10. Oregon State vs. Boise State
Oregon State will try to do exactly what their arch rival Oregon could not do—beat Boise State. This is of course the first of two games in the home-and-home series, but what's more important is that this game is the first big non-conference game that Boise State will see this year (the other being the big game versus Virginia Tech in Washington, D.C.).
Oregon State also plays TCU later in the year, which makes two good non-conference games to help build resumes for a potential January bowl.
If Boise State wins both games against Oregon State and Virginia Tech, many people believe they will run the table. And with a Top Four AP preseason ranking, many experts believe Boise State will be in the national championship hunt.
First thing's first, Boise State—win your game against Oregon State.
Boise State 35, Oregon State 31.
Do you know why this game will be great to watch? One reason—the venue. This game will take place at the home of the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville. SEC defense against the Pac-10 offense.
And it might have been higher on the radar if Monte Kiffin, Lane Kiffin, and Eric Berry didn't leave Knoxville all in the same year.
Also it doesn't help that Oregon's starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was suspended for the upcoming season by coach Chip Kelly after pleading guilty to second-degree burglary in the theft of a pair of laptops and a guitar from a campus fraternity. All these loses kind of take the sting out of the matchup, but it is still very intriguing. Two well known programs will duke it out.
Oregon 20, Tennessee 17.
Nick Saban vs. Joe Paterno. Alabama vs. Penn State.
The names of these two programs alone would make people want to see this game.
Penn State, who has remained consistent over the last three years or so because of their good recruiting classes, will face off against Alabama, who will return all of their offensive stars (Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, and Greg Mcelroy) and Nick Saban's defensive mind. Though their defense lost some key parts (the big one being Rolando McClain), they should be just fine.
It's like a January bowl matchup in September for us to enjoy.
Alabama 31, Penn State 17.
Les Miles leads his LSU Tigers against North Carolina, who under Butch Davis seem to have very good recruiting classes every year. He proved in Miami that he is not the greatest coach, but man, can he recruit. He proved it again this year recruiting four and five star talent at a basketball school.
Let's see if Les Miles can learn how to manage the clock against a talented North Carolina team in 2010, because they are sure to lose if he can't. That LSU team from last year is one year older and one year better, but that being said...
UNC 17, LSU 14.
The teams from last two SEC Championship games will square off again this year in the regular season.
It wont be played in Atlanta this time—it will be played in Gainsville, Florida. Neither team may have the same talent as last year, but they are still expected to win anywhere from nine to 10 games. In Alabama's case, they can even contend for another national title.
Florida does have good young talent, but come on, Alabama is a national title contender. There is no Brandon Spikes, no Tim Tebow.
Alabama 31, Florida 17.
With all these early season non-conference games between college football powerhouses, this one will take us back to the '80s and '90s.
It's Oklahoma and Florida State.
FSU's first year with Jimbo Fisher as the big man on campus after Bobby Bowden retiring last season. Florida State is sure to be better now that some sense of order is established with a head coach, without any wondering about when his successor will get the chance.
Oklahoma is entering the complete post-Sam Bradford era. Now Landry Jones will run the Oklahoma offense full-time. The only downside to this game is that it will be played in Oklahoma, and not Doak Campbell Stadium. Oklahoma is not a bad place to play, but... it is not Doak Campbell Stadium.
Oklahoma 27, Florida State 17.
Ah...the man who cannot keep a job will experience as head coach of the Trojans his first taste of the USC-Notre Dame rivalry.
On the other side is Brian Kelly, the man who left his former team in Cincinnati hanging after they clinched a Sugar Bowl birth last season to go to Notre Dame.
In his first year, Brian Kelly will try to do something Charlie Weis never did—beat USC. And this might be Notre Dame's best shot, because with a new head coach USC is at its most vulnerable. Will USC finally lose? No.
USC 38, UND 30.
This game as number three on the list is really just a testament of these two team's consistency over the last five years or so.
The game will be in Death Valley, at night, and the atmosphere at night in LSU is incredible. They aren't really pictured to be in the national championship hunt, but the fact that they are so evenly matched will make this game, in my opinion, one of the best games in this upcoming college football season.
LSU 24, WVU 23—on a late touchdown.
This game is Boise State's Super Bowl. What makes it even more like their Super Bowl is that the game will be played in a neutral location at FedEx Field.
Well OK, I'm kidding—it won't be neutral. The game is in Landover, Maryland, a few miles away from Virginia Tech's campus. You do the math.
Assuming Boise State gets past Oregon State, it is more than just a game. It will be the biggest case they have (along with their multiple undefeated seasons) for the BCS to let them get a real shot at the national title.
Will they pull it off?
Nope. Virginia Tech 19, Boise State 12.
Do you see that picture?
Ever since that play happened in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, Miami fans have wanted to kill the field judge who threw the late flag on DB Glen Sharpe—not to mention Ohio State in general. Seven years later Miami and their fans, who have not gotten over that game, get a chance at redemption. Though the players have changed, surely some were fans of The U before they became college football players themselves.
This will be the best game to watch in the 2010-2011 football season because this game has everything.
It's on prime time, will feature well-known players like Jacory Harris and Terrelle Pryor, etc. It's a great venue to play at night, but most importantly the history between these two teams makes it what it is.
Canes 16, Buckeyes 13.