We are officially at rivalry week!
This is the most fun, important, and dramatic week of the College Football season, so let’s get you prepped for the week’s biggest games…..
#2 Ohio State (11-0) @ #3 Michigan (11-0) 12:00 PM EST (On Saturday):
THE GAME has likely not had this amount of significance in years.
Yes, the past few years have had some dramatic turning points – namely the Wolverines finally getting over the hump and beating the Buckeyes.
But, this year is uncharted territory.
The sign stealing scandal from Michigan has rocked College Football to the point where all eyes are on the Wolverines.
As a result of the scandal, Jim Harbaugh, the Michigan head coach, is serving a three game suspension which will conclude this Saturday.
On the other side you have Ryan Day, the Ohio State head coach, who is MAYBE sorta kinda fighting for his job?
I know that is hard to believe given the consistent success he has had as coach of Ohio State, but he has largely faltered in important games.
His record against Michigan (1-2) is also a red flag, and one he will want to correct this Saturday.
Michigan comes in as -3.5 favorites in a game that will likely be close.
With a College Football Playoff spot on the line, this is a game MILLIONS will be watching….
#16 Oregon State (8-3) @ #6 Oregon (10-1) 8:30 PM EST (On Friday):
The last matchup between these two schools as conference foes carries major significance.
The Beavers have a chance to leave a painful parting gift to Duck nation.
Oregon must win to keep their playoff hopes alive….
The odds are in favor of Oregon winning.
The Ducks have been one of the hottest teams in the country since their close loss to Washington.
In addition, Oregon will have the benefit of home field advantage, which is why Oregon comes in as a -13.5 favorite.
Look for Bo Nix to have another strong game as he tries to build his Heisman case……
#5 Florida State (11-0) @ Florida (5-6) 7:00 PM EST (On Saturday):
If this game were played a week ago it would almost certainly not have carried the same significance.
But, that’s what happens when the starting quarterbacks get injured for both teams – things become a lot more wild.
For Florida State, they will have to keep their CFP hopes alive with new quarterback Tate Rodemaker, who is taking over for star Jordan Travis.
Florida State will know that if they can go 2-0 over these next two games they WILL be in the playoff.
Travis carried the Noles for large parts of the season, and now Rodemaker has to make his first start in a VERY tough environment.
On the other side is the Gators who not only want to win to knock out the Seminoles, but also need the win to make a bowl.
Clearly this is not where the Florida program should be, so it is not an understatement to say this game will be crucial in Gainesville.
The Gators come in as +6.5 underdogs as they try and pull off the upset.
#8 Alabama (10-1) @ Auburn (6-5) 3:30 PM EST (On Saturday):
It is too bad Auburn is not a bit better this year because this matchup is ALWAYS a must watch.
No matter the record, Alabama vs Auburn (the Iron Bowl) usually is a close and feisty encounter.
With the game being in Auburn this year – the hype will only grow.
Of course, these two teams are in vastly different positions.
Alabama has been on an absolute tear since losing to Texas back in September.
In fact, Alabama has arguably been the hottest team in the country – they certainly can make a case to be.
On the other side is an Auburn team that is in a rebuild.
Hugh Freeze took over a program in dire need of a reset, so not much is expected of the Tigers this week.
That is especially true since Auburn lost by 21 points at home to New Mexico State last time out.
However, as I mentioned, you can never count out some weird things happening in the Iron Bowl, so do not be fooled by Auburn being +14.5 underdogs.
Washington State (5-6) @ #4 Washington (11-0) 4:00 PM EST (On Saturday):
There are a surprisingly small amount of important/ranked matchups this weekend, so this game is being acknowledged as part of a shoutout to the Washington Huskies.
Washington has been through a GAUNTLET of a schedule this season.
They have faced 4 different ranked opponents, and have a rematch with a top 10 Oregon team next Saturday.
So the Huskies deserve a shoutout for still being undefeated at this point in the season.
They come in to this one as a -16.5 favorite, at home, vs a stuttering Washington State team.
Obviously, you can never be sure what is going to happen in a rivalry game, but clearly it would be a big shock if the Cougars pulled off the upset.