Top College Football Games to Start 2015

Top matchups to watch on the opening weekend

Brad Curnow | Sports Writer | @jojocornrow

 

The semester has begun and we have started the grind of college. Truer words were never uttered than the Loverboy lyrics, “Everybody’s working for the weekend,” and with the weekend we are graced with college football. The season kicks off Thursday night with the Michigan Wolverines coming to Salt Lake City to play the Utah Utes. The weekend wraps up on Monday night with the top ranked Ohio State Buckeyes beginning their title defense against the Virginia Tech Hokies. We are spoiled with a full lineup of quality games to open the football season, so let’s look at some of them.

 

Michigan Wolverines at Utah Utes

In the first contest of the season between Power 5 conference opponents, Michigan, out of the Big Ten, travels to Pac-12 country to take on Utah. It marks the first game back in the college ranks for Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh since leaving Stanford to go to the NFL four years ago. He looks to right the ship in Ann Arbor after a 5-7 finish in 2014.

The Utah offense runs through All-Pac-12 running back Devontae Booker who has shown he can carry the Utes on his back and they will rely heavily on their defense known as ‘Sack Lake City.’

 

Washington Huskies at Boise State Broncos

Washington head coach Chris Petersen is returning to Boise State for the first time since his departure after the 2013 season. The Huskies struggled in Petersen’s first season finishing 4-5 in Pac-12 play.

The Broncos didn’t miss a beat in 2014 without Petersen, finishing with a 12-2 record including a Fiesta Bowl win over Pac-12 opponent Arizona. Boise State has emerged as the strongest of the non-Power 5 schools and may upset any power program that dares to schedule them to start the season.

 

BYU Cougars at Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Cougars look forward to star quarterback Taysom Hill returning from a fractured leg suffered last season against the Utah State Aggies. BYU’s defense hopes to improve from 2014 after allowing 30-plus points in seven of 13 games.

The Cornhuskers come into the 2015 season with high expectations for new head coach Mike Riley after previous head coach Bo Pelini never notched fewer than nine wins in each of his seven seasons. The Nebraska running game will try to pick up where it left off after the loss of running back Ameer Abdullah to the NFL.

 

Wisconsin Badgers at Alabama Crimson Tide

In a battle of SEC versus Big Ten opponents, the Badgers and the Crimson Tide will play in their second ever meeting at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday. In the last competition Wisconsin came away with a 15-0 victory in 1928. New Head Coach Paul Chryst will step in to lead the Badgers to victory without last year’s star running back Melvin Gordon.

SEC power Alabama comes into this matchup motivated after ending the last two seasons with bad losses. The Crimson Tide needs a win against the Badgers to start their season on a positive note.

 

Texas Longhorns at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Traditional college powerhouses Texas and Notre Dame will face off Saturday evening with the Longhorns looking to bounce back from a disappointing 6-7 season. Head Coach Charlie Strong is attempting to bring back the winning tradition in Austin, but has a tough road in his second season with a start against the Irish.

Notre Dame comes into the new season with a new starting quarterback after Everett Golson transferred to Florida State. The Irish look to start strong and capitalize on a top-15 preseason ranking.

 

Arizona State Sun Devils at Texas A&M Aggies

In another matchup of Power 5 conference opponents, this time between the Pac-12 and SEC, the Sun Devils and Aggies will be meeting at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas Saturday night. After falling from first to third in the competitive PAC-12 South in 2014, the Sun Devils hope to take back the competitive division.

Since their first season in the SEC in 2012, the Aggies have fallen down the standings each year in the SEC West. Texas A&M has talented, young quarterbacks, but their inexperience may show against the Arizona State defense.

 

Ohio State Buckeyes at Virginia Tech Hokies

The opening weekend of football is headlined by the top-ranked team in the AP preseason polls Ohio State traveling to Blacksberg, VA for a night game against the Virginia Tech Hokies. The Buckeyes will be out to avenge their single blemish from 2014 that was handed to them by the Hokies.

Virginia Tech will try to capitalize on the advantage of Lane Stadium at night to knock off Ohio State for a second year in a row.

The opening weekend is always exciting and these games will not disappoint.

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