Top 100 games of the 2015 college football season

The 2015 college season begins Sept. 3, so we're 100 days away from that glorious occasion. In honor of the 100-day plateau, we're spotlighting the season's top 100 games -- or, at least, the 100 games we're most eagerly anticipating. Each of our top 100 features an intriguing storyline and/or national or conference importance and/or big-time players.

100. Michigan State at Western Michigan, Sept. 4
99. Missouri at Arkansas State, Sept. 12
98. Texas Tech at Arkansas, Sept. 19
97. UCF at Cincinnati, Oct. 31
96. Minnesota at Colorado State, Sept. 12
95. UCF at Stanford, Sept. 12
94. Georgia Tech at Duke, Sept. 26
93. Maryland at West Virginia, Sept. 26
92. Penn State at Ohio State, Oct. 17
91. Minnesota at Northwestern, Oct. 3

90. Oregon State at Michigan, Sept. 12
89. Army vs. Navy in Philadelphia, Dec. 12
88. Boise State at BYU, Sept. 12
87. Mississippi at Memphis, Oct. 17
86. Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, Nov. 7
85. BYU at Nebraska, Sept. 5
84. Oregon State at Oregon, Nov. 27
83. TCU at Oklahoma State, Nov. 7
82. BYU at Michigan, Sept. 26
81. Mississippi at Florida, Oct. 3

80. Georgia Tech at Miami, Nov. 21
79. Nebraska at Miami, Sept. 19
78. Arkansas at Mississippi, Nov. 7
77. Missouri at BYU, Nov. 14
76. Michigan State at Nebraska, Nov. 7
75. Tennessee at Florida, Sept. 26
74. BYU at UCLA, Sept. 19
73. Miami at Florida State, Oct. 10
72. Mississippi State at Missouri, Nov. 5
71. Nebraska at Minnesota, Oct. 17

70. Tennessee at Missouri, Nov. 21
69. Utah at Oregon, Sept. 26
68. Michigan State at Michigan, Oct. 17
67. Wisconsin at Nebraska, Oct. 10
66. Florida at LSU, Oct. 17
65. Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, Nov. 28
64. Tennessee at Alabama, Oct. 24
63. West Virginia at Baylor, Oct. 17
62. South Carolina at Georgia, Sept. 19
61. Texas at Baylor, Dec. 5

60. Clemson at Louisville, Sept. 17
59. Missouri at Georgia, Oct. 17
58. Wisconsin at Minnesota, Nov. 28
57. Mississippi State at Arkansas, Nov. 21
56. Georgia at Tennessee, Oct. 10
55. Clemson at South Carolina, Nov. 28
54. Arizona at Arizona State, Nov. 21
53. UCLA at Stanford, Oct. 15
52. Minnesota at Ohio State, Nov. 7
51. Georgia at Georgia Tech, Nov. 28

50. Auburn vs. Louisville in Atlanta, Sept. 5
49. Notre Dame at Stanford, Nov. 28
48. Florida vs. Georgia in Jacksonville, Oct. 31.
47. Oklahoma vs. Texas in Dallas, Oct. 10
46. Arkansas at Alabama, Oct. 10
45. Louisville at Florida State, Oct. 17
44. Washington at Boise State, Sept. 4
43. Stanford at USC, Sept. 19
42. Georgia Tech at Notre Dame, Sept. 19
41. Oklahoma at Tennessee, Sept. 12

40. Auburn at Arkansas, Oct. 24
39. USC at Arizona State, Sept. 26
38. UCLA at Arizona, Sept. 26
37. Arkansas vs. Texas A&M in Arlington, Texas, Sept. 26
36. Texas at Notre Dame, Sept. 5
35. Texas A&M at LSU, Nov. 28
34. TCU at Minnesota, Sept. 3
33. Mississippi at Auburn, Oct. 31
32. LSU at Mississippi State, Sept. 12
31. Ohio State at Virginia Tech, Sept. 7

30. Mississippi at Mississippi State, Nov. 28
29. UCLA at USC, Nov. 28
28. Oregon at Stanford, Nov. 14
27. Mississippi at Alabama, Sept. 19
26. USC at Notre Dame, Oct. 17

25. Auburn at LSU, Sept. 19
The skinny: The SEC West is going to be a free-for-all; this is the first of two huge back-to-back games for Auburn (which has Mississippi State the next week) and the second of big back-to-back games for LSU (which will have played Mississippi State the week before). LSU RB Leonard Fournette is going to be a load to handle for any defense, but Auburn's wide receiver corps, headed by Duke Williams, will be the same. LSU G Vadal Alexander might be the nation's best at his position.

24. Mississippi State at Auburn, Sept. 26
The skinny: Here's another huge SEC West game in the first month of the season. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott is a top Heisman contender, but given the Bulldogs' schedule (remember, they have LSU the week before), he could be out of the running after this one. Prescott will be a huge test for Auburn's revamped defense, which now is coordinated by Will Muschamp.

23. Georgia Tech at Clemson, Oct. 10
The skinny: While Clemson and Florida State are getting most of the preseason attention in the ACC, the Yellow Jackets are being overlooked. They're dangerous, thanks to QB Justin Thomas. Clemson, of course, has a dangerous quarterback of its own in Deshaun Watson. While this is a division crossover game, Tech can stamp itself as the team to beat in the Coastal with a win.

22. Arizona at USC, Nov. 7
The skinny: This key Pac-12 South matchup features a nice quarterbacks duel with Arizona's Anu Solomon and USC's Cody Kessler. Both have defensive standouts, too, with Arizona LB Scooby Wright and USC S Su'a Cravens.

21. Ohio State at Michigan, Nov. 28
The skinny: The first Jim Harbaugh-Urban Meyer showdown. Think there will be some intensity on the sidelines? And it could be a case of the Wolverines trying to spoil a perfect season for Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, Taylor Decker and the rest of the Buckeyes.

20. Florida State at Florida, Nov. 28
The skinny: There will be a lot of defensive talent on view, including perhaps the nation's top two cornerbacks in Florida's Vernon Hargreaves III and FSU's Jalen Ramsey. Both offenses are somewhat of a question mark, though recent transfer Everett Golson should team with holdover RB Dalvin Cook to form a potent 1-2 punch for the Seminoles. FSU will be looking to win its third in a row and fourth in five years in the rivalry.

19. Alabama vs. Wisconsin in Arlington, Texas, Sept. 5
The skinny: Wisconsin opened last season with a loss in Houston to LSU. This time around, the Badgers play another SEC West school in a different Texas locale. Don't expect a lot of finesse; instead, expect a lot of ground-and-pound with Tide RB Derrick Henry and Badgers RB Corey Clement.

18. LSU at Ole Miss, Nov. 21
The skinny: Both defenses are expected to be top-notch, but there are questions about both offenses, particularly at quarterback. Each team has a stud offensive lineman: Ole Miss with T Laremy Tunsil, LSU with G Vadal Alexander. Alexander should spend at least part of his day going against touted Rebels DT Robert Nkemdiche, and those battles will be entertaining. Can Ole Miss slow LSU RB Leonard Fournette? Both teams seem too flawed to win the SEC West, but the division certainly is wide open.

17. Oregon at Arizona State, Oct. 29
The skinny: This is a Thursday-night game and a dangerous atmosphere likely awaits the Ducks. RB Royce Freeman seems likely to be Oregon's offensive focal point. Can Arizona State's aggressive defense slow him down? Arizona State will counter with do-everything RB D.J. Foster. This is one of the bigger Pac-12 division crossover games of the season.

16. Oklahoma at Baylor, Nov. 14
The skinny: This is the start of a huge three-game stretch for the Sooners, who face TCU and Oklahoma State after they take on the Bears. OU LB Eric Striker and CB Zack Sanchez will need to be at their best to combat what should be a powerful Bears offense. Striker is a good pass rusher, and likely will spend part of his day against stud Baylor OT Spencer Drango.

15. Notre Dame at Clemson, Oct. 3
The skinny: This looks to be the toughest road game of the season for the Irish, and their visit to Clemson is going to truly rev up the Tigers' passionate fan base. Can the Irish handle Clemson QB Deshaun Watson? Can Clemson handle the Irish rushing attack, which likely will spend much of the day running behind star OT Ronnie Stanley.

14. Arizona State vs. Texas A&M in Houston, Sept. 5
The skinny: This is one of the best non-conference games of the season, and it will basically be an A&M home game. A&M's defense was rancid last season, but new coordinator John Chavis is supposed to change that. Aggies DE Myles Garrett is a superstar-in-the-making. Arizona State RB D.J. Foster is a dual threat, and he will be looking to take advantage of an A&M linebacker crew that was mediocre last season. This is an interesting gauge as to the relative merits of the Pac-12 and SEC, too.

13. USC at Oregon, Nov. 21
The skinny: Could this be the first of two Ducks-Trojans matchups? They could meet again in the Pac-12 title game, which will be played two weeks after this one. USC QB Cody Kessler will need to be sharp. Oregon figures to rely heavily this season on RB Royce Freeman.

12. Texas A&M at Ole Miss, Oct. 24
The skinny: Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil vs. Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett will be one of the most eagerly anticipated individual matchups of the entire season. A&M is expected to have a potent offense but a mediocre defense. Ole Miss is expected to have a solid defense but an iffy offense.

11. Michigan at Utah, Sept. 3
The skinny: It's Jim Harbaugh's first game as Michigan's coach. And in RB Devontae Booker, the Utes have a big-time back who is going to provide a stern test for Harbaugh's defense.

10. Florida State at Georgia Tech, Oct. 24
The skinny: This is the first of two huge ACC road games for the Seminoles, who play at Clemson two weeks later. The Everett Golson-Justin Thomas quarterback battle should be a good one. FSU looks better defensively, and that could end up being the difference.

9. Georgia at Auburn, Nov. 14
The skinny: The South's oldest rivalry will feature new quarterbacks on both sides. While Georgia is in the SEC East, the Bulldogs will have a big say in who wins the SEC West because they also play Alabama. Auburn's defensive priority will be stopping Georgia RB Nick Chubb, who will head into the season as a top Heisman contender.

8. LSU at Alabama, Nov. 7
The skinny: As usual, this SEC West showdown will feature literally tons of talent along the line of scrimmage. Alabama OT Cam Robinson, a Louisiana native, is a star on the rise. Two physical running backs will be on view in Alabama's Derrick Henry and LSU's Leonard Fournette. Will either team be able to throw the ball effectively?

7. TCU at Oklahoma, Nov. 21
The skinny: TCU will be the Big 12 favorite, which puts Oklahoma in a potential spoiler's role. TCU QB Trevone Boykin will head into the season as a Heisman favorite, and OU RB Samaje Perine could be a contender, too.

6. Alabama at Georgia, Oct. 3
The skinny: These teams haven't met in the regular season since 2008, and it's the first game in a big month for both teams. Georgia RB Nick Chubb and Alabama RB Derrick Henry are the guys the opposing defenses must stop. Can Georgia's offensive linemen handle Tide DL A'Shawn Robinson?

5. Alabama at Auburn, Nov. 28
The skinny: The Iron Bowl is college football's nastiest rivalry; it also has become the most important on an annual basis. It wouldn't be that surprising if it again decides who wins the SEC West title. Auburn WR Duke Williams and Alabama RB Derrick Henry will be among the stars on view.

4. Oregon at Michigan State, Sept. 12
The skinny: The Ducks used an early-season win at home over the Spartans as a springboard to a playoff appearance last season. This season, the Spartans will look to return the favor. Michigan State QB Connor Cook and Oregon RB Royce Freeman can use this as a Heisman statement game.

3. Florida State at Clemson, Nov. 7
The skinny: This should be the game of the year in the ACC, with the winner likely taking the Atlantic Division crown and also the mantle of "best team in the league." Quarterback play will be big between FSU's Everett Golson and Clemson's Deshaun Watson, who played well in a loss at FSU last season. Everyone knows FSU's Jalen Ramsey is going to be a top-flight cornerback; we're thinking that by the time this game rolls around, everyone will have heard of Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander (a Florida native), too.

2. Michigan State at Ohio State, Nov. 21
The skinny: The week before they play Michigan, the Buckeyes face arguably their toughest opponent. A ton of talent will be on the field. A big-time individual matchup we're already clamoring for: Ohio State OT Taylor Decker vs. Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun. And there likely will be Heisman statements to be made by Michigan State QB Connor Cook, Ohio State TB Ezekiel Elliott and whomever is playing quarterback for the Buckeyes.

1. Baylor at TCU, Nov. 27
The skinny: This game will be played on the Friday after Thanksgiving. TCU collapsed against the Bears last season, and the loss almost certainly is what kept the Horned Frogs out of the four-team College Football Playoff. It's not a stretch to think both could be unbeaten heading into the Big 12 showdown. There will be skill-position players galore, headed by TCU QB Trevone Boykin. Baylor OT Spencer Drango will be one of the nation's best at his position, and the same goes for Bears DE Shawn Oakman.

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