The Best Future Non-Conference Games in the SEC
Commissioner Mike Slive has mandated that all of the schools in the conference must schedule at least one game against a team from a power conference starting in 2016.
This decision will certainly impact the non-conference slate for teams that have always steered towards scheduling four guaranteed wins, but for those that have continued to schedule out-of-conference powers, not a whole lot will change.
But although the official league mandate doesn't take effect until 2016, there are already games featuring SEC teams and power conference opponents on the future schedules.
Let's take a glance into the future and look at some of the best non-conference battles that are set to take place over the next several years.
Alabama vs. Wisconsin (2015)
LSU will get the Badgers this season at Cowboys Stadium, and then Nick Saban's team will turn right around and play them at the same venue in 2015 season opener.
Florida vs. Michigan (2017)
Jerry Jones will continue to bring in the college football heavyweights -- that is, if Florida can return to its traditional success -- as the Gators and Wolverines will open their seasons in the Cowboys Classic.
Georgia vs. Notre Dame (2017, 2019)
This series is fresh off the press as this future home and home was just announced a few days ago. Georgia has shown no signs of shying away from anyone after playing successful non-conference teams like Clemson and Boise State in recent years.
South Carolina vs. North Carolina (2015)
These two teams will play in Charlotte next year to cap off the recent series that started with a South Carolina win in Colombia last season. With the Tar Heel program on the upswing, this could potentially be a battle of Top 10 teams.
Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech (2016)
This SEC/ACC matchup is being hyped as "the biggest college football game ever" due to the game being held as Bristol Motor Speedway. The racetrack holds 160,000 seats, so if the two teams managed to fill them, it would certainly live up to the billing.
Arkansas vs. Michigan (2018, 2019)
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema -- assuming that he's still at the school -- will face a familiar Big Ten program in this home-and-home series. Perhaps by the time these games roll around, Arkansas will have once again become a major player in the SEC.
Auburn vs. Louisville (2015)
Talk about a fun-filled game to kick off the 2015 season. The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will feature the Tigers and Cardinals, two teams that should bring a lot of offensive skill to the table. Gus Malzahn vs. Bobby Petrino? Sign me up.
Texas A&M vs. UCLA (2016, 2017)
Part one of Texas A&M's Pac-12 tour will be a home-and-home series with UCLA. Kevin Sumlin and Jim Mora Jr. are two of the best coaches in the game today, so don't be surprised if these two are boasting potential championship squads when this game kicks off.
Texas A&M vs. Oregon (2018, 2019)
After two straight years playing UCLA, the Aggies will turn their attention to Oregon. You have to give Sumlin and company a ton of credit for going out and proactively scheduling teams that are the best of the best instead of just settling for the bottom feeders in power conferences.
What are your thoughts on these intriguing future matchups between SEC teams and power conference opponents? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow FanIQ College Football or myself on Twitter!