10 Biggest Early Season Non-Conference College Football Games of 2018

The biggest non-conference games of the season!

10) USC at Texas

This game is huge because you have two historically great football programs competing for the right to become Nationally relevant. Last years game was an absolute classic and I would expect more of the same this year.

9) Alabama vs Louisville

The Cardinals will be without Quarterback Lamar Jackson who is now in the NFL. Can the Cardinals respond against what should be another loaded Alabama team? Probably not! The betting line will show you what people think of the Cardinals chances in this one.

8) UCLA at Oklahoma

The Chip Kelly era in UCLA gets a test immediately as the Bruins travel to Oklahoma. Both teams lost their star Quarterbacks from last year and have a lot of questions to answer. Oklahoma seems to be more prepared talent-wise than UCLA but we all know what Chip Kelly is capable on the Collegiate level. Of course, politics have to come into play for this game as the story here is that the Golden State bars its workers from traveling to states California leaders believe are discriminatory toward gay and transgender people, a law enacted in 2016 that now extends to nine states. No, Really! I’m guessing UCLA will show up for the game though.

7) Florida Atlantic at Central Florida

This is a great matchup between what should be two high-scoring teams. Look for the winner of this one to have the inside track towards a New Year’s Six Bowl game. Star quarterback McKenzie Milton returns to power the Knights’ offense and he should be one of the top passers in the country under the direction of first-year head coach Josh Heupel.

Florida Atlantic is led by offensive-minded coach Lane Kiffin and they finished 9th last year in scoring. Fireworks should be expected in this one. Florida Atlantic will be tested early with this game plus an early season match-up with Oklahoma.

6) Auburn vs. Washington

This is a particularly big game for Washington. If they win and then win the Pac 12, a playoff berth could very well be steering the Huskies in the face. Auburn will have time to recover with a loss, but a win shoots the Tigers up the rankings and into early contention.

5) Penn State at Pitt

We should find out with this game if Penn State is a Big Ten contender. They lost Saquon Barkley but return Trace McSorley, who should be a Heisman candidate this season. Pitt, in the short Pat Narduzzi-era, has proven to be spoilers– edging (3) Clemson 43-42 on the road in 2016 and taking down (2) Miami Fla. 24-14 at home last season.

4) Ohio State at TCU

The Buckeyes lost a lot from last years talented team but as always, will just reload. TCU with a win becomes a Big 12 favorite and a National title contender. These game feature two of the best coaches in the country with Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer and TCU’s underrated Gary Patterson.

3) Michigan at Notre Dame

This is a rivalry between two legendary programs that have not lived up to the high expectations their predecessors set for them.  Michigan will unveil Ole Miss transfer Quarterback Shea Patterson, who will look to give the Wolverines a Quarterback that they can make a post-season playoff run with.

Notre Dame features Head Coach Brian Kelly, who needs a big start to the season to quiet his critics.

2) Clemson at Texas A&M

Jimbo Fisher gets a chance to make a huge impression as he opens at Kyle field against his former rival, the Clemson Tigers. Expect Kyle field to be raucous as always as the Tigers should be loaded once again with a more experienced Kelly Bryant opening at Quarterback. Look for an intense wild battle from start to finish.

1) Miami(Fla) vs LSU

Both teams have high expectations entering the 2018 season. This should be an intense battle between two ultra-talented teams and when the dust settles, the winner will be set up for a possible playoff season.

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