2009 College Football Top 5 Non-Conference Games

Last week we gave you our Top 5 Overrated and Underrated teams based on the pre-season top 25 rankings on NCAA 10. This week we have another top 5: the 5 best non-conference games of the 2009 college football season. We chose 5 games that will have the biggest implications on the football season and will be the most entertaining for the fans. There were several that we strongly considered that didn’t make the list, including Oklahoma-Miami and Florida-Florida St., but in the end we decided on the 5 big-time games listed below.

5. Utah @ Oregon, Sept. 19th
Many of you may think Oklahoma-Miami or USC-ND should go here, but we are very excited for this match-up. Utah is riding the momentum of an undefeated season and a huge Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. Oregon is the trendy pick as a NC darkhorse. Utah will have a terrific defense but some questions on offense. Oregon will have a terrific offense but some questions on defense. This game is Utah’s one chance this season to show what it’s made of outside the conference, while Oregon will have already played at Boise State. If the Ducks can beat Boise, this game will be the final stepping stone to launch a potential top-10 team into conference play. If the Ducks fall to Boise, this game will be even bigger; it would be a must-win if the Ducks want to keep their BCS hopes alive.

4. Oregon @ Boise State, Sept. 5th
Last season Boise St. came into Autzen Stadium and won a 37-32 thriller against the Ducks. This season, Oregon is widely considered a top 10-15 team and the Pac-10’s best chance to knock USC from its perch atop the conference, so a win here would be big for the Ducks. Jeremiah Masoli and LeGarrette Blount will lead a deadly Oregon team, but Boise State is loaded and a legit BCS threat. If the Broncos can get another big win over Oregon to open the season, they will be primed for another undefeated run and a shot at a BCS bowl. The Ducks could use a big road win to springboard them into games against Purdue and Utah before they reach the Pac-10 slate.


3. Georgia @ Oklahoma State, Sept. 5th
This opening week matchup will be a huge test for both teams and the conferences they represent. Oklahoma State can simultaneously prove they are worthy of a top 10 ranking and quiet down the SEC’s big bad reputation. Georgia has a great chance to knock off one of the Big 12’s best and show what kind of team they can be without 1st round picks Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno. Okie State boasts one of the nation’s best offenses, with stars at every skill position, and Georgia always has a great defense. This game will be an interesting one for the fans, with major implications for both teams.

2. Alabama vs. Virginia Tech, Sept. 5th (in Atlanta, GA)

Georgia Dome in Atlanta

Georgia Dome in Atlanta

Last eason Alabama used an opening-week thumping of Clemson in the Georgia Dome to vault to a special season. They will have the opportunity to knock off another big-time ACC team this season with the Hokies. Both teams have high hopes not only within their respective conferences, but on the national stage as well, so this game will provide an early measuring stick for both teams. The game might mean more for Virginia Tech, who could use a big win to carry momentum into upcoming games against Nebraska and Miami. Even with a loss, Alabama will likely stay in the top 10-15 and, with the strength of the SEC schedule, could still have a shot at the National Championship game if they win out.

1. USC @ Ohio State, Sept. 12th
The Buckeyes got rolled last season at The Coliseum, 35-3, giving more fuel to the Big 10 haters. Despite OSU’s tendency to get rocked on the national stage, we think this year’s game will be much closer. The Buckeyes have two major factors working in their favor: this year’s game is at The ‘Shoe, and Terrelle Pryor won’t have to watch Todd Boeckman struggle all game long. Add in the fact that USC is breaking in a new QB and a new defense and this is the best chance the Buckeyes have had to start changing their image (and the conference’s) as a team that can’t compete with the top programs from other conferences. Despite everything working in OSU’s favor, they will still be hard-pressed to pull out a win. The Buckeyes have to replace several key pieces on both sides of the ball, and Pete Carroll’s Trojans are as loaded as any team in the nation. The Horseshoe will need to be rockin’ and OSU will have to set the tone early if they hope to hang with the Trojans and avoid another embarrassing performance on national TV. The winner of this game will be sitting pretty with a top 5 ranking and an inside track to the National Championship, while the loser will need to run the table in their own conference and hope for some luck.


There you have it, our top 5 best non-conference games of the 2009 college football season. Disagree with some of our choices? Let us know where we went wrong in our comments section.

Be sure to check back soon for our next entry in a series of “Top 5’s”: our top 5 conference games of 2009.

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