10 2013 College Football Games Perfect for Prime-Time TV
The biggest college football moments happen in primetime. Players make a name for themselves and teams prove a point. It's when everybody is glued to the television set and waiting for something earth-shattering to take place.
The college football schedule isn't set in stone, and prime-time scheduling is serious business. Games will receive the best television times depending on which teams play well and who is in the national championship conversation.
There are a few rivalry matchups that are obvious choices, but there are also a couple of sleepers that will force big networks to schedule for evening programming.
Note: All chosen games don't have a set time at the moment, but they should be prime-time selections.
Florida State at Clemson
When: Oct. 19
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C.
Can Clemson win a second ACC title in three years? Could a national championship appearance happen?
Both questions may be answered after its matchup against Florida State. These two teams are the cream of the crop in the ACC, and the winner of the last two meetings has determined the winner of the conference.
Florida State is in for an interesting year with a revamped roster and a young quarterback in Jameis Winston. But many expect this to be the season the Tigers take that next step and push the rest of their peers for a national championship bid.
The last three games have been well-played, and this contest shouldn't be any different.
Texas vs. Oklahoma
When: Oct. 12
Where: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
Texas returns 19 starters, and this should be the year it climbs back toward the top of college football. Yeah, that's been said before.
While the Longhorns should be one of the favorites to win the Big 12, it doesn't mean anything if they can't beat Oklahoma. They have lost the last three Red River Rivalries, including the last two by a combined 80 points.
It's one of the biggest games in college football, and most are going to have their eyes glued to the television even though the last two meetings have been dreadful.
Is Oklahoma underrated? Is Texas still overrated? The outcome of this game will help answer both questions.
LSU at Georgia
When: Sept. 28
Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia
The last time these teams met was in the 2011 SEC Championship Game when LSU outmatched Georgia, 42-10. This time the game should be a little even matched, as it is a classic matchup of a great offense against a feisty defense.
Georgia returns 10 offensive starters and will be able to score at the drop of a hat. LSU will remain stout defensively and should have more balance on offense under offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
This is also a matchup between two underrated national championship contenders. While most are watching Alabama, Texas A&M and South Carolina, these two squads are happily flying under the radar. This will be a dogfight for 60 minutes.
Oklahoma State at Texas
When: Nov. 16
Where: Darrell K. Royal—TX Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
The Oklahoma State and Texas game may determine who wins the Big 12. The Cowboys are the favorite to win the conference, according to the Big 12 media, but snoozing on Texas wouldn't be a wise decision.
The Longhorns beat the Cowboys 41-36 last season despite being out-gained by 139 yards. They had the offensive firepower to keep up with head coach Mike Gundy's club, but they also have the defensive potential to slow the game down.
The Big 12 is as wide open as any conference, and this meeting will help make the picture a little clearer.
Washington at Stanford
When: Oct. 5
Where: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California
Washington earned a signature victory over Stanford last season by scoring a touchdown in the final minutes. Now, the Huskies could build on that momentum by knocking off the Cardinal once again and solidifying themselves as a legit Pac-12 contender.
Stanford won the conference title last season and is one of the favorites to repeat, as it boasts a suffocating defense. However, Washington is a team on the rise with quarterback Keith Price and defensive back Shaq Thompson leading the way.
This is the best matchup during Week 6 and should have no problem earning a prime-time slot.
Ohio State at Michigan
When: Nov. 30
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich.
There's nothing worse than seeing a big rivalry game played in the middle of the day. Hosting the game at night adds excitement to the atmosphere and makes the event special.
This year's Michigan-Ohio State matchup is as big as it gets. The Buckeyes are considered the overwhelming favorites to win the Big Ten, but Michigan will certainly have something to say before the season ends.
In fact, this could be one of two meetings, the second possibly coming in the Big Ten Championship Game. these two heated rivals could play again in the Big Ten Championship Game. This rivalry never gets old and will be a must-see game with potential national championship implications on the line.
Texas A&M at LSU
When: Nov. 23
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
It seems like some folks don't remember when Johnny Manziel struggled or when Texas A&M lost. Manziel's performance against Alabama amazingly wipes away all the bad memories of the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
LSU knocked off Texas A&M last season, 24-19, and Manziel had the worst performance of his career. He completed only 51.8 percent of his passes, threw three interceptions and rushed for only 27 yards. The Tigers came with different looks, pressured Manziel consistently and finished the game with three sacks.
Alabama may be the toughest matchup for the Aggies, but everybody needs to stop sleeping on the Tigers.
UCLA at Oregon
When: Oct. 26
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
UCLA has lost the last four meetings against Oregon. Karl Dorrell was the last UCLA head coach to beat the Ducks, as his Bruins team won 16-0 in 2007.
Good luck shutting out this year's Oregon team.
What makes this meeting intriguing is that the Bruins are on the right track under head coach Jim L. Mora. They won nine games last season and are playing with a lot more confidence. They beat three of the five ranked teams they played and have their eyes set on the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Oregon and UCLA will be a lot of fun, and their matchup should be the most competitive meeting in recent memory.
LSU at Alabama
When: Nov. 9
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Forgot about this game, huh?
Surprisingly, the Alabama-LSU rivalry has taken a backseat to the early meeting between Alabama and Texas A&M. That's strange considering one of these two schools have won the SEC in three of the last four years and six of the last seven meetings have been decided by nine or less points.
Johnny Football and the Aggies deserve some of the hype, but LSU and Alabama have earned their stripes for a lot longer than one season. They also have national championships to back up any criticism that comes their way.
This game shouldn't be considered the "Game of the Century," but it should certainly be featured on prime-time television.
Oregon at Stanford
When: Nov. 7
Where: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California
Remember last year's overtime thriller? Stanford won 17-14 in one of the best games of the 2012 season.
Seeing a rematch should get college football fans excited. If that wasn't enough, this is also a meeting between two of the best Pac-12 teams. It shouldn't come as a surprise that 22 of the 25 media predictions to win the conference went to either Oregon or Stanford.
This is sure to be a remarkable battle between Oregon's high-flying offense and Stanford's stifling defense. Witnessing it on prime-time television will make the game that much better.