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5. Alabama Crimson Tide @ Auburn Tigers, Week 13
When both teams are top teams, this game is always a can’t-miss, and they both look like national contenders this season, especially with Auburn adding Baylor transfer quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who lit it up in limited playing time two years ago. And ‘Bama is ‘Bama; let’s just leave that right there. On top of that, Alabama hasn’t won this game four years in a row since 1981, so don’t rule out the Tigers. It may not end in a “kick six”, but miss this one at your own risk.
4. Florida State Seminoles @ Clemson Tigers, Week 11
The ACC Atlantic division will open up the season with three primary contenders. The one not mentioned here is Louisville, as Lamar Jackson cooled off drastically at the end of last season and likely won’t surprise anyone this season. Aside of the season-opener with Alabama, Florida State should be favored pretty much every week. Clemson should be as well, even despite the fact that they lost Deshaun Watson. If the ACC Coastal division is loaded with mediocre teams like usual, the winner of this game will win the ACC championship and find themselves in the CFP.
3. Oklahoma Sooners @ Ohio State Buckeyes, Week 2
Here we have an early inter-conference matchup that we saw was overhyped this past season. Not this case this season, as it is sure to live up to its billing this time around. If Baker Mayfield can stay out of legal trouble before this game takes place, you can bet he won’t back down to JT Barrett and the Buckeyes in a game that should be a shootout. Oklahoma got killed in this game on their home turf last season, but that was due to an uncharacteristically slow 1-2 start. Since then, they have 0 losses. Ohio State will look to change that.
2. Florida State Seminoles @ Alabama Crimson Tide, Week 1
The season opens up with the most important inter-conference game of the season. Alabama and Florida State are the teams with the best odds to win the CFP championship this season, and they square off in Week 1, perhaps for the first of two meetings this season. Which team will set the tone for the rest of the season and establish themselves as the team to beat in the race for CFP glory? Perhaps the loser can channel the loss into extra motivation come the CFP.
1. Penn State Nittany Lions @ Ohio State Buckeyes, Week 9
With Michigan losing a ton of starters from last season, this will likely be the game that determines the B1G East champion, who will play in the B1G conference championship game against likely the Wisconsin Badgers, who play in a cupcake B1G West division. In other words, this matchup, which was one of the most exciting last season, will be a CFP play-in game featuring the best two teams in the best conference assuming the winner does what they’re supposed to do and beats the Badgers. Can’t top that.