Well, I had a feeling this week would come eventually where the playoff conversation wouldn't matter from Penn State's perspective, but it doesn't make it easier to swallow. Either way, they fought like hell against a superior team and I am still proud of that fact. Moving on though, it's rivalry week! That means huge games like Penn State vs. Rutgers for all of the marbles. I have no idea what marbles means when it comes to this game, but it is definitely huge.
Kidding aside, there is still a ton of meaningful football to be played this week, and it is looking like one of the deepest weekends with playoff implications in recent memory. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, your family, and good football!
- Ole Miss @ Miss State 7:30 ESPN – Unfortunately the Egg Bowl may decide Joe Moorhead’s future as the coach of Mississippi State. He is a great coach who just walked in to a really, really tough situation. I am still cheering for him. As for the game, a 2.5-point line seems right. These two teams are eerily similar statistically.
- Virginia Tech @ Virginia 12:00 ABC – It’s been a pretty impressive turnaround for Virginia Tech. They looked flat out awful at the beginning of the year but seem to be putting it together late. The winner gets to play Clemson, and could potentially land in a New Year’s Six bowl.
- Texas Tech @ Texas 12:00 FOX – Is 6-6 a year after winning a big bowl game and proclaiming that you are “back” enough to heat up Tom Herman’s seat? Is 7-5 even that much better? Texas had plenty of opportunities this year but seemed to squander all of them. It seems bad, and also makes you stop and appreciate that Texas would probably love to be where Penn State is right now.
- Iowa @ Nebraska 2:30 BTN – It should be a semi interesting game in that Nebraska is fighting for bowl eligibility, and it seems like Scott Frost might be in a similar situation to Herman at Texas. Both coaches seem to be each school’s “guy”, and both have pretty severely under delivered on significant hype coming in to the season.
- Cincinnati @ Memphis 3:30 ABC – The game of the day on Friday could be a preview of next weeks’ AAC Championship game. If Memphis wins, they are in. If Cincinnati wins, they secure the home field for the championship game, while Memphis will need Navy to lose to Houston on Saturday night. Memphis has shown how tough they are to beat at home this year, but Cincinnati’s defense should pose a pretty big challenge.
- Washington State @ Washington 4:00 FOX – The Apple Cup is always fun, though this year’s version carries less intrigue than recent contests. Other than pride, bowl seeding is likely at stake for each team. For as much praise as Chris Petersen has earned as a head coach, this Washington team really did not live up to expectations.
- App State @ Troy 6:00 ESPN+ - With a win, App State will host the Sun Belt title game and continue its run to earn the Group of Five bid to a New Year's Six game, likely the Cotton Bowl. A shocking loss to Georgia Southern is the only blemish on their record so far, and a date with Louisiana is all but set if they can hold off Louisiana Monroe this weekend.
- Ohio State @ Michigan 12:00 Big, Nude – The Game is just as big this year as it always is. Though Ohio State is clearly the class of the Big Ten, Michigan has played really well over the past month, and have the athletes to cause the same problems defensively as Penn State. A dominating win should give the Buckeyes enough to be locked in to the one spot heading into the playoff, assuming they can get past Minnesota or Wisconsin in Indianapolis.
- Clemson @ South Carolina 12:00 ESPN – The ACC is so bad that a bad South Carolina team was predicted to be Clemson’s toughest remaining game of the season. Virginia Tech's late season run may have changed that, however. I really would like to see them play Clemson in the title game, as both teams seem to be rounding in to form.
- Georgia @ Georgia Tech 12:00 ABC – This game may not look like much, but it’s an absolute must win for Georgia. If they slip up, all hopes of the playoff are gone.
- Alabama @ Auburn 3:30 CBS – The Iron Bowl carries a lot of weight from an SEC narrative perspective. A win for Auburn legitimizes some resumes, and a loss means that some of those resumes may not be as strong as we thought. It becomes a “nice” win over a four-loss team instead of a good win over a 9-3 borderline top-10 team. There is also the context of Alabama’s quarterback making his second career start on the road in a rivalry game. I expect Alabama to try and get the ball out quick and in to the hands of their many playmakers.
- Wisconsin @ Minnesota 3:30 ABC – The Big Ten West comes down to the final weekend, and fittingly enough 4,000 inches of snow was just dumped on Minneapolis. Tanner Morgan has shown more than enough at this point to prove that he is a baller that flat out makes plays. Even in the loss to Iowa where he was sacked six times he completed 69% of his passes, and threw for 368 yards. It wasn’t on him. Minnesota is legit good, and has potentially two games to prove it.
- Texas A&M @ LSU 7:00 ESPN – Another must win for a top-four team. If A&M pulls it off, it might create just the right amount of chaos that maybe, just maybe they would consider expanding the playoff. In conclusion, go Aggies.
- Colorado @ Utah 7:30 ABC – Utah is starting to get some attention, and deservedly so. They are dominating everyone. They also may have oddly saved Clay Helton’s job. Anyway, Utah should win comfortably, which would set up what should be a really fun Pac 12 championship game.
- Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State 8:00 FOX – I am not sure I understand Oklahoma at this point in the year. They seem to absolutely love drama despite being the better team on the field for almost all of their games. Oklahoma State is good enough though, that if the Sooners mess around like they did with Baylor, they might not be able to dig out of a hole like that again. The Pokes have a great running game and can grind more clock than Baylor could.
Fun rivalry games that don’t really matter other than to those who cheer for the schools
While they still may also matter to the casual college football fan as well, they don’t really have a big impact on the playoff landscape, aside from maybe Oregon-Oregon State. A second straight loss for the Ducks could really hurt the PAC 12 and Utah’s chances at making the playoff.
- Louisville @ Kentucky 12:00 SECN
- Northwestern @ Illinois 12:00 FS1
- Indiana @ Purdue 12:00 ESPN2
- Oregon State @ Oregon 4:00 PAC12N
- Notre Dame @ Stanford 4:00 FOX
- Vanderbilt @ Tennessee 4:00 SECN
- North Carolina @ NC State 7:00 ACCN
- Florida State @ Florida 7:30 SECN
- Arizona @ Arizona State 10:00 ESPN
- Cal @ UCLA 10:30 FS1
|timeslot||primary tv||secondary tv||projected on ceiling|
|big and nude saturday||Ohio State @ Michigan (12:00 FOX)||Clemson @ South Carolina (12:00 ESPN)||Georgia @ Georgia Tech (12:00 ABC)|
|i need about 3:30||Rutgers @ Penn State (3:30 BTN)||Alabama @ Auburn (3:30 CBS)||Wisconsin @ Minnesota (3:30 ABC)|
|primetime||Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State (8:00 FOX)||Texas A&M @ LSU (7:00 ESPN)||Colorado @ Utah (7:30 ABC)|
|#pac12afterdarklives?||Arizona @ Arizona State (10:00 ESPN)||Cal @ UCLA (10:30 FS1)|