Finally we get into the absolute best part of most college football seasons: American Thanksgiving. It’s so good I go into a football coma! And I love it! There’s also Conference Championship Week after that which should be renamed CFP Debate Week since the debates over the polls make most years of the BCS look like a preschool scuffle.
Let us begin. Oh, and because this is a super special week, they get six games on the list instead of five. Don’t like it? I file that under TFB: Too Fucking Bad.
Alabama at Auburn (3:30, CBS) – The Iron Bowl. CBS will probably NEVER make the mistake of not taking this game on the final regular season weekend. They’ve learned their lesson. All it took was both Mississippi SEC schools to tank after they made their selection of the Egg Bowl. And ESPN reaped the rewards. This one should be (SHOULD BE) for, at the very least, the SEC West title and if the Gus Bus is rolling along, perhaps for a coveted College Football Playoff spot.
Ohio State at Michigan (Noon, FOX) – Well FOX kept part of the tradition going. Still at Noon although with the game on a three-letter network not starting with A, I don’t know if ESPN will do the super long hype job like ESPN Gameday last season for this tilt (although considering the game was a classic you can’t blame them). This should be another huge matchup unless one of these teams shits the bed earlier in the season more than once.
Florida State at Florida (7:30, TSN3) – This is the day (more like two days) where TSN all of a sudden goes nuts and broadcasts like a dozen games. Great for the non-specialty pack people out there as they deserve it for missing out on some great games earlier in the season. Here’s hoping this one will be better than the last few years of this battle for the Florida Cup (I know technically Miami is involved in this too but recently I wouldn’t include them in the conversation).
Texas A&M at LSU (7:30, specialty pack) – Now that we have gone through best game in each timeslot, now we get to the next tier, which is still really good. With the Egg Bowl going to Thanksgiving night and the SEC Network still wanting to show games on the Saturday, I can see this being the primetime affair on that network. Amazing they would get a game like this but that’s the final regular season week for ya.
Notre Dame at Stanford (Friday, 9:30, TSN1) – First Black Friday game (potentially) to make this list. Notre Dame should be a lot better and Stanford will be Stanford. I am thinking FOX does not pick up this game since they already have Texas Tech-Texas that evening and might not want a game to lead into it with a tripleheader already on the Saturday.
Washington State at Washington (3:30, ABC/TSN1) – Last year, the Cougs had a chance to derail Washington’s dream season and they failed miserably. Then they failed miserably again in their bowl game. They did not play classic Mike Leach FOOTBAW! The Huskies will still be a big favourite here as they are true national championship contenders but the Apple Cup can surprise at times.
Honourable mention: Miami at Pittsburgh (Friday, Noon, TSN1), Georgia at Georgia Tech (8:00, ABC/TSN4), Clemson at South Carolina (Noon, TSN5), Baylor at TCU (Noon, FOX Sports One so nowhere here), West Virginia at Oklahoma (Friday, 3:30, ABC/TSN1). Let’s be honest, I could put another four or five games here easy and no one would bat an eye at them. It’s just that good a week of college football. Well, it is if it follows through on the hype (which did not happen in 2015).
Worst televised game of the week: Wyoming at San Jose State (10:15, specialty pack) – This is the worst televised game of the week. The worst. And it contains a team that knocked off Boise State last season. So yeah, this is a damn good week.
Conference Championship Week: Now including the Big XII! I will laugh if this game ends up being a rematch of a Week 13 game. It could happen. West Virginia heads to Norman to face the Sooners on Black Friday. You never know.
The only conference not involved in this is the Sun Belt and that ends in 2018 as they, too, will have a conference championship game. Conference Championship games for everyone!
I will not rate the conference championships or have the top five. Makes no sense. It will almost always be the Power Five conferences unless we have an undefeated Group of Five team that could make waves in the CFP conversation.
As for timeslots, the SEC Championship, again gets its own slot at 4:00. That’s a given. I have a feeling the Pac-12 Championship will end up on Friday night. It’s never worked before in that timeslot but every other game (at this point) is slated to be on Saturday. I believe the Big XII (and FOX) will be the smart ones and put their game on at Noon against the G5 title games and leave the Big Ten and ACC to battle it out for viewers in primetime. As of this time, the Big Ten’s championship is on at 8 on FOX and the SEC Championship is, as usual, on CBS. Everything else is up in the air including which Sun Belt game will actually get to be aired that day on a network where we are able to watch.
Army-Navy game of course. And some FCS playoff action. A nice slow week (usually) before bowl season begins.
That’s it, that’s all. No more games to go through. Now I plan on playing out the season and seeing how it turns out. Hopefully my picks aren’t as bad as a lot of last year’s (and they were pretty bad). Next up, however, will be an early look at the networks and what they will be showing this season. I should be able to get the first three weeks correct (since they are 90% set already). After that it’s a toss-up. Oh well, if it is starting to get you fired up for the impending season (and it is for me) then it’s worth it. Also, finally, we are 68 days away from the first games of the season. We are closing in on the two-month mark!