It’s Rivalry Weekend!!!
Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate: #7 Georgia at Georgia Tech - 12 ET on ABC
This game isn’t likely to be a good outing for Tech but the rivalry is always fun to watch. Our friends over at From the Rumble Seat aren’t feeling too confident about this upcoming game.
“The weather in Atlanta on Saturday is expected to be quite pleasant. Temperatures should be in the mid-60s for most of the day, peaking at 65 around 3pm. Skies will be mostly sunny all day. Shhhhh. There’s no need to worry about a football game. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel can’t hurt you if you don’t let them. It’s all okay. Everything will be okay.”
BIG10 Game of the Week: #9 Ohio State at Michigan - 12 ET on FOX
The deep-seeded hatred between these two teams will be on display this week as Michigan’s tough defense would love nothing more than to stifle Ohio States offense. Jim Harbaugh vs. Urban Meyer will match two of college footballs best coaches, this game has it all except the fact that the Wolverines will be big underdogs. It’ll be a fun game nonetheless but Michigan must keep their eyes on one man:
QB J.T. Barrett: Completing 66.9% of his passes for 2,698 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. As dynamic as any quarterback in the country, Barrett has also rushed for 605 yards and 8 touchdowns. Michigan has faced a handful of scrambling quarterbacks this year and they’ve had varying degrees of success against them. Pressuring Barrett will be paramount.
SEC Iron Bowl: #1 Alabama at #6 Auburn - 3:30 ET on CBS
Roll Tide!! War Eagle!! The 30 for 30 on this storied rivalry has only made it better and there have been some great matchups over the years. This game is fun to watch the coaches pull their hair out over the chess match. Remember Alabama losing just a few years ago on a kick gone bad? Both of these teams are ready for the challenge of this weekend. You might want to take the over in this one.
If Alabama has success in the passing game, it forces defenses to commit more resources to stop them. When that happens, they turn to the running game to put it away. Alabama’s running backs are probably the best in the conference. It’s demoralizing to watch Alabama’s backs gash you for big yards late in the game.
Auburn’s defense has been amazing this season but each of our units has to be at their best to give Auburn a chance to win.
Literally no outcome of this game would be surprising. I believe that Auburn will find a way to win. But win or lose, I’m taking the over.
Carolina-Clemson Clash: #3 Clemson at #24 South Carolina - 7:30 ET on ESPN3
This will be a bit more interesting than many people think because these two teams carry on our rivalry theme of the week. Clemson looks to stay firmly among the top candidates for a championship but the Gamecocks’ defense isn’t going to make it that easy. What’s got South Carolina puzzled is the battle between the Gamecocks’ strength in run defense versus the power run offense of the Tigers.
Looking at personnel, the Clemson offense vs the South Carolina defense is not as horrible a match-up as it was a year ago for the Gamecocks; they were simply overwhelmed at every position.
This year they don’t face the same monsters in Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams, and Jordan Leggett, but the matchup is still bad schematically and unfortunately their strength (run defense) is countered by Clemson’s strength (power running). Without Allen-Williams, South Carolina essentially has only 6 capable box defenders — which invites the run — but moving undersized DBs into the box still doesn’t adequately defend the run, plus exposes them to Deon Cain, Tee Higgins, and company.
Apple Cup: #14 Washington State at #15 Washington 8 ET on FOX
Mike Leach is the darling coach of college football and everyone’s favorite guy for wedding planning advice:
It's rivalry week but @coach_Leach gave a little advice on weddings!#GoCougs #AppleCup pic.twitter.com/6i4rH1R5vW— WSU Cougar Football (@wsucougfb) November 22, 2017
Back to the gridiron, this is a huge game for the Cougars, who came up short last season and haven’t won this cup since 2012. Overall, the Huskies own this rivalry 71-32-6. They are trying to prove they belong among the best in the PAC 12 and the Huskies are not near as strong as they were last season. Still, the loss last season was a bitter pill and they’re looking to flip the script this season.
It’s not often the Washington State Cougars have a chance at a Pac-12 title in back-to-back seasons. Halley’s Comet actually comes around more frequently (almost).
Last season, the Cougs went into the Apple Cup against the Washington Huskies with their first opportunity since the early part of the century to win the title. UW, too, needed to win the game to advance to Santa Clara and by the end of the first quarter hour of play, they’d done quite enough to do just that.
A senior class that had brought WSU football back from the brink went out with a thud. Fans, boosters, and alums were thankful for everything they’d done, no doubt. But even the bare minimum expectation of “showing up” was hardly met in last year’s edition of this annual rivalry match-up
Honorable mention: # 8 Notre Dame at #21 Stanford - The Fighting Irish have dropped two games this season but at 9-2, they still have plenty to play for.
You have earned this Saturday and the best news is that the Cowboys’ cannot let you down this weekend as they’ve got that out of the way. Here’s the rest of the slate of games for Saturday!