Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

The Top Non-Conference Games - No. 41 to 50
West Virginia QB Geno Smith
West Virginia QB Geno Smith
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 7, 2011


It was one of the best games of last year when Geno Smith led West Virginia to a thrilling comeback win over Marshall, and the rematch should also be terrific. Want to get fired up? Check out some of the big matchups you have to look forward to in Part 5 of the 50 Top Non-Conference Games, No. 41 to 50, in the 2011 CFN Spring/Off-Season Preview.

2011 Spring Preview - No. 20

Top 50 Non-Conference Games

(No. 41-50)

2011 Spring Preview
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 1-10) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 11-20) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 21-30) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 31-40) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 41-50) 
2010 Spring Preview - Top 50 Non-Conference Games 
2009 Spring Preview - Top 50 Non-Conference Games 
2008 Spring Preview - Top 40 Non-Conference Games 

50. Marshall at West Virginia. Sept. 3

Is this can be half as good as last year’s phenomenal 24-21 overtime Mountaineer win, it’ll be one of the best games of the season. Marshall head coach Doc Holliday made a splash last year, but a win over the in-state rival would do wonders for his program and Conference USA. For West Virginia, this will be the first test for the Dana Holgorsen offense and Game One for the slightly-bizarre coaching situation.

49. Kansas at Georgia Tech, Sept. 17

It was one of the stranger upsets of last year, but no one really knew it at the time. Georgia Tech was stunned 28-25 by a miserable Kansas team that lost to North Dakota State in a 6-3 thriller the week before, and it turned out to be the high point for the Jayhawk season. KU will start the season at home against McNeese State and Northern Illinois, but the trip to Atlanta will show just how far things have come in the last year under Turner Gill.

48. Northern Illinois vs. Wisconsin (in Chicago), Sept. 17

This might be a sneaky-tough game for the Badgers after starting out the season at home against UNLV and Oregon State. NIU will be among the best teams in the MAC, if not the favorite to win the title, and new head coach Dave Dorean knows Wisconsin backwards and forwards. Dorean came to DeKalb after working as the Badger defensive coordinator, and he has the team good enough to come up with the shocking upset.

47. Miami University at Minnesota, Sept. 17

Can Jerry Kill finally beat Miami University? His Northern Illinois team last year, the most talented squad in the MAC, couldn’t close in a miraculous loss to MU in the 2010 MAC Championship game, but this game might be bigger. After dealing with a trip to USC and the home opener against New Mexico State, Kill and the Gophers can’t afford to gag away a home game against a strong MAC team. New RedHawk head coach Don Treadwell will likely be looking for his first win after starting out his era at Missouri.

46. Virginia Tech at East Carolina, Sept. 10

The Hokies don’t exactly have a Boise State on the non-conference schedule this year, so going to East Carolina will have to qualify as the best of the non-conference battles. Tech beat the Pirates 49-27 last year in Blacksburg, but this might be a bit more of a battle this season as the ECU defense will certainly be better and the offense should be explosive. It wouldn’t be that much of an upset if the Pirates pulled this off.

45. Nevada at Oregon, Sept. 10

Blink and you might miss this game between the two high-powered, up-tempo teams that have been among the most exciting in college football. It’ll be the home opener for the Ducks, but it could be a trap coming off the showdown against LSU. Nevada was third in the nation last year in rushing and fourth in total yards, while Oregon lead the nation in total offense and was fourth in rushing. It’s not going to be the same Nevada team of last year with QB Colin Kaepernick and RB Vai Taua both off to the NFL, but the Pistol offense will still be in place and the offense should still be extremely dangerous.

44. BYU at Ole Miss, Sept. 3

It’s BYU’s first game as an independent and every game and every moment counts in terms of national respect. Lose this game, and the Cougars become afterthoughts unless they can pull off a win at Texas the week after. Ole Miss needs a splashy win after last year’s ugliness, and while beating BYU might not seem like that big a deal, a loss in the home opener would make the fan base awfully grouchy.

43. Navy at South Carolina, Sept. 17

South Carolina is loaded and looking to prove that the great run in 2010 wasn’t a fluke. After opening up the season against East Carolina and following it up with the SEC opener at Georgia, the Gamecocks could be looking past the Midshipmen before diving back into conference play. With only a week to prepare for the Navy running game, USC could be caught napping, while the Midshipmen get tune-ups against Delaware and Western Kentucky to prepare.

42. Louisville at North Carolina, Oct. 8

It’s an interesting minor bowl-looking game that comes in the middle of the season. The Tar Heels will be back at home after road games against Georgia Tech and East Carolina, and with Miami coming up the week after, focusing on the Cardinals will be hard. Charlie Strong’s team have the right schedule to be a hot early story, and a win over UNC would do wonders before going to Cincinnati to start Big East action.

41. Syracuse at USC, Sept. 17

It’s an odd matchup, but an interesting one considering how Syracuse played on the road last year and with USC in need of a good start. The Orange will start out the year at home against Wake Forest and Rhode Island, and three of their following four games are at home, so a win over the Trojans wouldn’t just be a huge signature moment for the Doug Marrone era, it would be a big deal for the SU season. USC won’t get that many chances to start out hot with four home games in the first five, and playing Syracuse will be as close to a bowl game as the team will be able to get.

2011 Spring Preview
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 1-10) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 11-20) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 21-30) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 31-40) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 41-50) 
2010 Spring Preview - Top 50 Non-Conference Games 
2009 Spring Preview - Top 50 Non-Conference Games 
2008 Spring Preview - Top 40 Non-Conference Games