College Football Top 5 Non-Conference Games to Watch
The following five games are ones believed will have the biggest impact on the season, and more importantly, be the most entertaining for fans. Several that didn’t make the list include Oklahoma-Miami, Florida-Florida St., and USC-Notre Dame.
5. Utah @ Oregon, Sept. 19th
Utah had a huge Sugar Bowl win over Alabama, and is coming off an undefeated season. This game will be Utah’s one chance this season to show what it’s made of outside the conference, while Oregon will have already played Boise State. If the Ducks beat Boise, this game will launch a potential top-10 team into conference play. If the Ducks lose to Boise, this game will be even bigger; it would be a must-win to keep the Ducks BCS hopes alive.
4. Oregon @ Boise State, Sept. 5th
Last season Boise State won a 37-32 thriller against the Ducks. This season, Oregon is considered a top 10-15 team and the Pac-10’s best chance to knock USC from the top of the conference, so a Duck win here would be huge. Jeremiah Masoli and LeGarrette Blount will lead a strong Oregon team, but Boise State “is loaded and a legit BCS threat. If the Broncos can get another big win over Oregon to open the season, they will be primed for another undefeated run and a shot at a BCS bowl.”
3. Georgia @ Oklahoma State, Sept. 5th
This exciting opening week match-up will test both teams and the conferences they represent. Oklahoma State can potentially prove they are worthy of a top 10 ranking and quiet down the SEC’s “big bad reputation.” Georgia has a chance to knock off one of the Big 12’s best and show what kind of team they can be even without first-round picks Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno. OSU boasts one of the nation’s best offenses, with stars at every skill position, and Georgia always has strong defense.
2. Alabama vs. Virginia Tech, Sept. 5th (in Atlanta, GA)
Last year, Alabama beat Clemson in the Georgia Dome to vault to a special season, and now they will have the opportunity to knock off another big-time ACC team with the Hokies. Both teams have high hopes, not only within their respective conferences, but on the national stage as well. The game might actually mean more for Virginia Tech, who could use the win to carry momentum into upcoming games against Miami and Nebraska. Even with a loss, Alabama will likely stay in the top 10 to 15 and combined with the strength of the SEC schedule, could still have a good shot at the National Championship game.
1. USC @ Ohio State, Sept. 12th
“The Buckeyes got rolled last season at The Coliseum, 35-3, giving more fuel to the Big 10 haters.” This year should be a much closer game, despite OSU’s tendency to flop on a national stage. USC is breaking in a new QB and a new defense which is the best chance the Buckeyes have had to start changing their image. Even with everything working in OSU’s favor, they will still have to work hard for the win. The winner of this game will boast a top 5 ranking and an “inside track to the National Championship, while the loser will need to run the table in their own conference and hope for some luck.”