In my book, the most wonderful time of the year is Thanksgiving weekend. More specifically, the day after Thanksgiving is the best day of the year. It’s a weekday jam-packed with college football, the stress of the holiday is behind you, the fridge is full of leftovers and the Black Friday masses give you the perfect excuse not to leave the house. And it’s not just the chance to sit around and watch football either- the majority of games are between bitter rivalries, who will put everything on the line to come out on top and have bragging rights for the next 364 days.
Enjoy the hell out of this weekend, folks.
(#6)Oklahoma at (#9)West Virginia
8 p.m., ESPN (Friday, Nov. 23)
This game lost some luster after West Virginia lost in the final seconds of Oklahoma State on Saturday, destroying their playoff hopes with its second loss of the season. This should still be a highly-entertaining game with two of the nation’s best quarterbacks facing off. Oklahoma is still hoping for a shot at the playoffs, and the winner is in the Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 1. It’s a high stake contest between two very talented teams- enjoy and savor this one.
Prediction: West Virginia-48, Oklahoma-44
(#18)Washington at (#8)Washington State
8:30 p.m., FOX (Friday, Nov.23)
How much fun would it be to see Mike Leach in the lead up to College Football Playoffs or Rose Bowl? A win here for the Cougars would help solidify that possibility for one of the more unexpected and underappreciated 11-1 seasons in recent memory. The Apple Cup is always an entertaining battle, but this year’s game has more juice to it with a potential conference championship, Rose Bowl and top 10 finish on the line (and perhaps a playoff shot for Wazzou if chaos ensues during the next two weeks). East Carolina transfer and current Cougs quarterback Gardner Minshew finds himself as a Heisman finalist after a spectacular season, and will be looking for his Heisman moment against the Huskies.
Prediction: Washington State-31, Washington-26
(#4)Michigan at (#10)Ohio State
If you’re a college football fan, you better be in front of the TV at noon for this one. For once, Michigan enters the game as a favorite and seems to have its house in order, while the Buckeyes have been in disarray since the summer. Regardless, a division championship and potential conference championship and playoff berth are for the taking. These teams have been ruining one another’s seasons well before most of us were born, and just about anything seems possible with each outing. This seems to be the year fro Michigan to finally return to glory, but between the uncertainty in a rivalry game and it taking place in Columbus, this is far from a sure thing for the Wolverines.
Prediction: Michigan-27, Ohio State-24
South Carolina at (#2)Clemson
7 p.m., ESPN
Clemson has been absolutely en fuego since nearly being upset by Syracuse in week five. There’s no way they lose to an unranked Gamecocks squad, right? That’s the beauty of rivalry games- you just never know what to expect. Plus, it just feels like there should be at least one seismic upset to wrap up the regular season. It’s a tall order for 6-4 South Carolina, but crazier things have happened.
Prediction: Clemson-31, South Carolina-20