Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | November 22, 2012

Pigskin Follies: Rivalry Madness! – NCAA Football Week 13

We’ll serve up some football early this week, as Thanksgiving is just about upon us, and Thanksgiving means – football!

We’re going to be very disappointed if USC doesn’t knock off Notre Dame, which has cruised to #1 by playing, in order, Navy, Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan, Miami, Stanford, BYU, Oklahoma, Pitt, Boston College, and Wake Forest.  So, OK, granted, there’s some quality in that list.  None of it is up in the stratosphere this year; Stanford has been inconsistent and is now ranked #8 after holding Oregon in a clench, but frankly, that’s too high.  Oklahoma may not deserve its #13, but it’s closer to its deserts than Stanford is.  Michigan, #19, is the only other opponent that’s still in the top 25.

The Trojans are smarting from their loss to UCLA last week, and gunning for the Arsh in the Coliseum.  Who wouldn’t want to take home the Jeweled Shillelagh, after all?   There may be fruitier rivalry trophies, but we here at the TOC Football Commentary Service are not aware of them.  Arsh give 5 as of this writing.  USC fans are wimps if they don’t close that up.

Now to some important games.  Tulsa plays emerging division rival SMU in Dallas on Saturday morning.  Tulsa also, of course, beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010.  The Golden Hurricane is better than Smoo this year, but the Mustangs always play Tulsa tough, so this game won’t be a gimme.  TU is invincible in C-USA West, which we can hope won’t affect the team’s drive on Saturday.  Play hard, men.

Oklahoma hosts Bedlam this year, which will kick off at 2:30 PM on Saturday.  Although the Sooners are giving 7, the Oklahoma State Cowboys have been on a tear in the last few weeks, shredding Texas Tech and West Virginia.  The Sooners certainly have the deeper line-up, but the Pokes have the heart this season.  Both will get reasonably good bowl games this year; Kansas State has locked in the Big 12 championship, even if the Sooners win both their last two games, so Bedlam is about the rivalry and the pride.  Kind of think OSU will take this one.

Fresno State hosts Air Force Saturday afternoon.  The Bulldogs, a hair back of Boise State in the Mountain West, get the nod, odds-wise.  Navy and Army are both off until The Game on 8 December.  Both teams having crunched Air Force, it’s down to the storied Army-Navy game for the Commanders’ Trophy this year.  More on that as the time nears.

Virginia Tech hosts the Yahoos on Saturday for the annual battle for the Commonwealth Cup, which as bric-a-brac goes is reasonably non-annoying.  Hokies give 10, and if they play like they’ve been playing the last couple of games, they can certainly cover.  36F and sunny at the noon (EST) kick-off on Saturday in Blacksburg.  VT (5-6) needs this one to be bowl-eligible.  Virginia, 4-7, can’t get to a bowl at this point.

Nevada’s off this weekend, but will be back to meet Boise State on 1 December.  Of course, we all remember that incredible game on the frosty night of 25 November 2010, when Nevada, hosting BCS #4 Boise State, won in OT 34-31.  Time for the Wolf Pack to do it again.  The oddsquad will have the Broncos giving big by this time next week.  1 December; be there.

Alabama, #2 this week, is hosting the Iron Bowl with Auburn on Saturday.  Tide gives 32, which may be generous given their low-scoring propensities, but they should certainly win.  3-8 Auburn sucks eggs this year.  #3 Georgia hosts Georgia Tech in Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate, not by any means the silliest name for an NCAA rivalry.  There’s a Governor’s Cup involved.  The Bulldogs are naturally favored.

#4 Florida heads to Tallahassee to rival it up with the #10 Seminoles, which on a non-rivalry weekend would be a marquee game even outside the Southeast.  Sadly, this rivalry has no silly name, and if there’s a party favor for the winner, no one’s talking.  The ‘Noles fans have FSU giving 8, a feat even Sooner fans would be proud of.  #5 Oregon heads for Corvallis and the annual Oregon Civil War, in which the winner takes the Platypus Trophy.  Sounds like bias in favor of webbed feet to me, but I’m sure they know what they’re doing up in the Beaver State.  Ducks give about 9.

Kansas State, having fallen to #6, has the weekend off before hosting Texas on the 1st.  #7 LSU travels to Arkansas on Friday to play the Razorbacks for the Golden Boot.  #8 Stanford will be in Pasadena to play hot-running UCLA, in what should be a pretty good game.  The oddsdudes are playing it close, with Stanford giving only 2.  Bruins could definitely win this one and send Stanford back south of #10 where they belong.

Missouri will be at #9 Texas A&M for the Battle of the SEC Freshmen.  It ought to be a rivalry, and maybe one day it will be.  Aggies give 22.  Gig ‘em!

The Thursday game is TCU at #16 Texas, which ought to be pretty good.  In rivalry action outside the top 10, we have of course the storied Michigan-Ohio State game, unfolding in Columbus at 11:00 AM Central on Saturday.  Urban’s Buckeyes are 11-0 and ineligible.  The oddsbubbas have them giving 3, but wethinks they’ll take it by more, and may cause the Wolverines to slide a bit further down from their #19 berth.

#11 South Carolina (motto: The Other USC) will be at #12 Clemson for their long-running rivalry.  Memphis hosts Southern Miss for the Black and Blue Bowl, a fine tradition since 1935.  Ole Miss hosts Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, now in its 111th year of awarding the Golden Egg Trophy.  (The Golden Cannon is still way cooler.)  Troy will be at Middle Tennessee State (motto: “Yes, there is one!”) to battle for the Palladium Trophy, which sounds suspiciously highfalutin for a football prize.  Colorado (motto: “We take a pounding!”) hosts Utah for the Rumble in the Rockies, and of course we mustn’t forget Indiana at Purdue for the environmentally-friendly Old Oaken Bucket, Illinois at Northwestern for the Land of Lincoln Trophy (formerly the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk), Washington at Washington State for the Apple Cup (no, not a kid’s lunchables item), and Arizona State at Arizona for the Territorial Cup.

Kentucky will be at Tennessee playing a very old rivalry game, but we understand there is no longer a barrel awarded to the winner.  We think that’s tacky.

We mustn’t neglect to mention the battle for the Heroes Trophy – a real thing, going back to 1891 – which will take place with #14 Nebraska visiting Iowa on Friday.

For those who need more football on Thursday than the TCU-Texas game, the NFL offers some good Thanksgiving fare.  Washington will be at Dallas for a Thanksgiving afternoon tradition (and a bid to keep both teams’ wild card hopes alive).  Full disclosure:  a lifelong Cowboy fan is writing this.  The early game is Houston at Detroit, in which the Lions are definitely the underdog.  Patriots at Jets will round out the NFL entertainment on NBC’s evening broadcast.  Should be a good game.

In Division III, our Franklin Grizzlies host the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor squad from Belton, Texas.  The game will be played on Franklin’s turf in Franklin, Indiana.  MHB, the American Southwest Conference champion, downed Louisiana College last week 59-20, while the Grizzlies rolled over Adrian 42-10.  Game time weather – Saturday at 1:00 PM Central – should be about 36F and sunny, which may give Franklin an advantage over the Texas team.

As noted in the comments last week, Deer Creek lost a heartbreaker to McAlester in the second round of the Oklahoma high school 5A playoffs.  Good on the Antlers, however, for getting to the playoffs.  Well done!

A happy and blessed Thanksgiving to all in TOC Nation.



  1. I’d be inclined to take USC with the points over ND. Oh how’d the Trojans would love to knock arch rival ND off of their #1 perch. I might even be inclined to take USC on the money line if I were to wager on the game.

    Speaking of wagering J.E., shall we delve into a gentleman’s style bet? Your Cowboys vs my Redskins??

  2. RGIII was nearly perfect last week… er um earlier this week. I am pretty sure that the 4 day off track record of teams playing on Thursdays is not really good, but since both the Boots and the Skins are on short rest, the game might get sort of feeble by the 4th quarter.

    Any day Dallas loses is a good day. I’ll even root for the Raiders over Dallas.. My three teams have all been Dallas rivals… Steelers, Redskins, and Packers… ok the family fav – the “Jersey” Giants is an anti-Dallas Flash mob..

    So for the Black and Gold, Burgundy and Gold, Green and Gold, and the Blue Red and White… There is a powerful stink on the team once coached by the Fantastic Plastic Man.

    Funny I was watching the NFL Channel Top Tens the other day, and a really strange number 1 came out with no other mention other than an alsoran… I think.. They called the number 1 rivalry the Gints vs Iggles… nonsense… the most heated rivalry that exists in pro football today is the Redskins vs. the Cowboys…

    I think that, today, RGIII and the Redskins have a better than even shot at winning the day. Not guaranteed, but they have a legitimate shot.

  3. You know that USC’s QB is playing his first varsity game, right? The Luck of the Irish. Happy Thanksgiving Day to TOC and her fans.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to all

  5. Happy Eat Your Mascot Day to all!!! Wait… not everyone’s mascot is something particularly edible…

    ok… well Happy Hokie Bird Day!

    Best served with gravy, mashed taters, and that really fattening green bean casserole with french onions on top… and Stuffing!!!! ok…

    Of course you could have one of those food health Nazi “try this insteads”:

    Roasted Tofurkey with vegetable stock
    Herb enfused brown and wild rice steamed with onions and garlic
    Steamed green beans with dill and rice vine vinegar instead of salt and butter.
    followed by slices of apples sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg, dry sauteed in a pan with a splash of Sauterne

    ok… I really like the rice dish, the steamed green beans, and the sauteed apples… yum.. The Hokie Bird made me sub the roasted turkey breast with apples and onions – with a light gravy made from the drippings…. with the Tofurkey…


    Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

  6. a good day for all and may the Dallas Cowboys be made to eat the Tofurkey until that dolt who owns the team figures out that not only can he fire the general manager, but that he must.

  7. If the Texans don’t win it on this possession, both teams shouldn’t get a meal.

  8. Wow.

    Mark Sanchez’ NFL career might effectively end at half-time…..and Rex Ryan’s after the game.

    • Hey, the Jets only played poorly for less than a minute. Of course, that’s all it took them to give up 21 points. Yikes!

      • even in New York, that was a heck of a New York Minute…..

        and what it was doing in New Jersey, i’ll never know.

  9. Hokies 17 – Wahoos 14

    The Commonwealth Cup stays in Blacksburg, through no credit to the lame Virginia Tech offense… Credit a pick from Anton Exum and Bud Foster’s defense, and a solid Field Goal from the 27…

    Looks like it might be the Belk – Slacks and Sweaters Bowl for the Hokies… There’s a Belk in the Christiansburg Mall. Maybe they’ll come up with a sale or something I could use some new crockery, flatware, or maybe a cardigan…

    what an unsatisfying season… Time for big changes in Blacksburg during the off season.

    — TMF

  10. ‘Skins fans have to be happy. Jets fans are wishing they could get that one Horrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Minute back. Houston fans are wondering why anyone would go to Detroit to watch a football game.

    Good to see the Hokies putting it away. I’ve been very tired of this Tulsa game, and it was more fun to watch the Vrginia face-off for at least part of the time. TU has frittered away so many chances to come back from a 35-6 deficit. They have 55 seconds to see if they can even it up from 35-27.

    (Update: Tulsa lost.)

    Ohio State covered, but didn’t beat the Wolverines as resoundingly as we expected. 26-21.

    Purdue won custody of the Old Oaken Bucket. Pitt, we are happy to say, knocked Rutgers on its ear, 27-6. The Scarlet Commies should be out of the top 25 forthwith.

    In earlier action this week, TCU beat #16 Texas, which we can’t say we didn’t see coming at all, but which did seem unlikely at the time.

    Nebraska takes home the Heroes Trophy after downing Iowa 13-7 in what was frankly a pretty boring game.

    East Carolina battled to a 65-59 OT win over Marshall, proving that you don’t have to watch the Big 12 to enjoy ridiculously high-scoring games. East Carolina is still in contention for the C-USA East title, and it comes down to the wire next weekend with the final game against rival Central Florida. TU would rather play the Purple Pirates for the championship again, so we’ll be rooting for East Carolin next week.

    In the PAC-12, Washington State knocked Washington out of the top 25 with a 31-28 OT win. Arizona State knocked Arizona out of the top 25 with a 41-34 win in regulation.

    In Bedlam, OSU is up 7-0 on OU in the 1Q. Pokes just intercepted! Bedlam living up to its hype today.

  11. We are bummed to report that the Franklin Grizzlies are down 63-17 in the 4Q to Mary Hardin-Baylor. Looks like our last Div III hope is flickering out.

  12. Well, if you like to watch OU and OSU score, today’s Bedlam is the game for you.

    Alabama covered in the Iron Bowl, racking up 49 points to Auburn’s zilch.

    Oregon clobbered O State 48-24 to tote off the Platypus Trophy.

    Middle Tennessee State (motto: “Yes, there is one!”) survived Troy 24-21, and we assume there’s something going on with that creepy Palladium thing. They can keep it.

    Hey, Penn State and Wisconsin are tied 21-all in OT. Huh? Huh?

    Florida’s up 30-20 on FSU in the 4Q.

    Memphis making Southern Miss Black and Blue 42-10 at this writing.

    Speaking of 42-10, that’s what Georgia beat GT by in Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.

    Baylor beat TT 52-45 in OT. Zounds.

    Stanford and UCLA are 7-all in the 1Q.

    Countdown to Notre Dame-USC.

  13. Oh the humanity! Bedlam goes to OT!

    Commercial break so the sportsbabblers can look up when Bedlam has gone to OT before.

    • Holy Crap Batman!!!!! Clay breaks three tackles!!!!!!! to win the game. That is the only time OU Led. Two running plays and they score!!! Did I say Holy Crap!!!!! There is Happiness in Mudville, but not Stillwater!!!!!

      • Morsi later. In Eqypt, one man, one vote, one time. I bet Obama is on the phone asking Morsi to step down so Democracy can flourish. Down with mideast dictators right??????? I bet Susan Rice can explain this on Sunday!!!!! Good weekend on ya JE!!!!

      • Yep – wow! That last run by Clay was a doozie. I feared that if OU won, I wouldn’t think they deserved it. But in the end, they did. It was a hard-fought game. Pokes have nothing to be ashamed of either. It could have gone either way.

        Incidentally, Sooners hung half a hundred on ’em. Barry’s ghost lives.

        • and the defense was so much better——

          after holding WVa to only 49

          this game they gave up even fewer points!

  14. Had someone other than Coughlin been coaching, the Jints mighta rung up 50 tonight.

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