Ten Out-of-Conference College Football Series That Need to Happen

Justin Goar@@tigertangentsSenior Writer IJuly 28, 2008

The list below consists of out of conference games that I would like to see materialize. In a world without a playoff, teams are stepping back from scheduling great out of conference games and I think one of the benefits of a playoff is that coaches would be more likely to battle test their teams with exciting out of conference games.


Whether you agree with me or not that a playoff would help scheduling, at the very least a playoff could possibly spawn some of these meetings below.


Some of the series below have some history, some don’t, but all would benefit the rabid college football fan in all of us. So in no particular order…



Arkansas-Texas (Texas leads series 55-21)


I kind of cheated on this one as I am aware that they are playing this year but this old Southwestern Conference match up should be an annual one. We need to remember the good ole days when these two schools got to express their hatred for each other the way most rivals do: on the field.


When talking to a Razorback fan, it won’t take long for a vein to pop out of their foreheads when mentioning the Longhorns. Plus you gotta love the mascots. Beef and pork, this match up is just delicious.



Miami-Nebraska (Series tied 5-5)


Two storied programs trying to build their way back into the land of dominance. This would be a chance for Husker fans to travel down to sunny Miami and Canes fans to head up to the heartland.


Oh who am I kidding, we all know Miami fans don’t travel. Nevertheless, with a tied series score, these two teams can duke it out and prove which program is ascending back to a level with which they are more familiar.


I think all of us whether we love them or hate them would like to live in a world where Nebraska and Miami are the big dogs.


Oh and no police blotter jokes here, that’s so 90’s.



Clemson-Georgia (Georgia leads series 41-17-4)


Georgia already plays an ACC opponent every year and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with clean old fashioned hate especially with new GT coach Paul Johnson and the triple option entering the fold. But Clemson and Georgia used to lace ‘em up on a yearly basis. On my first trip to Athens back in 2000, I saw a female Dawg fan with a T-shirt that read “I hate orange!”


On the back it listed Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, and Clemson. And I remember thinking…when did UGA play Clemson? The series stopped in 1995, but it’d be great to see it crank up again. Clemson is no stranger to SEC opponents and will take on Alabama this year in Atlanta. And since it’s early in the season, I feel good about Clemson’s chances.



Virginia Tech-Tennessee (Tennessee leads series 5-2)


Speaking of orange, why didn’t anyone think of this Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup combination? These schools are only approximately 200 miles apart from each other. Both schools are great venues for college football with wonderful fans. Both schools are great representatives of their respective conferences.


The only problem would be that there would be way more orange in one place than legally allowed. When Hokie fans descended onto Baton Rouge last year, the orange was everywhere and it was not a hue that can be found in nature. 


In fact, if this game appeared in high def, you probably won’t be able to view it without the special government mandated safety glasses.


I’d still love to see it happen, healthy retinas be damned!



LSU-Texas A&M (LSU leads series 26-20-3)


LSU and Texas A&M have played each other 49 times. It’s definitely an experience to see the clash of cultures between the Tiger and Aggie fan bases and this game was a great early season meeting for the two institutions. The trip isn’t bad, as the schools are about six hours apart from one another.


The powers that be in Baton Rougeended the series abruptly in 1995 much to the chagrin of both fan bases. Both programs had a lot of respect for one another and I think both schools could benefit from reopening the series especially in this 12 game season college football world in which we now live.


You probably won’t see it anytime soon as only time may mend the bridge that LSU seemingly burned. With that in mind, Houston would be a great neutral site for these teams to play even if A&M would be more favorably represented. It might be a way for LSU to bury the hatchet and get on the Aggies’ good side.


Between all the “Tigah Baits!” and the “Whooooops!” being yelled out, this would be like visiting a foreign country without you having to bring your passport.



Penn State-Pitt (PSU leads series 50-42-4)


Who wouldn’t love to see Joe Paterno in his 124th season coaching taking on the Wannstache?


Well, unfortunately I think Paterno himself is the answer to that question. The two teams haven’t played since 2000.


Pitt fans say it’s a grudge held by Paterno for Pitt joining the Big East way back when. Some say Pitt got their feathers ruffled when PSU offered a 2 and 1 series in which Pitt would host one game to Penn State’s two.


I’m just a southern boy so I’m not well versed in this rivalry but college football will be better for having this rivalry start up again. According to Panther fans, that won’t happen until Joe Pa hangs it up.



Alabama-Texas (Texas leads series 7-0-1)


I was trying to think of two storied programs with great fan bases and national attention that I would like to see play and these two teams popped into my head.


Then I looked up the head to head series score which I thought would be close. Wow! You see that Bama fans? 0-7-1. This score must be settled!


Then after thinking about it, this game would be much more than just slapping two traditional powers together on the gridiron. There’s some history here too with the coaching staff.


Nick Saban would be facing off against his offensive coordinator from last year in Major Applewhite (even though Major is the RB coach at UT); and taking on his protégé at LSU, Will Muschamp, who’s the new defensive coordinator at Texas.


Student vs. Teacher. Just like a kung fu movie. I’m all in.



Notre Dame-Washington (Series Notre Dame leads 6-0)


Obviously, Ty Willingham would be the pre-game story of choice. But last year, Notre Dame’s total offense was dead last in the NCAA at No. 119. Cut that in half to find U-Dub at No. 60. Defensively, the Irish were ranked No. 39 and the Huskies No. 105.


I think we’ve found a team Notre Dame can score on! But with Jake Locker leading the charge against an improved (we think) Notre Dame team, this would be an intriguing battle. Plus I think it would be entertaining to see all the Irish haters pulling for Washington like they were the hometown team.


And what if the Huskies won that game? Chaos would ensue and who doesn’t want to see mass chaos unfold? Boring people, that’s who.


Wait...this one really happens this year??? So the nation really will be cheering for the Huskies in Seattle? I actually have a chance to see chaos unfold??? Sweeeeeeeeeet! 



USC-Florida (Florida leads series 1-0-1)


It’s hard to argue that these are two of the more successful programs in college football in recent years. Both teams have relatively young, made for Hollywood coaches and fan bases that would eat up this pairing.


I think this is the ultimate East meets West showdown. I’m not quite sure if it should be a home and home or a neutral site game. If you played it in a 100,000 seat stadium and allotted half of those tickets to USC fans and half of those seats to Florida fans, where would their egos sit? (Thank you, thanks for coming to the Cheap Shot Comedy Club, I’ll be here all week!)


But joking aside, I think both these teams could take this East-West battle and run with it.


Both California and Florida are hotbeds for college talent (football and ahem…otherwise) and you couldn’t claim to be a college football fan and not get excited about his game.


You’d be getting your popcorn ready just like I would.


Kudos to the Trojans for putting Ohio State on their schedule as I think that’ll be a great series but if I could pick one team for the Trojans to take on (besides my LSU Tigers), it would be the Gators.



Michigan-West Virginia (Michigan leads 1-0)


Well I know the obvious selling point here would be the Rich Rodriguez bowl. But more importantly, these schools are only 270 miles apart.


That’s shorter than the distance between Florida-Tennessee, Oklahoma-Nebraska, and Florida State-Miami and these teams have only played once.


These schools wear basically the same colors and thanks to Adidas trying to be more like Nike they have practically the same away jersey. If similar away jerseys don’t equal an epic throw down, I don’t know what does.


Oh wait, never mind, forget it. After last season, Michigan would never let another set of Mountaineers into the Big House. Forget I mentioned this one.



These are just some ideas, feel free to give me your own in the comments section as well as enlighten me as to why some of these series can’t or won’t happen.



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