Common Sense College Football Preview Part VIII: Top 25 and Non-Conference Games

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Common Sense College Football Preview Part VIII: Top 25 and Non-Conference Games

The college football season has kicked off. The 12-game season has opened up BCS schools to challenge themselves in the non-conference. Also, due to more games on the schedule, mid-major schools are raising the bidding price to take blowout losses from BCS powers.

Because of these two factors, top-ranked schools have cut back on the cupcakes to bring fans some incredible non-conference matchups. Also, after bringing a conference-by-conference preview, I pick BCS bowl games and present my preseason top 25 poll. 

 

KEY NON-CONFERENCE MATCHUPS:

 

USC vs. Ohio State

This game will determine a berth in the national title game and is probably the biggest game in all of college football this season. Ohio State can bring credibility back to its program and the Big Ten conference with a win at the Coliseum.

 

Georgia vs. Arizona State

This is the first time Georgia has played west of the Mississippi River since 1967 in a rare Pac-10 vs. SEC matchup. This is a must-win for ASU to appear in the Rose Bowl, and if Georgia wants to win a national championship.

 

Auburn vs. West Virginia

Is this game an Orange Bowl preview? In a battle of each conference's best spread offense, Pat White's big-game experience may make the difference.

 

Missouri vs. Illinois

The first roadblock for the Tigers is a rivalry game against a resurgent Illinois team. It is a great quarterback matchup with Juice Williams versus Heisman candidate Chase Daniel. Can Williams lead Illinois to an upset over Missouri and spoil its national title run on the opening weekend?

 

Wisconsin vs. Fresno State

The reason Fresno State is a potential BCS buster is because its tough schedule can provide big wins. Bulldog Stadium has one of the toughest home-field advantages in college football, so this will be an incredible challenge for Wisconsin.

 

Kansas vs. South Florida

Two of last season's biggest surprises face off against each other. A win can prove either team's staying power.

 

Boise State vs. Oregon

Boise State has struggled on the road against BCS schools. In order for a BCS bowl run, a win against Oregon is necessary.

 

COMMON SENSE PRESEASON TOP 25:

1) USC

2) Missouri

3) Florida

4) Ohio State

5) West Virginia

6) Oklahoma

7) Arizona State

8) Texas Tech

9) Auburn

10) Wisconsin

11) South Florida

12) Wake Forest

13) Georgia

14) Virginia Tech

15) BYU

16) Oregon

17) Tennessee

18) Clemson

19) LSU

20) Fresno State

21) Penn State

22) Oregon State

23) Texas

24) Rutgers

25) Boise State

 

BCS BOWL GAME PICKS:

 

Sugar Bowl

Florida defeats Texas Tech

 

Orange Bowl

West Virginia defeats Wake Forest

 

Fiesta Bowl

Oklahoma defeats Auburn

 

Rose Bowl

Ohio State defeats Arizona State

 

BCS Title Game

USC defeats Missouri: Chase Daniel will carry the Tigers to the Orange Bowl through utilizing Missouri's schedule and his Heisman-caliber quarterback play. However, USC's top defense in the nation will shut down Missouri and expose the Tigers' suspect rushing offense to win the national title.

 

www.commonsensemag.com

 

To see detailed previews conference by conference, check out the other parts of the series...

Part 1: SEC (http://commonsensemag.com/2008/08/common-sense-mag-college-football-preview-part-i-florida-takes-sec/)

Part 2: Pac-10 (http://commonsensemag.com/2008/08/common-sense-college-football-part-ii-pac-10-preview/)

Part 3: Big Ten (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/50460-common-sense-college-football-preview-part-iii-a-critique-of-big-ten-football)

Part 4: Big East (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/50406-common-sense-college-football-preview-part-iv-big-east-preview)

Part 5: ACC (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/50679-common-sense-college-football-preview-part-v-acc)

Part 6: Big 12 (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/50876-common-sense-college-football-part-vi-big-time-quarterbacking-in-the-big-xii)

Part 7: BCS Busters (http://commonsensemag.com/2008/08/common-sense-college-football-preview-part-vii-analyzing-the-non-bcs-contenders/)

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