Best Games of the 2014 College Football Season

Michigan State vs. Oregon, September 6

The Spartans finished the 2013 season win 10 consecutive wins, and will be sexy pick to win the Big Ten. Wins over Ohio State and Stanford proved that they belonged in that Rose Bowl, but will they be able to stop Oregon’s offense? This Week 2 game will be a battle of two completely different styles of play.

Texas shocked the Sooners in 2013 in Dallas

Oklahoma vs. Texas, October 11

Last year’s Red River Rivalry was one of the biggest upsets of the season with the Longhorns obliterating the Sooners in Dallas. Texas had already lost two games to mid-tier opponents, but rocked OU early and often. The Sooners went on to lose only one more game in 2013, culminating in a shocking dismantling of the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Sugar Bowl. This is always the defining game of the Big 12 season, and it’s a must win for both teams.

Notre Dame vs. Florida State, October 18

Halfway into the season comes this matchup that could be a major upset if the defending-champion Seminoles are 6-0 heading in. Notre Dame finished last season at 9-4, including wins over Michigan State and USC. Unfortunately for the Fighting Irish, both of those wins came in South Bend. Barring a complete collapse early in the year, Florida State will be heavily favored.

Ole Miss vs. LSU, October 25

Ole Miss was as streaky as it gets in 2013, but was able to take down the Tigers in Oxford last season 27-24. Ole Miss was not very successful in SEC play, with their defining wins being over LSU and Texas. The Tigers lost to only the Ole Miss and Alabama but will be without QB Zach Mettenberger.  While Ole Miss might not look like a title contender, this will be a big step for the Tigers if they want to be in the mix in 2014.

Alabama vs. LSU, November 8

Alabama might have a more storied history squaring off against Auburn, but this fixture in the schedule always has national title implications. It’s very likely that both of these teams are undefeated coming into the game, and you know Les Miles and Nick Saban will be throw everything but the kitchen sink at each other to come out victorious. This time it’s in Baton Rouge, and there isn’t a better college football experience in the country than a night game at Tiger Stadium.

Auburn vs. Alabama, November 29

With how this game ended last season, you can Bryant-Denny Stadium will be electric for this one. A field-goal returned for a touchdown as time expired put the Tigers in the SEC title game and eventually in the National Championship, while Alabama got crushed in the Sugar Bowl by the Sooners. This is one of the best rivalries in all of sports, and it’s the last game of the regular season for both schools. All of Alabama wishes they could cram into the stadium for the Iron Bowl in 2014.

Game of the Week: Texas vs. Oklahoma

TicketCity’s weekly ranking of the 10 hottest games in college football is designed to identify the match-ups with the strongest ticket demand on a weekly basis. This week Texas vs. Oklahoma ranks #1 on our list. Contributor Jeff K. gives the run-down on who will win this stage-setting match-up.

Will Stoops lead his team to another blowout in the Red River Rivalry

Will Stoops lead his team to another blowout in the Red River Rivalry?

 

Why Oklahoma will win the biggest game of week one:

The Sooners come into this year’s Red River Rivalry feeling good about themselves. QB Blake Bell has settled in as the starter. He has six touchdown passes and no interceptions this season. No doubt he has to be excited about facing Texas after running for four touchdowns in last year’s game. Oklahoma has averaged 54 points in the last two Red River Rivalry games. The key to an Oklahoma win will be to assert themselves on the ground. Oklahoma is averaging 246 yards rushing, and will face a Texas defense prone to giving up huge chunks of yardage. The Longhorns defense has been gashed by BYU, Ole Miss and Iowa State. The Sooners will want to get the “Belldozer” rolling early to steal the momentum.

Why I could be wrong:

Texas’ Coach Mack Brown is in the hot seat. He may very well be coaching his last Red River Rivalry game. Lately his teams have not been competitive in this series. Most expect this game to be over by halftime.

But it’s a game like this that can sneak up and bite the Sooners. This Longhorn roster is loaded with talent. Texas has the horses to compete with Oklahoma. It all starts with the run game. Jonathan Gray, Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron will need to move the sticks. The offensive line needs to dominate the line of scrimmage and Major Applewhite needs to get creative with Daje Johnson to take advantage of his skill set. Texas will need to control the clock to keep its beleaguered defense off the field.

Why you don’t want to miss this one:

It’s Oklahoma and Texas. Red and burnt orange-clad fans will patrol the State Fairgrounds under the watchful eye of Big Tex. Bragging rights for another year are at stake. Which the Texas team will show up? Can Case McCoy break the Sooner stranglehold? Will Oklahoma look past a struggling Texas team? Anything goes in a rivalry game, and TicketCity can help you be part of this year’s contest.

Jeff Kubiszyn is a long-time college football fan and joins TicketCity this season to highlight the biggest game of the week. He is by no means a college football expert, except at the dinner table. 

Game of the Week: Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma

TicketCity’s weekly ranking of the 10 hottest games in college football is designed to identify the match-ups with the strongest ticket demand on a weekly basis. This week Notre Dame vs. Michigan State ranks #1 on our list. Contributor Jeff K. gives the run-down on who will win this stage-setting match-up.

Can the Irish fight off Oklahoma once again?

Can the Irish fight off Oklahoma once again?

 

Why Notre Dame will win the biggest game of week five:

The Fighting Irish looked bad against Michigan State last week. The offense could only muster 220 yards of total offense. After opening the season with three 300 yard passing games, quarterback Tommy Rees managed just 142 yards against the Spartans. As a team they committed eight penalties. But when it was all said and done, they found a way to win. Good teams have a knack for doing that. The Notre Dame defense stepped up to preserve the victory by holding the Spartans to just a field goal in the fourth quarter. Up next is an Oklahoma team it handled easily last year in Norman.

Why I could be wrong:

Oklahoma was embarrassed by Notre Dame last season. You know the Sooners want to come into South Bend and extract an amount of revenge on the Fighting Irish. Quarterback Blake Bell will try to establish himself and wear down the Irish defense. Bell made his first start last week and threw four touchdown passes in a victory over Tulsa. Known more for his running ability, Bell might catch the Notre Dame defense off guard with a balanced offensive attack. Oklahoma is averaging 490 yards per game, and the Fighting Irish defense has been gouged for some big plays this season.

Why you don’t want to miss this one:

Oklahoma is 1-9 all-time versus Notre Dame. The Irish have a veteran signal caller in Rees while Sooners quarterback Bell makes just his second start. This game has the makings of another easy Irish victory. But don’t count out the Sooners as long as coach Bob Stoops is patrolling the sidelines. Stoops has a history of pulling out games his teams shouldn’t have won. The chess match between Stoops and Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly should make this one of the most entertaining games on Saturday. Who do you think will win this year’s game?

Jeff Kubiszyn is a long-time college football fan and joins TicketCity this season to highlight the biggest game of the week. He is by no means a college football expert, except at the dinner table. 

A Conference Tournament Spotlight On: The Big 12

[Looking to see the Big 12 Tourney live? TicketCity has you covered.]

Though it may be known for being an elite football conference, the Big 12 is no slouch in basketball either. The championship kicks off on March 9 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and will certainly feature some of the most ferocious rivalries in the country.

The second-ranked Kansas Jayhawks finished the year atop the regular season conference rankings.

The Texas – Kansas Rivalry
As two of the flagship schools in the Big 12, it’s no surprise that the Texas Longhorns and Kansas Jayhawks are known for being one of the bitterest rivals in the nation. Both teams are currently in the top 10, and the potential for a championship showdown is high–especially given that the two teams met in the title game three consecutive years between 2006-2008.

Regular season history: Despite both teams being among the oldest in the country, the two did not begin playing each other regularly until 1997, and since then, the series has belonged to Kansas. The Jayhawks own a 7-17 edge over the Longhorns, including taking six of the last eight meetings.

Postseason history: The only postseason meeting between the two teams occurred in 1960, when Texas lost to Kansas in the Sweet 16.

Best players: One thing Texas or Kansas doesn’t lack is a slate of legendary players. Boston Celtics superstar Paul Pierce is a former Jayhawk as is the Miami Heat’s Mario Chalmers. For the Longhorns, Kevin Durant is alone at the top. The Oklahoma City Thunder only played one year at Texas but was one of the best Austin has ever seen.

Best games: That title has to go to the epic 2008 showdown in the conference finals. The Longhorns opened up what seemed to be an insurmountable 22 point lead. But, led by Collins, Kansas battled back to force overtime where they eventually won 88-84. Durant scored a game-high 37 points.

The Oklahoma – Oklahoma State rivalry
Most in-state rivalries are more intense than others, but this one takes the cake. Known as the Bedlam Series, the two teams have played an astonishing 216 times over the years. 

Regular season history: Oklahoma has a 126-90 edge over the Cowboys, but the rivalry has become more intense in recent years due to the growing strength of each program.

Postseason history: Despite their numerous regular season match-ups the two teams have never met in March outside of conference play.

Best players: Throughout much of, both the Sooners and Cowboys had a number of talented players. For Oklahoma – Blake Griffin has made waves in the NBA for his high flying dunks and Oklahoma States Tony Allen won a championship with the Celtics. 

Best games: March 12, 2009. The unranked Cowboys managed to edge the No. 7 Sooners–led by Griffin–71-70 to reach the Big 12 Tournament semifinals. Oklahoma State took the lead with just 2.3 second remaining on free throws by James Anderson.

Week 13 Recap – Anticipating the BCS Championship

Week 13.  Just when you thought it was getting hot, it just scalded your face.

Oklahoma blew the top off Texas Tech this weekend in a stomping that should have made any spectator recoil in pain.  The Oklahoma defense was impenetrable and ravenous, eating Graham Harrell for dinner with four sacks on the night.  Tech just stuck their thumbs in their mouths, and cried.  How embarrassing.

Now that Tech is no longer in contention for the BCS title, lets look at our possible BCS Championship contenders:

Alabama is still #1 in the BCS standings, but they will need to prove their clout against upcoming opponents Auburn and Florida.  The Gators have one of the strongest offenses in the SEC, and are on pace to demolish any team standing in their way to a BCS Championship berth.  I give my vote to Florida for the BCS Championship berth – Alabama is going to have one heck of a time trying to overcome the Gators in the SEC Championship.

In the Big 12, Oklahoma and Texas are sitting pretty with Tech still gasping for breath after this weekend.  Oklahoma will face a ranked Oklahoma State team this coming weekend, and will need to seal the win to capture the Big 12 Championship berth.  If the Sooners are upset by the Cowboys, then Texas Tech will have another opportunity to see the Big 12 title game.  Texas will face Texas A&M this coming weekend, and the Horns are heading into the game as strong favorites over the Big 12 cellar-dweller.  Despite the clear schedule for week 14, nobody knows which way the vote will swing when it comes down to Texas and Oklahoma for the Big 12 title bid.

If both Texas and Oklahoma can defeat their opponents this weekend, then it is likely Oklahoma will pull ahead in the polls due to a tougher schedule.  In that case, It is likely we will watch Oklahoma in the BCS title game.  However, the Longhorns have a way to pull off the unimaginable, so my vote is solid for the Longhorns.

My prediction for the BCS Championship game:
Florida Gators vs. Texas Longhorns