Top 10 Games of the 2013 College Football Season
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In no particular order and from a pre-season perspective, here are the matches that matter in the upcoming college football season:
Alabama at Texas A&M - 14 Sep ... A number of observers feel like this is the game to watch in college football, and they'll get their wish in the early going. Last year, of course, the Aggies shocked the nation when they beat the Tide in Tuscaloosa with freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel cementing his status as a hype magnet. But if Manziel has to miss this game because of his current situation, this game will just turn into the Arkansas-Alabama tilt from last year, when the Hogs lost quarterback Tyler Wilson with a concussion; it was a blowout.
Oregon at Stanford - 7 Nov ...Who would have thought that, in the past couple of years, this pairing would decide which Pac 12 team will be knocked off before making the BCS title game? In fact, as they're both in the Pac-12 North, one of them won't even make it to the conference championship game. And with pesky Oregon State and rising Washington in there, too, it's possible neither makes it this year. Still, this is the game to circle until proven differently. It's worth watching for entertainment value alone, as It seems like there's always some sort of weird play to decide the winner.
LSU at Alabama - 9 Nov ...Over the last few years, this game has decided who represented the West for the SEC championship and has been decided for the most part in the last few minutes each time. Forget the Texas A&M game, this is the game of the year in the SEC until proven otherwise, just as it often is nationally.
Ohio State at Michigan - 30 Nov...This rivalry will once again have some meaning to it, which hasn't happened in years. It may decide not only the Big Ten Champion, but also who represents the conference in the national championship game, as well. The ironic thing is, these two may have to face each other again the following week with the Big Ten Championship on the line.
Georgia at Clemson - 31 Aug ... Unfortunately, the team that loses will probably get knocked out of the national championship hunt after their first game of the season, especially if it's the Tigers who fall. The ACC has yet to have a representative in the BCS title game. If Clemson blows it, that'll leave just Florida State from this conference to carry the flag.
South Carolina at Georgia - 7 Sep ... The Bulldogs must be wondering what they ever did to tick off the schedule makers. Right on the heels of a heated made-for-ESPN match-up, the Gamecocks run straight into the game that usually decides the Eastern Division in the SEC. This year is no exception. We will definitely know which team is a contender or a pretender. The winner doesn't always win the East, but whoever prevails has a lot to say about who does. Georgia normally struggles in this one and has proven quite capable of losing it, but this game is too important to them if they intend on winning a national championship.
Florida State at Clemson - 19 Oct ... When is the last time the ACC had a game this important being played in the BCS era? The answer: Never. This is the first time in a long time the ACC has a legitimate chance at competing for a national championship. To say this will be the game of the year in the ACC is an understatement. Let's just hope neither team gets derailed until then. History says it's doubtful that will happen.
Florida State at Florida - 30 Nov ... Coming into this game last year, no one gave the Gators a chance in hell to defeat the Seminoles, but Florida not only knocked off the Noles, they stomped them and punched their ticket to a BCS bowl game. A lot more may be on the line this year when they face each other, as they must do.
Oklahoma vs Texas - 12 Oct in Dallas ... The Red River Rivalry has lost some luster over the years, mainly because the Longhorns have stunk it up. But this year may be different. Both Oklahoma and Texas are supposed to be better this year. Clearly, better teams make it a better game. But keep your eyes on Kansas State and Baylor, too, in the Big 12. They will have something to say about it before this season is over.
SEC Championship Game - 7 Dec in Atlanta ... For the past seven years, this game has decided who would represent the conference in the BCS mega-match. Alabama, Florida, LSU, and Auburn have all won the SEC championship and gone on to earn the national championship. Don't expect that change anytime soon.
Arkansas at LSU - 29 Nov ... No matter what's on the line, this game is always interesting and surprisingly close.
Baylor-Oklahoma State ...The offenses alone are reason enough to tune in.
TCU vs LSU - 31 Aug in Arlington ... We are going to learn a lot about both of these teams with this early match-up.
Washington State at Auburn - 31 Aug ... Mike Leach vs Gus Malzahan to decide which is the true offensive genius in college football. This game definitely won't be boring.