Posted: 10:47 am Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

LSU vs. Wisconsin among top non-conference games this fall 

By Andy Johnston

LSU will need to slow Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon when the teams meet in their openers later this month. (AP photo)

LSU will need to slow Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon when the teams meet in their openers later this month. (AP photo)

I love some of the intersectional matchups this year.

These kinds of games — with all the conference pride on the line — tend to rile folks up somewhat.

Here’s a look at what I think are the top non-conference games this season.

Michigan State at Oregon, Sept. 6

Michigan State was one of the best defensive teams in the nation in 2013. Coordinator Pat Narduzzi quickly will know if this year’s group will be able to match the 2013 unit when they face Mariota and Oregon’s speedy offense.

LSU vs. Wisconsin, Aug. 30 (at Houston)

SEC pride will be tested when LSU, which lost 11 underclassmen to the NFL Draft and also must replace Zach Mettenberger. But the Tigers don’t lose to non-SEC teams. They’ve won 45 consecutive non-conference games, 35 straight under Les Miles.

Clemson at Georgia, Aug. 30

Another SEC pride game. New quarterbacks – Hutson Mason at Georgia and Cole Stoudt at Clemson – will be on display, but both have experience. It’ll be the first look at Georgia’s defense under new coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

Notre Dame at Florida State, Oct. 18

We’ll know a lot more about these teams before they meet. No matter. Games like this great for college football and bring back memories of past intersectional matchups. The return of quarterback Everett Golston will add speed to Notre Dame’s offense.

Auburn at Kansas State, Sept. 18 (Thursday)

Auburn fans shouldn’t overlook this one. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder has seen a lot and will have the Wildcats prepared, but Auburn’s speed and offensive execution could be too much to overcome.

Five others

South Carolina at Clemson, Nov. 29

UCLA vs. Texas (at Arlington), Sept. 13

Boise State at Ole Miss (Georgia Dome), Aug. 28

Florida State vs. Oklahoma State (Arlington), Aug. 30

Miami at Nebraska, Sept. 20

6 comments
PrestorJohn
PrestorJohn

I look for a competitive game. It is so early in the season, and there will be a lot of unseasoned meat on the field. I believe the speed of LSU will prevail, but both teams will be at full strength. I can't wait, and I am pulling for the Tigers.

LostGoat
LostGoat

lsu will beat wisconsin easily---the tigers are loaded with nfl quality speed and size at all positions---this game will be a mismatch.  lsu by 17+!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

We all know the B1G can't compete with the SEC. Right OH-IO? Maybe Les will eat some grass.

GTBob
GTBob

Nothing says excitement like LSU vs Wisconsin. You may need a red bull for that game. UGA/Clemson should be another fun one. Michigan State vs Oregon is probably the best one on the list, followed by FSU/Ok St.