The memories of the 2018 college football season are still fresh for many, but it is never too early to begin looking forward to the '19 campaign. With a number of good matchups to look forward to next fall, how could you not start looking over the schedules and picking out the games you are most looking forward to seeing play out?
It will not be shocking to see defending national champion Clemson start the year with a high ranking and high expectations for another run to the College Football Playoff. The Tigers will get a good early test in a non-conference matchup with Texas A&M after a close call in College Station last season. The Aggies will find themselves involved in a number of key games next season with games against SEC West foes Alabama and Auburn as well as a crossover division matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs. Will the Aggies scratch together enough wins to make their own playoff case under Jimbo Fisher?
The Texas Longhorns are also looking to take a giant step forward after a big victory in the Sugar Bowl and playing for the Big 12 championship last fall. The Red River Rivalry with Oklahoma is arguably the game of the year looking ahead to the 2019 season considering the stakes that could be on the line in the Big 12 and, potentially, in the playoff discussion. And in the Pac-12, the Oregon Ducks are hoping to flap their wings with some more pride. They'll have to earn it with a neutral field showdown with Auburn and road trips to Washington and Stanford in division play.
The 2019 season will begin with a handful of interesting matchups on neutral fields, and the first month of the season will offer more games that will help determine early playoff race positioning as well as some conference bragging rights. Those early contests will also allow us a chance to see if offseason hype was worth the energy for a couple of teams that ended the 2018 season on a high note or if it will be back to the drawing board.
Here is a look at the top 25 games of the 2019 college football season we will be looking forward to seeing next fall.
— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. McGuire also contributes to College Football Talk and The Comeback as well as hosts the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB and Like him on Facebook.