Fantasy nonconference matchups in the SEC
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
Wouldn't it be fascinating to have college football's most powerful wand and create those fantasy nonconference matchups we all yearn for in the SEC?
Well, here goes ... sort of:
Alabama vs. Penn State: We won't have to wait long. The two teams have scheduled a home-and-home series for 2010 and 2011. They played a pair of classic games in the 1970s. Who could forget Barry Krauss and the goal-line stand in the 1979 Sugar Bowl. Gotta love the uniforms, too. Have either changed at all in the last 30 years?
Arkansas vs. Texas Tech: With Bobby Petrino at Arkansas and Mike Leach at Texas Tech, think there might be a little offense played in this game? First team to 50 points wins.
Auburn vs. Oklahoma: Both schools have produced their share of great running backs. We could dub it the Backfield Bowl. Their only previous meeting came in the 1972 Sugar Bowl, a matchup of top-5 teams with the Sooners winning 40-22.
Florida vs. Southern California: The one we've all been waiting for. The best from the SEC vs. the best from the Pac-10. The collection of athletes in this one would be stunning, and the two head coaches aren't shabby, either.
Georgia vs. Ohio State: These two ultra-successful, football-crazy schools were born to play each other. Yet, they've only met one time. The Bulldogs prevailed 21-14 in the 1993 Citrus Bowl. Granted, when Ohio State has seen an SEC team coming lately, it hasn't been pretty.
Kentucky vs. North Carolina: Both schools have made a move in recent years, and both are fighting to get out from under the massive shadow of basketball on their respective campuses. Hey, maybe after the football game, the Wildcats and Tar Heels could play a little hoops, too.
LSU vs. Michigan: OK, Les Miles didn't go back to his alma mater to coach. He stayed put on the Bayou. But the story lines would be awfully compelling if the two teams ever were to meet. Great stadiums. Great tradition. Great fight songs. Great fans. You get the idea.
Mississippi State vs. Purdue: The latest edition of the Boilermaker Special can lead the Purdue team onto the field while Mississippi State races out to thousands of cowbells clanging away.
Ole Miss vs. Cal: Talk about two different worlds colliding. You've got Ole Miss and its deep-rooted Southern conservative persuasion and then Cal and its West Coast liberal persuasion. The game outside the stadium might be as entertaining as the game inside the stadium.
South Carolina vs. Florida State: Wouldn't it be fun to see the Head Ball Coach and Bobby Bowden go at it one more time? The two teams used to play some before the Gamecocks joined the SEC.
Tennessee vs. Texas: Who's the real UT? And what's more, who has the best shade of orange? The two teams split memorable Cotton Bowl battles in 1951 and 1969. It's way past due for them to meet again.
Vanderbilt vs. Northwestern: The Commodores do their best to balance academics and football in the SEC, while the Wildcats are faced with that same delicate balance in the Big Ten. The schools last played in 1952, a game that ended in a 20-20 tie. They get together for four more games starting in 2010.