Power Ranking Toughest Remaining Road Games of 2013 College Football Season
With half of the college football season in the books, the journey doesn't get any easier. Conference play gets turned up a notch, payers hit their stride and each and every team is fighting harder than ever to position itself for a late run towards a BCS bowl.
The road is even tougher for visiting teams. Ah, the team traveling on the road that has to deal with a bunch of screaming fans in the background that won't shut up. Being the visiting team in college isn't easy, especially with so much on the line.
There are plenty of road matchups that you should have circled on your calendar, but which are the best?
Note: Games are ranked based on importance and toughness of the opponent. A game between two national championship contenders is going to rank higher than one great team simply playing in a tough atmosphere against a mediocre opponent.
10. Florida at South Carolina
When: Nov. 16
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium
It remains a mystery as to which South Carolina team will show up for this game, but the Gamecocks can always count on the fans to show up ready for battle. This crowd brings it every home game and makes hearing difficult for the visiting team.
The Gamecocks haven't had much success against Florida, losing five of the last seven meetings. However, four of the last five games in Williams-Brice Stadium have been decided by 10 or less points.
This SEC clash will come down to the wire and the home team will have a slight advantage.
9. Louisville at Connecticut
When: Nov. 8
Where: Rentschler Field
These two schools would make a terrific basketball game and have plenty of history in that sport. But don't sleep on the football side of things. Although Connecticut has been brutal at times, it did show up and nearly upset Michigan with the help of the home crowd.
Now, the Huskies will have another chance to shock the world on a Friday night with the entire country watching.
Don't think Connecticut has a chance? Well, the Cardinals lost to the Huskies last season 23-20 and there is still plenty of talent on this team.
Many Louisville fans are already wondering who they will play in a BCS bowl, but this is a trap game and it won't be easy for the visiting team. Just ask the Wolverines.
8. Florida State at Florida
When: Nov. 30
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Florida-Florida State is one of the most heated rivalries in college football and this year's meeting is sure to be an intriguing matchup with both teams making a strong push in their conference. Florida State is quietly becoming a national championship contender, while Florida is still in the thick of an SEC race.
If the Seminoles are hoping to finish the season strong, they will have to win on the road against a team they've only beaten twice in the last nine attempts.
The Gators have one of the most electrifying atmospheres in the country and it won't disappoint when the hated Seminoles come to town.
7. Oklahoma at Baylor
When: Nov. 7
Where: Floyd Casey Stadium
Remember when Robert Griffin III upset Oklahoma in 2011? It was the first time the Bears beat Oklahoma, as the Sooners lead the all-time series with a 20-1 record. Still, it was a magical moment for Baylor and the crowd was jacked up.
Imagine that type of atmosphere with a extra added on top.
While the 2011 meeting was special, the Bears didn't have nearly as much on the line as they will this time around. Baylor should be considered the favorite to win the Big 12 and still has an outside shot for a crystal football with an offense that is averaging 70 points per game.
Floyd Casey Stadium will be louder than it has ever been.
6. Oregon at Stanford
When: Nov. 7
Where: Stanford Stadium
Don't get it twisted, Stanford has a respectable home crowd. Especially now since the Cardinal are competing in BCS bowls. This is no longer the quiet crowd that shows up hoping to witness a miracle on the football field.
Stanford fans can get feisty just like its defense and it has helped lead to three straight elite bowl appearances. You can expect a nasty crowd to show up when the Ducks come to town, as the winner will likely produce the Pac-12 North champion.
Oregon lost one of its last two trips to Stanford in 2009 and another visit to Stanford Stadium won't be any easier.
5. Oregon at Washington
When: Oct. 12
Where: Husky Stadium
After a big statement in a close loss to Stanford, Washington fans have a reason to get excited over a home game against Oregon. It's one of the biggest games in program history and a win could change how most look at the Huskies.
ESPN's College GameDay is showing up and they can expect a packed house in a newly renovated Husky Stadium. It was already considered one of the loudest venues in college football.
When you add everything this game means to the program, ear plugs will be needed.
The Ducks are in for a battle.
4. Florida State at Clemson
When: Oct. 19
Where: Memorial Stadium
When Clemson players run down the hill and run Howard's magic rock, it's almost as if they are given special powers during the game. An already gifted team turns into the incredible hulk and is nearly unbeatable.
Florida State and Clemson may both be undefeated when this game takes place and the outcome will help paint the ACC and national championship picture. Good news for Clemson fans is that Florida State has not won a road game in this conference rivalry since 2001.
If the Seminoles magical journey is going to continue, they will need to snap the road losing streak and find a way to win in a tough environment.
3. Ohio State at Michigan
When: Nov. 30
Where: Michigan Stadium
It's becoming quite clear that the only team realistically capable of beating Ohio State during the regular season is Michigan. It makes this heated rivalry that much more special and will inspire Wolverine fans to show up by the truckload.
Michigan Stadium is often criticized for not bringing enough life to the game, but this matchup is like none other. The fans make sure their voices are heard and aren't afraid to remind the Buckeye nation that there is no love lost.
The Wolverines not only have an extremely talented team, they'll have a passionate crowd to cheer them on.
The Buckeyes will be in for a battle when these two teams clash in the season finale.
2. Texas A&M at LSU
When: Nov. 23
Where: Tiger Stadium
The time for this game has yet to be determined, but it will likely be a night game due to the SEC Championship and possible national championship implications.
Night game at Tiger Stadium?
It's scary just thinking about.
LSU rarely loses at home under the lights. The defense seems faster, the crowd is on top of the visiting team and it will be even tougher due to an offense that is finally scoring with consistency. Last year, LSU sacked Johnny Manziel three times and held him to just 27 rushing yards.
With this game on the road, it will be even tougher for the reigning Heisman winner.
1. LSU at Alabama
When: Nov. 9
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium
Did you expect anything different?
The real SEC rivalry has regained its magic thanks to LSU holding down its end of the bargain and steamrolling teams leading up to this game.
The Tigers still need to get past Florida, but they've been playing some of the best football in the country and should have little problem heading into this matchup undefeated. The same goes for Alabama.
Both teams are evenly matched, so the home team obviously has the advantage with 60 minutes of constant support. Ironically, the visiting team has won the last three meetings not played on a neutral field.
Still, Bryant-Denny Stadium will be quite loud and the winner will position itself for a national championship bid.