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Week 13 Preview - Rivalry Week

by Big Al

It's rivalry week again in college football. You can toss the records this week, because every teams knows that, no matter how they did this year, everything will be all right if they win this week. And they are going to fight and claw for every yard to make sure that their season finishes with a flourish.

Ole Miss at Mississippi State

The Egg Bowl. Ole Miss holds a substantial advantage in this year-end rivalry. Mississippi State closes the gap by one game.

Baylor at TCU

Baylor took a nosedive this year for reasons too discomfitting to discuss. TCU brings their year to an unmerciful close.

USF at UCF

Among the bigger games of the weekend, it is also the most overlooked. These two teams have combined for one loss this year. Obviously, they will add one more in this game. But this is a very interesting rivalry between two directional Floridas, both of which are in central Florida. But Central Florida took the name before South Florida showed up. So South Florida took their name despite being nowhere near south Florida. The playoff committee could use a UCF loss here to avoid a lot of uncomfortable questions in the offseason. They won't get it. UCF wins.

Iowa at Nebraska

No, it's not a big game. I just enjoy typing out Farmageddon! Anyway, Iowa wins, then Nebraska looks for a new coach. Which stinks, because I like Mike Riley.

Virginia Tech at Virginia

Virginia Tech keeps staying in the top 25. Virginia keeps not. Virginia Tech it is.

Texas Tech at Texas

I miss the Texas-Texas A&M game. But Texas A&M moved on and doesn't seem too disappointed about getting out from under the shadow of the University of Texas... and into the shadow of the University of Alabama. But Texas does seem to miss having Texas A&M around; it was like having a little brother to pick on. Anyway, Texas Tech wins.

Cal at UCLA

So, um, USC and UCLA played last weekend, probably because UCLA was tired of shifting the date of their season-ending game against USC every year so USC could finish against Notre Dame. Can't say as I blame them. UCLA gets a win here to get bowl eligible at the end of a season that quickly turned into a disappointment, then became simply embarrassing.

Georgia at Georgia Tech

Georgia takes out their frustrations on Georgia Tech before a date against whoever wins the Alabama-Auburn game.

Ohio State at Michigan

As I have said several times, I am a pessimistic Ohio State fan. But Ohio State is such an obvious pick, even I can't pick against them. I'm not discounting the chances for a very determined Michigan team against an Ohio State team that sometimes doesn't show up for games. But almost nobody outside a maize-and-blue sweatshirt is picking Michigan this weekend... and quite a few in them will be picking Ohio State too. So Ohio State it is.

Florida State at Florida

So... how about that USF-UCF game? Florida State wins, because they will actually be interested this weekend.

Louisville at Kentucky

There have been a few things said about Lamar Jackson and how he should be considered more for a second Heisman, seeing that he's actually putting up better numbers this year. Well, the Heisman is more than a numbers game. It's about a guy who is exciting to watch. And Lamar Jackson has not been exciting in the few big games he's been in this year. Which means that Louisville lost some of those games, which means that games involving Louisville aren't so big anymore. But this game is big for Louisville. They will finish with a bang.

Alabama at Auburn

Certainly the most interesting game of the weekend. Alabama has been struggling with injuries this year, and Auburn put themselves back into the title hunt when they smacked around Georgia for four quarters. But Alabama is still Alabama. Look for them to remind Auburn of that fact this weekend.

West Virginia at Oklahoma

Oklahoma isn't yet a shoo-in for the playoffs, and they probably need to win out to stay in. They get halfway there with a win here.

Clemson at South Carolina

South Carolina has one chance to ruin Clemson's season. Maybe next year.

Notre Dame at Stanford

This is a game that I am actually very interested in. Notre Dame is a very good team, but they are still on the outside looking in. Stanford, meanwhile, is a very good team that had their best player hobbled for part of the year. Bryce Love and Josh Adams are probably the best two running backs in the country. The winner of this game is likely going to be the team that is the first to get control of both lines of scrimmage. I expect Notre Dame will take care of that.

Washington State at Washington

I really don't know what to make of the Pac-12 North. Washington State can take the division with a win here. But the maximum confusion rule seems to be applying to the Pac-12 North this year, so I look for Washington to get the win here.

Columns

Week 14 Recap

And so we close the regular season. It was a fun year. Now let's look at the last week of it.

Week 14 Preview

Championship weekend. Big games abound across the country. So let's take a look them.

Week 13 Recap

Well, that was interesting. Not a dull week by any means. We've got ourselves quite a finish setting up here.

Week 13 Preview

Rivaly week!

Week 12 Recap

It was a dull week. So let's talk about two games and the national title race.

Week 12 Preview

There's only one big game and the national race is clear only insofar as the top 5 teams keep winning. That's the gist of the article. Wish I had more to say on a weekend without a lot of hype.