Georgia at Clemson (Aug. 31) One of the best nonconference clashes of the entire college season takes place on opening weekend, as fifth-ranked Georgia visits eighth-ranked Clemson. Here’s all you need to know about this one: The over/under is 72. #Shootout!
Alabama at Texas A&M (Sept. 14) The two-time defending champs have been talking about this one since Johnny Football led A&M to a stunning 29-24 victory in Tuscaloosa last November. So has the media, which in the week leading up to kickoff will overhype this showdown to the point that you almost won’t want to watch it … almost.
49ers at Seahawks (Sept. 15) Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, two of the NFL’s most aggressive and opportunistic defenses—if the experts are to be believed, this could be an NFC Championship Game preview. Plus, there’s the always-entertaining Jim Harbaugh-Pete Carroll postgame handshake. (Note: The rematch is Dec. 8 in San Francisco.)
UNLV at UNR (Oct. 26) With UNR in transition following the retirement of coach Chris Ault and the Rebels appearing improved, could this be the year the Fremont Cannon returns to Maryland Parkway for the first time since 2004?
Oregon at Stanford (Nov. 7) The battle for West Coast—and potentially nationwide—supremacy takes place on the first Thursday of November in Palo Alto, California, where No. 4 Stanford hosts No. 3 Oregon. The stakes? The winner likely remains in contention for the BCS title game; the loser likely heads for the Holiday Bowl.
Broncos at Patriots (Nov. 24) Kick off Thanksgiving week with the latest chapter in the Manning vs. Brady saga, now in its second decade. Resist the temptation to take a sip of beer every time NBC’s cameras show the “Manning Face” or the “Belichick Scowl.” (You won’t make it to halftime.)
Steelers at Packers (Dec. 22) Ben Roethlisberger gets another crack at Aaron Rodgers in a rematch of Super Bowl XLV, this time on the (likely) frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, with (likely) playoff implications—and just 72 hours before Santa visits. Happy holidays, indeed!