I’m not sure Midwesterners give the SEC enough credit for its abundance of competitive instate rivalry games: Games like Florida-FSU. Georgia-Georgia Tech. Clemson-South Carolina. Louisville-Kentucky. Those games can be as challenging as league games.
The Big Ten doesn’t have as many of those natural rivalries. It has Iowa-Iowa State and Penn State-Pitt, and that’s about it. They are lower in intensity as well as fewer in number.
But Notre Dame willing, the Big Ten generally has its share of intriguing non-conference match-ups. Here’s how each school’s best non-league game ranks in entertainment value. How pumped up are you for your school’s best non-conference matchup?
1, Michigan at Notre Dame, Sept. 1
First meeting since 2014 will catapault winner, leave loser in a hole. Since these two storied programs began meeting regularly in 1978, they have met 31 times. And they are 15-15-1.
2, TCU vs. Ohio State, Arlington Tex., Sept. 15
With the whole college football world watching, the Buckeyes can’t afford a slip like last year’s disaster vs. Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs aren’t supposed to be at the top of their game this year. But Gary Patterson always is. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.