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Preview of Week 14 Part Deux


Preview of Week 14 Part Deux


Thanksgiving Weekend: Part Two, and rivalry games just keep on coming. First up is Florida State vs. Florida. There isn’t a catchy name for this game, or some sort of a symbolic trophy, but these two schools do have a history. Granted, it’s not a long history, compared to some others. They first met in 1958 and Florida dominated theFlorida first nineteen meetings. It wasn’t until 1976 that the Seminoles got a win. Since that time the teams have usually been pretty evenly matched. This year, nope, not evenly matched at all. FSU enters ranked number 2 in the nation, sitting at 11-0, and already insured a spot in the ACC Championship game. The Gators have a record of 4-7 and can’t even salvage bowl eligibility should they win. The disparity between the two teams has not been this big since, well, since 1958. Florida’s Head Coach, Will Muschamp, however, is not buying into this. “I don’t believe we’re that far off,” he says. Oh, bless his heart. They are on their third QB of the season, most of the star players have suffered some sort of an injury and the rest are still wet behind the FSU Logoears. Florida State has everything going for them, an easy schedule, no major injuries, and their backups have gotten plenty of playing time in mop-up duty. They do have a dark cloud hovering over their starting quarterback’s head, as in, is he going to be indicated for rape, or not? (Editor’s Note: Not until AFTER the ACC Championship Game will the DA make a decision. You think football is important in Tallahassee?). So the saying, “Besides that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” rings true here. Rivalry or not, Florida’s last game or not, playing for pride, playing to save the coach, none of that matters. Florida State is going to trounce the Gators.

Ohio State vs. Michigan, or, as they refer to It in the Great White North Conference, Michigan“The Game”. The emotion between these two is actually linked to a boundary dispute between their respective states known of the “Toledo War”.  Both laid claim to a strip of land called, “the Toledo Strip”. When Michigan applied for statehood in 1835, Ohio held up their petition because of this real estate. It got so heated that both states sent militia to fight over it. It’s rumored that Woody Hayes was a member of the Ohio State Militia at the time, but that may be just that, a rumor. A shooting fight never occurred and they were able to work it out peacefully, but that’s the way to start a rivalry. In 1897, when they first met on the gridiron, there were still people around who held a grudge. Since that time, until 2010, this game determined who won the conference title on 22 occasions. This year there is no land to fight over, which a good thing for the Wolverines, as they come hobbling in at 7-4 and the Buckeyes haven’t lost a game in going on two years. Michigan will go to a bowl game but this is the game they just have to win to call the season a success. Head Coach Hoke is feeling his pants catching on fire, the offense is not consistent and the Maize and Blue fans are getting restless. Meanwhile, OSU has been skipping through the GWN with the greatest of ease. They did have a bit of a challenge with Northwestern, who has since ohio state logofallen off the map. Maybe, one could argue that Wisconsin was kind-of, sort-of, a test, but it didn’t resemble one when we watched it. All the confidence and momentum is with the Scarlet and Grey. They know they are going to the Conference Championship game, and they know they are going to a major (BCS) bowl. Hopefully, they are not as arrogant as Oregon was before the Ducks played Arizona because there is a possibility, however remote, that they could lose this game. What that would do to the Buckeyes’ mental state right before facing Michigan State, who has the best defense in the NCAA universe, is up for speculation. Wonder if the Spartans are pulling for the Wolverines? Hmm…Not! Ohio State continues its winning ways. Oh, and the State of Ohio got the disputed land while Michigan got the Upper Peninsula, which turned out to have Iron and Copper reserves and a whole lot of timber.

Duke and North Carolina isn’t a game that creates sparks between fans. Wait, let me Dukeclarify that, the Duke and North Carolina Football game doesn’t spark hostilities. Basketball? The fan bases for these schools will stay up till the wee hours of the morning fighting each other. Duke is on the verge of having the best football record in the history of the school.  They win this and it’s off to the ACC Championship game. Anybody in Vegas that placed a bet on the Blue Devils to even make it to that game could cash in on some serious coin. Duke has had a magical season, pulling out wins they weren’t suppose to, playing far better than projected. The job UNCCoach Cutcliffe has done is remarkable and the fact they are not satisfied with where they are is a testimony unto itself. North Carolina has been the disappointment of the ACC. The Tar Heels were supposed to eat at the adult table this year, only to be sent back down to the children area, which is where most of the ACC dines currently. To their credit, though, the Heels have won five in a row to become bowl eligible and they really showed Old Dominion, that team from a lower division, 1AA, a thing or two. But, as the saying goes, “Wait till next year.” Duke wins and goes to the ACC Title Game!

Clemson vs. South Carolina, the Battle of the Palmetto State! Both teams are hoping to Clemsonprove they belong in a BCS game. Both teams are ranked nationally in the Top Ten. Only one other game boasts two Top Ten teams, and that would be Alabama vs. Auburn. More on that game soon. South Carolina has a four game win streak against the Tigers, they have never won five in a row. QB Boyd, of Clemson, has never beaten USC-South and he’d hate to leave without winning at least once. Both coaches have traded jabs with each other, both schools dislike the other, and both have star players that are giving the other team’s locker room motivational material. Nothing new there. The Gamecocks have to win this game and pray for a Missouri loss to make it the SEC Title game. Lose and they’re out. Clemson has one loss on its record, to Florida State, and they have been trying to live down that loss all season. The magnitude of that loss has been haunting them all season.  Yes, they are ranked 6th in South Carolinathe Nation, and they’ve destroyed all the rest  of their competition. None of that matters now. A win against USC-South would help out and get them to a BCS game. They lose, and no matter what happens in their next game, they will consider this year a failure. South Carolina has never looked impressive, losing to Tennessee definitely did not help. Beating Missouri did. Now they just have to knock off the Tigers one more time. They’ve never beaten Clemson five in a row and it isn’t going to happen this year. Clemson wins.

UCLA vs. USC. About mid-way into the season, it appeared the Bruins were going to UCLAwalk away with the title of Los Angles. The Kiffin-coachedd Trojans were terrible, so much so that in the middle of the night, USC told Kiffin his services were no longer required. They have since become a different team. They’re playing very well now and executing their assignments. They’ve actually righted their sinking ship. Now they play cross-town rival UCLA. The Bruins had a chance to play for the PAC-12 title, but a come back that fell just short against Arizona State relieved them of that pressure. They enter  the game with the same record as USC, they are evenly-matched, the difference isUSC that UCLA is coming off that setback to ASU. For most of my life, UCLA has been looked at as the little brother, sure, they’d beat the Trojans from time to time, but they were never able to establish dominance. USC was a team in flux, now they’re not. UCLA Coach Mora Jr. is building the Bruins into a sustainable force. Close game to call, but I’m going to pick USC.

The IRON BOWL! Alabama vs Auburn! The second-best rivalry game in all of college football, and, right now, the most intense game of the season. The best rivalry will Auburnalways be Army vs. Navy, there’s just no way around that. But for intensity, this rivalry currently takes the cake. For all those that have never lived in the football-worshiping state of Alabama, here’s a little tip for how big this game is. A person that moves into the state is given a customary week to decide who they are going to pull for, and decide they must. There are no middle of the road, wishy-washy, mealy-mouthed, people who refuse to pick a side allowed. Once a person has chosen a side, that’s it! They are fans of that school for LIFE! Auburn comes in ranked 4th in the Nation. At the start of the season there wasn’t a sportswriter in the country that was considering Auburn to even be in the Top 25, much less the Top Ten! But, here they are, pretty as you please. They have had the luckiest breaks in all of football. Just watch the Hail Mary play they pulled off against Georgia. Geez! Now they get to match their running game against Bama. There isn’t an Auburn player that’s going to sleep the night before the game. They want to ruin Alabama’s perfect season, they want to be the ones that place the dagger in the heart of a Third National Championship run. Oh, how they long to be that team! Alabama has been the Number One team all season long. Thecrimson_tide Tide didn’t look like it against VaTech, but they do now! Ever since the game against A&M, the Crimson Tide has looked like a team on a mission. AJ McCarron is now the leading candidate for the Heisman, all they have to do is win, and keep winning, and all is well. As much as the Tigers want to ruin Bama’s season, Alabama would like nothing better than to stomp all hope out of Auburn, to completely demolish any thoughts they may posses that the War Eagles have reached prominence again. The Red Elephants’ defense has become masters of shutting down the run game. The offense is dominating and destroying opposing defenses. St. Nick has turn Alabama into the pinnacle of college football. They are disciplined and love winning. So, who is this Alabama fan going to pick? Come on, really? ALABAMA! ROLL TIDE!!!

Short Smokes:

Michigan State hosts Minnesota. Even if the Spartan lose, they still play for the GWN Title , but who wants to go into a title game following a loss? MSU wins.

K-State vs. Kansas. KU did beat West Virginia, so they have a marque win, but that’s going to be their only big win. Wildcats beat the Jayhawks. 

Maryland plays NC State and the Terps beat the Wolfpack.

Colorado vs. Utah. The Buffs are playing much better than they did last year, but Utah is still going to beat them.

Georgia lost QB Murray last week to an ACL, major blow to the Dawgs. Georgia Tech will take advantage of that loss, but the Bulldogs still beat the Yellow Jackets.

Baylor returns to its winning ways against TCU. Maybe.

Northwestern loses to Illinois.

Virginia Tech continues to dominate UVA and the Cavaliers start looking for a new coach.

Texas A&M helps out South Carolina by beating Missouri.

Notre Dame falls to Stanford, that is, as long as Stanford plays like they did against Oregon. If they play like they did against Utah, the Irish will be glad to beat the Cardinal.

Arizona, coming off its great victory over Oregon, comes crashing down in Tempe as the Sun Devils win.

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