The Auburn versus Oregon game in Dallas, Texas is easily the most influential college football game of the year.
Gus Malzahn definitely needs a win to re-solidify the shaky ground beneath his feet. A victory over a more highly ranked team like Oregon could be just the kickstart needed to rev Auburn’s NASCAR-style of play for another miraculous run in 2019. A loss would only serve to make his bloated buyout seem like a bargain.
Meanwhile, the Ducks carry the weight of an entire conference between their wings. Beating an SEC team would certainly be a silver-and-neon-green feather in the PAC-12’s cap, whereas a loss would probably have the rest of the college football world just shrugging its shoulders and saying, “We knew you guys weren’t good enough.”
There’s no other game on the football docket that means more to two teams as well as attitudes about two conferences. It’s really a perfect matchup.
However, there are other game worthy of various superlatives, too.
For instance, LSU’s trip to Texas in Week 2 has to be the most-anticipated contest of the season. The Longhorns can prove they belong in greener pastures by beating an SEC power. Conversely, Ed Orgeron’s squad could make a real statement with a true SEC non-conference road win.
Whichever team chalk’s up a victory will undoubtedly be in the middle of the College Football Playoff race the remainder of the year as that squad will effectively have a mulligan to counteract any other potential loss.
The Florida and Miami game in Orlando is the most intriguing game of 2019 though. Does anyone really know what to expect in this one?
Miami is a total enigma with new pieces all over the board and we all believed the Gators would be mightily improved three months ago, but with several unanticipated departures, who knows at this point?
Add the fact this game kicks off a week before any other and it all of a sudden becomes must-watch TV.
Of course, Georgia hosting Notre Dame is the heavyweight bout of the year. Each of these programs has made the playoffs in one of the last two seasons and they had a memorable meeting in 2017 in South Bend, Indiana.
SEC diehards will not be convinced the Fighting Irish are on UGA’s level, but the glitter of that golden helmet is still one of the more iconic scenes in college football. Luckily CBS has already chosen this game to be at night so it will get the primetime billing it deserves.