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2015 CFB Preview – Early Non-Conference Games to Circle

Eon [ee-on]
Noun
1. An extensive period of time.

Example: The lag spanning between now and college football seems like an eon away.

There there, football addicts. These bleak, arctic months will soon be submerged with the nostalgia of college pigskin. While conference play holds the true assessment of early-season victors, the hope of the playoff will have us all glued to our couches come fall.

Flip to high-def, boost the surround sound, and pencil these non-conference trials into your calendar.

Michigan @ Utah (Thursday, September 3rd)

Similar to a toddler on Christmas Eve awaiting the jolly man in red (no, not Brett Bielema, guys) to come strolling down the chimney, tossing and turning certainly reaches new heights the Wednesday before the season.

Fans should make sure their popcorn stash stays a’flowing come the inaugural Thursday of the 2015 season when Michigan and Utah collide. Jim Harbaugh’s return to Ann Arbor will match him up right away against the stingy Utes, a team the Wolverines had no answer for in 2014 en route to a 26-10 loss.

In the Big House.

Why I have to endure the pain of my Midwest roots lies far beyond me. If the numbers look similar to a season ago, then expect another ground-and-pound contest between two teams that adore eating clock like a children’s game of Hungry Hungry Hippo.

If Michigan can’t solve the Utes’ defense again, the Wolverines will endure another beating out west.

Wisconsin @ Alabama (Saturday, September 5th)

Wisconsin once again travels on the opening weekend to take on a member of the star-studded SEC hoping to duplicate three of the four quarters from a year ago against LSU. A late lead slipped through the Badgers’ hands last year.

New ringleader in Paul Chryst will hope to keep pace with Alabama’s Nick Saban as both lose their offensive leader from 2014 in Melvin Gordon and Amari Cooper.

Two storied teams, two rich traditions, and two teams expected to lay the lumber on the defensive side of the pigskin. Will Alabama get revenge revenge on the Big 10 following a loss to Ohio State in the playoff, or will Wisconsin slay the SEC dragon in consecutive games after a victory over Auburn in the 2014 Outback Bowl?

NCAA FOOTBALL: JAN 02 TaxSlayer Bowl - Iowa v Tennessee

Joshua Dobbs and Tennessee will get an early test against Oklahoma.

Oklahoma @ Tennessee (Saturday, September 12th)

The Volunteers and Sooners top the list of potential breakout teams in 2015, and they’ll duke it out in week two. Tennessee showed some swagger in the second half of the 2014 season and landed another astounding recruiting class.

As for Oklahoma, the threat on offense lies at running back with Samaje Perine, the freshman who scampered for 1,713 yards in 2014. Plus, the Sooners could get a spark from Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield at quarterback.

Two underachievers in 2014 could contend for a conference championship this fall (yes, I still believe Oklahoma can challenge TCU). While your agenda come September should involve the least amount of activity when these games kickoff, don’t forget we failed to mention the matchups between Arizona State-Texas A&M, Notre Dame-Virginia, and Oregon-Michigan State.

To those who lie restlessly awake at night tossing and turning while counting Heisman finalists instead of sheep, my sincerest condolences for the flood of new material.

May your REM be cluttered with Hail Marys, flea flickers, and Jameis Winston’s abdomen (yikes).

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