10 Upcoming College Football Home-and-Home Series We Can't Wait to Watch
In the end, all any fan really wants is something fun to watch.
Georgia and Notre Dame put pen to paper on Wednesday, officially scheduling a home-and-home series in 2017 and '19. (Barrett Sallee has more on why this is great for college football and its fans.)
The immediate reaction was excitement—not just at the thought of the Bulldogs and Irish playing, but doing so on campus. That's something fans would love to see more of in the future.
That got us thinking: Which upcoming home-and-home games should be the most anticipated? Our answers are in the following slides.
Miami and Nebraska
When: Sept. 20, 2014, Sept. 19, 2015
There's nothing like revisiting a little history.
Miami and Nebraska have played 10 times, with the all-time series tied at five. Among the more well-known meetings include the infamous 1984 Orange Bowl in which Huskers coach Tom Osborne opted to go for two—and failed.
Another, the 1995 Orange Bowl, saw Osborne and the Huskers get their revenge by beating the Hurricanes 24-17.
The stakes won't be quite as high this time around, but it stands as an intriguing nonconference matchup.
Texas and USC
When: Sept. 16, 2017, Sept. 15, 2018
Texas has done a nice job filling up its future nonconference schedule (except for, ahem, Texas A&M). Notre Dame, UCLA, Cal, Ohio State and Arkansas are all on the slate.
But there's one series that holds a special place in the hearts of college football fans: Texas and USC.
It will be the first meeting between the two schools since the 2006 Rose Bowl when the Longhorns won in thrilling fashion, 41-38. It was a game that featured Heisman winners Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart for USC, and the game-winning touchdown was by Horns quarterback Vince Young.
Both programs are trying to rebuild under new head coaches. By the time 2017 and '18 roll around, perhaps both will be in the national title conversation again. There's been talk of moving the game to Mexico City, but a home-and-home would be exciting.
Oklahoma and Ohio State
When: Sept. 17, 2016, Sept. 16, 2017
Two traditional powerhouses squaring off in Columbus, Ohio, and Norman, Oklahoma? Sign everyone up, please.
The all-time series is only two games, with each team notching a win. The most famous game came in 1977 when Oklahoma won 29-28 on a last-second field goal.
Michigan State and Oregon
When: Sept. 6, 2014, Sept. 12, 2015
One of the most unique nonconference matchups of the next two seasons, Michigan State and Oregon is a perfect contrast of styles.
The Spartans have developed a reputation for stout defenses, while Oregon has scorched opponents for years with hurry-up offenses.
Autzen Stadium should be rocking this September when Michigan State, fresh off its Rose Bowl win, visits. Similarly, East Lansing will be packed when the Ducks come to town the following year.
This early, top-25 matchup could feature major playoff implications. For that, college football fans everywhere say "thank you."
Penn State and Pitt
When: Sept. 10, 2016, 2017
There was a time when western Pennsylvania was at the center of college football. Battling it out in a once-rich recruiting ground were Penn State and Pitt.
College football's focus has shifted south since then, and the Nittany Lions and Panthers no longer play on a regular basis. But the old rivalry has been renewed for a four-game series down the road.
Pitt will host Penn State in 2016 and '18 and travel to Happy Valley in '17 and '19. Players, and perhaps coaches, will be different from what they are today. It's also impossible to tell how good (or bad) each program will be.
But for those who crave more nostalgia in their college football, this will be a must-watch. At least for the first year.
Texas A&M and UCLA
When: Sept. 3, 2016, Sept. 2, 2017
Pac-12 vs. SEC games need to happen more often, especially given how much the former conference has closed the gap on the latter.
Thankfully, we'll get what appears to be a great one in 2016 and '17 between Texas A&M and UCLA.
The Bruins are no stranger to visiting the Lone Star State with previous nonconference games against teams like Houston and Texas. For the Aggies, however, 2017 will be a rare trip out west.
It's also an interesting clash of two programs that have quickly risen in the past couple of years after historically being overshadowed by rival programs (Texas and USC).
Boise State and Florida State
When: Sept. 7, 2019, Sept. 12, 2020
This one is a long way off and a bit quite under the radar. Still, Boise State is by far the most talked-about non-BCS/power-five/etc. team in college football. Whether that is still the case under new head coach Bryan Harsin remains to be seen.
But if the Broncos are still in the national conversation, their nonconference game against Florida State could be a lot of fun. The Seminoles are here to stay under head coach Jimbo Fisher. If he's still the coach of Florida State in five or six years, this would be a perfect game between so-called power-five and group of five programs.
Boise earned a name for itself by upsetting big-name opponents. Could it do the same against Florida State?
Arizona State and Michigan State
When: Sept. 8, 2018, Sept. 14, 2019
Michigan State makes another appearance on this list with a future home-and-home series with Arizona State.
Similar to Sparty's series with Oregon, the nonconference games against the Sun Devils feature an interesting clash of styles—not to mention two excellent coaches in Todd Graham (ASU) and Mark Dantonio (MSU).
Assuming both stay at their respective jobs. As good as they are, that may not happen.
The series is several years down the road, so a lot can change, but right now this looks like a fascinating matchup.
Ohio State and Oregon
When: Sept. 12, 2020, Sept. 11, 2021
Ohio State and Oregon are two more programs that have done a nice job filling out nonconference schedules in the playoff era.
But with so much time between now and 2020, and with strength of schedule a to-be-determined factor for playoff selection, it would be interesting to see if this series gets cut.
If it doesn't, fans will win. A rematch of the 2010 Rose Bowl, the Buckeyes and Ducks would make for an intriguing early-season game, likely with major postseason implications.
And at two of the tougher home environments in college football? Count us in.
Michigan and Virginia Tech
When: Sept. 19, 2020, Sept. 11, 2021
Virginia Tech will play Ohio State this season and in 2015, but we're looking forward to another Big Ten opponent for the Hokies: Michigan.
The Wolverines and Hokies are scheduled to play in 2020 and '21, so the series is a ways off. Still, Michigan in Lane Stadium and Virginia Tech in The Big House? This has the makings for a fun early-season game. It would also serve as a rematch of the 2012 Sugar Bowl, won by Michigan 23-20 in overtime.
The biggest question will be whether longtime Hokies coach Frank Beamer is still patrolling the sidelines at kickoff.
Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football at Bleacher Report. All game dates courtesy of FBSchedules.com.
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