With just a few weeks left before the official start of the college football season on Saturday, August 31, we're gonna take a look at the ten biggest games heading into the 2013 season. Coming on the heels of one of the most surprising seasons in years, 2013 offers what should be some intense football action. The games highlighted below were chosen based on the demand for tickets at Ticket Liquidator, with the average price of the ticket a strong indication that fans are anticipating a great game.
By the way, we also took a look at the top NFL games of the 2013 season last week.
Texas A&M Aggies vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
- Kyle Field, College Station, TX
- September 14
The 2013 match up between Alabama and Texas A&M is the biggest game of the season as it will answer a lot of questions posed by college football fans since the off-season began. It is likely the toughest test on the schedule for Heisman-winning rock-star quarterback Johnny Manziel. Two-time national champion Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and the Crimson Tide get their shot at revenge, as the Aggies were the only team to beat the Crimson Tide in a thrilling 29 - 24 victory in Tuscaloosa. 'Bama would continue on to a consecutive BCS title, but you know they would like to inflict a little payback on the Aggies.
LSU has been the only team to beat 'Bama in back-to-back seasons going back to 2009, and the Aggies would love to be on that list with them. The game kicks-off inter-conference SEC play, and it's no surprise the game will be nationally televised.
Check out Texas A&M's Athletics promotional video for the 2013 Alabama vs. Texas A&M match up:
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. LSU Tigers
- Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
- November 9
The LSU-Alabama series got ratcheted up in recent years as both teams have been among the most competitive not just in the SEC but in the whole country. LSU has been the only team to be able to consistently stand up to 'Bama, and you know coach Les Miles is eager to take down Nick Saban's crew once again, a feat that would be more meaningful if it came in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron has a chance to win three consecutive BCS Championship Games, and with the game being replaced by the College Football Championship Game starting in 2014, he would be the only ever.
The 'Bama LSU rivalry is one of the oldest in the country, dating back to when both of teams were on hand to form the SEC in 1932, with 'Bama leading the series 47-25-5.
LSU Tigers vs. Texas A&M Aggies
- Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
- November 23
2013 marks Manziel's first trip to Tiger Stadium, and with among the fiercest home-crowds in a sport known for insane home crowds, you can bet that LSU is eager to see what the Tigers can manage against the Heisman Trophy winner. With Tiger Stadium holding more than 90,000 fans, this might be the most hostile stadium of Manziel's career.
"You just hear about it," Manziel said. "It's Tiger stadium, it's intimidating, it's a big place, it's loud and they play really good there. We need to go in there and play really solid and try to put together a win." Manziel told NOLA.com
LSU handed A&M their second and final loss of the season with a 24-19 win at College Station last year, and you know they'd like to keep the win streak going against Johnny Football and the Aggies.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. USC Trojans
- Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN
- October 19
It seems like the undefeated season woke up Notre Dame's fans, as they have two games in Indiana near the top of demand in terms of tickets as well as their match up with Michigan. But the Irish and Trojans rivalry holds a special place in the hearts of fans, with two of the most historic programs in the country. Both teams have won 11 National Championships, and the winner of the game of course gets the Jeweled Shillelagh, which Notre Dame took home last season. Coming on the heels of their first-ever BCS Championship appearance, coupled with USC ending 2012 outside of the top-25 rankings, it would seem Notre Dame has the upper hand heading into this game. But USC is bowl eligible once again and eager to reclaim its spot as one of the elite programs in college football, so Notre Dame better be ready!
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Oklahoma Sooners
- Notre Dame Stadium, IN
- September 28
With Notre Dame ranked #11 and Oklahoma ranked #16 heading into the season, this game could be quite competitive. Notre Dame's defense looks like it is going to be formidable, the one area the Sooners have to worry about, as they lost a number of defensive players in what was not a terrific defense to begin with.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
- September 7
Among the oldest-running rivalries in college football, the Notre Dame Michigan game dates all the way back to 1887, when the Michigan team in fact taught Notre Dame how to play the game. Both schools are at the top of the all time winning percentage as well as national championships. Notre Dame's defense dominated last season's Notre Dame Michigan game, forcing six turnovers with five interceptions en route to the Irish's 13 - 6 win at Michigan. 2013 looks to be the penultimate time they will face each other in the near future; 2014 will be the last time the teams will see each other (outside of a possible playoff scenario of course) until 2020 at the earliest.
Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners
- Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas, TX
- October 12
The Red River Shootout is perhaps the biggest annual game for fans on both the Longhorns and the Sooners schedule. After getting humiliated 63-21 last season, you know the Longhorns are thirsting for a chance at revenge. Oklahoma has won the past three games dating back to 2010, and the Longhorns are going to do whatever they can to change that.
Auburn Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
- Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL
- November 30, 2013
No matter what the state of the team, fans on both sides of the rivalry treat the Iron Bowl with a special regard. Alabama has won the past two matches with Auburn, blanking the Tigers 49 - 0 last year. If Alabama is still the #1 ranked team when they meet, Auburn will have extra incentive to do their best to knock them off their perch.
Georgia Bulldogs vs. LSU Tigers
- Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
- September 28, 2013
This will be the first road game for LSU against a strong team, while Georgia will be enjoying a bye-week followed by a game against North Texas before facing LSU. They should be well-rested and have time to prepare for their game against the Tigers. This game is going to mean a lot to both teams, and if the Bulldogs are still undefeated Sanford Stadium is going to be raucous come game time.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
- Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
- November 30
The regular season for college footballs ends at The Big House in Michigan, which could have huge post-season implications for both teams. This rivalry speaks for itself, and with both teams looking to be quite competitive this season this game should be a good one. There is already talk of the possibility of back-to-back Michigan vs OSU games this season, made possible by the new Big Ten Championship Game. If Ohio State and Michigan emerge as the best teams in the Leaders Division and the Legends Division, respectively, it would set up first-ever back-to-back meetings between the programs.
Georgia Bulldogs vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
- Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
- September 7
Georgia has lost to South Carolina the past three times they've played, including a 35-7 loss last season. With Georgia and South Carolina the favorites to emerge out of the SEC East, this game could decide who plays in the SEC Championship Game, with a very good chance to end up in the BCS Championship Game with a win. This game comes early in the season, and is important if Georgia is going to compete for national recognition.
And if you are curious, you can also check out the top NFL games of the 2013 season.