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Top 5 Big 10 Non-Conference Games

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Big 10's Top 5 Out of Conference Games

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The 2013 NCAA football season is little over a month away which means teams are already preparing for their first few games of the year. Big-10 leaders have made it a primary task to start scheduling competitive out of conference games. After seeing non-conference games like Michigan vs. Alabama, Michigan State vs. Boise State, Notre Dame vs. Michigan State, among others in 2012, the Big 10 has continued the trend in 2013 with an impressive out of conference slate.

Some marquee Big-10 non-conference games include Michigan vs. Notre Dame, Michigan State vs. Notre Dame, Cincinnati vs. Purdue, Illinois vs. Washington, Ohio State vs. California, Indiana vs. Missouri, Iowa vs. Northern Illinois, and Michigan State vs. South Florida.

It seems as if every team in the Big 10 faces off against a quality opponent from one of the other major conferences year in and year out. The scheduling of these games is what continues to put the Big 10 on top (with the SEC) as the nation's best conference. Big 10 fans have grown accustomed to watching highly competitive and entertaining non-conference games throughout the fall. This is a strategy that the other conferences should investigate in order to gain more recognition. The programs around the conference aren't afraid to set up big-time games to build not only their program, but the entire conference. It is a win-win for both parties.

As already mentioned, the Big 10 will be featured in several late-August, early-September non-conference showdowns that will not disappoint. Rant Sports takes a look at and ranks the top five out of conference games taking place throughout the Big-10 conference this upcoming fall.

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5. Cincinnati vs. Purdue

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They might not feature the biggest names in college football, but when Cincinnati and Purdue square off in August, they will surely be some fireworks. Both programs display similar competition levels year in and year which will make for an entertaining ball game. A high-scoring outcome could be the result when these two schools face off in late August.

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4. California vs. Ohio State

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Ohio State and California will square off the for the second consecutive year, this time being play in California. Ohio State took Game 1 in 2012, but a more experienced California team hopes to utilize the home field advantage in 2013. This will be an interesting matchup for an Ohio State team with National Championship hopes.

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3. Arizona State vs. Wisconsin

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This makes for one of the most interesting match-ups of the non-conference season. Newly hired Wisconsin coach, Gary Anderson, will travel to the desert for a tough Week-2 contest against Arizona State. Wisconsin will look to shut down ASU’s high powered offensive which is led by junior QB Taylor Kelly.

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2. Nebraska vs. UCLA

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Last years Big 10 — Pac 12 matchup featured two offensive juggernauts that combined for over 1,000 total yards and 66 points. With both team’s respective starting QB still in the system, this year’s Nebraska — UCLA battle should be no different. Expect to see each team ranked in the top 25 coming into the week two non-conference showdown.

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1. Michigan vs. Notre Dame

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The two powerhouse schools have a long standing rivalry that will reach 41 games this fall. Last time Notre Dame faced Michigan in the Big House, Big Blue needed some late-game heroics from Denard Robinson to push the Wolverines past ND. However, the Golden Domers are coming off a 12-1 season and hope to derail Michigan’s chance at National Championship in 2013.