While NFL Week 1 betting is catching fire, the college football season will be underway a week before the pros. When the schedule comes out each year, certain games will get circled for a number of reasons. Here are the five I’ll be making sure to be near a television for this season.
Florida at Alabama — October 2
This could be the first of two meetings as these teams have met in the last two SEC title games. It should also be noted that the winner (Florida in ’08, ‘Bama in ’09) of the SEC title game, has, for the last two years running, won the national championship. Not only will there be a ton of talent on the field, Alabama’s Nick Saban and Florida’s Urban Meyer have to be two of the top five of coaches.
That may be a bigger story than any NFL betting lines that week.
Florida State at Miami — October 9
After last year’s Labor Day Classic, which ended as a 38-34 win for the Hurricanes at Florida State, those who participate in college football betting may not have a clue how to bet on this game in Miami. Both teams have high hopes after promising 2009 seasons, and it’s always good to see these historic programs go at it, especially when they’re both good. Also, it’ll be the first FSU-Miami game in decades without Bobby Bowden on the Seminoles’ sideline.
Texas at Nebraska — October 16
There’s been a lot of trash talk since the Longhorns edged the Cornhuskers in the Big 12 title game, and none of it has to do with what happened on the field. Both teams had words for each other during this offseason’s realignment mess, and this will be the last time they face each other as conference rivals as the Cornhuskers head off to the Big 10.
Texas has won eight of their last nine against Nebraska.
BYU at Utah — November 27
Sticking with the realignment theme, Utah will make their way to the Pac-10 next year. They keep BYU on the schedule as a part of the “Holy War”, which is always one of the best games of the year and proving to be bigger than football. BYU has won three of the last four, but the two have split the last 10 meetings, with eight of them being decided by a touchdown or less.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati — December 4
Along with the FSU-Miami game, the earned NorthBet.com “Game of the Year” consideration in conjunction with the stakes at hand, is probably the number one match-up. The Panthers, at home, lost a 21-point lead in the second half and missed an extra point to fall to the Bearcats 45-44 in the de facto Big East title game. The Bearcats don’t have Brian Kelly at the helm anymore, and it’ll be interesting to see if their offense still has the same bite. Even though it’s in Cincy, don’t discount the Panthers if you’re betting online in December.