There is still more than five months between now and the 2015 college football season, but it's never too soon to stir up some excitement and take a look forward to some of the bigger matchups on the schedule for the coming season. With more emphasis on strength of schedule and non-conference opponents in recent years, the power conferences have made a shift towards scheduling more quality opponents outside of conference play. That makes for some exciting early season matchups - ones that will surely have an impact for the fate of many CFP contenders. Here are the 5 best non-conference games of the 2015 season.
Alabama vs. Wisconsin (September 5th at AT&T Stadium)
Alabama hasn't shied away from strong early season opponents in recent years, facing the likes of Michigan, Virginia Tech and West Virginia the past three seasons. This time around the Wisconsin Badgers are on the slate for a neutral site game at AT&T Stadium. This will mark new Badgers coach Paul Chryst's first game at the helm. Wisconsin will likely be the underdog in this game, but will no doubt be sporting a top 25 ranking heading into this SEC-Big Ten showdown.
Oregon at Michigan State (September 12th)
Oregon and Michigan State played the best non-conference game of 2014, with the Ducks knocking off the Spartans 46-27 in Eugene. The two teams will clash again early in 2015, with the Ducks heading to East Lancing for what once again looks like a showdown of top 10 programs. This matchup could once again go down as the best non-conference game of the year with two high-flying offenses clashing in week 2.
Arizona State vs. Texas A&M (September 5th in Houston)
With the power conferences attempting to strengthen their non-conference schedules to help their CFP chances, the Pac-12 and SEC will clash to kick off the 2015 season with Arizona State and Texas A&M meeting in Houston. Even with A&M sputtering down the stretch last season, both the Aggies and Sun Devils should rank in the top 25 to start the year. This profiles as another high scoring affair with two of the nations more pass-happy offenses.
Ohio State at Virginia Tech (September 7th)
Ohio State's title defense begins against the same team that almost destroyed the Buckeyes eventual 2014 championship run before it even started. Virginia Tech's upset of the Buckeyes on September 6th, 2014 is the last time OSU lost a football game. This time Ohio State heads to Virginia Tech to complete this home-and-home series. The Hokies will look for another upset of the Buckeyes, almost one year to the day of their last one.
USC at Notre Dame (October 17th)
One of the best non-conference rivalries in college football, USC and Notre Dame will meet once again for a mid-season showdown in South Bend. The Trojans trounced the Irish last season with a 49-14 win in LA. Both teams should be in the thick of the CFP race by the time this game arrives, and fans will once again be in for another classic.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed