The suspense is killing us.
College football season is right around the corner, we can almost reach out and touch it. Yet, somehow, it still feels like it’s an eternity away.
Getting the 2018 season underway is particularly suspenseful because of the number of great games we’re getting right off the bat. College football has placed an emphasis on balancing the schedule and placing more meaningful games earlier on the calendar.
The B1G has taken advantage.
Several big games are taking place in the first month of the season, making the wait even more excruciating. So, while we continue to tap our fingers, with our heads drooped down in the palm of our hands as we sit and wait, let’s take a look at some of the best matchups the B1G has scheduled in the first month.
5. Colorado vs. Nebraska
When: Sept. 8 – 3:30 p.m.
Why: An old Big XII rivalry game will be restored — at least temporarily — in non-conference play this year. Colorado and Nebraska haven’t played since the Huskers bolted for the B1G, leaving an eight-year gap between the two meetings. That, alone, is enough to draw some hype for this early-September contest.
This will also be the first major test for head coach Scott Frost in his return to Lincoln, giving the Huskers even more reason to be excited about this matchup. Sure, both teams are coming off losing seasons, but restoring an old rivalry will always be an attention-getting game early in the year.
4. Wisconsin vs. Iowa
When: Sept. 22 – TBD
Why: In 2016, it was Michigan. In 2017, it was Ohio State. Could Wisconsin be the next highly-ranked team to tumble inside the walls of Kinnick Stadium in 2018?
This matchup serves as the B1G opener for both the Badgers and the Hawkeyes, and with both teams having fairly lightly non-conference schedules (yes, Iowa State will be a tough one for Kirk Ferentz and Co.), it’s very likely that both enter the week without a blemish. That makes for an interesting conference battle.
It’ll be Wisconsin’s juggernaut offensive line against a stout Iowa defensive line. Winner gets a leg up in the B1G West standings right off the bat.
3. Ohio State vs. TCU
When: Sept. 15 – 8:00 p.m.
Why: Two of college football’s premier programs battling it out in Arlington with College Football Playoff implications on the line? This will be one that will have everyone glued to the television.
Ohio State and TCU both have the ability to put points on the scoreboard, so it wouldn’t be surprising if this was a B1G-Big XII shootout. Both teams are ushering in new quarterbacks, as OSU’s J.T. Barrett and TCU’s Kenny Hill have departed.
This is going to be a game with a lot of speed, a lot of talent, a lot of points and a whole lot hanging in the balance.
2. Michigan vs. Notre Dame
When: Sept. 1 – 7:30 p.m.
Why: There are so many reasons why this game is one of the best in September, not just involving the B1G, but in college football. First and foremost, it marks the first time the two rivals have played since 2014, and we’re getting it in the primetime slot.
Michigan and Notre Dame both have College Football Playoff aspirations, giving us all meaningful football right from the get-go. It’ll be (presumably) the debut for Shea Patterson in the maize-and-blue uniform. And it’s Michigan’s stacked defense against the Irish’s explosive offensive unit.
Hey, if College GameDay is tabbing it as the location for its Week 1 setup, it has to be good.
1. Ohio State vs. Penn State
When: Sept. 29 – TBD
Why: Considering the type of entertainment the Ohio State-Penn State has provided us with the past two seasons, this game has to be at the top of the list. It’s also the first matchup of the year involving two of the B1G East’s major powers.
Oh, and just in case you forgot, the winner of this game went on the B1G title each of the last two years.
There’s no J.T. Barrett or Saquon Barkley, but J.K. Dobbins and Trace McSorley should still provide us with plenty of incredible moments on the final Saturday in September. This game could have division, conference, postseason and playoff hopes all on the line. It’s an incredible way to close out the first month of the season.