The start of college football season will be here before you know it. Once the Olympics wrap up in mid-August, it will be just a few weeks before its time to play some football. Although there are a number of quality non-conference matchups this season, the top X are listed below for you to look forward to for scheduling your game watching. Some of the games are part of home and home series, while there are others that are created as one-time matchups that are part of a growing trend in college football towards hosting large, kickoff games at neutral sites early in the season. Typically the first three to four weeks of the college football schedule will focus on these types of games before teams proceed to conference play. As a result, you will see some disparity in the early college football lines that results in some upset calls that later in the season would not likely be made for those sleeper teams out there.
Top 5 College Football Non-Conference Games
1. Ole Miss vs. Florida State (Citrus Bowl), Sept. 5
One of the newest kickoff games for the 2016-17 college football season features Ole Miss taking on Florida State on September 5th, 2016 in Orlando. Although the Rebels have lost some key players from last season, they still have quarterback Chad Kelly and their high powered offense that can score. The Seminoles feature a new quarterback this year in Deondre Francois (leading candidate) and Dalvin Cook at running back. The Seminoles are early favorites to win the game, but should be a fun week 1 matchup to watch.
2. Ohio State at Oklahoma, Sept. 17
The Ohio State at Oklahoma game is really tied for the best non-conference college football game of the upcoming 2016 college football season. Despite the number of players leaving Ohio State for the NFL, the team is still loaded and will feature J.T. Barrett at quarterback this season. The Sooners are another national championship favorite this season, so it poses to be an awesome early season game that will shape the college football rankings for much of the regular season.
3. Georgia vs. North Carolina (Georgia Dome), Sept. 3
The week 1 matchup between Georgia and North Carolina is one of the top-ranked non-conference games of the season. The fact that it comes in the first week of the season is even better. This will be the first game under Kirby Smart at UGA, and UNC will be out to prove that its 11-1 regular season record last year was no fluke!
4. Notre Dame at Texas, Sept. 4
So the biggest question that football fans are asking with regards to the 2016 college football season is if Texas will be any good this season? Last year, Notre Dame beat up on Texas pretty good, and they are favored to win again this year. A lot is expected from head coach Charlie Strong this season at Texas; however, so this poses to be a great game to watch.
5. Alabama vs. USC (AT&T Stadium), Sept. 3
Alabama vs USC is always one of the best non-conference games of the college football season. This year, the matchup will be held at AT&T Stadium. Again, it will feature additional intrigue with Lane Kiffin behind the Alabama offense again with Bo Scarborough being named as the new quarterback at Alabama.