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With Labor Day fastly approaching, college football will be here before you know it! there are a lot of intriguing conference and traditional rivalry games that will make fans from across the country tune in to watch. However, there are also some critical out-of-conference games that may determine who plays for the national title at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

Below are the top five matchups that may help determine who plays in Silicon Valley.

Sept. 1: Michigan at No.11 Notre Dame: This not only looks right, but just FEELS RIGHT at the same time. Anytime you get college football’s two winningest programs on the gridiron, you’re in for a special treat. With the Wolverines and Irish renewing their storied rivalry once again, you can expect nothing short of a thriller.

Sept. 1: Louisville vs. No.1 Alabama (Orlando): This would be a better matchup had former Heisman Trophy-winning QB Lamar Jackson decided to not take his talents to the Baltimore Ravens. Sans Jackson, look at this a the showcase for CFP hero Tua Tagovailoa.

Sept. 1: No.10 Auburn vs. No.16 Washington (Atlanta): Call this an early elimination game for the loser. this is a must-win for both programs.

For Washington, they already have the stain of playing in the PAC-12, which has not always gotten a lot of love from the selection committee in years past, plus the fact they really don’t have a lot of quality games on their schedule outside of Auburn, As they miss always highly-touted USC and draw Stanford down on “The Farm” in Palo Alto.

For Auburn, they ironically have the luxury of losing out-of-conference early, but still have a chance of sneaking into the CFP Playoffs, due to the committee’s SEC bias and the quality of teams they will face in LSU and Tennessee at home and CFP title game combatants in Georgia and Alabama on the road, will give them a strong argument come Selection Saturday.

Sept. 15: No.5 Ohio State vs. No.9 TCU (Arlington): They might as well call Jerryworld “The Place That Urban Built” as the Buckeyes seem to always bring their A-game to AT&T Stadium. Whether it is winning the first-ever CFP title game over Oregon or besting Sam Darnold and the USC Trojans, if Glendale is Columbus West in the Fiesta Bowl, then call Arlington Columbus South, as Ohio State has a large alumni base in the greater Dallas area and always travel well.

Poor Gary Patterson is going to feel like he’s in Waco playing bitter rival, Baylor instead of a loaded Buckeyes squad with title hopes in their own backyard in front of what will likely be a pro-Ohio State crowd.

Sept. 15: No. 12 USC at Texas: No Vince Young vs. Matt Leinhart this time or no Sam Darnold late magic in Horns vs.Trojans: Part IV. With this game being in Austin, you never know when two of college football’s biggest brand names clash deep in the heart of Texas. You better believe the Matthew Mcconaughey and Snoop Dogg will be in the stands. Al right, all right, all righttt!

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