Which college football games will have the most on the line in 2017?
This fall, there will be big college football matchups each week, but some games carry more weight than others.
ESPN released its list today of the 10 games with the highest stakes this upcoming year.
The No. 1 choice was Ohio State-Oklahoma. Here's why:
What's at stake: This clash will appear on any preseason list of big games, but there's more at stake for both teams than potential playoff positioning. Oklahoma still must prove it can do more than win a weakened Big 12. The Sooners' 21-point home loss to the Buckeyes effectively eliminated them from national-title contention last September. Although the Sooners improved throughout the season and played their best, especially on defense, down the stretch, they won't be taken seriously without a solid showing in Columbus. Ohio State's offensive showcase in Norman seems like a long time ago after the unit struggled in the second half last season and flatlined in a 31-0 loss to Clemson in the CFP semifinal. There are questions about QB J.T. Barrett, and an offense that must show up on its home field.
That Oklahoma-Ohio State game will be played Sept. 9. Ohio State's win over the Sooners last year was a major reason the Buckeyes made the CFP without winning the Big Ten.
Conversely, it was OU's second (and final) loss of the season. Though they ran the table, they had to settle for a win in the Sugar Bowl as opposed to a playoff berth.