Predicting Which College Football Contest Is 2013's "Game of the Century."
It seems like the term "Game of the Century" is thrown around quite often in college football.
Whenever two juggernaut programs meet on the football field, the "GOTC" tag is applied and the hype train takes off. However, in recent years, we have actually been treated to a few tremendous games that have earned that tag.
The best example has been the Southeastern Conference series between Alabama and LSU.
Back in 2011, the two teams met as two of the most physically bruising teams in college football history, as the Crimson Tide were ranked No. 2 and the Tigers were No. 1.
In that unforgettable battle, neither team even reached the end zone, as LSU won 9-6 in overtime. The game was so closely contested that they had to play it again in a game where the winner took home the crystal football.
This time around, for the 2011 BCS title, Alabama dominated on both sides of the ball, barely allowing LSU to even cross the 50-yard line in a 21-0 victory.
Last season, the hype wasn't as great but the result was just as thrilling, as No. 1 Alabama needed a desperate last-minute touchdown drive to take a 21-17 victory over No. 5 LSU.
The two bitter rivals will meet again in 2013 on Nov. 9—but will they make our short list of 2013 "Game of the Century" possibilities?
Let's find out:
Alabama vs. Texas A&M: Sept. 14—College Station, Texas
Before Alabama can once again meet up with LSU, the defending national champions have a score to settle with SEC newcomer Texas A&M—the only team to top the Tide in 2012.
The Week 3 contest is already slated for a 3:30 p.m. EDT start on CBS, and there's no doubt Kyle Field will be rocking for this one.
It is really a shame that the game is so early in the season, which is the only factor taking away from the possible "Game of the Century" billing.
Regardless, both teams will certainly be geared up for the game, as the winner could be on the fast track to taking the SEC West title.
The Aggies will be led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, who was incredible in last year's victory over Alabama. In that contest, Manziel tallied 345 yards of total offense as A&M won 29-24—a performance that in all but granted him the Heisman.
This time around, the Crimson Tide defense will be gunning for the sensational sophomore in his first major test of the season.
Though the preseason rankings haven't yet been released, both Alabama and Texas A&M will undoubtedly be ranked inside the Top 5.
Don't be surprised if the winner of this game is playing for a national title at season's end.
Oregon vs. Stanford: Nov. 7—Stanford, Calif.
Oregon was two wins away from playing for a national title when it faced Stanford on Nov. 17 last season.
The Oregon offensive machine hadn't scored less than 42 points all season and was averaging more than 63 points per game in the previous three contests.
The Cardinal went to Eugene with two losses already on the season, but they still had an outside shot at winning the Pac-12 Conference.
In an incredible game, Stanford did what no other team could do all season long: stop the speedy Oregon offense in a 17-14 victory, which was by far Oregon's worst offensive output in their only loss all year.
What is the most likely "Game of the Century" for the 2013 season?
If it wasn't for that game, the Ducks would have likely taken on Notre Dame for the national title. In 2013, they could be in exactly the same position going into the Nov. 7 matchup.
Stanford, meanwhile, may be in the running for a national title as well.
The two are expected to be remain in the Top 10 or even Top 5 all season long and should be the two best teams in the Pac-12.
Even with the departure of head coach Chip Kelly, the Oregon offense will be explosive, as quarterback Marcus Mariota will be in his second year under center. He'll have plenty of weapons at his disposal, including the ultra-fast De'Anthony Thomas.
Stanford will continue to stick with its bruising game plan, which is the polar opposite from that of Oregon.
With the possibility of a Pac-12 and national title berth again on the line, can the physical Cardinal freeze the mercurial Ducks again?
Tune in to ESPN at 9 p.m. EDT on Nov. 7 to find out.
Ohio State vs. Michigan: Nov. 30—Ann Arbor, Mich.
Ohio State and Michigan had their very own "Game of the Century" when they met up back in 2006 ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively.
This season, OSU and Michigan are expected to be the top two competitors for the Big Ten title, though the conference is expected to be very competitive.
Depending on how the dominoes fall throughout the long season, both squads could be playing, not only for a berth in the Big Ten title game the following week, but also for a national title berth.
Additionally, this game could actually be a preview of the conference title game the following week, as the two rivals are in separate divisions.
The rivalry between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines is one of the most bitter in all of sports—the kind of rivalry that is thrilling no matter how talented the teams are on the field.
This season, the game will boast plenty of talent and plenty of vitriol.
Earlier this week MLive.com reported that Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner went on a local radio show and said that Michigan would win in the Big House in 2013. And that likely won't be the last we hear leading up to this rivalry.
If each team takes care of business in the weeks leading up to the regular season finale in Ann Arbor, this is sure to be one of the best games of the 2013 season.
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