Yes, friends, it’s finally here. It’s Week 13 of the college football season, but most importantly … it’s Wivalwy, erm, Rivalry Week.
While there wasn’t a whole lot to discuss in this week’s playoff rankings (with thanks to the selection committee for being extra boring this week, sarcasm intended), we dive right into the games. And we have to, because the first one begins just shortly after you revive yourself from your Thanksgiving-induced long winter’s naps.
Washington at Washington State (3:30 p.m. ET Friday): The Apple Cup this year is so much more than just a rivalry game … it’s the Pac-12 North title game. And while the Cougars don’t really have a claim to a playoff spot, the visiting Huskies certainly do, sitting at the prime No. 5 spot and poised to slide into the Top 4 with a win. Take a break from your Black Friday shopping to watch this one. It has the potential to be a whole lot of offense.
Michigan at Ohio State (12 p.m. ET Saturday): So, it goes without saying that one of us is extremely hyped for this game … but in addition to essentially serving as a play-in game for the College Football Playoff, it also has effects that impact the entire Big Ten championship scenario. (Which means that yes, I am just as hyped for this game as Crappy is.) It’s put up or shut up time for these two teams. The winner is in; the loser is out. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Auburn at Alabama (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday): The Iron Bowl is always extremely entertaining (Pick Six, anyone?) but unlike the other two games, this one doesn’t exactly have national implications. With Alabama already having their tickets booked to next weekend’s SEC title game in Atlanta, the Tide can actually afford to lose this game and not lose anything on the national scale, other than their No. 1 ranking. They’ll still be in the Top 4 of the playoff ranking … and they’ll still get a playoff spot, especially if they win the SEC. Auburn, on the other hand, would just love to make things interesting for their rivals.
And, OK, so we threw another game in too, just for good measure …
Michigan State at Penn State (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday): While technically not an “official” rivalry (although the Land Grant trophy is, umm, a national treasure), the Nittany Lions need a win to have a shot at the Big Ten title game. Sparty, on the other hand, is wrapping up what can easily be described as a disappointing season. And they’d love nothing more than to spoil the hopes of a team that is arguably overachieving this year.
So, enjoy your Thanksgiving … recover quickly … and settle in for a spectacular feast of football to wrap up the regular season.
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