So...who's ready for some football? Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the Tide's campaign to defend their SEC crown in baseball, but we all know football is THE sport at the Capstone and I'm ready to start talking about the 2007 college football season. I've decided to (briefly) run down the 25 best looking non-conference games of the upcoming season. I've left out rivalries like Florida/Florida State and Georgia/Georgia Tech since they're annual events. Since Notre Dame isn't in a conference, I'm only choosing their non-standard games as well (no ND/USC or ND/Michigan.) I'm also working chronologically. The scheduled dates could change at some point to accommodate television, but I'm working off of this schedule, which is my favorite online TV schedule. Now that we have the introductions out of the way, onto game #1:
Thursday, August 30th
Utah at Oregon State
Oregon State leads the series with an 8-4 record against the Utes. The teams last met in 1992 in Salt Lake City when the Beavers routed Utah 42-9.
Considering Oregon State had been hovering at or just above 500 since 2001, I doubt even their biggest supporters saw them posting a 10 win season in '06, especially after a 2-3 start including suffering blowouts at the hands of Boise State and Cal. The Beavers got it together though and posted wins over USC, Hawai'i (both 10 win teams) and in-state rival Oregon. They capped off the 10 win season with a victory over Missouri in the Sun Bowl.
Utah had hoped to put the second notch in their "BCS buster belt" last season, but an out of conference schedule including Boise State and UCLA was likely to prevent that from happening. They also dropped three conference games including one to rival BYU and finished up with an 8-5 record after defeating Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl.
With 18 wins between them in '06, this Thursday night game easily makes the list.