Last week in November is one to savor for college football
BY STEVE GREENBERG Sports Reporter November 28, 2013 8:40PM
Chattanooga v Alabama
Updated: November 28, 2013 10:22PM
It’s the last true regular-season weekend of the BCS era, but some things never change. Things such as Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate — the cuddly nickname by which the annual Georgia-Georgia Tech game
(2:30 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 7) is known — and all-out Civil War, as in Oregon-Oregon State (6 p.m. Friday, FS1).
You can have your fancy conference championship-game contrivances. We’ll take the last weekend of November — the best weekend of the season — every time. It’s wall-to-wall rivalries, baby, and there’s nothing clean about them. National implications or not, they all have their allure.
No. 1 Alabama at No. 4 Auburn (2:30 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 2). This goes without saying, doesn’t it? The Iron Bowl is not only the most heated rivalry in the sport but also by far the most important game of the season to date. Alabama-Texas A&M, Clemson-Florida State, Oregon-Stanford and Baylor-Oklahoma State were all big, but this one threatens to blow the mind before kickoff. In case Ohio State fans are wondering if a victorious Auburn would leapfrog the Buckeyes in the BCS standings, the answer is heck yes. Tide 30, Tigers 23.
No. 3 Ohio State at Michigan (11 a.m. Saturday, Ch. 7). Don’t take the previous paragraph as a double-dis, Bucknuts. Your team and The Game are still awesome. Woody 34, Bo 20.
Second-best in-state affair
No. 6 Clemson at No. 10 South Carolina (6 p.m. Saturday, ESPN2). The Tigers and Gamecocks are in contention for BCS berths, but even if they weren’t — thank you, Palmetto Bowl, for this annual matchup of quote machines. Crazy Steve Spurrier 23, Crazy Dabo Swinney 20.
No. 2 Florida State at Florida (11 a.m. Saturday, ESPN), No. 19 Texas A&M at No. 5 Missouri (6:45 p.m. Saturday, ESPN), Iowa at Nebraska (11 a.m. Friday, Ch. 7). FSU must win to keep its national-title dream alive, Johnny Manziel must win to keep his Heisman-repeat chances alive and Bo Pelini must win to keep his current employment situation alive. Seminoles by 30, Aggies by 10, Huskers by 20.
Best turf war
No. 22 UCLA at No. 23 USC (7 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 7). Gotta love the hardcore Trojans against the fancy-pants Bruins in the battle of L.A., especially when it’s such a fair fight. City 35, Suburbs 34.
Purdue at Indiana (2:30 p.m. Saturday, BTN). As in, it’s grossly unfair that anyone has to watch it. Hoosiers 56, Boilermakers 10.
Most appropriate trophy name
Arkansas at No. 15 LSU (1:30 p.m. Friday, Ch. 2). These rivals play for the Golden Boot. Maybe watching LSU parade it around will be the kick in the pants Bret Bielema needs after going 0-8 in his first season in the SEC. Bayou Bengals 45, Hogs 17.
Most important non-Wednesday game on
Northern Illinois’ calendar
No. 16 Fresno State at San Jose State (2:30 p.m. Friday, CBS Sports Network). A great chance to check out, and maybe put a curse on, the BCS competition. For you non-NIU types, feel free to tune in to watch future NFL quarterbacks Derek Carr (FSU) and David Fales (SJSU) do their thing. Sorry, Huskies fans: Bad Guys 41, Other Guys 28.