College football is almost upon us, and it’s going to be an incredible year. As we all know, every game can have massive implications for the playoffs. Some of these games are built up during the year, as an emerging powerhouse takes on the conference juggernaut. But others, you know are going to be a massive game, like the Iron Bowl. Let’s take a look at the top five must-watch games of the 2018 season.
Washington vs. Auburn (Chick Fil A Kick Off Game)
Right off the bat in Week One, Washington faces the biggest challenge of their season. Not only do they get a top 10 team in Auburn, but they have to go into the heart of SEC country in Georgia. Washington was a playoff team two years ago and was ravaged by injuries last season or else they might have gone back last season.
Washington and the rest of the Pac 12 have been faced with questions about the strength of the conference, and this will be a huge test for the conference as a whole. A win for Washington could vault them into the top three, and a loss might force them to win out for even a shot at the playoffs.
Michigan @ Ohio State
Both teams come into the season ranked inside the top 15. Ohio State is third and Michigan is 15th. Expect them both to be top 10 teams by the end of the season, and for the winner of this game to play for the Big 10 championship.
Super prospects will wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines, as OSU’s Nick Bosa and Michigan’s Rashan Gary are both likely top 10 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. Not only will the winner of this game most likely end up in the Big 10 championship game, but likely the College Football Playoff as well.
Florida Atlantic @ UCF
The self-proclaimed national champions against Lane Kiffin’s Division I Last Chance U. Kiffin led the Owls to 10 wins last season, and this will be the biggest non Power 5 game of the season. The winner of this game will in all likelihood be the representative in one of the New Year’s Six bowl games. We saw what UCF can do last year, led by star quarterback Mckenzie Milton. This is sure to be a thriller on a Friday night that everyone can enjoy.
Georgia vs. Auburn
Auburn has to go into Athens, against a Georgia team that will likely be in the playoff race once again. It’s pretty simple for Georgia, win this and they probably win the SEC West. Lose, and while they still might win the West, it would be an uphill climb to get to the playoff. For Auburn, this could be the defining moment of their season. If they have even one last up to this point, this could be the game that defines what bowl game they qualify for.
Clemson @ Florida State
With Deandre Francois healthy again, the Seminoles should be a contender for the ACC title, but they’re going to have to go through the powerhouse Clemson. Luckily, they get a shot to do it on their home field. Clemson is coming into the year stacked once again, led by a fierce defensive line. Will the Florida State offense, led by Cam Akers and Francois be enough for the first-year coach to lead FSU to an ACC title and a shot at the national championship?