It is the dog days of the college football summer, folks. But trust me, the season is around the corner and will be here before we know it. With that being the case, let’s take a look at intriguing non-conference matchups for the non-Penn State Big Ten programs.
Ohio State vs Cincinnati (9/7 — 12 p.m.)
My understanding is that Ohio State/Cincinnati is much like Penn State/Temple, where it’s less of a football rivalry and more of a dislike between the students who go to each school. Either way, Cincinnati should be pretty good this year, and the storyline of Luke Fickell knocking off his alma mater is something I’m totally here for — and I say that as a Journalist, not as someone who takes great joy in Ohio State’s defeat. I am simply rooting for the storyline.
Michigan vs Notre Dame (10/26 — TBD)
Michigan/Notre Dame is in this weird spot where I think it’s an underrated college football rivalry, but it’s also overrated. I know that doesn’t make sense, but it comes off as very classic college football, yet, it actually isn’t since it wasn’t consistently played until the 80s. And, at least for me who grew up during the 2000s of college football, it really had no impact on the national scale. Still, it’ll be a big game, and I’m not entirely sure who I root for. Probably Michigan because it will be the week after Penn State beats the Wolverines, so you know, quality win for the strength of schedule.
Michigan State vs Arizona State (9/14 — 4 p.m.)
Honestly, I’m just super intrigued by Herm Edwards. It weirdly seems like Edwards isn’t this terrible hire, and that things are going well for the Sun Devils, but I don’t totally believe it yet.
Indiana vs UConn (9/21 — TBD)
Indiana had no interesting games. Ball State at Lucas Oil was the other one in contention, so yeah, definitely not watching any Indiana non-con football.
Maryland vs Syracuse (9/7 — 12 p.m.)
I am always a sucker for Maryland in the preseason so there is a 100% chance that I bet the Terrapins +whatever in this game only for them to get blown out by halftime. Looking forward to it.
Wisconsin at USF (8/30 — 7 p.m.)
The Badgers will open the season in Tampa which seems to have little upside and all the downside, but hey, I’m not a Wisconsin fan. USF isn’t the toughest opponent in the world, but QB Blake Barnett was a five-star so I’m legally required to say that he’s dangerous to play against.
Northwestern at Stanford (8/31 — 4 p.m.)
The great thing about this game is that win or lose, the STUDENT-athletes are getting an invaluable degree. If you ask me, there will be no losers in this game — just winners.
Nebraska at Colorado (9/7 — 3:30 p.m.)
Nebraska/Colorado is one of my earliest college football memories so it will always have a soft spot for me. Colorado is also probably my favorite Pac 12 team, and since I think the Scott Frost hype this offseason has been a little overboard: go Buffs.
Minnesota at Fresno State (9/7 — 10:30 p.m.)
I have no idea what the record is for teams that go play Fresno State at Fresno, but it just seems like a bad idea. The Bulldogs do have to replace a ton, but Jeff Tedford is obviously a good coach — should make for a fun late night game.
Purdue vs TCU (9/14 — 7:30 p.m.)
This is a weird game because you could tell me one of these teams goes 3-9 and the other goes 9-3 this year, and I would have no idea which team has which record.
Iowa at Iowa State (9/14 — 4 p.m.)
Illinois vs Akron (8/31 — 12 p.m.)
I will make a promise to you: I will not watch a second of Illinois football in 2019.