It’s Ugly, It’s Rowdy
and It’s Rivalry Week
Next to Christmas, Rivalry Week is probably the best thing that happens each year. Sure, you all just stuffed yourself with turkey and it felt good for an hour or so, but I bet you regret it now! Rivalry Week in College Football might even be better than Christmas, depending on the outcome of your favorite team’s game. Think about it. One full year to brag, nag and poke fun at your friends and colleagues over the annual matchup. Since when do you brag about what you got for Christmas? If you have a family like mine, nail clippers and ugly sweaters aren’t a topic I bring up for another 365 days. Gear up, lay out a spectacular spread, paint your face and grab your jersey! Now, onto some picks.
#1 Alabama @ #6 Auburn
The winner of this game is in the playoffs. Yes, there is still the SEC Championship but c’mon, Auburn destroyed the Bulldogs just two weeks ago. Conventional wisdom says, if Alabama beats Auburn, they would beat Georgia. While I would normally advise against that type of thinking in College Football, I don’t believe one could bet their money on Georgia to win outright. Alabama has been a run-first team for decades. Auburn is very good against the run. For the first time in a while, Auburn has the edge on both lines of scrimmage. The Crimson Tide are beaten and battered on defense. Look for the Tigers to run it straight at the Tide and then unload an aerial assault over the middle. Auburn wins this one and the SEC Championship.
#3 Clemson @ #24 South Carolina
It seems like a century ago that the Gamecocks had a five-game win streak over the Tigers. My oh my, how time can change the fortunes of a University. Since losing their 5th gam in a row to the Gamecocks, the Tigers have ripped off a record of 49-6. In that same period, South Carolina has won just half of their games with a record of 25-25. Clemson has made two straight appearances in the National Title Game and the Gamecocks have only been bowl eligible once in the last two seasons (lost to USF in 2016). However, the 2017 Gamecocks look better than most would have given them credit for. Whatever the reasons may be, USC has compiled an 8-3 record and things seem to be on the up. It won’t matter for this game, but the Gamecocks won’t go without a fight. Tigers walk away with this one late and keep their playoff hopes alive.
#7 Georgia @ Georgia Tech
Let’s face it, unless you’re a fan of one of these teams, this is not a game anyone wants to watch. While Georgia is a mainstay in the Top15, Georgia Tech runs that gimmicky triple option offense. When it is good, its amazing. On the flip side, when GT doesn’t have all their nuggets in the Happy Meal, the offense is dreadful. This is one of those years. Its been that way for a while now and maybe the Alumni Association needs to think about collecting an offering on Sunday to find the replacement for Paul Johnson. Georgia isn’t the best team in the SEC, but GT might not win 8 games in the MAC. Georgia owns GT again!
#9 Ohio State @ Michigan
There was an article about Jim Harbough this week. I know, I can’t believe it either. Just when we thought we were done talking about Mr. Khaki Pants and the (We wish we were X-Men) Wolverines, ESPN finds another way to talk about the overrated coach. Ohio State may not be the greatest team in College Football and yes, they have a coach who fakes health problems to get out of losing but the Buckeyes are the better team. At least on the field. We won’t get into Criminal Records, but the win-loss record doesn’t lie. The records show that Michigan, I mean Mr. Khaki Pants, can’t win with his own players. This was Harbough’s year and well, they stink. Maybe Michigan should join the Pac12. Ohio State makes this a laugher early in the fourth quarter.
No Hopes of a Playoff Berth but Still fun to Watch!
#13 Washington State @ #17 Washington
The Huskies are playing another late game. Emotions will run high as Chris Petersen cries again about playing so late. Jake Browning joins in with the waterfall when he finds out his name isn’t on anyone’s Heisman List and he throws 2 interceptions in the losing effort. Don’t worry Washington fans, Chris Petersen is locked in and will harbor more tears next season. Oh, and I will be there to make fun of him, again!
#8 Notre Dame @ #21 Stanford
Don’t tell Bryce Love that he isn’t the best running back in the country, he won’t hear you anyways. While Saquon Barkley has trailed off late in the season, Love has been just as impressive as he was early on. Notre Dame got ran over by Miami and while Stanford has had a myriad of issues this season, Love isn’t one of them. It wouldn’t surprise me if Stanford pulled off the upset because the Irish are still getting over the embarrassment from the South Beach Beatdown. This game will probably be the most competitive aside from Alabama at Auburn. Irish pull it out on the last drive of the game.
No One Cares about Us
Ole Miss @ #14 Mississippi State
If no one cares, why am I even bringing it up? The entertainment value, of course. Mississippi State ratted out Ole Miss and former head coach for violations over the last few years. The Bulldogs from Starkville have owned the Rebels from a legal standpoint and the number of penalties and ejections in this one might set a new NCAA record. If you have been living under a rock, the Rebels fired their Head Coach at the beginning of the season for calls to an escort service… Yea, I am sure that’s all he was doing. I guess OJ didn’t do it either. In the end, Freeze lost his job and probably won’t coach again in the FBS. Of course, Lane Kiffin found a job, so there is hope. It might turn into an MMA Fight, but it will still be entertaining. While Mississippi State will win on the scoreboard, the real winners will be the announcers. How can you not watch this game?
The AAC Commissioner said… No one cares!
Hey, Mike Aresco, tell your conference members to schedule games worth watching. Earlier today, the AAC Commissioner said that UCF and USF “aren’t getting a fair shake” when it comes to the CFP. I understand the Knights lost a game due to the hurricane. However, other teams made the necessary adjustments to play a meaningful game. If UCF beats USF and remains undefeated, the Knights would still be left in a New Year’s Six Bowl Game. Thank your local scheduling department for that one. Sure, UCF beat Maryland this year but who didn’t. Their best win came from Memphis (ranked #20). While Wisconsin hasn’t beaten anyone either, they still play a tougher schedule. Don’t forget the Badgers are still not in the Top4. So, join a better conference or schedule tougher out of conference games. Your choice but don’t be Chris Petersen.