Power Ranking the Most Exciting Weeks of the College Football Schedule

Carl Stine@@CFBAllDayCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2013

Power Ranking the Most Exciting Weeks of the College Football Schedule

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    At this point in the summer, the desperation for college football to begin has reached epic levels among fans.

    One game, just one opportunity to watch a contest that is not a replay or some form of practice, and the the Internet might explode.

    That said, all weeks during the college football season are not created equal.

    A dearth of high-profile matchups can lead to a week that, while not boring, doesn't quite reach the level of excitement found during others.

    Here is a list of every week in the upcoming regular season, ranked in order of the most exciting schedules from worst to first.

15. Week 12

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    Game of the Week: Oklahoma State at Texas

    Oklahoma State and Texas battle it out in what might be a changing of the guard or a re-institution of an old conference leader.

    Mike Gundy and the Cowboys are loaded again on offense, while Mack Brown and Texas will again be looking to seize control of the conference.

    Meanwhile, Michigan and Northwestern face off in a game that will, surprisingly, have postseason implications.

    While not the best schedule of the season, there are some interesting matchups to keep an eye on in Week 12.

    Others to Watch

    Georgia Tech at Clemson, Washington at UCLA, Stanford at USC, Georgia at Auburn, Michigan at Northwestern, Michigan State at Nebraska, Florida at South Carolina.

14. Week 6

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    Game of the Week: Washington at Stanford

    In what looks to be a slower week, there are few "marquee" matchups to draw one's attention, but there are several games that should be at least mildly interesting.

    Kansas State is going to be better than expected—they always are under Bill Snyder—and will have a chance to knock off Oklahoma State. Both teams should be undefeated going into this game.

    Whoever wins the matchup between Oklahoma and TCU will get a significant boost in the Big 12 conference title race. Virginia Tech will get to try to make a push in the ACC Coastal Division race as the face off against North Carolina, while Arizona State and fierce defensive lineman Will Sutton get a shot at Notre Dame.

    Ohio State will be coming off a tough game against Wisconsin and have to turn around and face a Northwestern squad that is no longer the whipping boy of the Big Ten.

    Meanwhile, Keith Price and Washington travel to Stanford where the Cardinal will be looking for revenge from their 2012 loss to the Huskies.

    It will still be early in the season, and few of these matchups have national championship implications unless there is a major upset.

    Others to Watch

    Kansas State at Oklahoma State, TCU at Oklahoma, North Carolina at Virginia Tech, Arizona State vs. Notre Dame, Ohio State at Northwestern.

13. Week 8

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    Game of the Week: Florida State at Clemson

    Whoever wins the meeting between Florida State and Clemson will be the favorite to win the ACC. So there's that.

    Miami also has the opportunity to stake its claim for a shot at ACC superiority with a win over North Carolina, who will be the Hurricanes' biggest barrier in the ACC Coastal Division.

    The rivalry game between USC and Notre Dame is a great one to watch, if only for the history and tradition.

    There are a few other mildly interesting contests to keep any eye on this week, but nothing earth shattering.

    Others to Watch

    Miami at North Carolina, UCLA at Stanford, LSU at Ole Miss, TCU at Oklahoma State, USC at Notre Dame.

12. Week 9

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    Game of the Week: UCLA at Oregon

    This is a big week in the Pac-12, as UCLA and Oregon State will have huge opportunities to prove they can compete with the conference's elite.

    Louisville and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater face one of their tougher tests of the season against South Florida, while Texas and TCU will square off in what should be a good one.

    The Longhorns will be fighting to re-establish themselves as one of the Big 12 elite in 2013, while TCU is battling simply to become recognized as a legitimate threat to win a BCS conference.

    Others to Watch

    Stanford at Oregon State, Louisville at South Florida, Texas at TCU, Penn State at Ohio State

11. Week 5

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    Game of the Week: Wisconsin at Ohio State

    There are actually other conferences outside of the SEC, though you might not believe that due to all the hype.

    The Big Ten features a huge early-season battle between Ohio State and Wisconsin.

    These two have produced highly entertaining games over the past half-decade or so, and Wisconsin always plays the Buckeyes close.

    This is the biggest test OSU will face in 2013 on their quest for a second consecutive undefeated season. Meanwhile, the Badgers need a win to have a shot at a fourth straight Rose Bowl appearance.

    Oklahoma and Notre Dame meet in what should be a great nonconference matchup in South Bend, while USC tries to beat the upstart Sun Devils on the road.

    Things are starting to warm up in these rankings.

    Others to Watch

    Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, USC at Arizona State, LSU at Georgia, Oklahoma at Notre Dame, Ole Miss at Alabama.

10. Week 4

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    Game of the Week: Arizona State at Stanford

    The "Holy War" between Utah and BYU is one of the more underrated rivalries in college football. Watch it.

    Michigan State and Notre Dame will be a good one, these teams faced off in two epic showdowns in 2009 and 2010 and are out to establish themselves early this season.

    Boise State and Fresno State meet in a "BCS buster" game. If the Bulldogs win, they have the potential to run the table and finally reach a BCS game.

    But the game of the week is in Palo Alto.

    Arizona State has the potential to pull off a major upset in this one. If Stanford can take care of business in this early meeting of conference foes, the team will remain on the path toward another BCS appearance.

    Others to Watch

    Boise State at Fresno State, Kansas State at Texas, Utah at BYU, Michigan State at Notre Dame.

9. Week 7

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    Game of the Week: Red River Shootout

    It will always be the Red River Shootout, no matter how we try to change and update the name of this rivalry.

    Texas has been destroyed by Oklahoma in recent seasons to the tune of 55-17 in 2011 and 63-21 last season.

    This will be the year that Texas makes it a competitive rivalry once again.

    Ole Miss has been improving, and as long as Bo Wallace feeds wide receiver Donte Moncrief, this offense has a chance to score against a Texas A&M defense with some holes.

    Oregon is always fun to watch, and a game against Washington and its high-powered offense will be entertaining.

    Others to Watch

    Florida at LSU, Texas A&M at Ole Miss, Oregon at Washington, Michigan at Penn State.

8. Week 10

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    Game of the Week: Florida vs. Georgia

    If either Florida or Georgia is going to make it to the SEC title game, this edition of their rivalry game is a must win.

    Sure, South Carolina will make things interesting, and Vanderbilt has the chance to play spoiler, but one of these two will eventually represent the division in the conference title game.

    Florida has got to show some improvement on offense, while the Georgia defense has to reload if the team is going to be considered a serious BCS threat.

    The rivalry between the Michigan schools is heated, and the Wolverines have won only one time out of the last five.

    Keep an eye out for Miami, which is flying under the radar, but this is the year Al Golden's team makes a legitimate run to the Top Ten of the BCS rankings.

    Others to Watch

    USC at Oregon State, Miami at Florida State, Michigan at Michigan State, Northwestern at Nebraska.

7. Week 13

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    Game of the Week: Texas A&M at LSU

    Texas A&M is overrated. That offense is terrific and will have no trouble putting up points this season. However, the defense lost its two top tacklers, including star Damontre Moore.

    Sure, there is some talent on that side of the ball, but talk of this team winning the SEC is ridiculous. When is the last time a team won that conference without an elite defense?

    I'll wait while you google.

    All that said, A&M has only two games in which they might not be favored—this one against LSU and the early season showdown with Alabama.

    Expect another tight battle between the Aggies and the Tigers, similar to last season's meeting.

    Others to Watch

    Arizona State at UCLA, Michigan State at Northwestern, Nebraska at Penn State, Oklahoma at Kansas State.

6. Week 11

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    Game of the Week: Oregon at Stanford

    The meeting this week between Oregon and Stanford could decide one of the participants in the BCS National Championship Tame.

    The Cardinal got the better of the Ducks last season. With three stud linebackers returning, Stanford has the defensive capabilities to once again make life difficult for the Ducks offense.

    The winner of this game will have a great shot at the BCS title game.

    Nebraska and Michigan battle it out this week as well, trying to take over the Big Ten Legends Division.

    Meanwhile, in the SEC, Alabama and LSU meet in the game that could very well decide the winner of the SEC West, especially if LSU moves on and handles Texas A&M.

    Others to Watch

    Nebraska at Michigan, Mississippi State at Texas A&M, LSU at Alabama, Virginia Tech at Miami, Oklahoma at Baylor.

5. Week 2

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    Game of the Week: Florida at Miami

    Besides the great matchups between Texas and BYU and Oregon and Virginia, there are some games this week with major implications.

    Miami has a chance early in the season to make a statement and prove with a win over Florida that the program is again ready to compete at an elite level.

    South Carolina and Georgia will meet in a game with major SEC title ramifications, while Notre Dame travels to Michigan for a meeting between ranked opponents.

    In Week 2, the college football season's freshness will still permeate the buzz surrounding each matchup, and this slate of games is going to be fun to watch.

    Others to Watch

    South Carolina at Georgia, Notre Dame at Michigan, Oregon at Virginia, Texas at BYU.

4. Week 3

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    Game of the Week: Alabama at Texas A&M

    This is the matchup we have been hearing about all offseason. The game that will go a long way toward deciding the Heisman race, the SEC title and even BCS title participants.

    Alabama vs. Texas A&M. Johnny Football vs. Alabama's stout defense. A.J. McCarron's chance to make an early entrance into the 2013 Heisman conversation.

    All of this takes place in College Station, Texas, in what is not only the game of the week but possibly the game of the year.

    Wisconsin also travels to Arizona State, in what will be one of the better nonconference games of the season. Each of these teams has the potential to make a run at a BCS bowl game, and a win over a nonconference foe always helps.

    Others to Watch

    UCLA at Nebraska, Tennessee at Oregon, Ohio State at California, Ole Miss at Texas, Wisconsin at Arizona State.

3. Week 14

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    Game of the Week: Ohio State at Michigan

    Its rivalry week, what more really needs to be said?

    All across the country, teams square off in rivalry games, many of them with conference-title or even national-title implications.

    Ohio State and Michigan are both on the way back to relevance and heading toward the top of the college football food chain.

    Notre Dame and Stanford square off as the Cardinal hope to revenge their tough loss in 2012, while Clemson and South Carolina will be a feature game for Jadeveon Clowney and Tajh Boyd, as each of them tries to make a claim for the Heisman Trophy.

    Others to Watch

    Alabama at Auburn, Arizona at Arizona State, Notre Dame at Stanford, UCLA at USC, Florida State at Florida, Georgia at Georgia Tech, Penn State at Wisconsin, Clemson at South Carolina.

2. Week 15

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    Game of the Week: SEC Championship Game

    The SEC title winner has been in the BCS title game each of the past seven seasons. There is a chance that could change this season—but only a slim one.

    In addition to this huge conference title matchup, the ACC, Pac-12 and Big Ten all have their title games this weekend, while Oklahoma State and Oklahoma meet up for Bedlam.

    Outside of Week 1, there is no week in college football that will generate as much excitement.

    Others to Watch

    Louisville at Cincinnati, Pac-12 Championship Game, ACC Championship Game, Big Ten Championship Game, Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, Texas at Baylor.

1. Week 1

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    Game of the Week: Georgia at Clemson

    After months of waiting, predictions, hype and debate, it finally begins.

    And there are some excellent nonconference matchups to kick off the season with a bang.

    South Carolina, Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma State—all legitimate contenders for a national championship—face tough BCS conference opponents, while Boise State faces off against Washington in a battle of the Pacific Northwest.

    Georgia and Clemson face off in a game that will surely give the winner a boost in the race to reach the top of the BCS rankings, while also cementing the victorious team as a legit title contender.

    The reason this week reaches the top of the rankings is that after months of waiting and anticipation, football is finally here.

    Others to Watch

    North Carolina at South Carolina, Mississippi State at Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech vs. Alabama, LSU vs. TCU, Boise State at Washington.


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