2013 was a wild year for college ball, and just a few key games — and in some instances, plays — drastically changed the entire landscape of the championship discussion. Now entering week 3 of the 2014 season, we’ve already seen some thrilling upsets, astonishing finishes, and small hints as to who might bulldoze their way into the novel 4-game playoff. But if history’s any indication, we know there’s always room for the unexpected! Although there’s hundreds of stellar matchups remaining on the schedule, here are our top five most anticipated rematches this year.
The Iron Bowl Rematch
It was the run heard round the world last November, as the Auburn Tigers defeated their in-state rival in the most astonishing fashion. No. 1 ranked Alabama was on track to win the college football Trifecta, going for their third title in a row. With a tied game and one second on the clock, Nick Saban sends his team out for a final field goal attempt before the game goes to overtime. The 57-yarder falls short and into the arms of Chris Davis, who runs 109 yards for an AU touchdown. Come Thanksgiving weekend, the two will meet again in what is widely considered as one of the most anticipated rematches in recent sports history. Will Saban and his boys avenge their heartbreaking loss, or will Auburn emerge as the states’ victor again? And with both teams currently ranked in the top 5, there could be a lot more than just bragging rights on the line.
FSU hosts Clemson
Last year, it was FSU’s astounding victory over No. 3 Clemson that catapulted them into title contention. Although Clemson suffered a heartbreaking loss to a very good No. 6 Georgia team in week 1, the boys came blazing back last weekend, putting up 73 points against South Carolina State. Winston and the Seminoles are 2-0, but catching some criticism from sportscasters for their weak schedule. In this rematch, both teams will have something to prove.
Stanford Vs. Oregon
Last year on November 7, deja vu set in for Oregon, as the Ducks’ Championship dreams were squashed by Stanford for the second consecutive year. This year, the two Pac-12 powerhouses will meet again, with possible playoff spots up for grabs.
Ohio State takes on the Spartans
Last year, a late season loss by No. 1 Alabama opened up a spot in the National Championship game. And for the undefeated Buckeyes, the only thing standing between them and playing for the title was the Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State. The Spartans took an early lead and eventually a victory, keeping Ohio State out of BCS title contention. They’ll meet again this year in early November.
Georgia challenges Auburn, with a Vengeance
The Auburn-Alabama game might already be making headline news as the best rematch of 2014, but let’s not forget the “Miracle at Jordan-Hare” that shocked Georgia with only seconds remaining on the clock. This year, Georgia came into the season with a pounding victory over Clemson, proving they are a force to fear this season. With both teams sitting neck-in-neck on the polls, this rematch is shaping up to be one of the top games of the year.