An easy start to the season for Rutgers, which won at Tulane, 24-12, and now plays host Saturday to Howard. It gets interesting after that, with a Big East opener at South Florida and a nonconference road game at Arkansas.
Northwestern was involved in the craziest game of Week 1. The Wildcats raced to a 35-13 lead at Syracuse, then saw the Orange charge back for a 41-35 lead. But backup quarterback Trevor Siemian connected with Demetrius Fields for a nine-year touchdown pass with 44 seconds remaining and Northwestern won, 42-41. Keep an eye on the Wildcats. They play the next four games at home and have a good chance of being 5-0 when they venture back on the road for an Oct. 6 game against Penn State.
Temple is back in the Big East, a conference that forced out the Owls after the 2004 season for failing to meet minimum requirements for membership. The Owls played as an independent before joining the Mid-American Conference in 2007. Temple defeated Division I-AA Villanova, 41-10, last Saturday and plays host to Maryland on Saturday.
Big expectations at South Carolina, where Steve Spurrier has entered his eighth year as coach. Spurrier lost only 12 Southeastern Conference games in 12 seasons at Florida, and he has already lost 27 at Columbia. But in this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world, Spurrier is back on top because the Gamecocks have won a combined 20 games in 2010-11.
Northwest Missouri State advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs last season and opened 2012 with 33-3 thumping of East Central (Okla.). The Bearcats last won a national title in 2009, one of three national championships won by the program.