College football kicks off officially in August, but I am already looking forward to the 2020 season!
I put together a list of 29 games I am looking forward to. Note – these 29 games are not necessarily the 29 best or even 29 most exciting or interesting. Just 29 games that mean something and that I think will be fun.
Not included in this list is Ohio State vs Michigan, Oklahoma vs Texas, or Alabama or Auburn and apologies to the MAC and Conference USA, who I included zero teams from.
Ohio State @ Oregon – Rematch of the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship Game, when Ohio State beat Oregon 42-20. Ohio State entered 2019 Playoffs ranked #2 and Oregon won the Rose Bowl. Both teams will have playoff aspirations in 2020.
Clemson @ Notre Dame – Rematch of 2018 Cotton Bowl, as part of CFB Playoffs, which Clemson won 31-3. Clemson beat Notre Dame 24-22 in the 2015 regular season and this is the return game from that. Clemson has won 29 regular season games in a row, last losing at Syracuse on 10/13/2017.
Georgia @ Alabama – First regular season meeting since 2015. This is a rematch of the 2018 SEC Championship Game and 2018 National Championship Game earlier, both won by Alabama. Fun early season test in week 3.
Wisconsin vs Notre Dame – This game will take place at the Packers’ Lambeau Field. Wisconsin went 10-4 and Notre Dame 11-2 in 2019. First meeting since 1964.
Texas @ LSU – Rematch of thrilling 2019 game in Austin that LSU won 45-38.
North Carolina vs Auburn (Atlanta, GA) – Bo Nix and Sam Howell both started as freshman in 2019 and look to take their next steps in their development. Howell threw 38 TD passes (4th in country) and just 7 INT for UNC, who might be a trendy pick to win 9-10 games and the ACC Coastal.
Tennessee @ Oklahoma – Tennessee finished 8-5 in 2019, after a 1-5 start. Oklahoma won their 3rd straight Big 12 Championship Game and made the playoffs for the third straight season.
Georgia vs Virginia (Atlanta, GA) – Battle between 2019 conference runner ups. SEC East vs ACC Coastal champs.
Notre Dame vs Navy (Ireland) – I am most excited for this game because it’s the next college football game to be played. And it’s in Dublin, Ireland, which should make for a really fun scene for a great rivalry.
Penn State @ Virginia Tech – These schools are not far from each other, so it’s crazy to think this is their first ever matchup.
Baylor vs Ole Miss (Houston, TX) – Debut games for Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss and Dave Aranda at Baylor.
Michigan @ Washington – New head coach for Washington as Jimmy Lake takes over for Chris Petersen. It’s very important that Jim Harbaugh and Michigan get off to a strong start in 2020.
Alabama vs USC (Arlington, TX) – These teams opened up the 2016 season in Arlington too, and Alabama won 52-6. Wouldn’t be a surprise if this one had a similar result.
West Virginia vs Florida State (Atlanta, GA) – Let’s call this the Bobby Bowden Bowl. Two teams that had disappointing seasons in 2019 have a chance to bounce back in 2020
Alabama @ LSU – LSU got off the schneid in 2019, beating Alabama and snapping an 8 game losing streak en route to a 15-0 National Championship season. New era in 2020 – no Joe Burrow or Tua Tagovailoa at QB.
Arizona State @ Oregon – Ducks missed the CFP in 2019, in large part because they lost in Tempe on a Saturday night ABC game. That game was their second loss of the season. With QB Jayden Daniels back and a slew of young talent, Arizona State, led by Herm Edwards, might be the favorites to win the PAC-12 South. This could be a mid-season preview of the 2020 PAC-12 Championship Game.
Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma – Forget Oklahoma/Texas, this is the Big 12 conference game I am most excited for. Despite not getting the same press as guys like Jonathan Taylor and JK Dobbins, OK State RB Chuba Hubbard led the country with 2,094 yards rushing and returns WR Tylan Wallace, who finished second in the country in receiving yards (1,491) in 2018.
Ohio State @ Penn State – Penn State was one of two teams to hold Ohio State under 30 points in 2019. This will very likely be a whiteout game and the winner should end up winning the Big Ten East
Minnesota @ Wisconsin– Wisconsin has won 15 out of 16 games against Wisconsin. Winner of this game will be the favorites to win the Big Ten West.
Florida vs Georgia (Jacksonville, FL) – Georgia has won 3 in a row, winning the SEC East all three years. Once again, the winner of this game likely sets themselves up to win the SEC East.
Cincinnati @ UCF – Bearcats beat UCF on a Friday night last year, that ultimately led to the end of UCF’s run to the NY6, as the Bearcats won the AAC East. College Gameday came to Orlando, last time these teams met at UCF.
Memphis @ Cincinnati – Cincinnati was 10-1, before losing two straight games at Memphis, setting up the Tigers to appear in the Cotton Bowl. As UCF learned last year, playing at Nippert Stadium is not easy and i one of the toughest environments in all of college football.
Appalachian State @ Wisconsin – App State went 2-0 against P5 schools in 2019 (UNC, South Carolina). They play Wake Forest and Wisconsin in 2020. If they go 2-0 again, they will definitely be in the NY6 mix.
North Dakota St @ Oregon – 8x FCS Champions (and winners of 3 straight) vs 2020 Rose Bowl Champs. NDSU has won 6 in a row against FBS competition, including beating 13th ranked Iowa in 2016.
Florida State @ Boise State – It’s not often Boise State gets a P5 school on their turf, and even less often it’s a highly touted program with history like Florida State. Major opportunity for Boise to make a statement, especially after last year’s epic comeback in Tallahassee.
UNC @ UCF – Mentioned UNC QB Sam Howell above. This is big opportunity for both teams to get a top 25 win. UCF will be in the mix for NY6 bowl once again and need wins over P5 teams to validate their success.
Ole Miss vs Mississippi State – Lane Kiffin vs Mike Leach. Egg Bowl. Rematch of the “fake piss incident”. This will be must-see TV. Get multiple bags of popcorn ready to view this.
Oklahoma @ Army – Army lost to Oklahoma by a field goal in overtime in 2018. Having a blue blood type school came to West Point is a major moment for this program.
TCU @ California – 2018 Cheez It Bowl rematch, one of the greatest bowl games of all-time. TCU won 10-7 as both teams combined for 9 total interceptions and just 554 yards.