The Games to Watch this Season
Published: Monday, August 25, 2014 at 10:37 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 25, 2014 at 10:37 a.m.
Best game: Clemson at Georgia. It was a classic last year and eliminates one team from national championship race.
Don’t miss: Penn State-UCF in Dublin, Ireland. It should be a law that there is a 7:30 a.m. game every Saturday.
Under the radar: Ohio State-Navy in Baltimore. Even with a summer to prepare, the triple option is no fun to open against.
Don’t bother: South Dakota at Oregon. The Coyotes lost their last five games in 2013 and are not ready for the Ducks.
Best game: Michigan State at Oregon. Some people believe the Spartans can win it all this year. This would be the ultimate early statement.
Don’t miss: Southern Cal at Stanford. First big test for Steve Sarkisian and a Pac-12 game that will have a major influence on the season.
Under the radar: Missouri at Toledo. Gary Pinkel goes back to Toledo where the Rockets return 17 starters.
Don’t bother: The Citadel at FSU. No need to explain.
Best game: Georgia at South Carolina: This has become what Florida-Tennessee used to be.
Don’t miss: Texas-UCLA in Arlington, Texas. Assuming Charlie Strong can field a team, this could be an early upset.
Under the radar: Tennessee at Oklahoma. Butch Jones’ young team has no chance, right? Let’s see.
Don’t bother: Louisiana Monroe at LSU. Tigers will have had a couple of games to break in the quarterback and might break Monroe’s.
Best game: Miami at Nebraska. Two teams with a chance to make the playoff, but one will be eliminated.
Don’t miss: Auburn at Kansas State. This Thursday night game will be worth staying up for.
Under the radar: Utah at Michigan. The Utes make a visit to the Big House with a real chance to make some noise.
Don’t bother: Troy at Georgia. Trap game? South Carolina week before, Tennessee week after. Don’t think so.
Best game: UCLA at Arizona State. And it’s on a Thursday night. Better get a nap during work.
Don’t miss: Missouri at South Carolina. Huge game in the SEC East, especially after last year’s double-OT thriller.
Under the radar: Cincinnati at Ohio State. We know the Bearcats are not big fans of the Buckeyes and they might have something for Urban Meyer.
Don’t bother: Colorado State at Boston College. These two teams will be so mediocre you’d think they’d wait to play this game in a bowl.
Best game: LSU at Auburn. When Les Miles’ team beat Auburn last year we had no idea how good the War Eagles were.
Don’t miss: Nebraska at Michigan State. If you are a believer that this is Bo Pelini’s year, this is the game he has to have.
Under the radar: Florida at Tennessee. Who would have thought? That’s where these two programs are and pushing it to October is blasphemy.
Don’t bother: Purdue at Illinois. If they were playing on 13th Street right now, would you go watch?
Best game: Oregon at UCLA. Hold on to your hats, Westwood is going to be on fire for this one.
Don’t miss: LSU at Florida. This could well be a win-or-leave-the-race game for both teams.
Under the radar: Auburn at Mississippi State. OK, Dan Mullen, let’s see if you can win a big game.
Don’t bother: Charleston Southern at Vanderbilt. Thanks, but no thanks.
Best game: Notre Dame at Florida State. It may not be a great game, but to see the Irish in Doak Campbell will be cool.
Don’t miss: Texas A&M at Alabama. The chances aren’t good it will be as incredible as last year’s game, but just in case it is.
Under the radar: Fresno State at Boise State. Perfect way to kick off the weekend with a Friday nighter between two strong programs.
Don’t bother: Furman at South Carolina. If the Gamecock’s home win streak is still intact, it won’t be snapped in this one.
Best game: South Carolina at Auburn. Steve Spurrier has struggled against the Tigers while a Gamecock.
Don’t miss: Texas at Kansas State. This could be a huge game. On the other hand, it might be background noise.
Under the radar: Arizona State at Washington. We’re all wondering what Chris Petersen will do with the Huskies.
Don’t bother: Louisiana Tech at Southern Miss. These two combined for all of five wins last season.
Best game: Stanford at Oregon. When pundits list college football’s best rivalry games, they tend to forget about this one.
Don’t miss: Florida-Georgia in Jacksonville. Will Muschamp could use his first-ever win in this series.
Under the radar: Tennessee at South Carolina. Don’t forget, the Vols stunned Steve Spurrier last year.
Don’t bother: Old Dominion at Vanderbilt. This is one of those games Commodores play to get into a bowl game.
Best game: Ohio State at Michigan State. It’s early November but here is hoping it’s snowing in East Lansing.
Don’t miss: Baylor at Oklahoma. Get your calculators out because the ball will cross the goal line a few times.
Under the radar: Northern Illinois at Ball State. It’s a Wednesday game and the MAC West title could well be decided.
Don’t bother: Presbyterian at Ole Miss. And on to week 12.
Best game: FSU at Miami. This game gets pushed back later and later, which could make it even bigger.
Don’t miss: Auburn at Georgia. These rivals put on some show last season and could be playing a huge game between the hedges.
Under the radar: Arizona State at Oregon State. Right now, just another conference game. By then, could be big national game.
Don’t bother: Monmouth at Coastal Carolina. This is not a good reason to get ESPN3.
Best game: USC at UCLA. This is dog week in college football but this should be a gem.
Don’t miss: Wisconsin at Iowa. The premise here is that Iowa is surprisingly good, which a lot of so-called experts think is possible.
Under the radar: Louisville at Notre Dame. Bobby Petrino vs. Touchdown Jesus. There’s a joke there somewhere.
Don’t bother: Western Carolina at Alabama. The Catamounts were 2-10 last year. Would it matter if they were 10-2?
Best game: Stanford at UCLA. This could be one of those Game of the Century deals we get every year.
Don’t miss: Auburn at Alabama. After last year’s game? It’s against the law to miss this one.
Under the radar: Rutgers at Maryland. Their first meeting as Big 10 teams has to generate some interest.
Don’t bother: Old Dominion at Florida Atlantic. You probably weren’t going to bother anyway.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.