College football: Top 15 non-conference games die-hard fans deserve

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Aug 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Tanner McEvoy (5) rushes during the second quarter against the LSU Tigers at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 college football season will kick off with some intriguing non-conference matchups and even more lined up on future schedules, but there are a few exciting potential games we just can’t stop dreaming about.

Arguably more than ever before, the non-conference schedule has a significant impact on teams’ postseason hopes. If you don’t play anyone in your non-conference slate, there’s a possibility you won’t make the College Football Playoff even if you win your conference.

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Those who challenge themselves, meanwhile, are rewarded with strength-of-schedule points that can push them into the playoff picture — even, in some cases, if they lose their big non-conference game.

This season, we’ll be glued to our seats watching playoff-hopefuls like Michigan State and Oregon and Alabama and Wisconsin battle it out, but if we got our wish, there’d be more high-profile games on their early part of the college football schedule.

Here are 15 dream match-ups we’d like see in the near future:

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