Ohio State v Oklahoma

5 Biggest Games of the 2017 College Football Season

College Football is almost here! 


To celebrate kickoff, here are the five biggest games of 2017. 

5. Alabama vs. Florida State - September 2nd

Alabama

This matchup will be a legitimate early-season clash of titans. 


It's rare to see two preseason top-5 teams face off in the first week of the season, but we'll likely be lucky enough to see it on September 2nd in Atlanta. 


The Crimson Tide ranked No. 1 in the recent coaches poll, and will likely be in the same spot when the AP poll comes out. 


The Seminoles were ranked No. 3 in the coaches poll, and are the considered favorites to win the ACC. 


One thing to watch: Alabama's defense has struggled in the past with defending athletic quarterbacks who like to venture outside the pocket to make plays. How well sophomore Deondre Francois is able to do that will go a long way in deciding the winner of this game. 

4. Oklahoma at Ohio State - September 9th

Barrett

Lucky us, another non-conference matchup of college football behemoths. 


This game is a rematch of last year's matchup in Norman, which the Buckeyes completely dominated, as the game ended by a score of 45-24. 


Both of these teams will be ranked in the Top-10 when they face off, barring Ohio State losing a shocker to Indiana in Bloomington or Oklahoma allowing UTEP to pull off the upset of the century in Norman. 


One thing to watch: At just 33 years old, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley is the youngest head coach in the entire FBS. Will he be able to rally his players, and have them pull off an upset in Columbus in just his second game ever as a head coach?

3. Penn State at Ohio State- October 28th

Barkley

The Big Ten East looks like it could be hotly contested this year. 


The top three teams, Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan all have playoff aspirations heading into the season. 


Ohio State and Penn State are considered the two biggest favorites to take home the division crown because of Michigan's inexperienced roster. 


You can count on the fact that Urban Meyer will have his team ready for this year's matchup agains the Nittany Lions after Penn State pulled a remarkable upset a year ago. 


One thing to watch: J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State offense really struggled to move the ball against Penn State in 2016. The Buckeyes return eight starters on offense from last year, including 4 of their 5 starting offensive lineman. With a more experienced line, will the Buckeyes be able flip the script and win the battle in the trenches? 

2. Oklahoma at Oklahoma State- November 4th

Mayfield

The Bedlam matchup is always must-watch TV. 


However, the stakes for the rivalry game could be raised ever higher in 2017. 


Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are considered the two favorites to win the Big-12 heading into the season. Both teams sport dynamic offenses, powered by veteran quarterbacks. This game could be a back-and-forth, good old fashioned shootout. Much like game many of you will remember from 2014, when Baylor took down TCU by a final score of 61-58. 


One thing to watch: Both of these defenses struggled in 2016, as both ranked outside the Top-50 in the S&P+ rankings. Neither defense figures to improve that much heading into this season, but the Sooners do return more guys. Whichever defense is able to get more stops in this game will likely be the victor. 

1. Washington at Stanford- November 10th

Browning

The games in November are the games you remember. As corny as it sounds, the old axiom is true. Late season games are the most tense because there's the most on the line. 


Here's a late season game between two national contenders that are flying under the radar. 


The Washington Huskies made the Playoff last year, and are retaining many of their key pieces from that squad, including QB Jake Browning and RB Myles Gaskin. 


David Shaw has turned Stanford into a national power, winning 10+ in 6 of his 7 years as coach. The Cardinal also return 16 starters and should get much better QB play this year from Keller Chryst. 


Stanford will likely be out for blood in this game, as U-Dub took them to task last season 44-6. 


One thing to watch: The Huskies front-seven dominant the Cardinal's usually stout offensive line in last year's game, as Washington sacked Stanford QB Ryan Burns eight times. Stanford's offensive line will have to play much better if they want to take down Chris Peterson's and win the battle for the Pac-12 North.

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