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Rivalry Week

College Football TV-Watching Guide – Week 13

 

 

MUST WATCHES

FRIDAY 8:30 PM: #16 Oregon State Beavers vs. #6 Oregon Ducks (-13.5) – FOX

While the first rivalry game for the final week of the regular season kicks off on Thanksgiving night with the Egg Bowl, the first game with playoff implications is Friday night with the game formerly known as the Civil War between the Beavers and Ducks.

Since missing a potential game-winning field goal in Seattle earlier this season, Oregon might be playing the most consistently dominant football in the nation. The offense has put up over 35 points in five straight contests, Bo Nix is lighting up stat sheets, and the defense is starting to show its teeth as well. The Beavers dropped a tight one to Washington a week ago and will be licking its chops to disrupt the Pac-12’s playoff chances one last time.

As great as Oregon State’s rushing attack has been, I really like how Oregon stacks up on the lines of scrimmage. The Beavers will have trouble getting open as well against a talented Ducks secondary, and Oregon takes care of its rival on Friday night.

 

12:00 PM: #2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #3 Michigan Wolverines (-3) – FOX

 

​ The game of the year in college football has arrived. The Wolverines and Buckeyes meet up in Ann Arbor at 11-0, and with lowly Iowa waiting in Indianapolis a de facto playoff spot on the line.

 

​Ohio State cruised past Minnesota in the matchup leading into this game, while Michigan controlled the opening half but lost its grip against Maryland in a tight win on the road. The Wolverines will be without head coach Jim Harbaugh who will serve the last of his three game suspension and potentially their lead wide receiver Roman Wilson. Michigan will have to rely on its run game coming alive again in this matchup and its ability to win the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

 

​As for my winner in this one, I have a slight lean to Ohio State. I’m not sold on Kyle McCord’s ability to put the team on his shoulders and lead the Buckeyes to victory, but how many times do we react to an OSU win with something along the lines of ‘Well they had Marvin Harrison Jr. and the other team didn’t’? The Buckeyes should be able to match or come close to Michigan’s physicality on defense, and Harrison’s playmaking ability will be the difference in a tight Ohio State win.

 

7:00 PM: #5 Florida State Seminoles vs. Florida Gators (+6.5) – ESPN

 

The post-Jordan Travis experience begins for the Seminoles, who have now dropped out of the top four teams in the nation. Tate Rodemaker will take over the position trying to replicate Travis’ production in the high powered FSU offense.

Luckily for FSU, they won’t be the only team going into this game without its usual starting quarterback. Gators signal-caller Graham Mertz suffered a collarbone injury in the team’s loss at Missouri last Saturday. Florida will be turning the reins over to freshman Max Brown who only played in garbage time this year.

Florida needs this upset over its rival to be bowl eligible, but I don’t think they’ll be able to stack up against a still extremely talented Florida State roster. Jared Verse and Kalen DeLoach will be all in Florida’s backfield and the Seminoles will rely on a steady dose of RB Trey Benson to keep Rodemaker from making mistakes.

 

BACKGROUND NOISE

 

12:00 PM: Kentucky Wildcats vs. #10 Louisville Cardinals (-7) – ABC

Potential trap game here for the Cardinals, who now after Florida State’s injuries should love its chances to win the ACC championship game next week. The Kentucky team that ran it for half a mile against Florida earlier this season is still there, and they may have not been that team now for a month but it still exists. Be careful Louisville.

 

3:30 PM: #8 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers (+14.5) – CBS

The Iron Bowl is always solid TV on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but the game may not be very entertaining this year. Auburn is reeling after a loss to New Mexico State (!) last weekend, and Alabama will be playing to get right ahead of the SEC championship game against Georgia.

 

7:30 PM: #24 Clemson Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (+7) – SECN

While not nationally relevant this year, Williams-Brice will be electric on Saturday night as the Gamecocks will look to knock off its rival for the second year in a row and become bowl-eligible. Clemson’s roster is better and the defense has a chance to suffocate Spencer Rattler after doing it to Sam Hartman and Drake Maye the last two weeks. Give me the Tigers to win and cover.

THE RIVALRY GAMES TO WATCH GAMES OF THE WEEK

THURSDAY 7:30 PM: #12 Ole Miss Rebels vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (+10) – ESPN

FRIDAY 7:30 PM: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. #7 Texas Longhorns (-12.5) – ABC

7:30 PM: #1 Georgia Bulldogs vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+24) – ABC

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