Spring Football Exhibition Games We Wish We Could See in 2014
The NFL has its four-game preseason, which allows for some experimental matchups before the games really mean anything. On the other hand, college football just has its spring games, where teams essentially play against themselves in front of only their own fans.
So we've envisioned a world in which college football could stage spring exhibitions, allowing teams from across the country to tangle without putting their postseason prospects on the line.
The possibilities are endless, including bowl rematches (looking at you, Florida State and Auburn) and revivals of rivalries cast aside by conference realignment, like Texas vs. Texas A&M.
Click on for 10 fantasy exhibition matchups we'd like to see instead of the mundane spring games that usually fill the offseason.
Auburn vs. Florida State
What better way to start the 2014 process than to see exactly where last year's two best teams have gone since their national title appearance.
Auburn and Florida State will be two of the national title favorites next season.
Quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Nick Marshall are returning and will be on the Heisman Trophy short list.
This game wouldn't be for the crystal football, but it'd make a great matchup to start the road to the 2014 season.
Alabama vs. Texas Tech
Kingsbury, a purveyor of the hurry-up offense, is unhappy about the new rule proposal that Saban has publicly supported that would prevent offenses from moving up as quickly as they'd like.
So, let's just let the two settle the score on the field.
It would be a great test for both clubs, as well. Tech's offense would provide a nice challenge for a reloading 'Bama defense that struggled defending the pass at times last year.
Oregon vs. Baylor
At one point last season, it looked like Baylor and Oregon would be a BCS matchup—and a very intriguing one at that.
As that didn't come to fruition, these two offensive powers might as well square off in the spring.
Both the Bears and the Ducks are returning prolific quarterbacks who will be vying for the Heisman in Bryce Petty and Marcus Mariota respectively.
Baylor finished No. 1 nationally and Oregon No. 2 in total offense in 2013. The Bears averaged 618.2 yards per game, while the Ducks averaged 565.
Why not let those two offenses put on a show together in the spring?
Texas A&M vs. Texas
Texas A&M and Texas is one of the great in-state rivalries that was lost in conference realignment.
While reviving that rivalry would be great, it would also feature two teams that are facing major changes going into the 2013 season.
A&M will have to replace star quarterback Johnny Manziel, while UT will be in its first season with new head coach Charlie Strong.
Whether they meet in Austin or College Station, the Aggies and the Longhorns would be a perfect exhibition matchup.
Oklahoma vs. Missouri
Another old Big 12 matchup, Oklahoma tangling with Missouri would be a great spring faceoff.
Both squads have high hopes going into the 2014 season.
Oklahoma is one of the favorites to win its conference after a momentous Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. Meanwhile, Missouri will be vying to defend its SEC East title.
This game would also feature an intriguing quarterback battle between Mizzou's Maty Mauk and OU's Trevor Knight.
Penn State vs. Vanderbilt
James Franklin is off to continue the rebuilding efforts at Penn State.
And Vanderbilt fans weren't too happy with the way he swiped up several recruits on his way to Happy Valley.
With some history already present, adding another page to the saga in the spring would be wonderful for Franklin and Vandy.
While it would be a great first test for Franklin and his new team, it would also be a nice litmus for Derek Mason before his first year in Nashville.
UCLA vs. Ohio State
That sours this potential tilt with Brett Hundley and UCLA, but since this is a made-up matchup anyway, we'll pretend that Miller is at full health.
The battle between Hundley and Miller, two early Heisman candidates, would be the headline of this bout.
However, from top to bottom, this would be an awesome matchup and show which team is most ready to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff next year.
Nebraska vs. Miami (Fla.)
Duke Johnson, who will likely be unavailable in the spring, would make the Miami-Nebraska matchup much more interesting.
However, even without the 'Canes star running back, this would be a highly anticipated exhibition. It would be a classic matchup between two storied programs that have tangled for national titles in the past.
Ameer Abdullah would challenge the Miami defense on the ground, and Dallas Crawford would do the same in Johnson's absence.
Nebraska is also still breaking in quarterback Tommy Armstrong, while Miami would be starting anew without Stephen Morris.
Arizona State vs. Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State and Arizona State are in similar places going into the 2014 season.
After solid seasons, both teams lost a lot of talent on defense. OSU must replace Justin Gilbert and Daytawion Lowe, while ASU will have to move on without Will Sutton, Carl Bradford and others.
Meanwhile, the Sun Devils will bring back quarterback Taylor Kelly, but they'll lose top playmaker Marion Grice. The Cowboys will be without quarterback Clint Chelf, but they will return running back Desmond Roland.
Two teams, both replacing and bringing back their share of talent, would make for an ideal spring exhibition.
Tennessee vs. USC
Tennessee and USC would be more than just an opportunity for the two to get together to gossip about their shared ex, Lane Kiffin.
Both carry some intriguing storylines going into 2014.
Regardless, the Trojans would be a great measuring stick for the Volunteers, while the Vols would be a staunch first test for Sark's Trojans.
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