Football Follies 2022: NCAA Week 13 – Rivalry Madness!

A weekend mad, bad, and dangerous to throw.

Time marches on, and the old sanctity of Rivalry Weekend at Thanksgiving has been diluted a bit in the last few years what with COVID scheduling, conference osmosis, and the rise and fall of Inevitable Champions.  It would have been hard to imagine Bedlam outside of Thanksgiving weekend, back in that antediluvian year 2019, but now that OU is committed to the SEC move, we’ll have to get used to holding the game Whenever (maybe in Week 0.5, in Singapore, or something).

Anyway, we all know who’s got something really big to settle – Ohio State and Michigan, silly (Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler rise from the pumpkin patch…) – and the rest of it’s all good, even if the odds are it won’t be that significant to the C%FPozzlesquat, given that things are mostly going as expected.

Granted, we’re assuming USC will win the Storied Rivalry game with Notre Dame.  (Championship weekend will be a different story, of course, with Georgia, TCU, USC, LSU, and technically either Ohio State or Michigan all at risk, and who knows what mayhem in store.)

Pumpkin crème pie is advisable.  And trust us, football is better than Wal-Mart, at any time on Friday.

Meanwhile, Ohio and Bowling Green just settled which one will face Toledo (Bobcats, 38-14) for the MAC title on 3 December.

We’re saddened, up front, to note that the great Storied Rivalry match between Virginia Tech and Virginia has been canceled this year, due to the loss of players in the UVA charter bus shooting.  Our renewed condolences to everyone affected, and hopes for a suitable commemoration of the players’ lives next year.

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, affords us an NFL three-fer, starting with Buffalo (-10) at Detroit, continuing with New York Giants at Dallas (-9.5), and rounding off with New England at Minnesota (-2.5) in the night game.

Don’t forget:  Wyoming plays on Friday night.

Inner Circle

The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, which beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010, is now 4-7 coming off a nice win over South Florida last week.  They didn’t cover, but they put up 48 to the Bulls’ 42 and kept it fun through four energetic quarters.  TU heads to 7-4 Houston for the season finale Saturday evening, neither team in contention for American Conference honors, and Houston already bowl-eligible.  The Cougars are laying 12.

Oklahoma played a whole quarter of terrific football in Bedlam, and then retired – obviously pooped (we mean that seriously) – from the field of endeavor for the rest of the game.  Conditioning is something they really need to work on.  After about the 7:00 mark in the 2Q, they couldn’t keep up with anybody.  Oklahoma State was unable to take advantage of those favorable conditions, and only managed to compile 13 points the rest of the game.  Not really what the fans of either team are used to.  We’re meditating darkly on COVID conspiracy theories here.

The Sooners, now 6-5, at least got their bowl ticket from that one quarter. They finish out at Texas Tech Saturday night, favored by 2.  (They covered their 7.5 in Bedlam last Saturday, by the way.  Cue the sideways, snorting LOLz.)

Oklahoma State, freshly de-ranked, hosts West Virginia, pride of the Big 12, in Stillwater on Saturday morning at 11 AM.  The Cowboys are favored by 8.5 in the line.

Navy is 4-7 after knocking off former #20 Central Florida last week, and takes a page out of Army’s playbook, facing two recuperative weekends between now and The Game on 10 December.

Army is 4-6 coming off a win over UConn, and will accommodate TOC fave UMass by heading to Amherst on Saturday to give the 1-10 Minutemen a rare home game.  We have no quarrel with Army’s 20-point give on the road.  Army could still get to bowl eligibility, of course; but we’ve been through all that.

Air Force, having knocked off Colorado State and made like a bandit with the Plexiglass, is 8-3 heading to San Diego State for their season-ender on Saturday night.  San Diego State, 7-4, has already lost to MWC-West leader Fresno State, so for the Aztecs, this one’s for pride (and Booger Bowl placement).  The Falcons are donating 1.5 in SDSU’s slick new Snapdragon Stadium, ready for its inaugural-season close-up.

Virginia Tech finishes the season 3-8 off the razor-edge win over Liberty, and we’ll have more to say about that at a later time.

With the Commonwealth teams down for the count, Nevada has one of our Inner Circle’s most Storied Rivalries this week.  We weren’t overly surprised that the 2-9 Wolf Pack took a dive to Fresno State last week, but we think they’ve got a better chance versus their Storied Rival, lice-ridden UNLV (4-7), down in Vegas on Saturday afternoon.  The pus-slathered Rebels have a few quality wins – North Texas, Utah State, New Mexico – but we know Nevada will play them tough to keep custody of one of the great rivalry trophies of all time, the Fremont Cannon:  all 545 full-size replica pounds of it.  (The barrel is 55mm. It’s named for explorer and sometime political candidate John C. Fremont, who used cannon like it in an expedition to the Sierra in the 1840s.)

The Fremont Cannon, righteously adorned in Nevada blue. Wikipedia

Now that, boys and girls, is a cannon.

The lepers of UNLV are giving 12.5.

#6 LSU, after a briefly slow start, plastered a plucky UAB to the wall last week, and is 9-2 and locked in to play for the SEC title as it heads for College Station to take on Texas A&M in their Storied Rivalry.  A&M is 4-7 and – by SEC and A&M standards – lousy this year.  We’re relieved to note that the teams don’t play for any dime-store display items or household utility receptacles.  But their rivalry goes back to 1899, and will see its 61st iteration this year, which we duly note is a prime number.  The Bengal Tigers give 10.

#4 TCU brings a spotless 11-0 record to Week 13 after another cliffhanger win last week over Baylor.  Saturday’s home stand against 4-7 Iowa State isn’t a Storied Rivalry, but the Frogs want to amass style points for the CF&poodle+pup beauty contest, and of course would like to prevail handily over a notorious drive-by hope-squasher in the Big 12.

We sense TCU as more vulnerable to ISU than LSU is to Texas A&M.  We encourage both our Inner Circle contenders to GO!!!!

The Frogs lay 10.

Toledo, 7-4 and refreshed after more than a week off, will be in Kalamazoo on Friday 25 November to take on Western Michigan (4-7) in the season finale.  Besides heading to the face-off on 3 December with Ohio, we want the Rockets to finish the season 8-4, and a bright, shiny object for bowl bids.  They’re favored by 7.5 versus the Broncos.

Wyoming gave it their all with Boise State last week and finished just a few points short, going down 20-17.  They’re 7-4 on the road at 7-4 Fresno State on *Friday night*, and though the MWC-West leading Bulldogs are giving 15, we’re pulling hard for the Pokes.

Illinois, of course, is at Northwestern to play for our beloved Land of Lincoln Trophy, the first time we’ve had this masterly trophy at issue in our Inner Circle.  As every schoolboy knows, the Land of Lincoln Trophy stepped in in 2008 to save NCAA teams from featuring “hostile and abusive Native American imagery” in sports rivalries, which apparently is what the schools’ old Sweet Sioux Tomahawk used to do.  The elegant, beribboned  top hat is just the artifact for that noble purpose, and we salute it with gusto.  (We did think at the time that the schools might adopt a Tomahawk missile body as their trophy, but that didn’t catch on.)

University of Illinois Athletics

The teams’ first meeting in the Storied Rivalry was in 1892, and Saturday will see game 116.  The Illini are 7-4 after the hard-fought, heartbreaker loss to Michigan, and have beaten Iowa but lost to Purdue, the Big 10 West leaders ahead of them in the standings.  We think Purdue has the division if Iowa loses, and will play for the Big 10 title.  Our head hurts.

Meanwhile, Northwestern is 1-10 and Illinois is giving 14 in Evanston, so we also think the Illini will at least tote home the top hat.  We foresee a better-quality Booger Bowl coming out of all this.

Top 10

#1 Georgia (-35.5) hosts Georgia Tech for the Storied Rivalry known as Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.  They have a Governor’s Cup, which is bland and stately as governors’ cups tend to be.

#2 Ohio State will host #3 Michigan in the MONSTER STORIED RIVALRY GAME OF THE WEEK strobe-lights confetti game like you’ve never seen a game, and keep it coming match on Saturday at noon in Columbus.  No weird artifacts here, just more legacy than you can shake a stick at, and more import for the 2022 playoff picture than is decent or proper.  The Buckeyes are donating 7.5; if you want to get into the stadium you can still, at this writing, pay $293 for a crummy seat if you buy online.

New #5 USC will host #15 Notre Dame for their Storied Rivalry in the Coliseum on Saturday night, and we’re expecting this marquee game outing on ABC to be another barn-burner.  This one is YUUGE for the Trojans, with the potential to dash their playoff hopes before championship weekend.


But it’s also among the most Storied of Rivalries, played for the Jeweled Shillelagh because if the Arsh are involved it’s all cut crystal and over-the-top bling.  We have our suspicions about those old Trojans in the bling department as well.  But it’s all in good fun, and USC is laying 5.5 in the house.

New #7 Clemson will of course be hosting Storied Rival South Carolina (motto: The Other USC; heroes of the hour for taking out Tennessee last week) for the Palmetto Bowl, whose name dates to 2014 but whose history of play dates to 1896.  There’s a state trophy with a stylized Palmetto on it, but the way the schools run the operation now, they have to win in a bunch of other sports to take the trophy each year.  So we’ll just note that Clemson is favored by 14.5.  We think the Gamecocks can cover.

#8 Alabama naturally hosts Auburn for their Stored Rivalry, the Iron Bowl, though most unnaturally is not in contention for the SEC championship this go-round, and is realistically out of the CFP championship race unless a lot of people actually fall dead or find themselves body-snatched.

Alabama and Auburn play the Iron Bowl for the (obviously committee-named) James E. Foy, V-ODK Sportsmanship Trophy, which Wikipedia assures us is “more commonly known as the Foy-ODK Sportsmanship Trophy,” thus saving the speaker three syllables of oral pronunciation.

The colloquially named Foy-ODK Sportsmanship Trophy takes center stage at the Iron Bowl in 2019. NBC 13 WVTM video

The ODK is for Omicron Delta Kappa, but the trophy has nothing to do with COVID-19.  As Greek allusions go, it’s weak sauce compared to Aristophanes and 2,400-year-old frog choruses.  But give it time.  This game token, excellent in its way, will no doubt find its footing before the Earth completes another 2,400 ellipses around the Sun.  Tide gives 22.

New #9 Tennessee will be at Vanderbilt for the 117th match in their Storied Rivalry series, Vols giving 14.

And new #10 Oregon heads to #22 Oregon State to play their Storied Rivalry for the Platypus, another of our cherished Trophies of Excellence.

The Oregon platypus, suitably unconcerned about its closeup. Wikipedia

The Ducks are laying 3 in Corvallis.

Best of the rest 

On this weekend, the rivalry action just doesn’t quit.  We hate to miss anybody, and we’ll just take them as they come.

Thanksgiving Day, along with our NFL games, gives us the fabled Egg Bowl, the Storied Rivalry featuring Mississippi State at new #20 Ole Miss.  Always a close-fought battle, in which the Rebels are giving 2 as they wage battle for the Egg Trophy.

Strange? That’s where the Navy would put it.

Central Michigan (-2) is at Eastern Michigan for their Storied Rivalry on Friday.

Arizona State will be at Arizona for their blinding Territorial Cup on Friday, Wildcats laying 4.

The Arizona Territorial Cup. ASU Athletics

NC State (motto: “They have a football team?”) is up next squaring off with new #18 North Carolina in their Storied Rivalry.  The Tar Heels are laying 6.5.

Arkansas (-3) will be at Mizzou to play for the Battle Line Trophy, which is kind of trying to be another Golden Boot, but not trying hard enough.

Arkansas Mizzou Battle Line Trophy.

Nebraska will be at Iowa Friday for their Storied Rivalry featuring the Heroes Trophy.  The trophy is sponsored by Hy-Vee and honors local heroes each year (in case you were thinking, er, otherwise).

Psycho Iowa is favored by 10.5, because it’s 2022.

#17 UCLA (-10) at Cal will bring their Storied Rivalry Friday afternoon.  (We’re proud all over Cal, incidentally, for snatching the Axe-head from Stanford last week. Brek-ek-ek!)

And Florida at #16 Florida State rounds out Friday evening for us, the Seminoles favored by 9.5 in their Storied Rivalry for the Makala Trophy.

The Makala Trophy: Florida ad Florida State. Via Twitter

But don’t let Saturday creep up on you.  It’s packed with Rivalry action too, naturally starting with our aforementioned Top 10 rivals.

In the midday slot, however, we’ll also see Louisville at Kentucky (-3) for their distinguished and Many-Storied Rivalry, featuring a governor’s cup.

Going head-to-head with Illinois-Northwestern are two of our other favorite rivalries, both from the Big 10.

Minnesota will be at Wisconsin for their not-just-Storied but Fabled Rivalry for Paul Bunyan’s Axe, which is hands-down the best and only axe, because it’s a whole, entire axe and it’s humongous.  It always take a lineman to hoist the thing.

Now, that’s an axe. The Golden Gophers with Paul Bunyan’s axe in 2018. Wikipedia: By Andy Manis – BY-SA 4.0Link

We tend to root for Goldie and Pals in this one, though the oddsquad has the Badgers a 3-point favorite.

Competing in the slot is the Endlessly Storied Rivalry we love so well:  Purdue at Indiana for the Old Oaken Bucket.

The Old Oaken Bucket. Purdue U. Athletic Dept.

There’s no bucket like the Old Oaken Bucket, as Bing Crosby reminds us every year.  Sing along with Bing:

We know some of you, like us, wait all year to do that.

The Boilermakers are favored by 10.5 in Bloomington.

Wake Forest (-3.5) at Duke hold their Storied Rivalry in the same time slot, which will be a conflict for some, we’re sure.

#14 Utah heads to Colorado (motto: “We take a pounding!”) a tad later, for their Storied Rivalry, the Rumble in the Rockies.  Utah’s giving 29.5 in this one.

And one of our really honking favoritest Storied Rivalries also clocks in at 4 PM Eastern, when Michigan State and #11 Penn State take the field in Happy Valley for the Land Grant Trophy, a game token whose genius cannot be expressed in words.

The elegant Land Grant Trophy in an action pose. Get it? A Nittany Lion and a Spartan? PSU Athletic Dept

It takes a mighty heap of cogitating to come up with a tall wooden thing that could fool you as a piece of random, unplaceable furniture, but comes decorated with a Spartan and a Nittany Lion.  Someone back there had a really good day, and we’re all the better for it.  PSU gives 18.

As evening wears on, we can’t neglect new #25 UCF at South Florida for their Storied Rivalry, the War on I-4.  This handy tweet will show you both sides of the increasingly popular Interstate highway sign trophy genre, if you thumb through the images:

UCF is favored by 19.5.

At 7:30 PM Eastern a veritable Storied Rivalry marathon starts its run, with Syracuse (-10.5) at Boston College.

Kansas (motto: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”) meets #15 Kansas State (-12) in the Sunflower Showdown for another governor’s cup.

And #12 Washington is at Washington State Saturday night for the Apple Cup:

Huskies give just 2, as Washington State always plays this one really tough (and it’s in Pullman).

If you’re seriously looking for some other best of the rest this holiday weekend, we’d recommend #19 Tulane at #21 Cincinnati (-2) Friday morning, along with Baylor at Texas (-8; same Bat time, unfortunately).

Other ranks

In FCS, McNeese State, we’re pleased to report, finished the season 4-7 with a 24-20 win over Lamar.  The Cowboys improved by the game after big challenges and a rough start, and retire honorably from this year’s field of battle, having left everything on it.  Well done! 

In Div II, Slippery Rock is #20 still in the Coaches Poll, and beat Assumption last week 17-14 to advance to the next round of the tournament.  The Rock will be at #11 Shepherd (Shepherdstown, WV) on Saturday at noon, for what will likely be their biggest test of the year so far. 

They’re looking at rain and a high of 50 to accompany the game.  Good on you, Rock – go go go!

Central Oklahoma’s schedule looks quiet after the 6-5 finish, and we commend the Bronchos to a well-earned rest.  Nicely done!

In Div III, Rose-Hulman having trumpeted its last, we see that Heartland’s champion Mount St. Joe lost to Alma (MI) 41-21 in round one.  We congratulate the Grizzlies on their season, and send a hearty well done to the Fightin’ Engineers.

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, like UCO, appears to be retiring from a winning season to some well-earned R&R, with no further post-season shenanigans on the horizon.  We’ll farewell our no-longer-scheduled teams at this point, and update you on the Other Ranks tournaments as their championship games draw nearer.  Bravo Zulu, Mariners!

Feature imageWide-open Oklahoma DB #22 C.J. Coldon nabs a beauty thrown right to him by OK-State QB Spencer Sanders in the 2022 Bedlam rivalry game.  Coldon’s third interception of the season enlivened a wild 28-point 1Q for the Sooners, who eventually won 28-13.  ESPN via YouTube.


19 thoughts on “Football Follies 2022: NCAA Week 13 – Rivalry Madness!”

  1. #5 LSU (because CFP matter more than other polls) has a lot to gain bybeating rival aTm, and yes a rival from days past renewed after aTm joined the SEC. Lots of death threats and money changing hands in recruiting wars between the two in times past. Two recruits included were New Iberia, LA native Johnn Hector, 4 year state champ in both long and triple jump high school state finals, later running back for the NY Jets. Then there is the storied Heisman winner, Billy Cannon, which LSU ended up signing reportedly after a local judge gave him a choice, LSU or prison (which he later went to over funny money)

  2. A shout out to my esteemed electronic friend. I have always been in awe of your “full Photon array” against UNLV. I am just a Piker standing in front of The Cheap Dance Hall outside the gate at Ft. Bragg. The T-Tech thing, in Lubbock, is worrisome.

  3. Herding runners around with linebackers isn’t the best way of preventing offenses from marching down the field.

  4. Regrettably, the Inner Circle auguries aren’t good so far. Was feeling pretty good about Toledo going in, but WMU got it done.

    I was leery of Fresno State, but didn’t foresee Wyoming turning up goose-egg. Well, bowls for the crew.

  5. Still a defense first game in Columbus
    And just like that Michigan proves me wrong. Where was the safety?

  6. Cray-cray going on out there. Donovan Edwards should obviously be MVP in Columbus today.

    Illinois absolutely destroys Northwestern. Wow.

    South Carolina.

    TCU making its case, with gusto. Thought Iowa State would hold ’em better.

    How in the world did New Mexico State beat Liberty 49-14?

    Oregon State still in it.

    Minnesota and Wisconsin down to the wire.

      1. Alabama did make a case; I’m guessing the CFPfffft will decree TCU’s and USC’s to be stronger, if they win their conference championships, but it’s all kind of funky at the moment.

  7. Who’d-a thunk re LSU and A&M. Tough, tough loss. Kind of footballed out at this point.

    Tulsa about to knock off Houston? Seems like it. Ka-wowsers.

    OU up on TTU with too much game left.

    1. LSU laid an egg for sure. aTm finally played up to its preseason ranking. I am still quite pleased with Kelly’s first year as head coach. LSU still is the champ of the SEC West which was completely unexpected. Reality set in with a gut punch that LSU is not yet worthy of a playoff berth. Still would have had to beat GA in the conference championship, after a season of playing with house money will be back to house money this weekend.

      OOF on OSU, exposed as not being a complete team.

      USC’s previous ranking below LSU was mainly due lacking a defense. Let’s see if they can beat Utah now.

      Arsh still look decent but only when playing against Sisters of the Poor.

      Clemson, well what can I say. They haven’t had the goods for since 2018 when they should have lost to “The” Ohio State U.

  8. Yes, TU downed Houston – what a finish. That was nice. Playing for pride.

    …and USC tops ND.

    REALLY low-scoring thing going on with Air Force and SDSU.

    Oregon State took the Battle of the Hideous Uniforms, but Ducks were never in the Big Hunt anyway.

    I doubt many had Michigan and Purdue on their bingo cards back in Week 1. Nebraska topping Iowa; who knew?

  9. I was hoping for a miracle in Bloomington – but in the end Purdue gets the honor of getting wiped out by Michigan instead of my beloved Illini.

    Don’t even get me started on the whole Indian imagery garbage. As every school kid used to know in the Illinois Valley, from whence I proudly hale, the Illini references a subtribe of the Algonquin, wiped out by another subtribe while they were loving the land and butchering each other around Starved Rock. It is natural and noble to wipe out your enemies. Hence there was no one to come to the University’s rescue when the adopted tribe in Oklahoma refuse to provide cover as the Seminoles have for FSU all these years. The illogic of “lets posture about the Indians” makes my head hurt. Everytime I hear the 3 in 1 at a football halftime I say a little prayer that someday the goofy CRT types in our midst will be defeated and the Chief will reign supreme across the lands of halftime college football shows!

    Ok, I feel better. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. While my family possesses no Michigan fans, we have a few OSU haters. They enjoyed the 4th quarter implosion by the Buckeyes!

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