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The Top Non-Conference Games - No. 31 to 40
Navy RB Alexander Teich
Navy RB Alexander Teich
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 7, 2011


The 20 Big Questions Going Into 2011 - No. 20, The 50 Top Non-Conference Games, Part 4 (No. 31 to 40)


2011 Spring Preview - No. 20

Top 50 Non-Conference Games

(No. 31-40)


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 

40. Navy at Notre Dame, Oct. 29

One of the most lopsided rivalries in college football history took a left hand turn four years ago. Navy has won three of the last four games in the series including a 35-17 pasting in Giants Stadium last year. The game is in South Bend this year, and Irish head coach Brian Kelly might need this win coming off a showdown against USC. Considering Navy lost to Duke the week after the win over Notre Dame last year, it’s a stretch to say it’s smooth sailing after the road game, but there aren’t any games against BCS in the final month.

39. Louisville at Kentucky, Sept. 17

With four straight losses in the series, Louisville needs the win to take back the rivalry and to turn get a bit of momentum going for the Charlie Strong era. The first season was a good one under the new head man, but starting out with a home loss to the Cats wasn’t a plus. This year, the Cardinals will get a nice base of wins with Murray State and Florida International to use as a tune-up, while Kentucky gets some layups of its own facing Western Kentucky and Central Michigan. UK can be forgiven a bit, though, if it’s looking ahead to the SEC opener against Florida and with road trips to LSU and South Carolina to follow.

38. West Virginia at Maryland, Sept. 17

This is a nice-looking mid-level bowl game that should have some bearing in the always fun fight for respect between the ACC and the Big East. West Virginia beat the Terps 31-17 last season, and this should be a great test for the Mountaineers before dealing with LSU. As the lone away day until late October, WVU could make a statement with a victory. This might be a must-win home game for new Maryland head man Randy Edsall after starting the season off against Miami. On the plus side for the Edsall, the Terps get 12 days off to prepare.

37. South Florida at Notre Dame, Sept. 3

There were some who thought that Skip Holtz would’ve been a fine new head coach for the Irish, with the hope that he’d bring the national title-caliber upgrade his dad did. Instead, Holtz took over an emerging South Florida program (the weather is better, anyway) and he’s looking to make a huge splash in his team’s home opener. For Brian Kelly, it’s yet another game against yet another team that’ll treat the battle like a BCS showdown. The Irish have three road games in the next four weeks, starting with a date at Michigan, and can’t afford to blow the home opener.

36. Oklahoma State vs. Tulsa, Sept. 17

In some way, shape, or form, this will be a fun, wild shootout. Oklahoma State blew away the Hurricane last year in a 65-28 blasting thanks to 574 passing yards and eight scoring throws, with three going to Justin Blackmon. Tulsa was never in the game but still threw up 428 yards. This year’s Golden Hurricane squad is loaded and should put up more of a fight in a battle that should see over 1,000 yards of offense and well over 75 points.

35. Iowa at Iowa State, Sept. 10

In theory this is a tough, hard fought rivalry game, but Iowa has had its way with the Cyclones lately winning the last three matchups by a combined score of 87 to 15 with ISU scoring just one touchdown. Iowa gets a scrimmage against Tennessee Tech first and then has bigger fish to fry with Pitt coming to Iowa City the following week. For Iowa State, it could use the home win with three road games coming in the next four. Making this more of a big game, the one home game before late October is against Texas.

34. Cincinnati at Tennessee, Sept. 10

It’s an odd matchup, but it’s an interesting one mostly because of the desperation on both sides. Tennessee won the lone game between the two, but the 40-0 blasting was in 1992. This year, Derek Dooley’s squad has to avoid looking ahead to the road trip to Florida and with Georgia and LSU coming up quick. On the plus side, Tennessee starts the year with five home games in the first six, while this is the lone September road game for Cincinnati. A win for the Bearcats will mean a hot start with Austin Peay and Akron also on the early slate.

33. Kansas State at Miami, Sept. 24

It’s always fun when two programs meet for the first time, and Bill Snyder’s club should be a dangerous test for Miami in a game of huge importance for both teams … but for different reasons. Kansas State gets warm-ups against Eastern Kentucky and Kent State before taking its talents to South Beach, and then comes a week off before diving into Big 12 play. A win should mean a 4-0 start before hosting Missouri, while the stakes might be much bigger for the Canes. Al Golden doesn’t get much of a break to start the season going to Maryland to kick things off before dealing with Ohio State. With road games at Virginia Tech and North Carolina coming up quickly, Kansas State is one of the lighter dates in the first half.

32. Utah at Pitt, Oct. 15

It got lost in the shuffle, but Utah’s opening weekend 27-24 overtime win over Pitt. At least it was a better outcome for the Panthers than the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, a 35-7 loss, but this time around the Utes are in the Pac 12 making this a strong BCS matchup. New Panther head coach Todd Graham doesn’t have it easy in the first half of his season with a trip to Iowa and dates against Notre Dame and USF on the docket, and he has to avoid a letdown with the Utes coming into town in between key Big East games against Rutgers and Connecticut. Utah should be battle-tested with Pac 12 play getting underway early, highlighted by a trip to USC, and the Holy War against BYU is in mid-September. The Utes can’t get caught looking ahead to a road trip to Cal the following week.

31. South Carolina vs. East Carolina (in Charlotte), Sept. 3

South Carolina used to own East Carolina, but that hasn’t been the case over the last several battles with the Pirates winning three of the last four. However, the last win came in 1999 against a Gamecock team that finished 0-11. It all comes down to whether or not South Carolina has its head screwed on straight. The hype will be off the charts with many likely to predict another SEC East title season, and the conference opener is at Georgia the following week. No, ECU isn’t as good as USC, but it’ll have a dynamic offense led by an X factor of a playmaker in Dominique Davis. The Pirates have Virginia Tech coming up the following week, but a win in Charlotte will put them on the national radar.

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