It’s finally here. The week that most teams circle during the off-season. If you win this week, you have 364 days of bragging rights until the match up next season. That’s right, it’s rivalry week! One of the best things that happen to College Football was when this week was pushed back to span the Thanksgiving Holiday. Turkey Day and Football go hand in hand, but so do rivalries. These rivalries come up within families. Whether it’s that family member taking the two-hand touch football game a little too serious or your sister marrying a Michigan guy in a family full of Buckeyes (He’s a really good guy everyone!). Rivalries come out during Thanksgiving week. It could even be that family member who decides to bring up politics during the meal (Seriously, don’t be that person!). So which Rivalry is the Turkey in Thanksgiving and which one is the cranberry sauce? Let’s take a look at the top 10 Rivalry Games during Thanksgiving Week!
#10. Washington at Washington St.- Saturday
Results since 2000: Washington leads 15-6
First Played: 1900
What to expect: The Apple Cup is an interesting rivalry this year. Washington has one of the most entertaining wins on the season over Oregon. They’ve been led by Indiana transfer Michael Pinnix Jr. He has nine games of over 300 yards passing. Washington St. has been very balanced all season long. Look for Nakia Watson to have a nice game against the Huskies, but the Cougars still lose.
Thanksgiving Food: Grandma’s Apple Pie
#9. Minnesota at Wisconsin-Saturday
Results since 2000: Wisconsin lead 18 to 4.
First Played: 1890
What to expect: Entering this season, a few people thought that this game could decide the Big 10 West. Both teams have been up and down all year with Wisconsin letting their coach go halfway through the season. Both teams have solid running backs and decent defenses. This game should be an old school grind it out type of football game. Camp Randle is a tough location and one of the more hostile environments. It will be cool to see Ibrahim pass the 20 td mark on the ground, but Graham Mertz is a better quarterback than tanner Morgan. Wisconsin wins Paul Bunyan’s Axe.
Thanksgiving Food: Freshly baked bread and butter
#8. South Carolina at Clemson- Saturday
Results since 2000: Clemson leads 14 to 7
First Played: 1896
What to expect: This game got a lot more interesting after South Carolina’s win over Tennessee. Spencer Rattler pick his season off the mat and showed why a lot of people were high on him during the 2021 season. Clemson needs to win this game because they still have an outside chance to make the playoff. A win over South Carolina and then a win over UNC in Charlotte could make the Tigers interesting for the committee if some craziness ensure above them. Clemson wins in a nice fashion.
Thanksgiving Food: Green Bean Casserole
#7. Oregon at Oregon St.- Saturday
Results since 2000: Oregon leads 15 to 7.
First Played: 1894
What to expect: This tasty game will shock a few people. Oregon’s Bo Nix has been a sleeper for a New York invite for the Heisman. Oregon St. is a tough defense that likes to stop the run. The Beavers’ defense is full of solid tacklers without one player really standing out above everyone else. The Ducks offense gets a lot of love from people, but the secondary is full of playmakers. If the Ducks can force a turnover or two, watch out because Ducks fly together. But if the Beavers build the dam around the end zone, the Ducks could be desperate for water. Bo Nix takes to the sky. Ducks win in a close one.
Thanksgiving Food: Pumpkin Pie
#6. Mississippi St. at Ole Miss- Thursday
Results since 2000: Ole Miss leads 12 to 10.
First Played: 1901
What to expect: All the conversation is going to be on whether or not Lane Kiffin is the head coach at Ole Miss as of Black Friday. The Rebels have a two headed monster in Evans and Judkins. They have done a great job taking the pressure off of Jaxon Dart. The Bulldogs are a little different when Will Rogers is firing on all cylinders. He spreads the ball around and can put pressure on the Rebels defense. Keep you eye on the matchup on the outside and check out Emmanuel Forbes. He has six interceptions on the year with three for touchdowns. He could be a difference maker. Mississippi St. upsets Ole Miss.
Thanksgiving Food: Deviled Eggs
#5. NC St. at UNC- Friday
Results since 2000: North Carolina St. leads 13 to 9
First Played: 1894
What to expect: This game had a lot more intrigue a few weeks ago. Drake Maye for UNC was looking like a sleeper Heisman candidate with his play and NC St. was a team no one wanted to play. The Wolfpack lost Devin Leary and the season. The Tar Heels lost to Georgia Tech and showed they weren’t ready for the bright lights. This should still be a good game between two programs playing for respectability. If UNC wants to win, they will need a big game from Josh Downs. If the Wolfpack defense steps up, they could cause even more problems. This game is a nice addition to our feast of games. A UNC win isn’t a main course, but definitely has it’s spot.
Thanksgiving Food: Cranberry Sauce
#4. Florida at Florida St.- Friday
Results since 2000: Florida leads 11 to 10
First Played: 1958
What to expect: Both of these programs could use a big win in this rivalry. FSU is looking to cap off a season where they have returned to national recognition behind Jordan Travis. Florida has had a wacky season starting with a huge win over Utah and head scratching loss to Vanderbilt. Anthony Richardson might hurt the Gators more than he helps them. Florida St. is going to look to get after him early and often on Friday. The Seminoles mash up the Florida offense with a convincing win.
Thanksgiving Food: Mashed Potatoes- (hopefully homemade)
#3. Auburn at Alabama- Saturday
Results since 2000: Series is even 11 to 11
First Played: 1893
What to expect: While this is not the Iron Bowl of years past, this game still have a wide range of story lines. Can Auburn get bowl eligible and save their season by beating Alabama? If Alabama loses, we need to start to have a long conversation about the Crimson Tide having three regular season losses. If Tank Bigsby can lead a ball control offense for the Tigers, then a win is possible. But this is probably Bryce Young’s last home game. It’s hard to imagine him not going out with a huge with against Alabama’s biggest rivals. No matter what, the Iron Bowl is always a great game to have on Saturday afternoon. Saban will have the secret recipe for handing Auburn it’s 7th loss of the year.
Thanksgiving Food: Macaroni and Cheese
#2. Notre Dame at USC- Saturday
Results since 2000: USC leads 11 to 10
First Played: 1926
What to expect: What a way to cap off the season for the Fighting Irish and Men of Troy! Notre Dame has pulled themselves out of the early season funk to show that they are the team we thought they could be. A nasty defense that has a great running attack and utilizes the tight end. USC with all their stars, has been entertaining all season long. From Caleb Williams to Jordan Addison, they have put up mass quantities of points. The defense can be suspect at times, but it’s forced turnovers when it matters most. This game should fill any college football fan’s appetite for two marquee programs and leave you wanting just a little bit more. Lincoln Riley pulls it off and sends the Trojans marching to the Pac-12 title game.
Thanksgiving Food: Dressing/Stuffing
#1. Michigan at Ohio St.- Saturday
Results since 2000: Ohio St. leads 17 to 4
First Played: 1897
What to expect: This will be the 117th meeting between the two border schools in a high noon showdown in Columbus. Referred to as just “The Game”, both schools enter into Columbus undefeated for the first time since the epic #1 vs #2 matchup in 2006. Blake Corum has been simply electric for the Wolverines, roasting opposing defenses all season long. CJ Stroud has looked like a Heisman candidate without his top receiver, developing a chemistry with Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka. If Michigan can slow down the Buckeye’s passing attack, they can play spoiler in the capital of Ohio. If Ohio St. can turn this game into a track meet, then the Wolverines will be heading back up I-75 with their tail tucked between their legs. This game is the main course in smorgasbord of rivalry games. The Buckeyes get revenge for last year in Ann Arbor and the BDBITL uses the leftover drumsticks to play the Buckeye Fight song out of the Horseshoe.
Thanksgiving Food: Oven Roasted Turkey to Perfection