Pigskin Punditry No. 16: More Rivalry Games Highlight Thanksgiving Weekend
From the makers of “Rivalry Week,” we now present “Rivalry Week, Part Deux: The BCS Chaos Continues.”
Okay, maybe not total BCS chaos just yet. But Texas Tech’s decimation at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners last Saturday night has potentially started a chain reaction that will impact all of the one-loss teams hanging around the top 10.
When you factor in that this is rivalry week for many of these top teams, well, the stakes just got raised even higher.
And of course, it is Thanksgiving. So eat lots of turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and stuffing, and before the tryptophan coma hits you, tune in for Texas A&M vs. Texas. That will be the first chance for an upset that tips the BCS and Big 12 South applecart completely over.
Of course, the Lone Star showdown is just the first course. There is plenty of college football to go around. Oh, and if your rivalry game didn’t make this list, I am sorry. This isn’t a ranking the rivalries list; I was just cherry-picking some off of the schedule this week. Otherwise, this column would be 10 pages long.
Without further ado, here are the Week 14 picks.
Texas 45, Texas A&M 24
The Aggies would love nothing more than to ruin their heated rival’s chance to go play for the national championship. I don’t think that the Aggies have the horses to keep up with a Colt—McCoy, that is. With the game being in Austin, it’s safe to say that Texas can pack their bags for Kansas City for a rematch against Missouri next weekend.
West Virginia 28, Pittsburgh 20
I think that Pat White and the rest of the Mountaineers have a bit of revenge on their minds. West Virginia had a shot to play for the national championship last year, only to be taken out by Pitt 13-9 in the regular season finale.
Pat White missed most of that game with an injury, and I think he’d like to prove that he would have been a difference maker by leading the Mountaineers over Pitt in the Backyard Brawl.
Arkansas 27, LSU 17
Take LSU’s inconsistent quarterback play, and it really does make you wonder if the landscape of the SEC West and the BCS would look different if Ryan Perrilloux was under center for the Tigers. I would say yes. I’m taking Arkansas because I simply don’t trust whoever plays QB for the Tigers.
Nebraska 42, Colorado 17
Colorado is fighting for bowl eligibility in the Big 12. Nebraska has turned it around recently and appears to be moving forward under Bo Pelini. Right now, the Cornhuskers appear to be the better team and are more likely to win at home than lose to a somewhat drifting Colorado program. I wonder if Coach Hawkins regrets leaving Boise State.
Georgia 17, Georgia Tech 14
Paul Johnson and his triple option offense get introduced to Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate as the Yellow Jackets travel to Athens to face the Bulldogs. Because of the triple option, and because both teams play decent defense, this will be a low-scoring affair. I think a late field goal by Georgia gives them the win.
Missouri 45, Kansas 21
Chase Daniel and company want to win three straight and keep the Marching Drum for another year. Kansas would love to finish 7-5 instead of 6-6. I expect the Tigers to use the game as a tune-up coming out of the bye week before returning to Arrowhead Stadium for the Big 12 championship.
Alabama 31, Auburn 17
Nick Saban ends the streak of losses against Auburn and potentially sends Tommy Tuberville out of the Plains. The margin of victory is small because Saban calls off the dogs early, because next week, he faces...
Florida 41, Florida State 20
Urban Meyer and the Gators are on a roll right now, and the Gator Train steamrolls through Tallahassee on the way to the Georgia Dome for the SEC championship next weekend.
Oklahoma State 35, Oklahoma 34
Last time the Cowboys were on the national stage, they got throttled by Texas Tech, who got throttled last week by the Sooners. But when it comes to Bedlam, the Cowboys are long overdue for a victory that would keep the Sooners from potentially heading to Arrowhead Stadium next weekend or from a possible BCS berth. This will be a wild one, and a late touchdown by Dez Bryant will seal the upset.
Oregon State 20, Oregon 19
No Quizz Rodgers for the Beavers spells trouble. A still questionable Lyle Moevao also is bothersome. But the Beavers can see the finish line that is the Rose Bowl berth, and they will find a way to get the job done on senior day in Corvallis.
USC 28, Notre Dame 3
Theoretically, this game could come down to which USC team shows up: the one that lost to Oregon State and could have lost to Arizona, or the one that destroyed the two Washington schools by a combined score of 125-0. I think we’ll get a version somewhere in between.
The seat under Charlie Weis will get extremely hot, and considering that the current athletic director did not hire him, it could be an interesting week coming up.
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