Labor Day Surprise: College Games that Are Actually Meaningful

Published on 8-Jul-2013 by Chips 10

Football - NCAA    NCAA Football Daily Review

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Labor Day Surprise: College Games that Are Actually Meaningful

As another Independence Day fades away, baseball continues in the spotlight for most people.

But with only 53 days left until opening night, college fooball will be soon be front and center in the minds of many.

The first weekend of the season runs from Thu 29 Aug through Labor Day, and there are some fascinating matchups to watch. Yes, a disappointing number of schools schedule easy opening games to get the season off on the right foot, but a valiant few hop right into the fire with rivalry games or in-state battles.

South Carolina travels to North Carolina on opening night, as the Gamecocks will feature the Heisman Trophy campaign for Jedeveon Clowney, their great defensive end.

Even though Alabama's overall schedule is nothing to write home about, the Tide opens defense of its BCS championship against Virginia Tech on August 31. Now, that is something to write home about!

Bama's AJ McCarron will be looking to quarterback the TIde to its third straight -- and his third straight -- national title. Bama's SEC foe, Georgia, has a brutal early schedule and is opening at Clemson on 31 August. The Tigers are clearly a big hurdle for the Bulldogs, especially with South Carolina coming to Athens the following week.

Georgia and Clemson are not only legitimate contenders for conference championships, but also have BCS title shots, which the Bulldogs came very nearly achieved last year. With Aaron Murray back at quarerback, Georgia has a chance to win it all this season.

SEC powerhouse LSU travels to Jerry Jones's playhouse in Arlington to play TCU in another big opening game on 31 August. The Tigers bring back quarterback Zach Mettenberger and hope to get a big road win to open the 2013 season.

There are other interesting openers for the top ranked teams:

  • Florida State, which will fight Clemson for ACC supremecy, traveling to Pittsburgh as the Panthers play their first ACC game. Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles need to win this Labor Day tilt if they are to get a leg up on everyone in the ACC.
  • Penn State, still on probation, faces old rival Syracuse at Met Life Stadium in their opener. The Nittany Lions are looking to replace quarterback Matt McGloin and better their suprising 8-4 record from a year ago.
  • Another top team, Oklahoma State, faces off against Mississippi State in Houston as the Cowboys try to rebound from an 8-5 season.
  • Boise State, as usual, opens with a tough game, traveling to Washington to face the Huskies. If the Broncos lose, any thoughts of a BCS bowl are eliminated early on.

So as the summer heats up, Labor Day is still right around the corner and if those match-ups are not enough for you, there are others:

  • BYU-Virginia
  • California-Northwestern
  • Colorado-Colorado State
  • USC- Hawaii
  • SMU-Texas Tech, and
  • Vanderbilt- Mississippi.

It's enough to wish the summer away and go right to the opening kickoff. And remember, all the data you could hope to have on these and every other college game can be found in the Bovada data tool on our Home page.