Michigan-Notre Dame leads off games to watch in 2018

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              FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2017, file photo, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh watches players warm up for an NCAA college football game against Ohio State in Ann Arbor, Mich. Harbaugh is 28-11 since taking over the Wolverines. That’s a clear improvement from where Michigan was, but a bit underwhelming considering the hype and expectations that accompanied Harbaugh’s arrival. Specifically, the Wolverines have struggled against their biggest rivals, going 1-5 against Ohio State and Michigan State. Michigan opens this season at Notre Dame. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
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Remember last year, when everyone was eyeing the season-opening Alabama-Florida State game as one of the most anticipated matchups?

The third-ranked Seminoles lost that game and several more, barely finishing with a winning record.

Even late in the season, a huge showdown between two top teams might not mean as much in hindsight. Consider the Iron Bowl between No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Auburn. The Crimson Tide lost but still went on to win the national title.

So predicting the most important games of the regular season is a tricky proposition, but with that caveat out of the way, there are several matchups that already stand out when looking through this year’s schedule. Here are a few of those games to watch in 2018: