Weekend Watch List: SEC West up for grabs; can Gators hang with Noles?
From Arkansas-Mizzou to the Egg Bowl (both on CBS) to the Iron Bowl, to simultaneous Pac-12 South action to FSU-Florida, national impact games and rivalries rule this holiday weekend.
Pass the remote and leftover turkey. A couple of division titles were decided Friday and there will be more dominoes to fall on Saturday. So let's get down to basics with the Thanksgiving Weekend Watch List. The biggest games in chronological order:
Georgia Tech at Georgia, noon ET, Saturday: Georgia Tech is playing an exhibition game at Georgia. OK, it's a rivalry game but the Jackets have already clinched the confounding ACC Coastal. The Bulldogs will know their championship possibilities by kickoff.
Scout this one at least for Paul Johnson's ability to confuse Florida State in the ACC title game with the triple option.
That's a good indicator of where these programs stand. In a final slap to Brady Hoke, Michigan's interim AD Jim Hackett will decide whether the coach will be retained.
Word is Hackett may actually get the permanent AD gig.
Speaking of interim, there's little more unsavory than a 6-6 school going to a bowl during a coaching search. Just a guess, but Urban Meyer will unleash demons from holy hell upon Michigan to satisfy the Buckeyes' bloodlust. Ohio State's record for victory margin in the game is 38 points (1935).
Yeah, it could be that bad.
The Spur Dog's future is up in the air. But what a drop-the-mic moment if he beats Clemson again on his way out. Unfortunately for Gamecocks everywhere, Spurrier made more noise this season by himself than his defense ever did.
What does Ole Miss have left? Much like Florida against Florida State and Michigan against Ohio State, it has to open the playbook. Everything is on the table. Jet sweeps, fake punts, jailbreak blitzes, onside kicks.
The Bulldogs need to win to stay in playoff contention, at least. But by the end of the day, they might be SEC West champions.
In what looks like his final game for the Gators, Muschamp should use every club in his bag. Florida State is trying to nurse its season to a playoff. The Gators should play like this is the last game of their lives. The Seminoles are living on the edge. Take the Gators and the eight points, if not outright.
Hey, FSU could lose to just anybody right now.
The No. 1 offense (Baylor) faces the nation's fourth-worst defense (Texas Tech).
If I know Art Briles he'll try to hang 50 and get on to Kansas State week, quickly.
If David Cobb plays (questionable hamstring) two top-10 rushers will be on display. Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon still chasing Barry Sanders' single-season record.
The winner clinches the Big Ten West.
What's left for these two, really? Both are out of major bowl competition. Both have coughed up majorly disappointing seasons. Brian Kelly can conceivably pull the ejector seat for the NFL. Steve Sarkisian is going to hear more questions about why he got hired in the first place.
Brand names, but little star power.
Don't know if a win over hapless KU qualifies as a "boost."
Doesn't matter in the Iron Bowl. Bama has revenge clenched between its teeth. The Tide are peaking. Blake Sims plays his best at home.
I'm not giving up on Auburn, which can win this game in a shootout. Its offensive numbers are strikingly similar to 2013.
Oregon at Oregon State, 8 p.m. ET, Saturday: Oregon has to travel 47 miles up I-5 to take on Oregon State, where the Ducks have won six of the past seven. The Beavers haven't won at all in the series since 2007.
That being said, Oregon can't screw up. An upset may render the Pac-12 title game meaningless in playoff terms. If Oregon makes it to the CFP title game, it would do so with the worst defense (currently No. 93) since the BCS era began in 1998.
It's inspiring to consider how Hawaii, 4-8, could win the Mountain West. It starts by winning this week at Fresno.
That's right -- the Mountain West champion may not be eligible for a bowl.
Uncle Lou, you can go back to sleep now.
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