10 Best Week 1 Games for 2013 College Football Season

Randy ChambersAnalyst IJanuary 14, 2013

10 Best Week 1 Games for 2013 College Football Season

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    The college football season ended just a week ago, but it is never too early to get a head start on the 2013 season. Besides, us college football fans need something to talk about to keep us occupied during these long and dreadful months leading up to kickoff.

    But the good news is that the new season will be here before you know it and there are plenty of matchups that everybody should be excited about. Many of these games will take place during Week 1, as there will be a handful of games being played between two powerhouse programs.

    Sure, there are plenty of cupcake matchups that will result in a forgettable outcome, but there are some games that are worth clearing the calendar for.

    We may have a great deal of months between us and the new college football season, but here are 10 Week 1 contests that you should be looking forward to in 2013.

10. Boise State at Washington

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    Date: August 31

    Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA

    Why You Need to Watch:

    Boise State will continue to remain college football’s favorite underdog, and this is a road matchup that should give the Broncos brownie points with the voters.

    Chris Petersen and his squad lost an ugly opening game against Michigan State last year, but this will be a chance for them to redeem themselves. Washington is a young team that returns the majority of its starters, and they should be ready to go with a loud crowd backing them up.

    Both of these teams will receive some preseason hype heading into this matchup, but only one will really have a chance of making a serious run. The winner of this game will help set the tone the rest of the way.

9. Penn State vs. Syracuse

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    Date: August 31

    Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

    Why You Need to Watch:

    Maybe it's just me, but the Penn State Nittany Lions have become an interesting team ever since the NCAA sanctions have been handed down.

    Head coach Bill O'Brien was able to turn down the NFL offers he received this offseason, and it will be wonderful to see what he can do in Happy Valley in his second season. Remember, this is a guy that is working with nothing due to circumstances beyond his control. Syracuse should also be a new-look team with its head coach taking over the Buffalo Bills.

    Neither of these teams is going to do much in 2013—especially the Nittany Lions, as they are banned for another three years from a bowl appearance. However, there is pride on the line in this game and it is being played in an NFL stadium. It is the simple things in life.

8. Western Kentucky vs. Kentucky

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    Date: August 31

    Where: LP Field, Nashville, TN

    Why You Need to Watch:

    This matchup completely revolves around the head coaches, as neither one of these Kentucky programs is winning a national title anytime soon. (Sorry, but basketball doesn’t count, Wildcat fans).

    Mark Stoops picked up his first head coaching gig with the Wildcats and will be looking to make a statement in his first matchup as the lead guy in charge. And the head coach of Western Kentucky is Bobby Petrino, as he is auditioning for the next big coaching job that opens up in 2014.

    Both of these guys could eventually end up at higher profile programs in the future, and it should be somewhat interesting watching them battle it out.

7. Ole Miss at Vanderbilt

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    Date: August 31

    Where: Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN

    Why You Need to Watch:

    A conference game between two SEC programs that are quickly on the rise is a matchup that everybody should catch a glimpse of.

    Head coach James Franklin has become a household name at Vanderbilt and has led the Commodores to 15 victories in just two short years. Hugh Freeze led Ole Miss to seven wins and has put together a top-notch recruiting class in 2013.

    Neither one of these teams is sexy and won't receive much attention during the offseason, but these are two squads that are quickly climbing up the ladder in the SEC, and the winner will inch that much closer towards reaching the top of the conference.  

6. Temple at Notre Dame

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    Date: August 31

    Where: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN

    Why You Need to Watch:

    This game is truly all about Notre Dame.

    It will be fun to see how the Irish come out after getting creamed in the national title matchup. How much better will the offense be? Will the defense take a step back with Manti Te'o no longer around? This will be the first game to judge Notre Dame and see if it really has what it takes to get back in the title picture.

    And who knows, with the way things went last season, this game could end up being a lot closer than anybody expected.

5. Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi State

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    Date: August 31

    Where: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX

    Why You Need to Watch:

    Oklahoma State has shown that it will be exciting as long as Mike Gundy remains the head coach. Well, at least offensively the Cowboys will be worth keeping an eye on for entertainment purposes.

    Mississippi State has teased us over the years, but they have always managed to finish the year with an average reputation and have yet to really get over that hump.

    A neutral site game between two underrated programs should be a dandy for the first week of 2013. 

4. Washington State at Auburn

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    Date: August 31

    Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL

    Why You Need to Watch:

    When you combine both of these teams' records from last season, you end up with just six victories. Because of that, most wouldn't think this is the type of game that should be high on the radar heading into next season.

    But with a matchup between two brilliant offensive minds in Mike Leach and Gus Malzahn, this could end up resulting in a shootout like no other.

    The Auburn coach will make his head coaching debut and Leach will enter his second year with really no excuses for a turnaround. The first team that scores 60 points should end up being crowned the winner, and a typical three hour game will likely last around seven here.

3. Alabama vs. Virginia Tech

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    Date: August 31

    Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

    Why You Need to Watch:

    Yes, Alabama is a national championship contender once again, and they actually should be the favorite to win a third straight title. However, Virginia Tech is always a competitive squad and head coach Frank Beamer should have his team prepared for the opener.

    When looking at the depth charts from both teams, Alabama should end up winning fairly easily, but it isn't too often that we are given an early matchup between two top college football powers.

    Blowout win or not, this game should be one of the most watched matchups during the opening week, and it will receive a lot of hype leading up to kickoff.

2. LSU vs. TCU

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    Date: August 31

    Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX

    Why You Need to Watch:

    Could we witness an upset in this matchup?

    TCU has questions on both sides of the ball, but has been a pretty consistent team over the years and the team was solid it its first season in the Big 12. LSU also lost a ton of talent on defense and, with quarterback Zach Mettenberger running the offense, the Tigers could be a completely different club than we have been used to seeing under head coach Les Miles.

    With the game taking place in Texas, this is practically a home game for the Horned Frogs, and it should result in an interesting matchup for a preseason SEC contender.

1. Georgia at Clemson

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    Date: August 31

    Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC

    Why You Need to Watch:

    Both teams feel that they have what it takes to win their respective conference.

    Clemson already knocked off an SEC powerhouse in the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl by beating LSU in convincing fashion, while Georgia looks to make good after falling just short of an SEC title last season. Regardless of who wins this game, the winner will make an early statement to the rest of the college football world that there is a new contender in town.

    If there is any game that you should watch in Week 1 of the 2013 college football season, make sure it is this one.

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