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Andy JohnstonAndy Johnston

Iron Bowl at top of nation’s conference games this fall

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Chris Davis' shocking return added more lore to the nation's best college football rivalry. (AP photo)

Chris Davis’ shocking return added more lore to the nation’s best college football rivalry. (AP photo)

The start of the season is about two weeks away, so here’s a look at the nation’s top conference games this season.

Auburn at Alabama, Nov. 29

The Iron Bowl is must-see TV because this is the best rivalry in the country. Four of the past five national champs have come out of this game and Auburn just missed making it 5-for-5 last year. These rivals will have a tough time matching 2013’s game for drama.

Baylor at Oklahoma, Nov. 8

The Sooners were left red-faced after their dismal showing in a 41-12 loss at Baylor last year. Bears QB Bryce Petty threw five touchdown passes that night, but might find it tougher this season. Oklahoma is a top 5 team and the game is in Norman.

Stanford at Oregon, Nov. 1

Oregon is a combined 23-3 the past two years. Stanford is responsible for two of those losses. The Cardinal has used power running to negate Oregon’s speed, but Ducks QB Marcus Mariota will be out to change that.

Ohio State at Michigan State, Nov. 8

Michigan State ended the Buckeyes’ 24-game winning streak and national title hopes last year by controlling the fourth quarter to win the Big Ten championship game. They don’t have to win their divisions to meet again.

Georgia at South Carolina, Sept. 13

The Bulldogs and the Gamecocks are the favorites to win the SEC East, so the division title could be decided as early as the second week of September. The edge goes to South Carolina and its home-field advantage. Georgia has lost its past two games there.

Five others

Alabama at LSU, Nov. 8

Oklahoma vs. Texas (Cotton Bowl), Oct. 11

USC at UCLA, Nov. 22

South Carolina at Auburn, Oct. 25

Georgia at Missouri

Tomorrow: Top non-conference games this fall

 

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