The Top Non-Conference Games - No. 21 to 30
Notre Dame RB Robert Hughes
Notre Dame RB Robert Hughes
Posted Mar 13, 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 3 of the 50 Top Non-Conference Games, No. 21 to 30, in the 2010 CFN Spring/Off-Season Preview.

2010 Spring Preview - No. 20

Top 50 Non-Conference Games

(No. 21-30)

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

30. USF at Miami, Sept. 27
The Bulls were hoping to make a few big in-state statements last season with games against Florida State and Miami, and while they beat the Noles 17-7, they were whacked by the Hurricanes in Tampa 31-10. USF will be coming off a big game against Pitt and has Connecticut ahead, and sandwiched in between will be Miami, who might not be exactly focused after facing Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech before closing out the year with the Bulls.

29. Pitt at Notre Dame, Oct. 9
The Panthers and Irish have played two straight terrific games with Pitt coming on top of both. This year, Dave Wannstedt's club will have chances to make early national statements against Utah and Miami before facing Notre Dame, while Brian Kelly, whose Cincinnati team kept Pitt from winning the Big East title and going to the BCS in last season's 45-44 thriller, kicks off a run of six straight non-away games in what should be another great battle.

28. South Carolina at Clemson, Nov. 27
It has been a strange series, but there's always a big storyline surrounding it and each program and the respective conferences use this for bragging rights. It's been a relatively even rivalry over the last few years. South Carolina will have finished up the SEC season a few weeks earlier at Florida, while Clemson will be welcoming the home dates after dealing with three road games in four weeks including dates at Florida State and Wake Forest in the previous two games.

27. BYU at Florida State, Sept. 18
BYU was all pumped up after opening the season with a win over Oklahoma and it had all the national attention its way with Florida State coming into town. Three key Seminole interceptions and a 54-28 pasting of the Cougars later, and the Mountain West suffered a blow and BYU never got its reputation back even after coming up with a strong rest of the season. Can the Cougars return the favor? With FSU going to Oklahoma the week before and starting the ACC schedule the following week, there's a chance.

26. Iowa at Arizona, Sept. 18
After Iowa's 27-17 win over Arizona last year, many started to perk up and realize that this might be a pretty good team and a threat for the Big Ten title. This year, Arizona should have a solid offense and could derail one of 2010's "it" teams with a hot offensive run. This is Iowa's only road game from the start of the season to October 16th, and one of only two until early November. This is Arizona's only non-conference game of note.

25. Connecticut at Michigan, Sept. 4
Alright, RichRod, if you want to start turning everything back around and get off the hot seat, you need a hot start. It's not going to be easy with a strong, sound UConn team coming into Ann Arbor and with a trip to Notre Dame coming after. If the Wolverines win this and beat the Irish, they'll almost certainly be 5-0 before going to Michigan State. On the flip side, if the Huskies pull off the win they'll likely go 5-0 before going to Rutgers to kick off the Big East slate.

24. North Carolina at Rutgers, Sept. 25
It might not sound like the sexiest game on the board, but it should be fascinating as each team should be as strong as it has been in years. The Scarlet Knights have it relatively easy with all the tough games at home over the first half of the season and can get on the national map with a victory over the Tar Heels, while this will be part three of a brutal start to the season for Butch Davis's club. Going to Rutgers is tough, but it's not as important as beating LSU in the opener and dealing with Georgia Tech in the ACC opener.

23. Stanford at Notre Dame, Sept. 25
While everyone gushes over the idea of USC vs. Notre Dame, this has become the Irish's better Pac 10 matchup with five of the last six matchups decided by eight points or fewer. This year, it's the oasis for Notre Dame between road trips to Michigan State and Boston College, while the Cardinal might be looking ahead to a showdown at Oregon and a date with USC in the following two weeks.

22. Pitt at Utah, Sept. 2
For those of you pining for a rematch of the scintillating 35-7 Utah win over Pitt in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, your dream has come true. Obviously the programs are different now with different head coaches, and the Panthers might be even better while Utah has the potential to be really, really good. It's a terrific opener for both teams as well as the Big East and the Mountain West. Considering Pitt might be the best team in the Big East, if Utah pulls this off it'll be another piece of evidence for Mountain West fans who believe their conference belongs among the BCS leagues.

21. Houston at UCLA, Sept. 18
UCLA had better put its big boy offensive pants on as the Houston machine comes to town. The Bruins will have to put some points on the board to stay with Stanford the week before, and they had better be on a roll before going to Texas the week after, but to lose to a Conference USA team at home would a PR disaster.