The Top Non-Conference Games - No. 41 to 50
Colorado RB Rodney Stewart & Cal RB Shane Vereen
Colorado RB Rodney Stewart & Cal RB Shane Vereen
Posted Mar 11, 2010

Want to get fired up for the season that's six months away? 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 2010 CFN Spring/Off-Season Preview.

2010 Spring Preview - No. 20

Top 50 Non-Conference Games

(No. 41-50)

2010 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) 
2009 Spring Preview - Top 50 Non-Conference Games 
2008 Spring Preview - Top 40 Non-Conference Games 
By Pete Fiutak

50. Nevada at BYU, Sept. 25
For two programs dreaming of busting the BCS, this game is critical. Nevada wants to once and for all show that it can beat someone with a pulse, while BYU can't afford to slip up early against one of the nation's most dangerous teams. It took a month for the Wolf Pack "Pistol" offense to warm up last year and then it went on an epic roll. If the ground game rocks right away, this could be one of the most thrilling under-the-radar games of September.

49. Cincinnati at NC State, Sept. 16
It might not be a sexy game on a national scale, but it'll be a big deal for Butch Jones as he tries to prove he can keep the momentum going at Cincinnati (especially with Oklahoma coming up next). For Tom O'Brien, he needs to come up with a good win to get NC State back on the map (especially with a trip to Georgia Tech to follow). While beating the Bearcats isn't going to make the season, it'll be a nationally televised game with the winner likely to be 3-0. Each team has just four days off to prepare for the Thursday night battle with NC State coming off a trip to UCF and UC, who starts off at Fresno State, will be coming of a light scrimmage against Indiana State.

48. Navy at Houston, Nov. 20
It's the ultimate contrast in styles game and it would make for a whale of a bowl matchup. It'll be Case Keenum and the high-powered Cougar passing game taking on Navy's tremendous ground attack, and it'll be a stunner if this isn't one of the most fun games of the year. If Navy doesn't run for 400 yards and Houston doesn't throw for 500, be disappointed.

47. Boise State at Wyoming, Sept. 18
Is Wyoming legit? Boise State has far bigger fish to fry on a national scale with games against Virginia Tech and Oregon State, but Wyoming has the potential to be a beartrap. Strange things tend to happen in Laramie, and now Boise State gets to find out what it's like when it's the big boy against a program that aspires to the same level of success. It's not a stretch to call this the biggest game Wyoming has played in decades.

46. Air Force at Oklahoma, Sept. 18
Air Force should be good and while it'll take a minor miracle to pull off the upset, this could be more interesting than OU might like. The Falcons have been tremendous against the pass under head coach Troy Calhoun, while the option offense could give the Sooner front seven fits. Remember, the last time the Sooners faced a Mountain West team (BYU in last year's opener), things didn't go so well.

45. Utah at Notre Dame, Nov. 13
Notre Dame might need this to stay alive for a bowl game, while Utah needs it to give the Mountain West some more national love. The Utes have a few interesting non-conference games facing Pitt and Iowa State early on, but no game will bring more attention than this one. Coming late in the year, Utah has to keep its focus even though it'll likely be taking a break from being deep in the Mountain West title hunt.

44. East Carolina at Virginia Tech, Sept. 18
Virginia Tech will have already played Boise State and will have the ACC season on the horizon. East Carolina made some big noise a few years ago by pulling off the upset over the Hokies, and this year it would be an even bigger shocker even after winning two straight Conference USA titles. If Ruffin McNeill can win his first really big game as the Pirate head coach, the national spotlight will follow with North Carolina coming up soon after.

43. Kentucky at Louisville, Sept. 4
The rivalry was just starting to heat up on a national scale a few years ago and then Louisville started to stink. It's not Pitino vs. Calipari, but the coaching matchup will be intriguing as both Joker Phillips of UK and Charlie Strong of Louisville try to establish their footing in the state when it comes to recruiting, bragging rights, and momentum. The loser will have a very, very angry fan base to deal with after Week One, while the winner will get a nice long grace period following a win over the in-state arch-rival.

42. Colorado at California, Sept. 11
Dan Hawkins needs every positive step he can get. Either his Buffs will be coming off a win over Colorado State, in which case a good showing in Berkeley should be enough to keep the grumbling to a dull roar, or they'll have lost to their neighborhood rival and the hot seat will be a full blown blaze. Desperate teams and coaching staffs looking to change things around tend to play with more of a sense of urgency, and a win over the Bears would do wonders for the program. On the flip side, it would be devastating to both Cal and the Pac 10 to lose to such a mediocre team.

41. Georgia at Colorado, Oct. 2
Georgia doesn't exactly ease up on the throttle when it comes to challenges, and it deserves credit for not being afraid to travel. It went to Arizona State a few years ago (and won), went to Oklahoma State to start last year (and lost), and now it makes the trip to Boulder. Colorado might not be the be-all-end-all of the Big 12, but at home it pulled off a few shockers over the years under Dan Hawkins. The Dawgs will have already gotten the SEC season underway with games against South Carolina, Arkansas, and Mississippi State to deal with. To make matters worse, this will be the third road game in four weeks while the Buffs will have had two weeks off to prepare. In other words, watch out for the upset.