Best college football games of 2013

7/12/2013 - College Football
Aaron Murray and Tajh Boyd should provide some offensive fireworks in the season's first weekend. Getty Images

The 2013 college football season kicks off in 52 days.

The unofficial start of the season kicks off next week, when conferences around the country start to assemble for preseason media days, followed by the opening of preseason camps at the end of the month.

It's never too early to plan your weekly viewing guides and road trips. Here's a week-by-week guide to the best games during the 2013 regular season:

(All times are ET)

Week 1 (Sat., Aug. 31)
Georgia at Clemson, 8 p.m. (ABC)

The Bulldogs and Tigers are both equipped to score a ton of points, but both defenses might be suspect early in the season, so it figures to be a high-scoring shootout in Week 1. The game features a great quarterback matchup: UGA's Aaron Murray versus Clemson's Tajh Boyd. The schools, which are separated by only 75 miles, haven't played since the Bulldogs' 30-0 victory at Death Valley in 2003.

Other games to watch: North Carolina at South Carolina (Thu., Aug. 29, 6 p.m.); Mississippi State at Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m.); Virginia Tech vs. Alabama (5:30 p.m.); LSU vs. TCU (9 p.m.); Boise State at Washington (10 p.m.)

Week 2 (Sat., Sept. 7)
Notre Dame at Michigan, 8 p.m.

The last time Notre Dame traveled to the Big House in 2011, the teams scored two touchdowns in the final 30 seconds, including Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson's 16-yard scoring pass to Roy Roundtree with two seconds to go in the Wolverines' wild 35-31 victory. Last season, the Fighting Irish forced six turnovers and kept UM out of the end zone in a 13-6 win.

Other games to watch: South Carolina at Georgia (TBA); Florida at Miami (noon); Oregon at Virginia (3:30 p.m.); West Virginia at Oklahoma (7 p.m.); Texas at BYU (7 p.m.).

Week 3 (Sat., Sept. 14)
Alabama at Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m. (CBS)

Two-time defending BCS national champion Alabama will be looking for revenge at Kyle Field after the upstart Aggies handed them their only loss of the season in 2012. In Texas A&M's 29-24 victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Nov. 10, freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel completed 24 of 31 passes for 253 yards with two touchdowns, while running for 92 yards, in a performance that helped him win the Heisman Trophy as a freshman.

Other games to watch: UCLA at Nebraska (noon); Tennessee at Oregon (3:30 p.m.); Ohio State at California (7 p.m.); Ole Miss at Texas (8 p.m.); Wisconsin at Arizona State (9:30 p.m.); Louisville at Kentucky (TBA)

Week 4 (Sat., Sept. 21)
Michigan State at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. (NBC)

Last season, the Fighting Irish upset then-No. 10 Michigan State 20-3 on the road, ending the Spartans' 15-game home winning streak. Notre Dame's defense limited the Spartans to only 237 yards of offense. The Irish will have to beat Michigan State this season without quarterback Everett Golson, who passed for a touchdown and ran for another in last season's win. He has been suspended from school for the 2013 season.

Other games to watch: Boise State at Fresno State (Fri., Sept. 20, 9 p.m.); Tennessee at Florida (TBA), Auburn at LSU (TBA); Kansas State at Texas (TBA); Utah at BYU (TBA); Arizona State at Stanford (TBA)

Week 5 (Sat., Sept. 28)
Wisconsin at Ohio State, 8 p.m.

The Ohio State-Wisconsin rivalry isn't quite as big as "The Game" between the Buckeyes and rival Michigan, but it has produced some instant classics over the past couple of seasons. Last season, the Buckeyes won 21-14 in overtime at Wisconsin to preserve their perfect regular season. Two seasons ago, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller threw a 40-yard touchdown to Devin Smith with 20 seconds left for a stunning 33-29 victory over the Badgers at the Horseshoe.

Other games to watch: Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (Thu., Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.); USC at Arizona State (TBA); LSU at Georgia (TBA); Oklahoma State at West Virginia (TBA); Oklahoma at Notre Dame (3:30 p.m.); Ole Miss at Alabama (TBA)

Week 6 (Sat., Oct. 5)
Washington at Stanford, TBA

The Huskies played suffocating defense to stun the Cardinal 17-13 in Seattle last season, holding Stanford to only 235 yards of offense and no offensive touchdowns. Washington rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half, scoring the winning touchdown when Kasen Williams caught a screen pass and ran 35 yards for a score with 4:53 to go. It was a signature victory for Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, whose program might be ready to take a big step this coming season.

Other games to watch: Kansas State at Oklahoma State (TBA); TCU at Oklahoma (TBA); North Carolina at Virginia Tech (TBA); LSU at Mississippi State (TBA); Georgia at Tennessee (TBA); Arizona State vs. Notre Dame (7:30 p.m.); Ohio State at Northwestern (8 p.m.)

Week 7 (Sat., Oct. 12)
Oklahoma vs. Texas, TBA

The Red River Rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas figures to be one of the most important games in Texas coach Mack Brown's tenure. Last season, the Sooners walloped the Longhorns 63-21, their third straight victory in the series. OU gained 677 yards of offense -- 334 passing and 343 rushing -- and limited UT to 289 yards of offense. OU coach Bob Stoops is 9-5 against Brown in the series. The Longhorns will try to use a hurry-up offense to turn their fortunes around in 2013.

Other games to watch: Arizona at USC (Thu., Oct. 10, 10:30 p.m.); Florida at LSU (TBA); Texas A&M at Ole Miss (TBA); Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech (TBA); Oregon at Washington (TBA); Michigan at Penn State (5 p.m.)

Week 8 (Sat., Oct. 19)
Florida State at Clemson, TBA

The winner once again figures to have the inside track at winning the ACC's Atlantic Division. Last season, the Seminoles and Tigers combined for 1,093 yards of offense in a wild game in Tallahassee, Fla. FSU quarterback EJ Manuel completed 27 of 35 passes for 380 yards with two touchdowns, leading the Seminoles to a 49-37 victory. New FSU quarterback Jameis Winston will look to have similar success against Clemson's defense at Death Valley.

Other games to watch: Miami at North Carolina (Thu., Oct. 17); UCLA at Stanford (TBA); LSU at Ole Miss (TBA); TCU at Oklahoma State (TBA); South Carolina at Tennessee (TBA); USC at Notre Dame (7:30 p.m.)

Week 9 (Sat., Oct. 26)
UCLA at Oregon, TBA

UCLA's measuring stick for Year 2 of the Jim Mora era will come in mid-October, when the Bruins make back-to-back road trips to Stanford on Oct. 19 and Oregon the next week. Last season, the Bruins jumped out to a 9-2 start before losing their last three games. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 3,745 yards with 29 touchdowns last season. He might be even better this coming season if he gets better protection (he was sacked a whopping 52 times in 2012).

Other games to watch: Stanford at Oregon State (TBA); Tennessee at Alabama (TBA); West Virginia at Kansas State (TBA); Louisville at South Florida (TBA); Texas at TCU (TBA); Penn State at Ohio State (8 p.m.)

Week 10 (Sat., Nov. 2)
Florida vs. Georgia, 3:30 p.m.

After losing 18 of 21 meetings to Florida, Georgia has turned the game into a rivalry again. The Bulldogs have won back-to-back games against the Gators, including a 17-9 victory last season. Florida turned the ball over six times against UGA last season; none was more costly than when Bulldogs linebacker Jarvis Jones knocked the ball out of tight end Jordan Reed's hands at UGA's 5-yard line. Bulldogs cornerback Sanders Commings recovered the ball in the end zone with 2:05 left to preserve UGA's victory.

Other games to watch: USC at Oregon State (Fri., Nov. 1, 9 p.m.); Miami at Florida State (TBA); Michigan at Michigan State (TBA); North Carolina at NC State (TBA); Northwestern at Nebraska (TBA); West Virginia at TCU (TBA)

Week 11 (Sat., Nov. 9)
Oregon at Stanford, Thu., Nov. 7, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

The Cardinal pulled off one of last season's biggest upsets at Oregon, knocking the Ducks out of the BCS national championship race with a 17-14 upset in overtime at Autzen Stadium. The Cardinal tied the score at 14 on quarterback Kevin Hogan's 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz with 1:35 to go in regulation and then won the game on Jordan Williamson's 37-yard field goal in overtime. The Cardinal went on to win a Pac-12 title and the Rose Bowl presented by Vizio.

Other games to watch: UCLA at Arizona (TBA); Nebraska at Michigan (TBA); Mississippi State at Texas A&M (TBA); Texas at West Virginia (TBA); LSU at Alabama (TBA); Virginia Tech at Miami (TBA); Oklahoma at Baylor (TBA)

Week 12 (Sat., Nov. 16)
Stanford at USC, TBA

Stanford coach David Shaw has picked up where predecessor Jim Harbaugh left off, flipping the Cardinal's fortunes against longtime nemesis USC. Last season, the Cardinal stunned the No. 2 Trojans 21-14 at Stanford Stadium, shutting them out in the second half and holding them to 26 rushing yards. USC quarterback Matt Barkley, a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate in 2012, completed only 20 of 41 passes for 254 yards with two interceptions. This coming season, the Cardinal might be in a position to put a nail in USC coach Lane Kiffin's coffin.

Other games to watch: Georgia Tech at Clemson (Thu., Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m.); Washington at UCLA (Fri., Nov. 15, 9 p.m.); Georgia at Auburn (TBA); Michigan at Northwestern (TBA); Michigan State at Nebraska (TBA); Oklahoma State at Texas (TBA); Florida at South Carolina (TBA)

Week 13 (Sat., Nov. 23)
Texas A&M at LSU, TBA

Johnny Football makes his first trip to LSU, after the Tigers forced him to throw three interceptions in a 24-19 loss at Texas A&M last season. If the Tigers are any better on offense this coming season, this contest might still go a long way toward determining which team challenges Alabama in the SEC West. After losing a boatload of players to the NFL draft, will LSU's defense be good enough to corral Manziel again this season?

Other games to watch: Oregon at Arizona (TBA); Arizona State at UCLA (TBA); Michigan State at Northwestern (TBA); Nebraska at Penn State (TBA); Oklahoma at Kansas State (TBA); Boise State at San Diego State (10:30 p.m.)

Week 14 (Sat., Nov. 30)
Ohio State at Michigan, TBA

Last season, the Buckeyes capped a 12-0 regular season by beating the Wolverines 26-21 at the Horseshoe. Ohio State is eligible for the postseason this coming season, and if things go as planned, Michigan might be the biggest obstacle in its path to the BCS National Championship presented by Vizio. The Wolverines ended a seven-game losing streak to OSU with a 40-34 victory in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2011.

Other games to watch: Alabama at Auburn (TBA); Arizona at Arizona State (TBA); Notre Dame at Stanford (TBA); UCLA at USC (TBA); Florida State at Florida (TBA); Georgia at Georgia Tech (TBA); Penn State at Wisconsin (TBA); Clemson at South Carolina (TBA)

Week 15 (Sat., Dec. 7)
SEC championship game, 4 p.m.

SEC teams have won each of the past seven BCS national championships, and college football's most-dominant conference would like nothing more than to close the BCS era with another national title. After 14 weeks of the regular season, which SEC teams will be the last ones standing at the SEC championship game in Atlanta's Georgia Dome? Will another trip to the BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., be on the line?

Other games to watch: Louisville at Cincinnati (Thu., Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.); Pac-12 championship game (8 p.m.); ACC championship game (8 p.m.); Big Ten championship game (8:17 p.m.); Oklahoma at Oklahoma State (TBA); Texas at Baylor (TBA)