Power Ranking 25 College Football Games We'd Pay to See in Person in 2013
With the summer months approaching, it is still going to be a while before college football is back in full swing. That does not mean it is too early to look ahead to the best matchups of the 2013 season.
Whether it is a huge non-conference game or an annual conference battle, there are some can't-miss games coming up.
Some people may be able to pay and see any game they want, but for others there are only select games that can warrant forking out that kind of dough.
Here is a ranking of the 25 college football games that are going to be most worth the money this year.
Here are five games that did not quite make the list, but still are very much worth spending the money to see.
TCU vs. Oklahoma State, Oct. 19: These two teams might be battling atop the Big 12 along with Texas and Oklahoma, so this could have conference title implications on the line.
UCLA vs. Nebraska, Sept. 14: A brutal road schedule begins right here. Nebraska will be looking to exact a little revenge from last season.
Florida vs. Miami, Sept. 7: This early-season matchup is one of the best rivalries in the sport. It might be another year before both are national powers though. In 2014, this game will likely find itself back in the top 20 where it belongs.
UCLA vs. Stanford, Oct, 19: UCLA was a bit of a surprise last season, but will have a target on its back in 2013. Stanford should once again be one of the top teams in the country.
Nebraska vs. Michigan, Nov. 9: The champion of the Big Ten Legends Division will almost certainly be one of these two teams. This game just might decide that.
No. 25: USC vs. Notre Dame, Oct. 19
Starting off the list is one of the best rivalries in the entire sport.
Though this game might have lost its luster a little bit, it is still a huge rivalry and may be a closer contest than some anticipate, particularly with no Everett Golson for Notre Dame.
This might be somewhat of a rebuilding year for the Trojans, but there is still more five-star talent in Los Angeles than almost anywhere else in the nation.
Notre Dame appears to be the better team on paper, but that is what everybody said about USC before last season.
No. 24: TCU vs. Oklahoma, Oct. 5
This is setting up to be one of the best Big 12 matchups of the season. It happens very early on and will be a good gauge as to how good these two teams really are.
The Horned Frogs struggled in their first season playing with the big boys in 2012. A lot of that was due to injuries.
Oklahoma will once again be near the top of the Big 12, but this game could be a trap as it is sandwiched between Notre Dame and Texas.
Look for this one to be a nail-biter even with the Sooners at home.
No. 23: Texas vs. Oklahoma State, Nov. 16
If the previous Big 12 battle on the list is the best early-season game, this could be the best toward the end of the year.
Oklahoma State should possess one of the best offenses in the country in 2013, and it will be challenged by a very talented and now experienced Texas defense.
There appear to be four or five teams in the Big 12 that stand out from the rest of the pack, and this game features two of them.
Should make for an excellent November contest.
No. 22: LSU vs. TCU, Aug. 31
There is little doubt that this is one of the best games of opening weekend. It will be played at Cowboy Stadium and is a huge deal for both schools.
TCU will be looking to show it can hang with the big boys of the SEC. LSU, on the other hand, will be trying to show it can still be a factor in the nation's best conference despite losing a lot of talent early to the NFL draft.
This is a primetime game on ESPN and should have a nice national audience during the first college football Saturday of the season.
No. 21: UCLA vs. Oregon, Oct. 26
This game is the third of four very tough away games the Bruins will play in 2013. UCLA takes on Nebraska, Stanford, Oregon and USC on the road this year.
Like any other game featuring Oregon, it will be high-flying and very fun to watch.
UCLA will have to try to slow down the Oregon offense to have a shot in this one. The Bruins will be coming off a road game against Stanford the previous week, so it is not going to be easy.
In order to play for another Pac-12 title, it might be a good idea to win one of those two games.
No. 20: Texas vs. TCU, Oct. 26
This could turn into an excellent rivalry if these two teams stay in the same league for the next few decades.
This year, the teams appear to be very evenly matched.
If TCU quarterback Casey Pachall can return to his old form, the Horned Frogs just might be the favorite in the Big 12. But in order to do that, they are going to have to win all of their home games.
Getting by Texas is not going to be an easy task.
No. 19: Florida vs. LSU, Oct. 12
LSU always seems to play the toughest conference schedule, and this season will be no different.
The Tigers get Florida at home in a game that is almost certain to be a defensive battle.
Last year, the game only featured 20 points total in a 14-6 Florida victory. While it is not likely to be that low-scoring in 2013, there is a chance that both teams will be under 20 points.
That may not seem like a game that is worth paying for, but a little high-level defense never hurt anybody.
No. 18: Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State, Dec. 7
With the exception of Oklahoma and Texas, this is the best rivalry in the Big 12, and it continues to grow with the success of Oklahoma State in recent years under head coach Mike Gundy.
This is the final game of the season, and with no conference championship, everything could be on the line.
Expect these two teams to be near or at the top of the conference when they square off.
It could have the most implications of any Big 12 game all season long.
No. 17: LSU vs. Georgia, Sept. 28
LSU and Georgia last met in the 2011 SEC championship game: While it initially appeared Georgia was going to pull off the upset, the Tigers turned it on and dominated the second half.
This year they meet in September, which should help gauge if Georgia is a real national title contender.
The Bulldogs will be at home in a game that is a must-win if they plan on not only contending for the SEC championship but also finding themselves in the national picture.
No doubt this is one of the best SEC games of the season.
No. 16: Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame, Sept. 28
Everybody thought Oklahoma was going to be the team to knock off Notre Dame last year. That obviously was not the case, and this year Oklahoma will get a chance to exact some revenge in South Bend.
Neither team will be as talented as it was last year, but this should still be one of the best non-conference games of the season.
It is too early to tell how good these teams will be coming in, but this could be a huge test for quarterback Blake Bell and his Oklahoma offense against the talented and experienced Notre Dame defense.
No. 15: Florida State vs. Clemson, Oct. 19
No doubt that this is the premier game in the ACC. That is starting to be the case every year, but never more so than in 2013.
There is little question that these teams are the top two in the league, and since they are both in the Atlantic Division, a spot in the ACC title game is likely on the line.
Last season, Florida State pulled away late on its way to victory.
This year, Clemson will be at home. The Tigers have a lot of experience that might help them pull off the victory in this one.
No. 14: LSU vs. Alabama, Nov. 9
A few years ago, this was the premier game of the college football season. That is no longer the case, but it is still one of the most anticipated games of the year.
LSU nearly pulled off the upset of the Crimson Tide in 2012 and will be looking to get the job done in 2013, but this time the game will be on the road.
Alabama is a lock to be one of the top teams in the country, while there are still a lot of question marks surrounding the Tigers.
Either way, this should be another epic battle in Tuscaloosa.
No. 13: Georgia vs. Clemson, Aug. 31
No question that this is the premier game of the opening weekend.
These are likely to be two of the top 15 teams in the country, and both have national title hopes. Chances are one of these teams won't after this one is over.
The Georgia defense was exposed against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, so Clemson should be able to do much of the same.
Expect this game to have its fair share of points and it could be close the entire way.
No. 12: Texas A&M vs. LSU, Nov. 23
Texas A&M and Alabama have relatively easy SEC schedules compared to the rest of the teams in the conference, and this appears to be one of the games that could trip up the Aggies.
LSU knocked them off last season and this year the game will be in Baton Rouge.
Texas A&M will be looking to exact a little revenge on the Tigers. If the Aggies have any hopes of winning a national title, this is a game they are going to have to win on the road toward the end of the season.
Another Heisman trophy for quarterback Johnny Manziel may also be riding on this one.
No. 11: Clemson vs. South Carolina, Nov. 30
The three tough games for Clemson are perfectly spread throughout the season, and the finale against South Carolina could be the most important of them all.
There is an outside shot that these teams will be playing for a chance at a national championship heading into this game, so there could be a lot on the line.
Conference play will have already been completed, and these teams might be looking ahead to potential conference championships the following week. Either way, this game will be a can't-miss between two in-state rivals.
No. 10: Florida State vs. Florida, Nov. 30
Florida State and Florida is still one of the best rivalries in college football, and this year it appears both teams are going to be in the top 15 in the country.
It is the final game of the season, and as mentioned in the previous slide, it might be an instance of two teams looking ahead to potential conference championships the following week.
Still, expect this to be a defensive battle much like it was for the better part of the game last year before Florida pulled away in the end.
No. 9: Oklahoma vs. Texas, Oct. 12
There is no question that this is one of the top five rivalries in college football. The annual game is played in Dallas every season, and this year it will once again feature two of the best teams in the Big 12.
There are a lot of question marks surrounding both teams heading into the season. This game will be a huge indicator as to whether or not these teams are for real.
Oklahoma has a tough early season schedule, and will also be battle-tested with the likes of Notre Dame and TCU coming back-to-back before Texas.
We all know this is one of the premier games of every college football season. This year will be no different.
No. 8: Florida vs. South Carolina, Nov. 16
Last year, Florida knocked off South Carolina. This season, the Gamecocks will be looking to exact a little revenge.
Both of these teams will likely be hovering around the top 10 when the season begins, but by the time they square off against one another there could be even more on the line.
These two could be playing for an SEC East title and a berth in the conference title game.
There could be national title implications in this one as well.
No. 7: Notre Dame vs. Michigan, Sept. 7
It's a shame that this historic rivalry might soon be coming to an end.
But, fans can certainly enjoy the 2013 version early in the season.
Both of these teams have top-10 talent. A loss would ruin any national title hopes for both of these squads. This season the game is in the "Big House," where the Wolverines know how to win big games.
No question Michigan will be looking to return the favor this time around.
No. 6: Florida vs. Georgia, Nov. 2
"The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" will take place in early November this year.
It will once again feature two of the top teams in the country, and is the first in a tough stretch of games to end the season for Florida.
This could be a defensive battle, similar to what it was last year.
Expect these two teams to be in the SEC title picture throughout the season, but whoever comes out on top in Jacksonville will likely be in the driver's seat.
No. 5: Notre Dame vs. Stanford, Nov. 30
A lot of teams came close to beating Notre Dame in South Bend last year, but with the exception of Pittsburgh, nobody was as close as Stanford.
The Cardinal fell just short in overtime, losing 20-13 to the Fighting Irish.
This year, it appears Stanford will be the more talented of the two teams. With this being the final game of the season, the Cardinal could be playing for a shot at the national championship.
Who knows, maybe Notre Dame will be in the same boat as well.
No. 4: South Carolina vs. Georgia, Sept. 7
South Carolina and Georgia might be a step ahead of Florida this season in the SEC East. The winner of this early SEC matchup will be in the driver's seat to win the division and play in the conference title game.
The schedule is not doing Georgia any favors, with games against Clemson and South Carolina to kick off the season.
South Carolina also has a tough opener against North Carolina.
Georgia is at home and might hold the slight edge in this one.
No. 3: Ohio State vs. Michigan, Nov. 30
Ohio State and Michigan have what is possibly the best rivalry in college football. This year, it appears both teams will be in the top 10 when the season begins.
The Buckeyes might be playing for a shot at the national championship game in the season finale, and Michigan could also be in the same position if everything goes according to plan.
Judging by what has happened the past few years, it would not be a surprise if these two teams played another shootout with more on the line than there has been in quite some time.
No. 2: Oregon vs. Stanford, Nov. 7
Last year, Stanford was the only team that stopped Oregon from playing for a national championship.
This year, it could be the other way around if the Ducks have anything to say about it.
This is a Thursday night game, and if Oregon has any plans on playing for a national championship, it will have to go on the road and knock off another talented Cardinal squad.
The Oregon offense might be the best it has ever had, but will it be enough to put up points on the mighty Cardinal defense?
No. 1: Alabama vs. Texas A&M, Sept. 14
Johnny Manziel supplanted himself as the Heisman Trophy winner with a dominating performance against Alabama in an upset victory last season.
That game was in Tuscaloosa. This year it is in College Station. There is no doubt that head coach Nick Saban and the rest of the Crimson Tide have had this date circled on their calendar for quite some time now.
The Aggies were the only team to beat Alabama last year. Even though the Crimson Tide won the national championship, that loss is a blemish they are looking to forget about.
Will Alabama finally be able to get that bad taste out of its mouth?
There is no doubt that this game is the most anticipated of the college football season.