The Top Non-Conference Games - No. 31 to 40
Houston QB Case Keenum
Houston QB Case Keenum
Posted Mar 12, 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 4 of the 50 Top Non-Conference Games, No. 31 to 40, in the 2010 CFN Spring/Off-Season Preview.

2010 Spring Preview - No. 20

Top 50 Non-Conference Games

(No. 31-40)

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
40. Notre Dame at Boston College, Oct. 2
If the Brian Kelly era starts out well at all, this will be a key game to keep the excitement going. It'll only be the second road test of the year, with the first at Michigan State a few weeks earlier, and there's only one true road game after this until late November (at USC). For Boston College, two road games follow and a home date against Virginia Tech is the week before.

39. Iowa State at Iowa, Sept. 11
Always a high-pressure in-state rivalry game, Iowa State has made this more interesting after a strong 2009 season. Beating what's sure to be a top 15-ranked Iowa team (it might be in many top tens) would be a major boost for the Paul Rhoads era, while Iowa can't be looking ahead in any way to the following week's game at Arizona.

38. California at Nevada, Sept. 18
It's a classic sandwich game and a chance for the WAC to make some noise. Cal is always dicey on the road, and it has to travel to Reno to face the devastating Wolf Pack ground game a week after playing Colorado and with the Pac 10 opener against Washington to follow. This is a national map-type of statement game for Nevada.

37. BYU at Washington, Sept. 4
There are plenty of big storylines here including the spotlight on Washington quarterback Jake Locker and his chance for redemption after the controversial celebration spike game in 2008 that cost the Huskies a win over BYU. The Cougars will still be reloading a bit, but a nice win over a resurgent Pac 10 program would be a plus with a statement game at Florida State coming up soon after. With Nebraska, at Cal, and at USC coming up by October 2nd, Washington can't afford to drop this one.

36. Georgia Tech at Kansas, Sept. 11
It's sort of a strange matchup that's more suited for a bowl game than a non-conference battle, but it'll also be important for both programs. Georgia Tech wants to get the offense working again after being stuffed by Iowa in the Orange Bowl, and this will be the first big test after starting out against South Carolina State. With the ACC opener at North Carolina to follow, the Yellow Jackets have to use this as a tune-up. KU gets a warm-up against North Dakota State before head coach Turner Gill gets to show what his team can do against a name team.

35. Houston at Texas Tech, Nov. 27
The two teams combined for 756 passing yards in Houston's 29-28 upset over the Red Raiders last season. This year Tech has to face Case Keenum and the high-powered Cougar attack the week after a run of Oklahoma State, at Colorado, at Texas A&M, Missouri, at Oklahoma, and Texas. Tommy Tuberville will be in for a wild second half ride and it's not a stretch to think that his team might need this game to go bowling.

34. Illinois vs. Missouri, Sept. 4
This is what's known as the tone-setter to start the season. Either Missouri owns the rivalry and puts away an inferior team without a problem as it goes on to bigger and better things, or Illinois puts the abysmal disappointment of 2009 in the past and reloads in a hurry with a huge win. Ron Zook needs to get every big win he can to stay on as the head man, and if his Illini can pull off the upset it'll likely by 3-0 (with Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois to follow) before facing Ohio State.

33. USF at Florida, Sept. 11
Alright, Skip Holtz, if you want to make a huge, HUGE statement to kick off your era as the USF head man, this is the biggest game on one of the biggest stages you could ask for. The Bulls get a warm-up against Stony Brook to start the season and then gets its shot at the big-time. Florida can't look ahead to the SEC opener the following week at Tennessee.

32. UCLA at Kansas State, Sept. 4
UCLA isn't exactly taking it easy in the non-conference schedule with Houston and Texas to come after opening up in Manhattan. If things are changing under Rick Neuheisel, this is a game his team has to win. On the flip side, Bill Snyder needs a win over a brand name team to scare the Big 12 into thinking that Kansas State is back on track. If his Wildcats win, they'll be 3-0 (with Missouri State and at North Texas to follow) before facing Nebraska.

31. Arizona State at Wisconsin, Sept. 18
It's interesting mainly because it's one of the few times Wisconsin is playing anyone with a pulse in non-conference action. The last non-bowl, non-conference game the Badgers played against a BCS team was against Washington State in 2007. Before that it was against North Carolina in 2005. Meanwhile, Arizona State could stand to come up with a splashy win under Dennis Erickson after two losing seasons. With Oregon coming up the following week in the Pac 10 opener, a win in Madison would create a much-needed buzz.