Thanksgiving Weekend Football

Lots of good games going on in college football this Thanksgiving weekend and a trio of duds for the NFL.

The Patriots and Jets, both 8-2, play the 2-8 Lions and Bengals respectively. The Saints (7-3) against the Cowboys (3-7) might end up being a better game than the records would lead you to believe, but I doubt the Saints have too much trouble with the Boys. I like the two AFC East powers and the defending champs to take care of business on Thanksgiving Day. Thankfully, the starts aligned just right to leave us with some great rivalry games and a lot of teams still fighting for postseason positions.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26

#21 Arizona at #1 Oregon
The Ducks are two wins away from playing for the national championship, and Arizona is their toughest test left. Coming off a bye week, the Ducks should be plenty recovered from their 15-13 near loss against Cal. Arizona’s had a nice season, but with three losses in the Pac-10 already, the best they can hope for is to knock Oregon from the unbeatens. Oregon should roll. Oregon 45, Arizona 21

#2 Auburn at #11 Alabama
The defending national champion from the SEC plays host to the prospective national champion from the SEC. Amidst controversy surrounding their all-world quarterback, Auburn has just kept out-scoring everyone this year en route to an 11-0 record. Like Oregon, they are two wins away from playing in the national title game. But unlike the Ducks, both of their remaining games are going to be extremely challenging. Bama would love to knock off their in-state rivals and South Carolina will have a BCS bowl riding on their SEC Championship matchup against the Tigers/War Eagles. The gameplan against Auburn is easy enough to identify even if it’s monstrous to execute—slow down Cam Newton. I think Alabama slows him down enough to have a chance to win. Alabama 27, Auburn 23

#4 Boise State at #19 Nevada
A convincing win on the road against a good team will probably be enough to jump Boise over TCU in the BCS rankings, which would set them up for the title game should Oregon or Auburn lose. I still think Boise’s schedule is severely lacking and I still don’t believe they’d be undefeated in any of the four major conferences (SEC, Big 12, Pac-10, Big 10). But should one of the top two teams go down, Boise has done more to impress me than TCU has. Boise State 38, Nevada 20

Colorado at #15 Nebraska
Nebraska’s 9-6 loss to Texas A&M last week opened up a whole slew of Big 12 title game possibilities. Most directly, it prevented the Huskers from clinching the Big 12 North division. Nebraska and Missouri now have identical 5-2 Big 12 records, with the Huskers holding the head-to-head tiebreaker, having beaten Mizzou soundly in Lincoln earlier this season. With Missouri playing on Saturday, the Huskers could wrap up the Big 12 North before Missouri even suits up this weekend. If they lose, all the Tigers have to do is beat Kansas. Despite Colorado’s drastic improvement since Dan Hawkins was fired, Nebraska is too good to lose at home to such an inferior team. Nebraska 28, Colorado 24

#14 Missouri vs. Kansas
The Border War has seen better matchups then this season is setting up, but that doesn’t mean excitement and intensity will be lacking. Depending on the outcome of the Nebraska game, Missouri could be playing for a spot in the Big 12 Championship and a chance at a BCS bowl appearance. Last time Mizzou was up for one of those, Kansas slid into the Orange Bowl, despite losing to Missouri in the Border War. Missouri 27, Kansas 13

#5 LSU at #12 Arkansas
I’m beyond the point of calling Les Miles lucky. Some of his coaching methods leave fans at a complete loss, but he’s done it and won so often that he has to be considered a good coach. His style is not always pretty and it’s certainly not entirely conventional, but it is successful and I expect him to leave Arkansas with another win. LSU 24, Arkansas 17

#13 Oklahoma at #9 Oklahoma State
While there are some convoluted tie-breakers that could come into play that in clude Texas A&M, for all intents and purposes, the winner of this game wins the Big 12 South. If the Cowboys win, they win the division outright, but if the Sooners win and Texas A&M loses, Oklahoma wins the division. If the Sooners and the Aggies both win, then it creates a three-way tie that would be broken by the highest ranked BCS team – which will most likely be Oklahoma. There’s a chance for Texas A&M, but really, it’s win and you’re in for this game. Oklahoma State 35, Oklahoma 31

#23 NC State at Maryland
Another win and you’re in game. If NC State wins, they clinch the ACC Atlantic division and secure themselves a spot in the ACC Championship. If they lose, Florida State goes. I’d expect Maryland to put up a good fight and a good game to break out. The ACC hasn’t been anywhere near as good as it’s been in seasons past, but there’s still some intrigue left. NC State 20, Maryland 16

Georgia Tech at Georgia
With neither team ranked, the annual matchup between in-state institutions has very little ramifications outside Athens and Atlanta. Georgia must win to become bowl-eligible and a win by Georgia Tech would give them wins against UGA in two of the past three years. Which, given recent history would qualify as a boon. Unfortunately, while both teams have struggled this season, UGA has done so in the SEC, while Tech has forged through a much more navigable ACC run. Georgia 44, Georgia Tech 24

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Posted on November 23, 2010, in Sports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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