John Clay's must-see TV games

jclay@herald-leader.comAugust 25, 2013 

Missouri St Louisville Football

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) looked to pass behind the protection from running back Jeremy Wright.


Aug. 29 North Carolina at South Carolina (6 p.m. ESPN): Not a bad way to kick off the season, with Steve Spurrier and Jadeveon Clowney on a Thursday night. Don't sleep on the Tar Heels, however.

Aug. 31 Georgia at Clemson (8 p.m., ABC): A game with national title implications right off the bat? That might be a bit of an overstatement, but given the two offenses, this should produce plenty of fireworks.

Sept. 7 South Carolina at Georgia (4:30 p.m., ESPN): Georgia two weeks in a row? Yes. That's how brutal, or entertaining, the Bulldogs have it in the first month. This game will go a long way in deciding the SEC East.

Sept. 14 Alabama at Texas A&M (3:30, CBS): Alabama's only loss last season was to the Aggies in Tuscaloosa. This is the rematch. But will Johnny Manziel be around for it?

Sept. 20 Boise State at Fresno State (9 p.m., ESPN): The two best teams in the Mountain West Conference and, come on, it's Boise State.

Sept. 28 Wisconsin at Ohio State (8 p.m., ABC): New Wisconsin coach Gary Anderson gets his welcome to the Big Ten as his Badgers battle the Buckeyes in Columbus. Winner could end up in conference title game.

Oct. 5 Notre Dame vs. Arizona State (7:30 p.m., NBC): Interesting matchup with the Irish playing an improving Arizona State at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. It's called the Shamrock Series, but hopefully Notre Dame won't be wearing those shamrock helmets.

Oct. 10 Rutgers at Louisville (7:30 p.m., ESPN): May be the only chance Louisville has of losing all season given the Cardinals' powder-puff schedule. And it's Teddy Bridgewater on national television.

Oct. 12 Texas vs. Oklahoma (TBA): Mack Brown has finally restocked his Longhorns talent base to the point where this has a chance to be a game of national significance again.

Oct. 19 Florida State at Clemson (TBA): The probable two best teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference square off.

Oct. 26 UCLA at Oregon (TBA): Could be a pivotal game in Pac-12 race, especially if UCLA is able to capitalize on momentum from Jim Mora Jr.'s first season.

Nov. 2 Georgia vs. Florida (3:30 p.m., CBS): Not just the World's Largest Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, but also the game that could decide the SEC East champ.

Nov. 7 Oregon at Stanford (9 p.m., ESPN): Probably the best Thursday night matchup of the season. Stanford pulled the 17-14 upset last season that helped get the Cardinal to the Rose Bowl.

Nov. 9 LSU at Alabama (TBA): The likely nightcap to CBS' SEC doubleheader that day. This is a premium conference matchup.

Nov. 16 Florida at South Carolina (TBA): The Steve Spurrier vs. his old school storyline is now old hat, but this is still a terrific matchup.

Nov. 23 Texas A&M at LSU (TBA): The Aggies' entrance into the SEC last year has made this border battle one of the conference's better potential rivalries.

Nov. 30 Ohio State at Michigan (TBA): Always a great game, but even more so when both programs are national powers. Urban Meyer and Brady Hoke have the Buckeyes and Wolverines pointed in that direction.

Dec. 7 Oklahoma at Oklahoma State (TBA): While the SEC and Pac-12 championships are also on this day, this regular-season finale could decide the Big 12 champ.

John Clay: (859) 231-3226. Email: Twitter: @johnclayiv. Blog:

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