I’m just going to say it. College football’s regular season is the greatest in all of sports. Every loss counts. And, because of that, the regular season just means more.
Even with college football electing to implement a four team playoff beginning in 2014, games played between the first weekend in September and last weekend in November will ultimately decide who gets to play for the grand prize—a National Championship.
With every team required to play games against teams in their respective conferences (except for FBS independents), it is often early non-conference games that can make or break a team’s chance at a National title.
Playing in these big games early in the season can be a double-edged sword. If your team wins, it makes a statement and adds a marquee win to the résumé, albeit very early in the season. If you lose, however, it sometimes can be too deep of a hole to climb out.
It’s better to lose early in the season as opposed to later, obviously, but winning that early non-conference matchup with the whole country watching gets you noticed.
In recent years, Big Ten teams have played other juggernaut schools in non-conference play, but not with much success. This year may be different, it may not be. But we’re going to take a look at my top ten non-conference matchups for Big Ten teams this season. Read More