The Best Non-Conference games are sometimes missed when looking ahead at the schedule. Some teams shy away from these and others embrace them. Here are the best NC games for the 2021 College Football season to watch that could have playoff implications.
Best Non-Conference Games to Watch in September
- Clemson vs. Georgia – September 4
This is a neutral site game and will be played in Charlotte, North Carolina. The winner of this game is likely to be named #1 in the polls two days later.
- Louisiana vs. Texas – September 4
The opening of the Steve Sarkisian era for the Longhorns. The Ragin’ Cajuns are looking to take him down.
- Alabama vs. Miami -September 4
This is also on a neutral site and will be played in Atlanta. These two teams haven’t played each other since 1993 when Alabama beat them in the national championship game.
- Iowa at Iowa State – September 11
Always a great rivalry game. This contest featured a decent Big Ten team against a good Big-12 squad.
- Oregon at Ohio State – September 11
This game is important because it is one of a few chances the Pac-12 gets to keep chances alive for a national championship berth.
- Nebraska at Oklahoma – September 18
The 50th anniversary of the Game of the Century. This rivalry is great. If Nebraska loses, watch the media turn on coach Scott Frost.
- Auburn at Penn State – September 18
The Auburn Tigers haven’t faced a Big Ten team in the regular season since 1931. This has some playoff considerations.
- Oklahoma State at Boise State – September 18
The Cowboys wander outside the Power 5 and that is good if they win.
- Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin – September 25
Neutral site game being played at Soldier Field in Chicago. This will generate a lot of nostalgic fans. Midwest bonanza.
Best Non-Conference Games to Watch in October
- Cincinnati at Notre Dame – October 2
If the Bearcats want that Final Four resume, they must beat the Irish on the road and this would knock a pig out of contention. If Cincinnati wins, look for the talk of moving the playoff to eight or sixteen to start up again.
- USC at Notre Dame – October 23/North Carolina at Notre Dame – October 30
Talented teams go back-to-back trying to build up their resume by going to South Bend and going for the upset.
For your information – 2021 College Football Season
The NCAA has tweaked the overtime rule, in an attempt to control player safety. It goes like this:
Teams must run a two-point play beginning with the second overtime. This was previously done with the third overtime. Not so fast, there is more. If a game does reach the third overtime, it’s alternating two-point plays. Hmmm, I don’t understand the why of this.
Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State have filled 16 of 28 College Football Playoff spots to date and have won six of the seven championships. If this surprises you, then watch the NFL draft and most of the early picks come from these three schools. This season the party crasher appears to be Cincinnati. The Bearcats would be a great follow this season.
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