Must-Watch Non-Conference Games for 2017 College Football Season

Posted by Michael Hunt on Tuesday,May 23, 2017 10:53, EST in

Are you ready for some college football? We at MyBookie surely are. There’s a little more than three months until the 2017 kicks off, but the excitement just keeps growing every day! Here’s a look at four of the best non-conference games of the first few weeks of the season, with the latest college football odds for those matchups.

Must-Watch Non-Conference Games for 2017 College Football Season

Florida vs. Michigan (-6.5)

This is Saturday, Sept. 2 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Florida will be making its first-ever appearance in AT&T Stadium and will take on Michigan for the fourth time in program history. However, the game on Sept. 2 will be the first meeting in the regular season between these two teams. UF and UM last met in the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. The Wolverines won that game 41-7. Jake Rudock threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns and Michigan’s defense dominated throughout. Rudock is long gone. Michigan had three touchdown drives of at least 70 yards and finished with 503 yards of offense against a Florida defense that entered the game ranked sixth nationally. It’s not clear who Florida’s QB will be this season. Michigan brings back Wilton Speight. He was All-Big Ten third team last year, completing 204-of-331 passes (61.6 pct.) for 2,538 yards and 18 touchdowns with seven interceptions. He set the Michigan record for most passing yards in the first half of a game (292, vs. Maryland, Nov. 5, 2016).

Alabama vs. Florida State (-7)

This game is also Sept. 2 and at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. It’s quite possible the Tide will be No. 1 in the preseason polls and the Seminoles No. 2. If the two teams end up in the top spots, this will be the first time that No. 1 and No. 2 have played each other in the season opener — ever. Since the preseason poll began in 1950, the closest we’ve come to that might’ve been Rocket Ismail leading No. 1 Notre Dame past No. 2 Michigan in Week 3 of 1989. Michigan hadn’t played in Week 1 or Week 2, so that was the opener for the Wolverines. FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher is a former assistant of Alabama’s Nick Saban. The Tide went 11-3 all-time in the Georgia Dome, including 2-0 last season. FSU has played in Atlanta four times since 2008, in two Peach Bowls and twice against Georgia Tech. The loser of this game likely can’t afford another loss and reach the College Football Playoff.

Auburn at Clemson (NL)

This game is Saturday, Sept. 9. Both Tigers teams have easy season openers as a warmup. Defending national champion Clemson has won 10 games or more for six straight seasons, a school record. But here’s another nugget for head coach Dabo Swinney that might carry even more weight: Clemson needs to win just eight games this season for Swinney to pass the legendary Danny Ford in career victories at Clemson. Before Swinney won it all last season, Ford was the last Tigers’ coach to win a national title. In 12 seasons at Clemson, Ford went 96-29- 4. Swinney enters his 10th season with a career mark of 89-28. Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson is closing in on several records. He has 69 career field goals, putting him within range of the FBS record of 96, held by Arizona State’s Zane Gonzalez. If Carlson hits as many field goals as he did last season (28), he’ll break that record. He also has a good shot at the SEC record of 161 consecutive PAT kicks made, held by Tennessee’s John Becksvoort. Clemson won at Auburn 19-13 to open the 2016 season.

Oklahoma at Ohio State (NL)

Also on Sept. 9 and both are likely to be ranked in the Top 10. The Sooners hosted the Buckeyes in Week 3 last season and were spanked 45-24. Noah Brown, who entered the game with five catches and one touchdown in his career, tied a school record with four touchdown receptions. JT Barrett passed for 152 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 74 yards for the Buckeyes. Barrett is back. Mike Weber ran for 123 yards, pacing an attack that pounded out 291 yards rushing. Weber is also back. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield passed for 226 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw two interceptions. Mayfield passed up the NFL Draft to return to Norman.