This is the last full week of College Football before the championship games. That means this will be the last time I will be giving you a full schedule of games to watch. I will, however, give you the championship games and what the importance is for each team as they try to wrap up their conference title.
I will also stay with you and give you all my bowl predictions when the schedule is set. Including the playoff and National Championship.
But for now, let’s wrap up with the final week of College football, rivalry week, where most games are teams playing each other from the same state.
So let’s take a look and what we have in store for us this week.
TOP 25 VS. TOP 25
4 Michigan versus 10 Ohio State
Michigan is on their revenge tour and Ohio State is the last spot before either one of them makes it to the Conference title game against Northwestern.
For Michigan, it’s all about coach Harbaugh proving he can win the big ones against top divisional foes. Michigan has already done that against Michigan State and Penn State. They are looking to make their first playoff appearance and earn a chance to play for the national title.
For Ohio State, it’s about overcoming all the adversity they have faced this season, whether it was with the allegations, poor play, or health concerns of the head coach. Ohio State will be trying to prove their one really bad loss against Purdue was just an off day, as they look to crown themselves the Big 10 champion again for the fourth straight season.
6 Oklahoma versus 13 West Virginia
Entering last week, this game was highlighted as one of those games that could happen in back to back weeks. Unfortunately, West Virginia lost to Oklahoma State and their chances of making the conference title game are very slim now. Remember that team from Austin who beat Oklahoma earlier this season? Well, they have a chance to meet with Oklahoma again, but we’ll get to that a little later.
For Oklahoma, it’s all about making it back to the playoff and getting revenge for their loss in the semifinals against Georgia at the Rose Bowl. That rematch will most likely not happen this year, but they could still make the playoff if they manage to win out.
For West Virginia, it’s about winning the conference title. This game is a must-win to get there. With them having lost two conference games on the season, their hopes for the playoff are done. However, they could win the conference title as long as they can win this game against the Sooners.
7 LSU versus 22 Texas A&M
This isn’t a game that is important in terms of conference titles or the playoff, but it is all about the position in which they finish It will help their chances to get into a better bowl game.
For LSU, it’s about proving they can have an offensive game that doesn’t rely on the run. It’s about Joe Burrow proving he can have a good passing game against one of the better teams in Texas A&M. LSU has lost to Florida and Alabama because of their lack of a passing attack and will hope to take advantage of the Aggies.
For Texas A&M, it’s all about proving they can run with the best of them in the SEC. Texas A&M started off the season having a fairly average start, going 2-2 and losing to Alabama and Clemson. They continued to have a better performance as the season went on and ultimately lost to Mississippi State and Auburn in back to back weeks. This game for the Aggies means a lot in terms of wanting to be one of the top teams in the SEC, so how will they fair?
8 Washington State versus 16 Washington
This is another one of those games that are important for the conference title, where the winner will face Utah in the conference title game.
If you have been following along all season, then you would know that Washington State has one loss on the season against USC and are the front-runner for the conference title this year. They also have a very slim chance of making the playoff, but they would need to win this game against their in-state rivalry, Washington.
For Washington, it’s a must-win, as they seek to take part in conference title game again for the second time in three years. Unfortunately, Washington will not be in the playoff like they were the last time they made the conference title. They could still spoil the chances for Washington State. The Huskies have lost three times this season, one against SEC’s Auburn and another two against Oregon and California. All games were losses by an average of 3.33 points, so expect this to be an interesting game for a date against Utah next week.
21 Utah State versus 23 Boise State
When you see this game on the list of top 25 matchups, it doesn’t really impress. But the winner of the game will also be in a conference title game, where their opponent will be Fresno State.
When I first saw the committee put Utah State in the top 25, I’ll admit, I kind of laughed about it. I mean, I never really heard of Utah State before this season, but what they are doing this season is actually quite impressive. Their one loss came to the Big Ten’s Michigan State on the first week of the season. Since then, they haven’t looked back, winning 10 games in a row. Will they continue their hot streak and beat Boise State?
Now that’s a team I have heard a lot about over the years. They have been one of the best teams in the Mountain West Conference and they continue to be so. But they have lost twice this season and can’t afford to lose another if they want a chance to be Mountain West champions again. Boise State’s two losses were against Big 12’s Oklahoma State and conference foe, San Diego State, but this is the biggest game of the season for the Broncos as they look to once again win the conference title.
BOUNCE BACK GAMES
25 Iowa State versus Kansas State
Iowa State doesn’t have the same chance of being in a conference title game as they did last week before their loss to Texas. Instead, they are now looking to finish the season on a high and get themselves into a better bowl game. As of now, Iowa State is sitting at 6-4 and should be in a bowl again this season, so let’s see how strong they can finish.
20 Syracuse versus Boston College
Both of these teams lost very important games last week as they were trying to better their records for the season, found themselves in a pair of tough games.
For Syracuse, it was the No. 3 team, Notre Dame. It was a game Syracuse could’ve used to make a real statement on their position in the rankings. It would’ve put them higher up in the eyes of the committee, but regardless, they still wouldn’t have been able to be in the conference title game or play a playoff game.
Boston College was also in a tough game against No. 2 Clemson. They were a team they did not stand a chance against. I mean, let’s be honest, who in the ACC really is a big challenge for Clemson. Boston College is looking for another win so they can be an eight-win team again. A win against Syracuse will do just that.
GAMES OF INTEREST
1 Alabama versus Auburn
No matter what the records are on the season for these two teams, this is and always will be a tough game, or at least we hope it will be! This game is important for Alabama, as they look to continue being dominant as they head into the SEC title game. Alabama is the reigning National Champion and is looking to be the first in the playoff era to win back-to-back championships.
Auburn is looking to pick up their second consecutive win over Alabama in a huge upset that would put Alabama on the ropes and give them a tougher road to the playoffs.
3 Notre Dame versus USC
Notre Dame has been a surprising team all season long and I am honestly surprised to see them still undefeated at this point. For the hopes of not having them in the playoff, I wish Southern California could beat them. But you see, the only way Notre Dame gets knocked out of the playoff picture is with this loss, no matter what else happens. They look like they are going to be a tough opponent until they have to face a powerhouse team like Alabama or Clemson, so let’s see if this will be the one that finally knocks them out.
5 Georgia versus Georgia Tech
Georgia has the best chance out of the 5 through 8 teams to make it into the playoff, but they also have the toughest opponent ahead of them next week. Georgia will be facing Alabama in the SEC Championship game, which will be a rematch of last year’s National Championship game.
For Georgia to have any chance of making it back into the playoff, a win in Atlanta will be huge. But let’s not jump too far ahead of ourselves without looking at the in-state rival, Georgia Tech.
Tech isn’t playing for their hopes of an ACC title game and definitely not a playoff spot, but they are looking to revenge their loss from last year and also play spoiler against Georgia.
9 Central Florida versus South Florida
Central Florida is looking to remain undefeated for the second straight season. They are hoping the committee could give them a chance to make playoff if everything else in front of them works in their favor. And another win should do just that. This will also prepare them to go head-to-head against the winner of the Houston-Memphis game for the AAC conference title. Will Central Florida continue to be the best team in the world of college football?
Or can a struggling South Florida finish strong and beat the team no one has been able to beat for the past two seasons. South Florida started the season off strong, going 7-0 before taking a loss to Houston and then losing the next three to have a record of 7-4.
14 Texas versus Kansas
If you thought Texas’ loss to Oklahoma State and West Virginia have eliminated them from the conference championship game, then you might have been right. But Oklahoma State has beaten West Virginia as well, which has given them two conference losses. Texas (8-3) has also lost two conference games, but has beaten Oklahoma. So if you look at it this way. Texas should be an automatic bid for the Big 12 title game, but here’s were things get interesting. If Texas wins against Kansas, which they should, then they should hold one spot in the title game regardless of what happens between Oklahoma and West Virginia. If Oklahoma wins, they get their chance to revenge the early season loss to the Long Horns. If West Virginia wins, the Long Horns get their chance to revenge their one point loss to the Mountaineers. So make sure you have your turkey sandwiches ready for game day Saturday.
Until then, let’s all enjoy turkey with our loved ones and be thankful for all that we have. I would like to personally thank all of you who continuously come back and read and like all the articles here at Fourth Quarter Sports. Words can not describe how truly grateful we all are to have the subscribers like you. For that, Thank you!
And have a Happy Thanksgiving!