Jan 1, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan State Spartans mascot Sparty celebrates after Michigan State Spartans beat the Stanford Cardinal 24-20 at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Athlon Sports: Oregon Ducks vs Michigan State Named Top Non-Conference Game in 2014

The hype and excitement for the 2014 College Football season is starting to build. Recently the folks over at Athlon Sports took a look at their Top Ten Non-Conference Games for the upcoming season in the Pac-12 Conference and although there are some tasty matchups, the most appetizing will happen on September 6th with Michigan State enters Autzen Stadium to face the Oregon Ducks. I, for one, agree with them that the game will be the best non-conference game of the year and the Quarterback battle will be fun to watch between the Spartans Connor Cook and the Oregon Ducks Marcus Mariota. Of course this game will be about defense as well.

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It will be a chess match between Michigan State’s Head Coach Mark Dantonio and new Oregon Defensive Coordinator Don Pellum. Add the fact that this game pretty much starts the season for both and there is a lot at stake in the first year of the College Football Playoff. The winner will have a leg up, while the loser may be knocked out completely from the competition for the shot at a National Title in 2014.

 

1. Michigan State at Oregon (Sept. 6) It cannot be overstated what a win for Michigan State in this game would mean for the Big Ten. So Oregon cannot overlook the rebuilt Sparty defense early in the year or the Ducks could be knocked out of playoff contention by Week 2. The schematic chess match between Marcus Mariota and Mark Dantonio's defense should be fascinating to watch. It's a classic Big Ten-Pac-12, offense-defense showdown that should feature two top 10 teams. It might be the best non-conference game of the year regardless of conference.

Some of the other matchups to watch according to Athlon Sports includes Stanford at Notre Dame(October 6th), Notre Dame at USC(November 29th), and a key game with Texas hosting UCLA(September 13th) . The Oregon Ducks and Michigan State will meet on September 6th(3:30pm PT, FOX).

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Tags: Marcus Mariota Oregon Ducks Oregon Football

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