Now that we are pretty much through with the non-conference portion of the college football season, we have witnessed many games between teams from different conferences, some great, most not-so-great. Especially annoying are the "cupcake" games in which very little thought seems to have gone into creating a compelling matchup. These games are especially bothersome when one realizes the cool meetings that could be taking place. Often, these missed opportunities include teams that are in very close proximity to each other of have a history of memorable games before the series was discontinued. Here are some games that I think should be played every year. Please tell me if you have some more of your own. For that matter if I am totally off-base or ill-informed, tell me about that, too.
My list starts after the jump:
1) Nebraska-Oklahoma These programs hated each other during the Big 8 era. Now fans of both teams blame the Big XII for watering down their historic rivalry. With Nebraska off to the Big 10, this is a golden opportunity to create one of the big spotlight non-conference matchups each year. At the present time, both ADs seem to be changing the topic when this series comes up.
2) Penn State-Pittsburgh This one probably will not be renewed until after Joepa leaves. Shame, because even with PSU's dominance of the series the games were very intense on the field and in the stands. This was a marquee rivalry in the 70s and 80s. From what I understand, fans of the two programs still snipe at each other over this series' demise.
3) Clemson-Georgia Two schools that are very close geographically that are both self-anointed power programs who trade on reminding people of their championship in the early 80's. Would bolster Clemson's SEC wannabe cred.
4) Virginia Tech-West Virginia This game was especially fierce in the Big East days. I have never seen a stadium as Jacked up as Lane stadium was for a Thursday night edition of this rivalry. This game even has a trophy, for crying out loud. What's the deal (other than the fear factor, that is)?
5) Penn State-West Virginia Apologies to both programs, but I'm mandating two of your non-con games. In addition to PSU-PITT, this was also a classic of the pre-Big East eastern independents circuit that played each other pretty much every year. Given PSU's lame scheduling of the last few years, I'm sure their ticket holders would appreciate the increased interest these games would generate.
6) Boston College-UCONN The only two FBS programs in New England. Why not settle who owns the region?
7) Georgia Tech-Auburn This one has a storied history from when GT was in the SEC. At least that's what the Atlanta Journal Constitution has told me. Repeatedly. Also, these schools are about a two hour drive apart.
8) Florida-Miami If you're not going to schedule good teams from out-of-state, might as well keep the in-state series alive. Previous sentence does not apply to Miami. Duh.
9) Washington State-Idaho These two schools are closer than UNC and Duke, 8 miles, from what I read. Not like WSU gets to be stuck up because they are an AQ program at this point.
10) Louisiana Tech-Louisiana-Monroe Less than half an hour separates these two. I learned this when driving through northern LA on I-20. I was surprised to find out that Grambling is even closer to LA Tech than that. So why do these two not play?
Rutgers-Temple Just for bad old times sake.
Minnesota-Iowa State These states hate each other so much, why limit the opportunity to vent to just one game?