Dec. 03, 2016
Rivalry Week: Games to Watch
Finally, the best week of college football is almost upon us. Most would argue that bowl season is the best time to be a college football fan, but I have to disagree. Rivalry week is the best for one reason; everyone hates each other. There is such unadulterated hatred expressed in these games. For most, they play hard because they just want to hurt the player in the other colored jersey. The games mentioned in this article are far more significant, and the winner of these games inch slightly closer to their dream of a CFP appearance.
#6 Washington vs. #23 Washington State
3:30 P.M. on Fox
Two teams that we aren't used to seeing in the top 25, this should be a refreshingly competitive battle for the Apple Cup. For most of recent memory, Washington State has been a pretty dismal football school. Washington has won the last three meetings, and leads the all time series 70-32-6. While Washington State has improved tremendously, they are not yet on the level of their big brother. An early congratulations to Washington on win #71.
Prediction: Washington 42-21 Washington State
#21 Utah vs. #9 Colorado
7:30 P.M. on Fox
The tables have surely turned in the Rumble in the Rockies. Last season, Colorado had just 4 wins going into the game, and Utah was red hot. This season, Utah is struggling to find anyone to run the ball for them, and Colorado is the proud owner of a 9-2 record. However, Colorado kept it close last season, losing by just 6. It's tough to count either of these teams out, they are both hard nosed competitors.
Prediction: Utah 17-21 Colorado
#11 Louisville vs. Kentucky
12:00 P.M. on ESPN
This shouldn't be a relatively close game. But, it is a must see for two reasons. First, Lamar Jackson is competing. Any game with the future Heisman playing should be an entertaining game. Second, these two teams absolutely hate each other. The two are battling for the Governor's Cup, and things could get messy. In 2014, a fight broke out during pre-game warm-ups. The all time series between the teams is tied at 14, but Louisville should have no problem taking the advantage this season.
Prediction: Louisville 52-14 Kentucky
#13 Florida vs. #15 Florida State
8:00 P.M. on ABC
This game should really be a fun one folks. I haven't seen too much of a difference between the two teams this season. Undoubtedly we are in for a dogfight. And not unlike the Louisville-Kentucky match-up, these two teams dislike each other heartily. Both teams are also unwilling to give up their dreams for a playoff berth, and should be battling hard. While Florida leads the all time series, Florida State has won the last three. In the end, Dalvin Cook will be too much for the Gators to stop.
Prediction: Florida 24-28 Florida State
#16 Auburn vs. #1 Alabama
3:30 on CBS
We all know the name of the Iron Bowl because of the amazing match-up in 2013. Then #4 Auburn stole the game from #1 Alabama on an improbable return of a missed field goal. Auburn went on to lose in the National Championship. Alabama went on to wonder what could have been. This season is another heavyweight contest. While Auburn's hopes of a CFP appearance were dashed with their loss against Georgia 2 weeks ago, they would love to play spoiler against the Crimson Tide. Alabama leads the all time series and has won the last two. Expect that trend to continue. Alabama's defense is just too good, and their offense is good enough to score enough to win.
Prediction: Auburn 7-21 Alabama
#3 Michigan vs. #2 Ohio State
12:00 P.M. on ABC
This is arguably the biggest game of the season, not just for these two teams, but in general. Both teams desperately need to avoid adding another dash to the loss column. The crazy thing is, there is a chance both of these teams could miss the B1G championship. If Michigan beats Ohio State and Penn State wins, the B1G championship will pit Penn State against Wisconsin. The stakes are high for both the Wolverines and the Buckeyes. Not to mention, these two hate each other. Emotions will be high throughout the game, and odds are good that one player will let their emotions get the best of them. It should be an immensely entertaining game to watch. Michigan leads the all time series, but Ohio State has won the last 4. Last year, a far superior Ohio State kicked the tar out of Michigan 42-13. This year should be a much closer game, and will end in favor of the Wolverines.
Prediction: Michigan 35-31 Ohio State