15 Must-Watch College Football Games in 2013
Sometimes, the hardest part of a full Saturday of college football is figuring out which game you should be watching at any given time. With so many fantastic matchups on the schedule for the 2013 college football season, how do you know which game is the one for you?
SidelineMOB is taking a look at the entire slate of FBS games for the 2013 NCAA football season, and breaking down the very best contests for all 15 weeks of the season. From the last week in August to the middle of December, we’ve compiled a viewing guide of the 15 games you should be watching, as well as some honorable mentions and backup plans.
From the SEC to the Pac-12, ACC to Big Ten, and even some tremendous MAC, MWC and Conference USA rivalries, we’ve got you covered for each and every college gameday.
Here’s your official guide to the best game(s) each week of the 2013 NCAA football season.
The best game each week of the 2013 college football season (and honorable mentions)
Week 1: Georgia at Clemson, August 31.
What a way to kick off the 2013 college football season. Two top-10 teams, each with BCS aspirations, strong quarterbacks and sky-high expectations. Georgia faces a dangerous test against a Clemson team that knocked off LSU to end the 2012 season. Honorable Mentions: LSU at TCU (8/31), UNC @ South Carolina (8/29)
Week 2: Notre Dame @ Michigan, Sept. 7.
This game may not have the luster it did last year, as Denard Robinson and Everett Golson are both gone. Still, this is a classic rivalry that will soon be going the way of the dinosaur (for now), so drink in the pageantry and suspense while you can. If ND/Michigan isn’t your bag, check out Florida @ Miami for another great rivalry game. Honorable Mentions: Florida at Miami (9/7), South Carolina @ Georgia (9/7)
Week 3: Alabama @ Texas A&M, Sept. 14.
Does this one even need a preview? The Crimson Tide and Aggies will dwarf every other game in Week 3, and perhaps every other FBS matchup in the month of September. Can Johnny Football curb the antics long enough to upset #1 Alabama again, or will it be Roll Tide at Kyle Field? Honorable Mentions: UCLA @ Nebraska (9/14), Wisconsin @ Arizona State (9/14)
Week 4: Boise State @ Fresno State, Sept. 20.
We could have easily given this spot to Michigan State @ Notre Dame, but this is a good opportunity to check out the premier matchup of the Mountain West season. Boise State and Fresno State are predicted to win their respective divisions, and this may be a preview of the MWC Championship Game. Honorable Mentions: Kansas State @ Texas (9/21), Michigan State @ Notre Dame (9/21)
Week 5: Wisconsin @ Ohio State, Sept. 28.
If the Ohio State Buckeyes are to reach the BCS National Championship Game, this is their first true test. Wisconsin will not be intimidated by the large stage at the Horseshoe, and this one promises to be a hard-hitting affair that may not be decided until late in the 4th quarter. Honorable Mentions: LSU @ Georgia (9/28), Oklahoma @ Notre Dame (9/28)
Week 6: Ohio State @ Northwestern, October 5.
Back-to-back must-watch games for the Buckeyes, as they travel to a suddenly dangerous Northwestern squad. Outside the Big Ten championship game, this will be the sternest test that Urban Meyer’s troops will face all year. Other notable games this week include a great MAC showdown and a classic military school rivalry. Honorable Mentions: Northern Illinois @ Kent State (10/5), Air Force @ Navy (10/5)
Week 7: Florida @ LSU, October 12.
Don’t jump down our throats, fans of the Red River Rivalry. Your game is storied and wonderful – it’s just that Florida/LSU promises to be a little better this year. Florida will likely need this win to keep pace with Georgia and South Carolina in the SEC East, while LSU cannot afford a loss with Alabama and Texas A&M in the SEC West. Honorable Mentions: Oklahoma @ Texas (10/12), Michigan @ Penn State (10/12)
Week 8: Florida State @ Clemson, October 19.
The winner likely wins the ACC. It’s that simple. The Seminoles and Tigers will clash at Memorial Stadium with virtually everything on the line – the conference, a BCS berth, and bragging rights. This one’s a must-watch. Honorable Mentions: USC @ Notre Dame (10/19), UCLA @ Stanford (10/19)
Week 9: UCLA @ Oregon, October 26.
The Bruins and the Ducks meet in a clash of two teams that may be headed in different directions. Oregon is the highly-ranked team facing questions marks – a new head coach, potential sanctions, etc. Meanwhile, UCLA is experiencing success and stability not seen for quite some time around the program. Can UCLA take the next step and beat the Ducks? Honorable Mentions: Stanford @ Oregon State (10/26), Texas @ TCU (10/26)
Week 10: Georgia @ Florida, Nov. 2.
Week 10 is the best overall week of the regular season for college football in 2013. It’s so good, matchups like Michigan/Michigan State, Miami/Florida State and Northwestern/Nebraska can only attain honorable mention status. Center stage belongs to Georgia and Florida, in a battle for SEC East supremacy. Honorable Mentions: USC @ Oregon State (11/1), Miami @ Florida State (11/2), Michigan @ Michigan State (11/2), Northwestern @ Nebraska (11/2)
Week 11: Oregon @ Stanford, Nov. 7.
The best two teams in the Pac-12 rumble, as preseason #3 takes on preseason #4. Both teams may well enter this late-season contest undefeated, meaning that the loser’s BCS dreams may be crushed. Honorable Mentions: Nebraska @ Michigan (11/9), LSU @ Alabama (11/9)
Week 12: Michigan @ Northwestern AND Michigan State @ Nebraska, Nov. 16.
Week 12 will likely sort out the Legends Division of the Big Ten, as these four division rivals will square off in pivotal matchups. The Legends Division is clearly superior to the Leaders Division in 2013, but only one of these four talented programs will take on Ohio State (probably) in the Big Ten Championship. Honorable Mentions: Stanford @ USC (11/16), Oklahoma State @ Texas (11/16), Florida @ South Carolina (11/16)
Week 13: Texas A&M @ LSU, Nov. 23.
Texas A&M vs. LSU is the main attraction Week 13, but take a moment to check out our two honorable mention games, which will feature the top programs in “mid-major” conferences. Last year’s BCS darlings Northern Illinois take on an explosive Toledo squad in a MAC West showdown, while Tulsa and Louisiana Tech meet to likely decide the winner of the Conference-USA West. Honorable Mentions: Northern Illinois @ Toledo (11/20), Tulsa @ Louisiana Tech (11/23)
Week 14: Clemson @ South Carolina, Nov. 30.
The in-state rivalry between Clemson and South Carolina has never been this good. Both teams begin the season ranked inside the top 10, both have a player with Heisman buzz (Jadeveon Clowney and Tajh Boyd), and both have tangible BCS aspirations. Other fantastic games Week 14 include the Border War, FSU/Florida, and a little game called “Ohio State vs. Michigan”. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Honorable Mentions: UCLA @ USC (11/30), Oregon State @ Oregon (11/29), Florida State @ Florida (11/30), Ohio State @ Michigan (11/30)
Week 15: Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State, Dec. 7.
The in-state battle between the Sooners and the Cowboys will likely decide who stands atop the Big 12. Oklahoma State appears to have the inside track on the rest of the conference, talent-wise, but this rivalry game throws all that out the window. If OSU wants to beat the Sooners, they’ll have to do it on guts and grit. Speaking of guts and grit, Army and Navy meet 12/14 in their annual classic. Honorable Mentions: Army vs. Navy (12/14), Louisville @ Cincinnati (12/5)
- 2013 College Football Preview: The Case for Clemson (sidelinemob.com)
- Phil Steele’s 2013 College Football Preview Review (ryandoak1.wordpress.com)
- College Football’s Most Intriguing Games of 2013 vs. Ticket Price (razorgator.com)
- Top game in each week of the 2013 college football season (isportsweb.com)