Top 20 Power 5 College Football Nonconference Games in 2021
Need another reason to watch college football? Of course you do! We dove into the Group of 5's best nonconference games, and now it's time to look at the Power 5. Outside of Clemson-Georgia and Miami-Alabama, not many know the other exciting options available this coming fall, so let's take a look at the Top 20 that will keep you glued to your screeens.
1. Clemson vs. Georgia (Charlotte)--September 4th
These games were some of the best when they used to be played, and now the two teams will square off once again. DJ Uiagalelei against JT Daniels. Five stars against five stars. Dabo vs. Kirby. This one has everything we need to get the season started off on the right foot, and it will hopefully set the tone for a great 2021 season.
2. Ohio State vs. Oregon--September 11th
We didn’t get this game last year, so we try again this season. Ohio State’s looking for a new quarterback, but so is Oregon. Justin Fields went to the NFL. Tyler Shough transferred to Texas Tech. Luckily for both teams, their coaches continue bringing in talent to reload every year, and there’s still plenty to go around in this one.
3. Miami vs. Alabama (Arlington)--September 4th
A healthy D’Eriq King makes this game more interesting. If he’s not 100% or doesn’t play, this could get ugly. Alabama’s without it’s top passer, rusher, receiver, and lineman, but that hasn’t affected them in the past. King’s health plays a huge role in the upset bid, and what an upset it would be if the Canes found a way to win.
4. North Dame vs. USC--October 14th
A classic. Notre Dame’s looking to retool its offense with the loss of key linemen and quarterback Ian Book. USC and quarterback Kedon Slovis are out to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke, and maybe even win a Pac-12 championship. A win in South Bend would help take the pressure off of Clay Helton’s back for sure.
5. Iowa State vs. Iowa--September 11th
Both teams return as Top 25 teams, making this game even more important. The Cy-Hawk game typically brings a ton of entertainment, and the implications for this one raise the stakes. Iowa State’s hoping this year starts better than last year, and Brock Purdy’s draft stock could take off after this one.
6. Notre Dame vs. North Carolina--October 30th
Notre Dame stifled North Carolina’s explosive offense last year, but it will be tough to do it two years in a row. At this point in the season, Notre Dame will know its identity (at least they should), so we’ll have a better idea of how this game will go. Tar Heels QB Sam Howell against Irish safety Kyle Hamilton provides a matchup within the game to see
7. Oklahoma vs. Nebraska--September 18th
Unlike back in the day, this game doesn’t carry the same weight it once did. Nebraska’s scrambling for answers under Scott Frost, and Lincoln Riley has Oklahoma running at a high level. The Sooners enter 2021 with playoff aspirations, and this game could get ugly in a hurry if the Huskers don’t have an answer for Spencer Rattler.
8. Penn State vs. Auburn--September 18th
A random game, but one that could be exciting. Penn State’s looking to erase the memory that was the 2020 season, and Auburn enters the 2021 season under a new head coach in Bryan Harsin. Both Penn State’s Sean Clifford and Auburn’s Bo Nix have plenty to prove this year to get the critics off their backs, and they could do that here.
9. Wisconsin vs. Notre Dame (Chicago)--September 25th
A neutral game in Chicago featuring the Badgers and Irish is one worth watching. We could get a matchup of two former teammates in Notre Dame’s Jack Coan (who transferred from Wisconsin this offseason) and the Badgers’ Graham Mertz. We’ve seen what both are capable of, but which one will be able to have more of an impact?
10. Texas at Arkansas--September 11th
A former Southwest Conference rivalry is back on the slate in 2021. Ok, so it’s not really a rivalry, but it’s back on tap this year. Both teams need new quarterbacks, and Texas finds itself under another new regime with Steve Sarkisian running the show. Arkansas surprised us a little last year, and is looking for an early upset.
11. Michigan vs. Washington--September 11th
Jim Harbaugh somehow got an extension this offseason, and he’ll have an early test to prove he deserves it. Jimmy Lake and the Huskies aren’t worried about that, and they’re ready to pull off an upset in the Big House. Can Michigan move the ball against Washington’s secondary? It’s a question that plays a big role here.
12. Kansas State vs. Stanford (Arlington)--September 4th
Two highly underrated programs go head to head in Arlington, which we’re 100% backing. David Shaw proved that he can right the ship, and the Cardinal hope they can contend in the Pac-12 this year. Kansas State struggled against some inferior competition last year, but Deuce Vaughn emerged a college football star.
13. Miami vs. Michigan State--September 18th
Michigan State’s struggles make this game less appealing, but this game has upset potential. It all depends on how Miami fares against Alabama in Week 1. They could be flying high heading into this one, meaning we’ll see the Canes strength or see them struggle to put away the Spartans
14. Ole Miss vs. Louisville (Atlanta)--September 6th
Matt Corral and Malik Cunningham square off in one of the most underrated matchups in college football. Both offenses have explosive potential, and the defense are set to face a ton of stress. What step does Lane Kiffin take in Year 2? Can he compete in the SEC West? There’s talent to do it, and we’ll know a lot after this one’s over.
15. Colorado vs. Texas A&M--September 11th
A random matchup for 2021 standards sends the Aggies to Boulder, Colorado to face the Buffs. Colorado shocked many last year in the six games they played, but can they do it on a bigger scale? Texas A&M might need a new quarterback, but they’re still loaded at nearly every other position.
16. Boston College vs. Missouri--September 25th
It’s the year of random matchups, and this is just another one. Missouri travels northeast to face the Eagles, one of the most underrated teams in college football. Two second year coaches in Jeff Hafley and Eli Drinkwitz will get a chance to display the progress they’ve made (or haven’t) in their second seasons.
17. Florida vs. Florida State--November 27th
A rivalry that hasn’t exactly been intense lately. Mike Norvell’s trying to revive the Seminoles program, and it might be a little while before that actually happens. Dan Mullen enters the Emory Jones era of running his offense, and a bunch of new faces will run the show on both sides of the ball.
18. West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech--September 18th
Jarrett Doege is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in college football, and he gets a chance to make a statement early this year. He’ll face a Hokies team that’s struggling under Justin Fuente and also suddenly needs a quarterback themselves. The Mountaineers could send Fuente packing if this goes too far in their favor.
19. UCLA vs. LSU--September 4th
This is a big year for both of these teams. LSU struggled mightily a year after winning it all, and Ed Orgeron’s hoping 2021 brings better luck. UCLA looks set to breakout under Chip Kelly, and there’s plenty of talent on the roster to make that happen. We saw the Tigers get upset in Week 1 last year, but can the Bruins make it two in a row?
20. Colorado vs. Minnesota--September 18th
Minnesota travels to Colorado, which isn’t exactly the most appealing matchup to many. But that’s what makes it so interesting. PJ Fleck and Karl Dorrell both experienced doubt when they reached their respective schools, and both found ways to win. Running backs Mohamed Ibrahim (MN) and Jarek Broussard (CO) don’t get enough love.