2013 Spring Preview
Top 50 Non-Conference Games
Top Non-Conference Games
2013 Top 50 Non-Conference Games
Non-Conference Games (No. 1-10)
Non-Conference Games (No. 11-20)
21 to 50 Coming Wednesday
2013 CFN Spring Preview
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20. Boise State at Washington, Aug. 31
For those of you dying for a rematch of the fun 28-26 Boise State win in your 2012 Las Vegas Bowl, Merry Christmas. Despite being a not-that-far-in-college-road-trip-world 500 miles apart, this is just the third meeting between the two programs with Washington winning the other 24-10 in 2007. If the Broncos can be the giant killer, or at least the BCS team buster, they should have smooth sailing until dealing with a trip to BYU in late October. Washington follows up the opener with two weeks off to get ready for the date in Chicago to face Illinois.
19. Texas at BYU, Sept. 7
Every game for BYU is about making a statement – such is life as an independent. The Longhorns managed to pull out a 17-16 squeaker in 2011 but got blasted 47-6 in the 1988 opener and lost 22-17 in the only other meeting in 1987. While the Cougars have to go to Wisconsin, Virginia and Notre Dame, and host Utah, Georgia Tech and Boise State, this is the big one. This is the game that could put the Cougars on the BCS map, while the Longhorns follow this up with Ole Miss at home.
18. Arizona State vs. Notre Dame (in Arlington), Oct. 5
It’s a new era and over a decade later, but the only other two meetings between the two didn’t exactly go well with the Irish winning in 1998 and 1999 by a combined score of 66 to 23. Coming after dealing with Michigan State and Oklahoma at home and two weeks before facing USC, this trip to Arlington is just another good game on the Irish slate. ASU will be coming off a brutal – BRUTAL – stretch of Wisconsin, at Stanford and USC, but the schedule eases up in a big way after this.
17. South Florida at Michigan State, Sept. 7
This might not seem like that big a deal on the surface, but it’s USF new head coach Willie Taggart’s first big game and a chance to put his stamp on the program early on. With this the only road game in the first five dates of the season, and with Miami and Cincinnati coming up soon after, the Bulls could use the confidence boost. If MSU wins, it’ll go 3-0 before going to Notre Dame. This is the first meeting between the two schools.
16. Arkansas at Rutgers, Sept. 21
If it’s half as wild as last year’s shootout, it’ll be worth the watch. Bret Bielema, if you’re ready to make Arkansas a power player, this is a game you need to have. Louisiana-Lafayette will be more of a fight in the opener than Hog fans might like, but it should be a 3-0 start before going to New Jersey to try to get revenge for last year’s crazy 35-26 Scarlet Knight win. This is the second meeting between the two programs, and with Texas A&M up next for Arkansas and a trip to Louisville two games later for Rutgers, it’s a must win for each.
15. Notre Dame at Stanford, Nov. 30
All of a sudden, this just got interesting. Arguably the most exciting game in Notre Dame’s terrific run to the BCS championship game, it took a controversial Stanford fumble to end the thriller. This time around, the Cardinal, who had won the previous three meetings, will be coming in off a brutal finishing kick of UCLA, at Oregon State, Oregon, at USC and Cal to close out the Pac-12 season. The Irish will close out its regular season after hosting BYU the week before.
14. Wisconsin at Arizona State, Sept. 14
Wisconsin isn’t exactly known for extending itself when it comes to non-conference games, and it showed last season when it lost at Oregon State and struggled against Utah State. This is new head coach Gary Andersen’s first big test when the Badgers go back into the Pac-12 world for the first game against ASU since a thrilling 20-19 Bucky victory in 2010. ASU won the other two meetings in 1967 and 1968 by a combined score of 97-23.
13. Mississippi State at Oklahoma State (in Houston), Aug. 31
Played in Houston, it’s a bit of a quirky game that Oklahoma State has to land for the Big 12. The Mississippi State secondary is undergoing an overhaul, and it couldn’t be facing a worse team to try getting things in place. The two programs have met four times with the Bulldogs winning the last one 29-11 in 1999.
12. Michigan State at Notre Dame, Sept. 21
While the South Florida game should be a fight, MSU gets three straight home games to start the season to get ready for its road opener at Notre Dame. The Irish will be more than ready with Temple to start and road games at Michigan and Purdue to follow. Throw in Oklahoma, Arizona State and USC after the Spartans, and it’ll be a fun first half of the season. The last two meetings have been double-digit duds, but the 2009 and 2010 showdowns were among the best games of their respective seasons.
11. Ole Miss at Texas, Sept. 14
It was a wild shootout last season with Texas rolling to a 66-31 victory in Oxford, but now it’s a chance for the Rebels to jump all over the momentum from a great recruiting season and a big end to last year. With at trip to BYU before and the Big 12 opener against Kansas State after, Texas will be in for a fun September, while the Rebels get the fun of starting out the year at Vandy and going to Alabama and Auburn after their date in Austin. The last Ole Miss win over the Longhorns came in the 1966 Bluebonnet Bowl, 19-0.