My 20 Best Matchups For Week 1 (2016 College Football)
20 Best Matchups For Week 1
- Alabama vs USC (Arlington) - The current dynasty meets the old dynasty in this matchup. USC ruled from 2002 to 2008 winning 6 Pac 10 titles along with 2 national titles in the period. Now it is Alabama currently ruling the college football landscape with 4 SEC titles along with 4 national titles as well. This will be the first time Alabama has faced a Pac 12 school since a home and home against UCLA in 2000 & 2001 college football seasons, they lost both games to the Bruins. This will be USC first meeting against a SEC team since 2005 and 2006 home and home against Arkansas where they destroyed the Hogs in both games. This game could go along way for playoff contention as both teams are expected to contend for there conference title.
- (Mon.) Ole Miss vs Florida State (Orlando) - Although this game won't be played until Monday and we will already know the results of that weekend it my have national implications. Ole Miss last faced a ACC foe was the 2013 Music City Bowl win over Georgia Tech 25-17. Now they face top ranked Florida State. Rebels have gotten one game better since 2012 (7 wins), 2013 (8 wins), 2014 (9 wins) and last year going 10-3 and missing winning the SEC West by losing to Arkansas in overtime last year. They only have 10 starters back (5 offense, 5 defense) but they due return quarterback Chad Kelly (298-458 4042yds 31TD 13int) and there top tackler DeMarquis Gates with 76tkls. The only thing the Noles are worry about is who is going to play quarterback they are returning 16 starters (10 offense, 6 defense).
- Houston vs Oklahoma (NRG Stadium) - This could have been a first round college football playoff matchup last season if you were to go to a 6 or 8 team playoff. The Cougars prove that they were for real last year going 13-1 and a win over Florida State in the Peach Bowl 38-24. This only the third meeting all time against each other the previous were both Oklahoma victories in 2004 63-13 and 1981 40-14.
- Clemson at Auburn - Can Auburn stand up to Clemson in Jordan Hare? The last time these two teams got together in Jordan Hare, Cam Newton was leading Auburn to a overtime victory over Clemson on his way to the Heisman and national championship. Now the roles have reverse as Clemson brings their on Heisman candidate to Auburn in quarterback Deshaun Watson. This can a have a impact on Auburn season to see where they are at.
- UCLA at Texas A&M - Last year the Aggies open up against Pac 12 foe Arizona State and beat them 38-17. Now they get UCLA who is expected to compete for the Pac 12 South title. These two teams last met in the 1998 Cotton Bowl where UCLA won 29-23. This should be a good game for two teams trying to take that extra step to being a real contender nationally.
- Georgia vs North Carolina (Atlanta) - The Tar Heels have lost its last three season openers when facing a SEC opponent( '15 lost to South Carolina 17-13, '13 lost to South Carolina 27-10 and '10 to LSU 30-24). The Bulldogs will be ushering in the Kirby Smart era as he takes the reigns as head coach. Both teams will be breaking in a new starter at quarterback.
- LSU vs Wisconsin (Green Bay) - In 2014 these two teams met in the season opener in Houston, TX and now they will face each other in Green Bay. Since 2003 Wisconsin is 3-6 against SEC opponents with a season opener lost to Alabama last year 35-17. In the 2014 game against LSU the Badgers led 17-7 at halftime only to lose 28-24 to the Tigers.
- (Sun.) Notre Dame at Texas - The Fighting Irish was a 2pt conversion short of tying Clemson and lost to Stanford on a last second field goal finishing the regular season with a 10-2 record before losing to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl last season. They did put a whipping on Texas as well last year in South Bend 38-3. Texas did not even make it to a bowl game last year but they did beat Oklahoma and Baylor but just finished with a disappointing 5-7 record.
- (Fri.) Kansas State at Stanford - Stanford was the team on the outside looking in at the college football playoff last year as they handle Iowa in the Rose Bowl last year 45-16. The Cardinal have won the Pac 12 three out of the last four years now and look to go back to back like they did in 2012 and 2013. Kansas State is coming off a 6-7 season with a bowl lost to Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl 45-23. This will be the very first meeting between these two teams. Stanford has lost two straight to a Big 12 foe, '12 Fiesta Bowl to Oklahoma State in overtime 41-38 and a 2009 Sun Bowl lost to Oklahoma 31-27. While Kansas State is 0-2 in it last two meeting against Pac 12 foes with a 2015 lost to UCLA in the Alamo Bowl and a 2013 lost to Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl 35-17.
- Missouri at West Virginia - These two teams last met in the Insight.com Bowl back in 1998, Missouri was a member of the Big 12 and West Virginia was a member of the Big East. Now Missouri has move from the Big 12 to the SEC in 2012 and West Virginia has moved to the Big 12 in 2012. The Mountaineers return 12 starters (8 offense, 4 defense) along with returning quarterback Skyler Howard ('15 221-403 3145yds 26td 14int). While Missouri returns 13 (5 offense, 8 defense). Missouri is coming off a 5-7 record last year but they did finish 4th in the SEC in total defense with 8 starters coming back.
- Arizona vs BYU (Glendale, AZ) - Last year BYU got off to a 2-0 start by winning at Nebraska and beating Boise State in Provo on last seconds passes. Then they lost there next to games one was a one point lost to UCLA 24-23 and a 31-0 shutout from the hands of Michigan on there way to a 9-4 record with a Las Vegas Bowl lost to rival Utah 35-28. The Cougars will have a new head coach in Kalani Sitake as Bronco Mendenhall left to coach Virginia. The last time these two teams met was the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl in a Arizona 31-21 victory. Both teams return the same amount of starters on (15) 7 on offense and 8 defense with returning starters at quarterback for Arizona Anu Solomon ('14 313-540 3793yds 28td 9int, '15 205-330 2667yds 20td 5int) and for BYU's Tanner Mangum ('15 267-446 377yds 23td 10int).
- (Thurs.) South Carolina at Vanderbilt - These two teams met each other in 2012 season opener in Nashville as South Carolina won 17-13. Both teams are coming off losing season South Carolina (3-9) and Vanderbilt (4-8). So they will be looking to get off to a good start and it is a conference foe as well so it is a important game for both teams.
- Southern Miss at Kentucky - The last time Kentucky played Southern Miss was in 32-0 win in 1986. Last year Southern Miss open up against SEC foe Miss State in a 34-16 lost. Now they travel to Lexington to face the Wildcats who started 2015 off with a 4-1 record before going 1-6 the rest of the year finishing 5-7 and bowl less. Southern Miss went 9-5 last year winning the CUSA West title but losing to Western Kentucky in the CUSA Title Game. Southern Miss will be welcoming in new head coach Jay Hopson who coach at Alcorn State from '12 to '15 winning back to back SWAC titles in 2014 and 2015.
- Toledo at Arkansas State - These are two legit mid major teams, Toledo finished 2015 with a 10-2 record with non conference wins over Arkansas and Iowa State while Arkansas State finished with a 9-4 record and winning the Sun Belt by going 8-0 in conference play.
- Boston College vs Georgia Tech (Ireland) - After winning the ACC Coastal division in 2014 the Yellowjackets took a step back last year going 3-9, 6 of those losses were by 7 points or less. While Boston College also went 3-9 last year they went 0-8 in conference play. These two teams will be looking to start there 2016 seasons on a good note and this is a conference game so it is important.
Here are five other games for week 1
16. Western Michigan at Northwestern
17. (Fri.) Colorado vs Colorado State (Denver)
18. (Thurs.) Appalachian State at Tennessee
19. (Thurs.) Rice at Western Kentucky
20. Bowling Green at Ohio State
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The SEC has won 8 national championship in the last 10 years with Alabama leading the way with 4 titles ('09 '11 '12 '15) , Florida 2 ('06 '08), Auburn 1 ('10) and LSU 1 ('07).
We already think that these teams should compete for championships: Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio State and LSU. But who will be taking that next step to contend.
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