The Top Non-Conference Games - No. 11 to 20
No. 20 Georgia Tech at Georgia
No. 20 Georgia Tech at Georgia
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 5, 2012


2012 Spring Preview - The 50 Top Non-Conf. Games, Part 2 (No. 11 to 20)

2012 Spring Preview

Top 50 Non-Conference Games

(No. 11-20)

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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20. Georgia Tech at Georgia, Nov. 24

Georgia has won three in a row in the great rivalry and ten of the last 11, but this should be one of the best Georgia Tech teams in years. It should also be a terrific Dawg team as the likely favorite to win another SEC East title. Can this be another tune-up before a trip to the SEC championship? The division season ends for Georgia in October. The Yellow Jackets will be among the favorites to win the ACC title, but conference play ends the week before against Duke. This marks the end of a run of three road games in the final four weeks for Tech.

19. Miami at Kansas State, Sept. 8

Kansas State pulled off one of the shockers of the early part of 2011 with a thrilling 28-24 win in Miami, holding on for dear life in the final moments. The Wildcats turned out to be the real deal, while the Canes seemed to invent ways to lose close games. This year, Miami is trying to reload after a massive loss of talent to the NFL and graduation, but it’s still athletic enough and good enough to come out of Manhattan with a win. This is it as far as non-conference test for the Wildcats, but the Big 12 opener at Oklahoma comes up two weeks later. The Canes start out the season at Boston College and had to go to Georgia Tech to kick things off with three road dates in the first four weeks.

18. California at Ohio State, Sept. 15

The Bears beat the Buckeyes 28-0 in the 1921 Rose Bowl, but that was the lone win in the series, including a 17-14 loss in the 1950 Rose Bowl. Cal has to start out the season with a tough test against Nevada, and it has to begin Pac-12 play at USC the week after, but for Jeff Tedford, beating the Buckeyes in Columbus would do wonders for a program that needs a big, splashy win. The OSU, this is Urban Meyer’s first test against a BCS team after starting out against Miami University and UCF. With no bowl appearance, every game like this takes on new meaning for the Buckeyes.

17. Notre Dame at Michigan State, Sept. 15

Yes, these two can play a dud, as last year’s 31-13 Notre Dame win proved, but over the years this has been among the most consistently terrific rivalries as any in college football. For the Irish, though, this is just another interesting game in a season full of interesting games, with Michigan, Miami, Stanford, BYU, and Oklahoma to follow. The Spartans have their share of drama battles, too, kicking off against Boise State and with Ohio State on the horizon, but after last year’s blowout, motivation won’t be a problem. The Irish haven’t won in East Lansing since 2006.

16. Washington at LSU, Sept. 8

It took a fight for LSU to get by Washington 31-23 in 2009, but the 40-14 blasting in 1983 was a different story. This is only the third meeting between the two, and it’s the first spotlight game for the Tigers after they’re clunker of a BCS championship performance. It’s the only real non-conference test for a team that came up with so many big wins last year. The Huskies start out with a test against San Diego State, but the get a nice week off against Portland State to follow. Has the defense tightened up at all since the Alamo Bowl debacle against Baylor? A win would be a game-changer for UW and the Pac-12.

15. Florida State at South Florida, Sept. 29

USF has had its chances against Miami, and it’s had some interesting games against UCF and FIU, and it lose to Florida 38-14 in 2010. In the quest to become a bigger player in the Sunshine State, the second ever showdown against Florida State is a really, really big deal after winning the first one 17-7 in 2009. The Seminoles are loaded and should be red-hot coming into the season. By this point in late September, they’ll have faced Wake Forest and Clemson in ACC action, and this game will mean just as much in terms of bragging rights. The Bulls get their shot at the Canes in mid-November.

14. Stanford at Notre Dame, Oct. 13

It’ll take a major collapse for Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly to be fired after this season, but after so many problems with Stanford over the last few years, and in the midst of a great schedule full of huge games, another loss will put him on the hot seat. The Irish have lost three in a row in the series, and this year if comes in the middle of a storm with Michigan State, Michigan, and Miami coming before, and with BYU and Oklahoma to follow. Meanwhile, Stanford will be taking a break from Pac-12 action as it kicks off a run of three road games in four weeks and will be in the midst of four road games in six weeks.

13. Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech (in Landover), Sept. 29

Shhhhhhh, but Cincinnati might really, really good, and with the right breaks, this could be a preview of the 2013 Orange Bowl. It’s a rematch of the 2009 Orange Bowl – at 20-7 Hokie win – with Virginia Tech winning five of the eight meetings going back to 1985. The Bearcats have a relatively easy rest of the non-conference schedule, but this is the game they need to get on the national map. Tech will play Pitt from the Big East in mid-September and will start out against Georgia Tech, and this is the end of the non-conference schedule before going off to North Carolina the week after.

12. Nebraska at UCLA, Sept. 8

UCLA might be 4-6 all-time against the Huskers, with three of the wins coming before 1973, but it managed to come up with a stunning 41-28 win in Pasadena in 1988. Can Jim Mora put his stamp on the program early on with a big win? It would do wonders to show that things are changing around, even if Nebraska isn’t the Nebraska of old. The Huskers won the last matchup between the two 49-21 in 1994 on the way to an unbeaten season, and if they can get out this year with a win, they should be 4-0 before hosting Wisconsin. This is by far the toughest game for UCLA in the first part of the season, and it could be the hardest game before dealing with USC in mid-November.

11. NC State vs. Tennessee (in Atlanta), Aug. 31

This is expected to be Tom O’Brien’s strongest NC State team yet, and it needs to act like it right away in the opener of part of a big first weekend in Atlanta. The ACC needs this win, O’Brien needs this win, and NC State needs this win. Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley needs it more. While it’s a big strong to say he’s on a hot seat, there will be plenty of rumblings if he and the Vols don’t hold up the SEC’s part of the bargain, especially with Florida and Georgia still to play in September. The two schools aren’t all that far apart, but they’ve only played twice with the last meeting a 13-0 Tennessee win in 1939.

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