Ranking the Week 2 weak opponents

September, 8, 2010
9/08/10
4:05
PM ET
Let's face it: half the Big East schedule is pretty yawn-inducing this week.

Four teams are dipping down to play opponents from the FCS division. That usually means cutting a check and guaranteeing yourself a home win. Just about everybody does it. Some, like Rutgers and South Florida last year and Syracuse this year, do it twice.

But not all FCS teams are created equally. Just ask Ole Miss and Kansas. So here's a look at this week's tilts between the Big East and FCS on a descending scale of difficulty:

1. New Hampshire at Pittsburgh: The Wildcats are ranked fifth in the latest coaches FCS poll. They beat division national champion Villanova in the regular season a year ago. New Hampshire has won its last five meetings with FBS opponents, including Northwestern in 2006 and Rutgers in '04. Running back Dontra Peters ran 19 times for 197 yards and two touchdowns in the opener, and quarterback R.J. Toman is a three-year starter. If the Panthers are napping between the Utah and Miami games, New Hampshire could jump up and bite them.

2. Eastern Kentucky at Louisville: The Colonels used to be an FCS power and annual national title contender, but the program has taken a step backward of late. It was blown out last week by Missouri State. Still, it was just last year that Colonels lost only 19-13 at Indiana. Louisville's talent is not so great that it can expect to roll without effort.

3. Texas Southern at Connecticut: Texas Southern was last seen in Big East parts losing 42-0 to Rutgers a year ago. The Tigers still managed a winning record in 2009, going 6-5 and 5-2 in the SWAC while returning 15 starters this year. They lost their opener to Prairie View, however. They were a late add to UConn's schedule after Northeastern dropped its football program.

4. Indiana State at Cincinnati: Bearcats coach Butch Jones called Indiana State "very talented" on Monday's Big East coaches' call. Which raised the question: as compared to what? The Sycamores walloped St. Joseph's (Ind.) last week. Of course, St. Joseph's is in the NAIA. Indiana State has won two games against opponents from its own division since the middle of the 2004 season. Cincinnati might get more competition from an all-star team comprised of local high schools in its area.

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