Rivalry Weekend: College Football’s Thanksgiving Gift

Despite living in the Great White North, I have grown fond of American college football over the years and have become a zealous follower. While this season has become quite disastrous for my favourite program, West Virginia, this weekend’s slate of games can even make the students of Idaho excited about the annual college football Thanksgiving weekend. Some of the key games include:

  THE GAME  
#19 Michigan @ Ohio State
Michigan leads series 58-43-6

This game is bound to be a competitive bout with both teams ranked in the AP poll. Despite carrying an 11-0 record, OSU is ineligible for the postseason and won’t go bowling. However, a 12-0 season would go a long way to redeeming their tumultuous season a year ago and give them an opportunity to be the only undefeated FBS team in 2012.

Prediction: Michigan 24 – Ohio State 31

  BATTLE OF FLORIDA  
#4 Florida @ #10 Florida State
Florida leads series 32-21-2

It’s been a while since this game has meant something in the sunshine state. Both teams are ranked inside the top 10 of the BCS and with Florida making a strong push for a BCS championship bid, this match is going to be a slobber-knocker. Although a victory won’t vault FSU into a championship match, they can win their third consecutive match in this series and capture bragging rights for another year.

Prediction: Florida 17 – Florida State 14 

  JEWELED SHILLELAGH  
#1 Notre Dame @ Southern California
Notre Dame leads series 43-34-5

Notre Dame is ranked #1 for the first time since 1993 and eyeing their first championship since 1988.  On the other side, USC is reeling from a nightmarish season that saw them go from a BCS championship favourite to a mediocre PAC-12 team. A victory will cement Notre Dame’s spot as the #1 team in the country, but USC faithful would love nothing more than to crash the party and send Notre Dame to the Fiesta or Sugar bowl instead.

Prediction: Notre Dame 34 – Southern California 21

  CIVIL WAR  
#5 Oregon @ #15 Oregon State
Oregon leads series 59-46-10

In recent years, this match has played a pivotal role in determining the PAC-12 champion. While Oregon State cannot win the South division with a victory and a Stanford loss to UCLA, they can put a wrench into Oregon’s BCS hopes. This is sure to be a bitter and high scoring battle that will provide many highlight reel plays.

Prediction: Oregon 54 – Oregon State 31 

Other significant rivalry matches this weekend include: #21 Oklahoma State @ #13 Oklahoma, #12 South Carolina @ #11 Clemson, #8 Stanford @ #17 UCLA, Georgia Tech @ #3 Georgia, and Auburn @ #2 Alabama. Should all go according to plan, fans will be discussing the potential outcomes of the Notre Dame vs. Alabama championship match. However, if upsets are prevalent like they were last weekend, then chaos will reign supreme and the BCS will be mired in controversy once again.

Image credit to FBS Schedules.

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