The Weekend That Will Change Everything: Top 25 and Thanksgiving Preview

Ron Johnson@TLCCaptainSenior Writer INovember 26, 2008

This is the one weekend that everyone will get something they want. That's right kiddies! Christmas comes a little early for all the football fans out there. Every game this weekend has a different meaning, but there are those that have BCS and historic implications on the future of both the NFL and the BCS Standings.

So here's the rundown on the games I think will leave all of us breathless.

Thanksgiving Day

Tennessee Titans vs. Detroit Lions

The Lions flat out stink. There is no nice way to say it, and no nice way to deny it. The Detroit Lions are on the verge of making history...and not in a good way. And tomorrow, they are facing a team that is flat out pissed off.

The Titans don't stink...they're just misunderstood. We would like to say that about them, but that isn't the case this time. They're good. They just suffered their first loss of the season to Brett Favre (nothing to be completely mad about). But they're massively motivated to get back on the winning track tomorrow against a team that can't seem to find the 'W' column.

And it won't get any better in a game where we just found out that Ford Field was sold out. Anybody else find that odd?

Final Score: Titans 31, Lions 16

Seattle Seahawks vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Seahawks are going to give Mike Holmgren another heart attack by the end of the season. In his final season, his Hawks have lost control of the NFC West to the Arizona Cardinals. The Hawks are not going to the postseason for the first time in a long time. To top it all off, they have to see and hear someone tomorrow that many of the males on this site would rather see and not hear: Jessica Simpson.

The Cowboys are back on the winning track since Tony Romo returned to his position as the starting quarterback. T.O. is starting to play like he used to, and it's paying off. Even with all the drama involving "The Artist formerly known as "Pacman"," the Cowboys are even more motivated to reclaim the NFC East heading into the final stretch of their divisional games. With a failing Seahawks team coming to town, the only thing we all can hope for is that Jessica isn't singing the national anthem.

Final Score: Cowboys 30, Seahawks 13

Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Eagles

One lifetime ago, the Eagles were good, and the Cardinals just plain sucked. My how the tables have turned this season. The Eagles could have a new coach and new quarterback by the beginning of next season. The team is in a state of disarray, and the city knows it. After two of its teams broke the championship drought over the last few months (Soul and Phillies), the Eagles look to be a team that is going to make house in the bottom of the NFC East.

And then there are the Arizona Cardinals. After Matt Leinart did his cameo appearances in Girls Gone Wild: Desert Thunder, the Cards turned to aged veteran Kurt Warner to lead them to some decency this season. The result: The Cards are about to clinch the NFC West, and possibly host their first postseason game in record time. Not bad for a team that was sharing the basement with the likes of St. Louis and San Francisco last season. When the smoke clears on Thanksgiving night, Arizona will get one step closer to the dream, and the Eagles will be one step away from a very dysfunctional nightmare.

Final Score: Cardinals 27, Eagles 10

Texas A&M vs. #2 Texas

The Aggies have nothing to lose going into this game. They have a chance to do something big this weekend. With seven losses this season, the Aggies can go into Austin and do something that's been hard to do: Beat the Longhorns.

Texas needs this win. They have the tiebreaker over Oklahoma, but the Sooners are first in the Big XII South Division thanks to that blowout win over Texas Tech. So Texas needs to win and win big in order to jump Oklahoma for the division and the berth into the Big XII Championship Game against Missouri.

Texas will win this game...but it might not be enough to win the division unless...

Final Score: Longhorns 41, Aggies 20

#3 Oklahoma vs. #12 Oklahoma State (Bedlam Rivalry)

The Sooners are good. Damn good. And they proved it last weekend in Norman when they destroyed Texas Tech. Now they're set to win the Big XII South with a victory over their in-state rival Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys lost two big games this season...and they lost them bad. Now they have to face an Oklahoma team that is motivated for bigger and better things. Now they have to play the bad guy and beat the Sooners. This game is important for both teams mainly because Sam Bradford is hot, and the defense is just as hot. The Cowboys will have problems, and that will lead to Oklahoma winning the second biggest game of the season.

And contrary to what Lisa Horne said on, Oklahoma needs to win big in this game. So run the scoreboard up as much as possible. Because depending on what Texas does tomorrow night, the style points will be extremely important. Sorry, Lisa, but the Sooners shouldn't "Take it Easy" this weekend against the Cowboys. On my signal, unleash hell.

Final Score: Sooners 59, Cowboys 24

#22 Georgia Tech vs. #11 Georgia (Good Ol' Fashioned Hate)

So, why is this game important. Georgia Tech is in the same position as Florida State. Even though both teams have an in-state rivalry game this weekend, they will be watching a couple of ACC games as well. But the Jackets should be worried about one number: seven. Seven straight losses to the Bulldogs in this rivalry should be enough motivation for them to pad their numbers while they're waiting to find out if they'll be playing for the ACC Championship in a possible rematch with the same team they shocked a few weeks ago...

Final Score: Bulldogs 30, Yellow Jackets 24

#4 Florida vs. #20 Florida State (Governors Cup)

So how important is this game for both teams? Let's run it down starting with the Seminoles.

Talks of retirement are on the backburner for Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. He knows that he has a chance to win the ACC Atlantic Division. But they have to hope that Maryland (the team they beat last weekend) can beat Boston College this weekend. If the Terrapins win, Florida State plays for the ACC Championship. If BC wins, Florida State is out. But even better, the Seminoles can play spoiler for their rival if they win on Saturday night.

Then there are the Florida Gators. The Gators are 10-1 heading into this weekend, and they know that the next two games are crucial to their campaign for their second NC appearance in three years. A win in Tallahassee seals their fate heading into Atlanta and the Crimson Tide. And considering how the team has played in its last six games, it's hard to go against the Gators. But Florida State put up 40 points last week against Maryland while Florida put up 70 points against The Citadel...and 40 points against LSU...and 40 points against Georgia...and 40 points against Vanderbilt.

Are you noticing a trend? This will be a shootout, and Tim Tebow will win that with so many unpredictable guys on offense.

Final Score: Gators 45, Seminoles 30

#23 Oregon vs. #17 Oregon State

The Ducks are dangerous when there is something to play for. And what better game for them to prove that than with their in-state rival Oregon State?

The Ducks can play spoiler and helper to USC by beating the Beavers this weekend. A win for the Ducks means that Pete Carroll and the Rose Bowl committee will get the Trojans in the Rose Bowl against Penn State. But if the Ducks lose, everyone on the Pacific Coast could lose their lunch...that is everyone except for the students in Corvallis.

The Beavers have played tough, true grit, smashmouth football as of late. And they know what is at stake this weekend. A win for them means that they not only win the Pac-10 Championship but also a berth in the Rose Bowl and a chance at payback against JoePa's Nittany Lions. With the shootout and nailbiter they had against Arizona last weekend, I'm sure this will be a shootout this weekend. And the winner of this game is...

Final Score: Beavers 20, Ducks 14

Notre Dame vs. #5 USC (Battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh)

Charlie Weis is back on the hotseat. His job could be done after this game. And everyone in South Bend wants his head on a platter. How could it get worse for him? He's traveling to Los Angeles to face a team that wants the Pac-10 Championship and a BCS Berth.

Pete Carroll hasn't had to campaign this season for a BCS Championship bid. The reason? Because the computer has been kissing their asses all season. Even after losing to a previously unranked Oregon State team in Corvallis wasn't enough to knock them out of the Top 10, let alone the Top Five. Does anyone believe in upsets this late in the season with a team that stinks?

I do. But this isn't the game that it will happen. The Fighting Irish have a chance to do something big this weekend. If Charlie Weis can go into LA and shock the Trojans, he may even save his own ass for next season. If Carroll can win this game, it will improve his chances of getting a possible BCS Showdown with either Utah or Penn State. Notre Dame can put up a fight on any given day. But...

Final Score: Trojans 27, Irish 10

Auburn vs. #1 Alabama (Iron Bowl)

A shot at the BCS Championship. They'll take it. A chance to destroy their rival in the Iron Bowl? Even better.

The Tide have already punched their ticket to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta against Florida. They have a chance at the BCS Championship Game with a win. But before they can dance in Dirty Bird Country, Alabama has to fight Auburn in their annual Iron Bowl Game.

Auburn has given teams a huge headache this season, and they look to give Alabama the biggest headache of all. If Auburn wins, Alabama suffers their first loss of the season. Even worse, they might not get another chance to prove themselves worthy of the BCS Championship. This game is important for Auburn because they're 5-6 this season, and have a minimal chance if any to have some postseason fun with the rest of the SEC Elite.

As for Alabama, this is their final tuneup before they play Florida. A convincing win keeps them at #1 (because the computer wants Texas to be #1 so badly, they can taste it), while a nailbiter makes people wonder if Alabama is really worthy of the top spot. The Tide will win it...and get some style points out of it as well.

Final Score: Crimson Tide 47, Tigers 20

Honorable Mentions:

Maryland vs. #21 Boston College ( A win puts the Eagles in the ACC Championship)

Kansas vs. #13 Missouri (Final Tuneup before Big XII Championship Game)

Baylor vs. #7 Texas Tech (They need style points...badly.)

Mississippi State vs. #25 Ole Miss (The Rebels are hot! And they will prove that in the Annual Egg Bowl)

Syracuse vs. #16 Cincinnati (Big East Championship is on the line for the Bearcats)


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