Rivalry Week in College Football

This is the most beloved week in all of college football. Not because we get to stuff our faces on Thursday, but because this is the week when most of the great rivalries in college football are renewed. I hardly consider Michigan-Ohio State much of a rivalry these days, what with OSU making the Wolverines their doormat the past 5 years or so. Plus no one likes the Big Ten. We are far more concerned about the big rivalries that actually mean something. So this week we will be previewing each of the rivalries coming up, in the order they are to be played.

I’ll do a couple today. First, Texas at Texas A&M. This is the third longest rivalry in all of college football. Most people expect Texas to trounce A&M, but history tells a different story. The Longhorns have been heavy favorites in the past and yet still struggled and even lost to A&M. This is because it is a rivalry. All bets are off. Both teams have a quarterback that nearly mirrors the other statistically. Texas has the upper hand defensively. But the game is at A&M, so this could be a barn burner. My take on this game? While it has the makings of a great upset, last season is still too fresh in the minds of every Longhorn. This season is a quest for the BCS Championship, and a team as determined as them will not lose this game.

Next we have Alabama at Auburn, the Iron Bowl. Alabama leads this all time series with a record of 39-33-1. You have to go all the way back to 1893 for the first meeting between these teams. (Auburn won that matchup). There is certainly some drama in the history of this rivalry. The series was suspended in 1907 because the Auburn coach didn’t like the elaborate formations and shifts being used by “Doc” Pollard at Alabama. Eventually they made up because of a measure from the Alabama House of Representatives. Now they have a hard fought, always close game around Thanksgiving time. If any of the undefeateds have a chance of going down this weekend, it is definitely in this game. The SEC’s worst nightmare would be both Alabama and Florida losing. Can we even contemplate a world in which ESPN can’t talk about how great the SEC is by getting a team to the title game for a fourth straight year? I’m undecided on my pick at this point, but I’m leaning Alabama with a big game from Mark Ingram.

Still to come this week: Pitt at West Virginia, Florida State at Florida, Georgia at Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, Virginia Tech at Virginia, Arkansas at LSU, Clemson at South Carolina, Utah at BYU, and UCLA at USC.