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by Big Al

It's Rivalry Week! The only games that matter are being played this week. Let's talk about them.

Ole Miss at Mississippi State

The Egg Bowl is kicking off Rivaly Weekend with... a 4-7 Ole Miss against a 5-6 Mississippi State team. Let's pick Mississippi State, just so someone gets something good out of this game.

Texas Tech at Texas

I sometimes wonder whether Texas A&M misses its season-ending rivalry with Texas. I'm darn sure that Texas misses Texas A&M, because this is a hard game to get the blood boiling for. But the Longhorns had better win it, or Tom Herman will really get Texas blood boiling.

Virginia Tech at Virginia

Two 8-3 teams fighting for... something. I don't know. I can't keep track of the ACC divisions, so this is probably for the Coastal championship or the Atlantic championship or whatever gets someone's ass kicked by Clemson. Unless it doesn't. Because, really, Clemson is the only show in ACC town. So, heck, let's say Virginia Tech because they beat Virginia a lot these days.

Iowa at Nebraska

Farmaggeddon!

I love typing that every year. And I'd really love to pick Nebraska to get bowl eligible with a win over their corn-growing rival. The fact Nebraska is at home gives me some hope. But I'm just not seeing it. Iowa wins.

Cincinnati at Memphis

This is probably for a berth in a top-tier bowl. I really like what Luke Fickell has been doing in Cincinnati, so I will go with the Bearcats over the Tigers.

Washington State at Washington

These two teams looked pretty at the start of the year. Then the year happened. Anyway, here's hoping for snow in the northwest, because I love seeing players skidding across the snow. Particularly when they are two passing teams. Let's go with Washington State, because they have been slightly less embarrassing this year.

Ohio State at Michigan

The Game. The only game that matters. One of the few legitimately interstate rivalries in the last week of the year. And, as I have said several times, I am an Ohio State, though a pessimistic one.

Ohio State is ridiculously good. And Ohio State is way better than Michigan. But, for a lot of reasons, Michigan will win. The immediate cause is Justin Fields' injury. The other is the fact that Michigan is finally hitting their stride and Ohio State won't know how good that stride is until it's running past them. There are other causes, but I'll just keep them to myself for now.

Louisville at Kentucky

There are a bunch of other rivalry games for higher-ranked teams, but it's so flaming obvious who to pick that I'd be wasting your time by pointing them out.

To resume, the Commonwealth Cup? I think? Doesn't matter. This is the big game in the state until these two play in basketball, then everyone will forget this game ever happened. Except the Louisville players, because they'll be charged up about their win.

Alabama at Auburn

Ohio State and Michigan hate each other. But this takes it to another level.

I'm a little worried about Alabama here. With the loss of Tua, they lost their best weapon. But, at the same time, there scientific law that says, "Alabama will be in the playoffs." Who am I to argue with science? Alabama wins.

Wisconsin at Minnesota

This game is one of the most exciting of the weekend. Because nobody really knows what to expect. Wisconsin wants another shot at Ohio State. Minnesota just wants a shot.

Minnesota has really figured out their situation and they are a dangerous wildcard that is so unexpected that they could easily upend Ohio State. I really want to pick Minnesota here, but I've been burned too many times on what I want to do. Wisconsin wins.

Texas A&M at LSU

As I've said a few times, I'm concerned about LSU. Their defense has been giving up a lot of points lately. But I am not ready to pick against them in this game. LSU wins.

Florida State at Florida

Why is this game at 7:30? This was always a 3:30 game. Goodness knows everyone wants to get this over with. Florida will certainly get rid of Florida State.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State

Oklahoma was off to a great start, but they can't seem to get anything going lately. It's like they keep getting worse. I know Jalen Hurts has been falling off the pace since his hot start. For that reason, expect Oklahoma State to get the win in Bedlam.

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