It's only the season's second week, but the outcomes of several key matchups across the country promise to have lingering effects throughout the season.
Each team that will play a cross-sectional showdown today has something different at stake. Some teams have more to lose than gain, while others have a rare opportunity to quickly garner respect.
For South Florida, today is a chance to make a national splash against a traditional Southeastern Conference power, Auburn, and vault into the top 25. In that sense, it's a no-lose situation.
For Texas Christian, today's game against Texas represents a must-win scenario if the Horned Frogs want to stay on track for a BCS game. No non-BCS team has ever made a BCS game with a loss.
Most teams are somewhere in the middle and need a win as much as they can't afford a loss. And then there are Notre Dame and Michigan, two of the nation's most recognizable programs. After awful performances last week, both are just thankful for the chance to play a different opponent and wipe away a string of negative headlines.