Welcome to week 13. Notre Dame is 8-3 and heading to Palo Alto to face a tough Stanford squad in the season finale. Win or lose the Irish are most likely headed to the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, FL where they will most likely face Florida State. But if the Irish can manage to pull the upset on Saturday night then they have an outside shot of jumping to 14 in the BCS standings and becoming eligible for an at large BCS bid. I'm saying there's a chance....
Elsewhere around the country it is Rivalry Week. Rivalry games such as the The Lone Star Showdown, Backyard Brawl, Civil War, Iron Bowl, Apple Cup and Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate will all get played this weekend. Cool names, but in the case of the 2011 season, most of those look like they will be less than inspiring games. Regardless The Lone Star Showdown will be played for what might be the last time on Thanksgiving Night and we will follow that up with several games being played on both Friday and Saturday this week. So we all have a built in excuse to sit around, eat leftovers and watch college football for the better part of 3 days. That's a win.
For those interested in the full TV schedule utilize the link below or one of the others in our left sidebar.
Rankings are per the BCS Standings.
*All times listed below are EST.
Games after the jump.
Tuesday 22 November
Miami (OH) at Ohio 7:00 ESPN2
Stop it with these Tuesday night MAC games already. Ohio won a 21-14 thriller.
Thursday 24 November
#25 Texas at Texas A&M 8:00 ESPN
The Lone Star Showdown is such a lame name for this game. I'm from Texas and I don't even know when they started calling it that. Watching this game has been part of my Thanksgiving routine for as long as I can remember. It just doesn't feel right to think that this might be the last one. Like all good rivalry breakups I am certain that this one will resume again at some point in the future but it will be a little bit sad to watch this game on Thursday night. As for the game itself I have to think that the Ags run away with it. By the way how the hell is Texas #25 in the BCS?
Friday 25 November
Iowa at #21 Nebraska 12:00 ABC
Here's a new one. As of this season they are calling this one The Heroes Game. They will supposedly be recognizing great citizens from Nebraka and Iowa as part of the festivities. Uhhh okay. Huskers roll.
#3 Arkansas at #1 LSU 2:30 CBS
Sooooooooooeeeeee. I would love to see the Hogs knock off LSU in Red Stick to go ahead and throw the BCS into complete and total upheaval. Oh yeah, they also call this one the Battle for the Golden Boot.
Boston College at Miami 3:30 ABC
Miami just recently decided to self impose a bowl ban. Interesting that they didn't make that decision until they hit 6-5. I guess the Belk Bowl didn't sound too enticing.
Pittsburgh at West Virginia 7:00 ESPN
The Backyard Brawl tends to be a good time no matter how good or bad the teams are coming into the game. My personal favorite was the 2007 game when Pitt knocked WVU out of the title game and prompted the whole Rodriguez to Michigan thing.
Cal at Arizona State 10:15 ESPN
For you late-night college football snackers. There will still be a mediocre PAC 12 game being played on the West Coast. What happened to Arizona State? The Devils have dropped three in a row to UCLA, Wazzu and Arizona. Talk about a nose dive.
Saturday 26 November
Ohio State at #15 Michigan 12:00 ABC
They simply call this one The Game. Some are forecasting Michigan to play in the damn Sugar Bowl. Really? I'm still sick that ND blew that game in week 2. That one hurt. A lot. Supposedly the Bucs are going to announce that Urban Meyer is taking over the program once this game is a wrap. I wonder if that rumor about Kirk Herbstreit wanting to be his quarterbacks coach has any legs?
#13 Georgia at #23 Georgia Tech 12:00 ESPN
This one has the best name of all. Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. Very nice. This game is really meaningless to both teams but it might be pretty entertaining. Regardless Georgia will get a shot to play spoiler in the SEC title game. Come on Richt!
Rice at SMU 12:00 FOX
Wealthy Texas smaht kids mix it up in the Battle for the Mayor's Cup. It's that whole Dallas vs. Houston thing. Whatever. There are more captivating Texas High School playoff games.
Tennessee at Kentucky 12:00 SEC Network
Who gets the SEC Network? Regardless, I bet Ashley Judd shows up decked out in Blue for the Battle for the Barrel. You can always count on gratuitous Judd sightings during Kentucky broadcasts. They've got that going for them.
Southern vs. Grambling (New Orleans) 2:30 NBC
Ahhhh yes, The Bayou Classic. Does anyone ever actually watch this game or do they just flip to it every now and then to try and catch the crazy halftime show? I'm guessing that the tailgate for this one flaunts some serious groceries. Does anybody have any firsthand knowledge that they can share on that?
#2 Alabama at #24 Auburn 3:30 CBS
The Iron Bowl. Now this is a truly classic rivalry. I really enjoyed the recent WWL production Roll Tide War Eagle. Having had the pleasure of once attending a game at Jordan-Hare I can attest to the depicted fanaticism of the Auburn faithful. Cool place. Bama needs the W this weekend to stay alive for a title shot. Auburn would love nothing more than to deny them that. Tide Rolls.
Oregon State at #10 Oregon 3:30 ABC/ESPN 2
The Beavers are pretty awful this year so I expect that the Quack Attack will go off in this installment of the Civil War. Did you know that they play this one for the Platypus Trophy? Only in Oregon.
#5 Virginia Tech at Virginia 3:30 ABC/ESPN 2
The Battle for the Commonwealth has an added layer of intrigue this year. It actually means something! The winner will actually play Clemson in the ACC title game. The Hokies should take care of business and keep my Hokie fanatic brother-in-law "The Deer Hunter" clinging to hopes of a title shot.
#19 Penn State at #16 Wisconsin 3:30 ESPN
Wiscy is going to run rule these guys. Big time.
Missouri vs Kansas (Kansas City) 3:30 FOX
The Border War will likely be the Border Bore this year. The Indian War Drum is a pretty cool trophy though. Mizzou should run away with this one.
Florida State at Florida 7:00 ESPN2
The old Sunshine Showdown has lost a bit of its luster this year but it could still be a decent game. Can Florida finish with a winning record or will it be 6-6 for Champ and Chuck? How good is Florida State? This is our last chance to scout the Noles prior to potentially playing them in Orlando. I will watch the first quarter then DVR the rest for future study.
Washington State at Washington 7:30 Versus
Back when these two teams were good I used to think that The Apple Cup was pretty cool. Washington should win this one to quietly finish 7-5.
#17 Clemson at #12 South Carolina 7:45 ESPN
Interesting game here. Meaningless in the grand scheme of things but interesting nonetheless. Did you know that the Battle for the Palmetto State is played for the Hardee's Trophy? I wish I was making that up.
#22 Notre Dame at #6 Stanford 8:00 ABC
The Legends Trophy is on the line when our Fighting Irish head into Palo Alto. The boys are cooking up full previews so I will leave them to it. Will BK play this one straight or will he pull out all of the stops against the Trees? I expect the latter. Go Irish!
UCLA at USC 10:00 FOX
Will Kiffin finish off Slick Rick? Will UCLA be in the market for a new coach come Sunday morning? We should be in full blown coaching carousel discussions next week. I can't believe that Dick Rod got a job before Mike Leach. Someone needs to hire the Dread Pirate immediately.
Have a great Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The Coach is inbound to SoCal so you can bet we will try to watch every one of these.
What other games should we be trying to keep an eye on?