We’re lower than a month away from the beginning of the school soccer season.
Final 12 months, most of the marquee non-conference video games have been wiped from the schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming into 2021, loads of big-time matchups are again on the slate.
Beneath are the 15 non-conference video games we’re most wanting ahead to, omitting the normal rivalry video games we see yearly.
(All odds by way of BetMGM. Odds not accessible for each recreation.)
15. Virginia Tech at West Virginia (Sept. 18)
This was once a yearly affair, together with when VT and WVU have been members of the Large East. Nevertheless, the 2 have confronted off solely as soon as since 2005, and that was a impartial website recreation at an NFL stadium. This time, the Hokies will journey to Morgantown in an intriguing early-season matchup. Whereas WVU appears to be trending in the suitable route below Neal Brown, there are many questions surrounding Justin Fuente’s job standing in Blacksburg.
14. Louisiana at Texas (Sept. 4)
Texas higher not overlook the Ragin’ Cajuns. The Steve Sarkisian period will kick off at residence in opposition to Louisiana, a workforce that has a 21-4 report over the previous two seasons. ULL went into Ames and beat Iowa State to open the 2020 season and it has each intention on doing the identical to the Longhorns in Austin.
13. Nebraska at Oklahoma (Sept. 18)
These longtime rivals from their Large Eight and Large 12 days will reunite for the primary time since 2010. Oklahoma is on its method out of the Large 12 to the SEC. Earlier than that performs out, although, the Sooners have legit nationwide title aspirations below Lincoln Riley. Nebraska, 12-20 in three years below Scott Frost, would identical to to play in a bowl recreation. This recreation won’t be shut, however it should not less than be nostalgic to see these two again on the sector collectively.
Level unfold: Oklahoma -19.5
12. Boise State at UCF (Sept. 2)
There are a couple of enjoyable matchups on the Thursday of Week 1, however that is the very best one. It’s two of the highest G5 applications within the nation in a primetime atmosphere making their debuts with new head coaches. For UCF, it’s Gus Malzahn taking on after his time at Auburn. For Boise State, it’s Andy Avalos returning to his alma mater following Bryan Harsin’s departure to, coincidentally, Auburn. This shall be a enjoyable one.
Level unfold: UCF -3.5
11. Cincinnati at Indiana (Sept. 18)
These applications have been two of the larger tales in school soccer final 12 months. Cincinnati went undefeated (earlier than shedding to Georgia within the Peach Bowl), however was saved effectively on the surface wanting in for Faculty Soccer Playoff consideration. Indiana, in the meantime, was one of many higher groups within the Large Ten. The Hoosiers upset Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin and took Ohio State to the wire. Can IU replicate that success in 2021?
10. LSU at UCLA (Sept. 4)
Following an unbelievable run in 2019, LSU fell again right down to earth in 2020. And it fell arduous, ending 5-5. The Tigers open 2021 by touring cross-country to Los Angeles to face a UCLA program that appears to be lastly displaying indicators of life below Chip Kelly. The Bruins went 3-4 final 12 months, however these 4 losses got here by a mixed 15 factors.
Level unfold: LSU -4.5
9. Oklahoma State at Boise State (Sept. 18)
Boise State hasn’t hosted a Energy 5 opponent on the blue turf since Virginia visited in 2017. The Broncos misplaced that matchup, however Boise sometimes handles itself fairly effectively in these matchups. BSU beat Washington State in 2016, Washington in 2015, Oregon State in 2010 and Oregon in 2009. Although the 2 groups confronted off in 2018, Oklahoma State will really grow to be the primary (and perhaps the final relying upon this subsequent batch of realignment) Large 12 member to make the journey to Boise.
8. Liberty at Ole Miss (Nov. 6)
Hugh Freeze is about to make his triumphant return to Oxford. Freeze’s tenure at Ole Miss went up in flames, however he has resurfaced at Liberty and has an 18-6 report in two years. The Flames went 10-1 final 12 months, and will current fairly a check for the Rebels, who’re feeling good getting into Yr 2 below Lane Kiffin. This recreation additionally presents an thrilling QB matchup: Liberty’s Malik Willis vs. Ole Miss’ Matt Corral.
7. Auburn at Penn State (Sept. 18)
It’s all the time enjoyable to see a distinguished program from one other convention play in an atmosphere like Beaver Stadium. It’s a transition 12 months for Auburn with new coach Bryan Harsin, and this shall be his first check as Tigers head coach. Penn State is coming off a disappointing 2020 season however nonetheless boasts one of many Large Ten’s most-talented rosters. This must be a enjoyable one.
Level unfold: Penn State -7.5
6. Cincinnati at Notre Dame (Oct. 2)
It is a large alternative for Cincinnati. The Bearcats went undefeated within the common season and gained the AAC final fall, however have been down at No. 8 when the ultimate CFP rankings got here out. It can virtually actually take enlargement for a Group of 5 workforce to succeed in the playoff, however journeys to each Indiana and Notre Dame will present Cincy with probably glorious resume boosts.
Level unfold: Notre Dame -3.5
5. Alabama vs. Miami (Sept. 4)
Contemporary off an undefeated, nationwide championship season, Alabama opens 2021 in Atlanta in opposition to Miami. The sport will mark the primary profession begin for Bryce Younger whereas the Hurricanes counter with D’Eriq King, who’s getting back from a knee harm suffered in final 12 months’s bowl recreation. Alabama sometimes cruises in these early-season impartial website video games, however maybe Miami will put up a legit struggle.
Level unfold: Alabama -17.5
4. Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin (Sept. 25)
Right here’s a recreation that might have an old-school, smash-mouth really feel to it. The truth that it’s being performed at Soldier Area in Chicago solely provides to that feeling. One other added aspect on this matchup is Jack Coan. Coan was the starter at Wisconsin, however missed 2020 on account of a foot harm. That opened the door for Graham Mertz to take the reins for the Badgers and finally led to Coan’s switch. He landed at Notre Dame, the place he’s thought of the frontrunner to choose up the place Ian E-book left off.
Level unfold: Wisconsin -1.5
3. Washington at Michigan (Sept. 11)
Michigan will get a giant check early in its seventh season below Jim Harbaugh. Issues have been tough for the Wolverines final 12 months, however an early season win in a marquee matchup can be a optimistic improvement for a program that might use a jolt of vitality. Washington, in the meantime, is getting into its second season below Jimmy Lake. There’s quite a lot of expertise on the UW roster, particularly on protection, and the Huskies are one of many favorites to win the Pac-12.
Level unfold: Michigan -1.5
2. Oregon at Ohio State (Sept. 11)
Mario Cristobal has been stockpiling expertise at Oregon, and now he’ll have the possibility to showcase that expertise on an enormous stage in Columbus in opposition to the mighty Buckeyes. Oregon is the present betting favourite within the Pac-12 and Ohio State has gained 4 consecutive Large Ten titles. The most important query surrounding OSU is the QB battle. With No. 1 recruit Quinn Ewers skipping his senior 12 months of highschool, there are actually 4 contenders for the job with C.J. Stroud and Jack Miller typically thought of the frontrunners.
Level unfold: Ohio State -10
1. Georgia vs. Clemson (Sept. 4)
Two nationwide title contenders dealing with off in Week 1? Sure, please. With Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne off to the NFL, Clemson is working in some new faces on offense, together with QB D.J. Uiagalelei. Uiagalelei acquired a quick style of the highlight final 12 months in opposition to Notre Dame, however now he’s acquired the reins of the Tigers offense. On the Georgia facet, JT Daniels’ presence actually helped open up what has lengthy been an uninspiring offense. Will we see that from the beginning in 2021?
Level unfold: Clemson -4
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