The Best Weekend of the Year: Rivalry Week

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The weekend after Thanksgiving is always a hectic one. From the numerous family parties one must attend to Black Friday shopping to just getting ready for the holiday season, this is a big weekend. For college football fans like myself, this weekend is important for a totally different reason; it’s rivalry week. College football is nothing if not for the vicious rivalries. Michigan-Ohio State, Auburn-Alabama, Florida-Florida State, all these teams bring an extra helping of venom into these games.

Personally, I am a die-hard University of Michigan football fan. I cannot stand the Ohio State Buckeyes. However, every time these teams meet it is just an electrifying game. It’s no ordinary game for these guys. No matter how good your team is all year, if you lose, throw the season away-it doesn’t matter anymore. On the flip side, for instance, Michigan has had a bad year, with a current record of 5-6 this season has not been anything to write home about. This is the beauty of rivalry week, if Michigan does prevail this afternoon against Ohio, that is good enough for the Michigan faithful. Teams have made coaching decisions solely on how they do up against the schools rivals, and if you can’t beat your rival, Brady Hoke you’re fired.

Michigan-Ohio State is great for me because it is personal, but this game means nothing. Ohio State will be in a good bowl and at the end of the day their season was a success. Michigan has had a sorry excuse for a season, plagued with injuries, and in my opinion horrible coaching, 2014 was a disaster. So this game is fun, and it is great having the bragging rights, but in the end it means little. I refuse to make an official prediction for this one, because while I can’t honestly say i think my boys in blue will win, at the same time I refuse to say i believe Ohio State will

A game that is always a bloodbath and always has some playoff/bowl implications is the famous Iron Bowl. Alabama and Auburn square off this year in Tuscaloosa and we all know how crazy that game can get. If i need to remind you look at the picture above. Last year Auburn won when Chris Davis ran back a field goal that didn’t make it to the post for a touchdown as time expired. That could have been the craziest college football moment I have ever seen. This year both teams are top-25 teams and Alabama with a win is a lock for the 4-team playoffs. Auburn knows this and wants nothing more than to spoil their season. This game has all the history you want in a rivalry game and every year is still arguably the most important game of the year for both teams.

Prediction: 21-17 Bama

The game I am most excited for because it usually isn’t an important game but this year is a very big game is the Egg Bowl between the teams from Mississippi: Ole Miss and Mississippi State. This game is huge because both these teams have not been producing in recent memory but this season they have been playing at such a high level. Mississippi State has an electrifying offense led by Dak Prescott-a Heisman contender. They have been stumbling as of late- losing to Alabama which ended their perfect season hopes. As an offensive juggernaut, what they lack on defense which could be their Achilles heal. If you are able to slow down Prescott they are a very beatable team. On the other side Ole Miss may not be as offensively gifted, but they have a very stout defense. Ranked 11th in the nation in total defense, combine that with Bo Wallace under center on offense, it’s hard to find a spot to exploit for Ole Miss. This game is highly anticipated because this game has not meant much recently and both the teams have risen in the rankings so quickly that it will be great to see how they approach this game. It could be a reawakening of a big rivalry for years to come. With the game in Oxford I think that might just be enough for Ole Miss to spoil Mississippi State’s playoff hopes.

Prediction: 28-24 Ole Miss

When this week is all said and done this is how I think the playoffs will end up. I think Alabama, Oregon, and Florida State will win out and take up the 1,2, and 3 spots. Mississippi State who is currently at the #4 spot i believe will lose to Ole Miss in Oxford. If I am the playoff committee it is a no-brainer to make #5 TCU the number four seed. They just have dominated all season including just blowing out Texas on Thanksgiving night. So college football fans, sit back, relax, and enjoy the madness that is rivalry week, and I will recap it when it is all said and done and we can look forward to this new playoff system.

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