Thanksgiving Weekend: Guide to Leftover Eating for College Football Weekend

Dan RubensteinCollege Football Lead WriterNovember 24, 2011

At this point, it’s a given that if you cared enough to click your way into this column, you’re probably going to eat past what your stomach tells you is adequate, and you’re probably going to keep doing so as the long college football weekend unfolds.

This is all perfectly normal (though possibly artery-clogging) and I’m here to not only be your enabler, but also to be your guide to properly steer your post-binge binging in the best possible direction with rivalry week upon us. As always, you’re welcome in advance:



Texas @ Texas A&M (8:00 PM ET)

Yes, the game is actually on Thanksgiving night, so the concept of leftovers is premature. If you’re anything like me, though, you may start eating way too fast and slow down considerably as the second half of the meal arrives (hey, like Texas A&M!).

Do yourself a favor and maybe just grab a carrot or something—not too filling and they’re good for your vision. You know what? In that case it probably wouldn’t kill Texas quarterbacks David Ash and Case McCoy to toss in a carrot stick every once in awhile.

Prediction: Aggies by 9 



Iowa @ (22) Nebraska (12:00 PM ET)

While the second game certainly matters more for division, conference, and national reasons, it should still be fun to wake up early and see if the B1G’s newest manufactured rivalry produces some excitement.

For the earlier game, do honor the schools with some corn—on the cob, cornbread, whatever. Hell, if you’re on the west coast, I’ll even allow corn flakes if it’s too early for leftover corn on the cob.

(Side Note: I’ve already pre-ordered the 2023 DVD of the matchup’s future best moments just in case it’s called “Cornography”) 

Prediction: Nebraska by 17

(3) Arkansas @ (1) LSU (2:30 PM ET)

The SEC matchup of the week will overlap with the B1G game, but it’s the clear headliner of the day, so this is where the leftover turkey sandwich makes its star appearance.

Go with extra meat to honor the LSU D-line and throw on some cranberry sauce for the sweetness of Tyrann Mathieu, everybody’s favorite honey badger.

Actually, go with extra sauce for the badger; he’s got some nasty habits that end in him being hungrier than usual.

Prediction: LSU by 20



Ohio State @ Michigan (12:00 PM ET)

It’s still weird when this game features only one ranked team AND has no real conference implications.

It’d be a perfect time to see if there are any extra dinner rolls laying around—always good and you expect them to be there, but not all that meaningful in the context of the larger cause.

It’s about as creative a choice as any single offensive play called in to the Ohio State huddle. 

Prediction: Michigan by 11

Georgia @ Georgia Tech (12:00 PM ET) 

The Bulldogs have already clinched the SEC East and Georgia Tech has already clinched not winning the ACC Coastal.

Therefore, with an interstate, different division rivalry, it’s best to just go with what works best geographically this weekend—or really, any weekend: pecan pie (if any is even left a day-and-a-half after the big meal).

Georgia’s also the country’s biggest pecan grower, which is a very easy way of saying, “Hey, watch Paul Johnson avoid smiling at all costs while you put yourself into a happy pecan pie coma!” 

Prediction: Georgia Tech by 4

(2) Alabama @ Auburn (3:30 PM ET) 

Alabama’s road to the national championship is all but paved with a win in the Iron Bowl over Auburn. Unfortunately for the viewing public, though, it doesn’t appear like it’ll be much of a game.

Fortunately for the eating public, though, it should provide ample time to make turkey salad out of a, uh, turkey of a game. A bird meeting its demise feels especially appropriate here. 

Prediction: Alabama by 18

Oregon State @ (9) Oregon (3:30 PM ET)

It’s okay to feel bad for Oregon State here. The Beavers, while improved, have been particularly underwhelming against the run recently.

On the other side, Oregon has been known to put significant losses behind them quickly, especially against teams giving up more than five yards per carry.

The right thing to do is find something orange with positive connotations. This can be pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, whatever. Don’t let the OSU defensive front ruin an otherwise fun food color for the weekend.

Prediction: Oregon by 31

(6) Virginia Tech @ (24) Virginia

Though the game is in Charlottesville, one of the more upper-crusty college football towns, hold off on the leftover ham (especially your finer Virginia Hams) until the Battle for the Commonwealth kicks off.

It’s one of the more enticing leftover plates sitting in the fridge (because it’s ham), but you’ll just have to trust me that leftover ham tastes better while watching Tech RB David Wilson go fresh H.A.M. on the Hoos.

Prediction: Virginia Tech by 6

(18) Clemson @ (14) South Carolina

Because of its lack of respective conference significance, it’d be easy to assume that another game of more importance would be the better choice. False.

The names in this game—Tajh Boyd, Jadaveon Clowney, Sammy Watkins, Alshon Jeffery, etc.—make this game the perfect sidekick or main course to your Saturday evening binging.

This is when you heat up a giant bowl of stuffing with no shame until all you see are some stray pieces of onion on the bottom of the bowl. 

Prediction: Clemson by 7 


(22) Notre Dame @ (4) Stanford

This one’s the night/stomach-ender. Notre Dame’s the old standby looking to work its way back into relevance and Stanford’s the up and comer. The Irish are built around a swarming defense and the Cardinal around a powerful offense.

Save your best drumstick (the weekend’s culinary crown jewel) for Luck-gazing and complement it with some lukewarm, lumpy mashed potatoes, which is about the closest thing you’ll get to Notre Dame’s passing game—you won’t it down, but deep down you know it’s not good enough. 

Prediction: Stanford by 14


Dan Rubenstein co-hosts The Solid Verbal college football podcast and can be followed on Twitter here.


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