There are some great games on tap for Week 2 of the 2014 college football season. A fascinating Michigan State at Oregon game. Michigan at Notre Dame for the final time until God knows when. A spirited USC at Stanford game. A fun Virginia Tech at Ohio State matchup. A suddenly intriguing BYU at Texas game. The key word here, unfortunately, is "some".
As pointed out by our friend Bryan Fischer, here is a sad, sad listing of non-conference opponents for this week's slate of games for each Power Five league.
ACC: South Carolina State (at Clemson), Richmond (at Virginia), Tulane (vs. Georgia Tech), Old Dominion (at N.C. State), Gardner-Webb (at Wake Forest), Florida A&M (at Miami), Murray State (at Louisville), Troy (vs. Duke), The Citadel (at Florida State), San Diego State (at North Carolina), and Ohio State (vs. Virginia Tech). Pittsburgh visits Boston College in a conference game on Friday night.
Big Ten: Howard (at Rutgers), Central Michigan (at Purdue), Akron (at Penn State), Western Kentucky (at Illinois), McNeese State (at Nebraska), Western Illinois (at Wisconsin), South Florida (vs. Maryland), Ball State (at Iowa), Middle Tennessee (at Minnesota), Oregon (vs. Michigan State), Notre Dame (vs. Michigan), and Virginia Tech (at Ohio State).
Big 12: Tulsa (vs. Oklahoma), Missouri State (at Oklahoma State), Southeast Missouri State (at Kansas), Towson (at West Virginia), Northwestern State (at Baylor), UTEP (vs. Texas Tech), and BYU (at Texas). Kansas State and Iowa State meet in a conference game - Farmaggedon!
Pac-12: UTSA (vs. Arizona), Nevada (vs. Washington State), Fresno State (at Utah), Massachusetts (vs. Colorado), Sacramento State (at California), Eastern Washington (at Washington), New Mexico (vs. Arizona State), Memphis (vs. UCLA), Hawaii (vs. Oregon State), and Michigan State (vs. Oregon). USC visits Stanford in a conference game.
SEC: Arkansas State (at Tennessee), Toledo (vs. Missouri), Florida Atlantic (at Alabama), UAB (at Mississippi State), Ohio (at Kentucky), Eastern Michigan (at Florida), Nicholls State (at Arkansas), East Carolina (at South Carolina), San Jose State (at Auburn), Lamar (at Texas A&M), and Sam Houston State (at LSU). Ole Miss and Vanderbilt play at Nashville's LP Field in a conference game.
The SEC is a clear loser here - East Carolina the best opponent, by ten miles - but there are no winners here. Eighteen of 51 total games are against the FCS, more than 35 percent. But, then again, maybe the number is so high because the MAC, Sun Belt and Conference USA were all booked up.
If you're looking for one single factor to blame here, it's demand. Top end teams demand a few working bye weeks in their attempt to go undefeated or as close to it as possible. The middle and lower tiers demand as many easy wins as they can grab in the race to six, seven or eight wins. Athletics directors demand as many home games as they can get to balance the budget.
And when athletics departments go looking for what their own ticket demand is dropped, hopefully this time they'll remember this week instead of blaming poor WiFi