The Top Non-Conference Games - No. 31 to 40
No. 34 - BC at Northwestern
No. 34 - BC at Northwestern
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 5, 2012


2012 Spring Preview - The 50 Top Non-Conf. Games, Part 4 (No. 31 to 40)


2012 Spring Preview 

Top 50 Non-Conference Games

(No. 31-40)


Top Non-Conference Games
 
- 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 

2012 Top 50 Non-Conference Games
- 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)  

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40. Connecticut at Maryland, Sept. 15

It’s always a bit crazy to think that a September 15th game could be a make-or-break moment, but that’s exactly what it could become to two programs and two coaching staffs desperate for something positive. Maryland coach Randy Edsall is coming off a 2-10 disaster, and a loss to the Huskies would be a nightmare with a trip to West Virginia before diving into ACC play. On the plus side, with William & Mary and Temple to start, a win might mean a 3-0 record and the September that Edsall needs. Meanwhile, UConn’s Paul Pasqualoni is coming off a 5-7 season, but he doesn’t get much of a break early on with a date with NC State before facing the Terps.

39. Utah at BYU, Sept. 15

As it turned out, BYU was pretty good, finishing 10-3 with wins in nine of the final ten games. However, on September 17th, the Cougars looked like they needed to pack up the tents after getting obliterated at home by Utah 54-10. It was among the ugliest games in the history of the great rivalry, and it set the tone for what should be an even more intense rematch. Both teams are better this time around, and the stakes could be even higher than normal. The Cougars have to go to Boise State the following week, and still have several nasty games to deal with, while the Utes have to kick off the Pac-12 schedule the week after with a trip to Arizona State followed up by a date with USC.

38. Ohio at Penn State, Sept. 1

There are spotlights, and then there’s what new Penn State coach Bill O’Brien will have to deal with. It’s not just that he has to replace Joe Paterno as the full-time head man, it’s all the other baggage that comes with running the Nittany Lions at the start of the 2012 season. Part of that is a rebuilding team that needs to find an offense, and while Ohio might be a MAC team, it’s a good MAC team that should be good enough to contend for the conference title. Is it going to be good enough to pull off the upset in O’Brien’s opener? The pressure will be on.

37. FIU at UCF, Sept. 15

UCF continues to look to do more in the Sunshine State as the program keeps improving and continues to show that it’s ready for life in the Big East in 2013. One thing it can’t do, though, is keep losing to a program like FIU. The Golden Panthers are going for many of the same in-state talents the Knights are, and while the winner of this game might not control the mid-level Florida recruiting wars, it’ll be able to use the victory as a selling point. FIU won last year 17-10, and UCF might need this game coming off a trip to Ohio State and with Missouri coming up next.

36. Texas at Ole Miss, Sept. 15

Texas vs. Ole Miss – it sounds like an old school matchup, and it is with the fist matchup a 53-14 Texas win n 1912. The two haven’t faced each other since a 19-0 Longhorn win in the 1966 Bluebonnet Bowl to go 5-1 all-time against the Rebels. For Texas, it’s the first real test before the Big 12 season with a brutal three-game stretch of at Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Oklahoma to follow, while this will be the first real test for new Rebel coach Hugh Freeze, who starts out the year with Central Arkansas and UTEP.

35. Arkansas State at Oregon, Sept. 1

The last time Gus Malzahn had to deal with Oregon he was the Auburn offensive coordinator and had Cam Newton running his attack in the 2011 BCS Championship. Now the head coach of ASU, he has a loaded team full of talented offensive players, led by QB Ryan Aplin and possibly Auburn transfer Michael Dyer. Will it be enough to stay with a reloaded Duck team? The Red Wolves aren’t going to win, but Malzahn’s offense should put on a decent show to make it interesting – for a half.

34. Boston College at Northwestern, Sept. 15

It seemed like a big deal when Northwestern opened up the 2011 season with a 24-17 win at Boston College, but the Eagles turned out to be punchless and finished with a miserable 4-8 season. However, they kept fighting and close the season with a decent 3-2 run. Can the momentum carry over and can Boston College go back to being Boston College? With Clemson coming up next, and with Miami in the season opener, winning in Evanston could be a must. The Wildcats starts out the season with Syracuse and Vanderbilt, but things ease up after dealing with BC.

33. Boise State at Southern Miss, Oct. 6

The two star non-BCS league programs have met twice, with Boise State winning both games, but this year might be different. Southern Miss – the defending Conference USA champions – should be through the reloading growing pains in early October, and new coach Ellis Johnson will have his guys in place. Boise State has more rebuilding to do than any team in college football, and it won’t have much time to do it in a tough September. Going to USM should be a good test to see just how quickly the Broncos have improved with so many new starters.

32. Wisconsin at Oregon State, Sept. 8

It seemed like a better matchup when it was put together several years ago, but Oregon State had a hard time in 2011 including a 35-0 pasting in Camp Randall. This year, Bucky has a light and breezy non-conference schedule outside of this game, but can the Beavers show that they’ve improved enough to provide a challenge? They get the Pac-12 opener at UCLA up next, and a big upset over the defending Big Ten champs would show that Mike Riley has things back on track. The only other meeting between the two was a 23-20 UW win in 1961.

31. Virginia Tech at Pitt, Sept. 15

It’s a tough road game for Virginia Tech against its future ACC brother in the first huge test for new Pitt head coach Paul Chryst. The Panthers have been fine over the last few years, but they haven’t been able to turn the corner mostly because they haven’t been able to come up with enough big-time wins. Beating Virginia Tech would qualify, and it would quickly put the spotlight on the new-look program. Meanwhile, the Hokies will have already been tested by Georgia Tech in the season opener. The Panthers have won the last three meetings going back to 2000, but are 4-7 all-time in the series.
 
Top Non-Conference Games  
- 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 

2012 Top 50 Non-Conference Games
- 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)  

Follow Us ... #ColFootballNews