaley.

 

(Photo courtesy of Matt Reynolds/JSU Photos)

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