It’s Thanksgiving week, that special time of year where we eat enough food to feed a third world nation, then get drunk and pass out at 7pm while blaming it on the tryptophan. This continues for four straight days until we wake up on Monday ten pounds heavier and softer than Ohio State’s schedule. This week also marks rivalry weekend, one of the best weekends in college football. Saturday features some especially nice match-ups, including a top 5 showdown between powerhouses Alabama and Auburn. So without further ado, here they are, my rivalry weekend picks. And hey everyone, Happy Thanksgiving! This year I’m thankful for friends, family, my health, and Jameis Winston’s uncanny ability to always cover the spread.
Duke +6 over North Carolina
This is a tough one. My love affair with Duke football is like JFK’s relationship with Marilyn Monroe, exciting and yet volatile at the same time. At some point, another ACC team is going to smack the Blue Devils down and Durham will revert back to basketball mode. But until then, I’m going to ride this wave until it crashes into the shoreline.
Ohio State -16 over Michigan
Usually this is the best rivalry in football, but unfortunately Michigan decided to take the 2013 season off, so we can all look forward to a 53-24 destruction this Saturday. Although, this would be a chance for the Wolverines to gain redemption by sparing America from having to watch another Ohio State National Championship Game loss. Be a hero, Brady Hoke.
UConn +3 over Rutgers
UConn, baby! After saying hello to the New Mexico teams at the bottom of the college football barrel, UConn has a chance to finish the season strong. They get a sub-par Rutgers team this week, followed by AAC afterthought Memphis. That means a potential record of 2-10 or even 3-9. I know, I don’t want to jinx it, but the Huskies might end the season only being extremely bad instead of dreadfully abysmal. UConn Football: We’re not the worst anymore!
South Carolina -4.5 over Clemson
Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t think Clemson is that great. Once I saw their beatdown against Florida State, they were tarnished forever in my eyes. It’s like finding out your wife dated Cris Angel. Forever unclean. I’d prefer if this line was -3, but I’ll take South Carolina.
Penn State +24 over Wisconsin
I don’t like it, but that’s too many points. Wisconsin will take care of business, win by 18 and sneak their way into a BCS game where they blow out Northern Illinois. It’s all part of Wisconsin’s masterplan to finish the 2013 season without anyone actually knowing how good they are. Are we a top ten-worthy squad that improved drastically throughout the course of the season and could have competed with a good SEC team in a bowl game? Hahaha, you’ll never find out, suckers!
[The ideal BCS match-up would be Clemson vs. Wisconsin. One of these teams is really good and one is overrated, but I have no idea which is which.]
Georgia Tech +3.5 over Georgia
With Aaron Murray out, there’s really no other choice here, right?
Baylor -13.5 over TCU
What a tough loss for Baylor. Let’s keep things in perspective, though. Oklahoma State is a top ten team with a much-improved defense, and Baylor’s injuries really caught up with the team last weekend. The Bears are still good, and should continue their triumphant season against a struggling TCU.
Notre Dame +14 over Stanford
It’s a rivalry game, and both teams feature slow, run-heavy offenses. Take the points. Or better yet, stay away, then you won’t find yourself needing Tommy Rees to throw a TD in the fourth quarter to cover. There’s nothing worse than having to depend on a guy who has proven himself untrustworthy time and time again. It’s like if Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was your pizza delivery guy. You might get your food in 30 minutes, you might not get it at all, you might get tackled into a shrub and covered in buffalo sauce. That’s why they call it gambling.
Missouri -5 over Texas A&M
Missouri has a date with destiny in the SEC Championship Game. Johnny Manziel has a date with destiny in New York at the Heisman Trophy presentation. There was only one thing to do. I went to Dreamgirls strip club, found Destiny, and asked her who she planned on going out with. She said Missouri. So that’s settled.
USC -3.5 over UCLA
I don’t want to alarm anyone, but USC is 9-3 and riding a five game winning streak. They’re not bad. UCLA is pretty good as well, with their three losses coming to the three best teams in the conference. I’m torn on this one. It’s probably a stay away, but if I had a gun to my head, I’d take USC at home. Then I’d be like, “hey George Zimmerman, get that gun away from my head.”
Arizona State vs. Arizona OVER 1000
The actual over/under is 60.5, but despite their impressive performance last week, I still don’t believe in the Arizona Wildcats as a defensive powerhouse. ASU, on the other hand, is a really good team with a chance to win the PAC-12 championship and end the season in the top ten. Check for inclement weather; otherwise, I expect a shootout.
Florida State -whatever over Florida
So here’s the deal: This line is off the board in almost every sportsbook, most likely due to Jameis Winston’s suspect past but possibly due to Florida being a glorified JV team. I did see one place where the line was -7, but that must be a misprint, because there’s no way the undefeated Noles are favored by just a touchdown over a team that couldn’t beat the Atlanta Veterinary College (or whoever Florida lost to last week). I don’t care what this line is. If you can bet it, bet it. Jameis is going to play and FSU is going to win by 50.
Alabama vs. Auburn – STAY AWAY
Well, this is it. Alabama, despite playing a tough schedule already, must face two of the five best teams in the nation over the next couple weeks. Meanwhile, Florida State and Ohio State will flex their muscles against Florida and Michigan, pseudo-rivals who are actually the two worst major programs you could possibly face this year. I refuse to bet against Alabama, but I don’t think I can lay 11 points on the road against a top 5 ranked SEC school either. So we’re left with one option: Sit back, enjoy one of the biggest games of the year, and wait to see what else the BCS has in store for us. After all, the BCS is like your drunken uncle at Thanksgiving. You can plan all you want, but the minute you let down your guard, some shit’s gonna go down.
Well, that’s it. Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah, and happy rivalry weekend.