RIVALRY WEEK – the end of the season game that gives the winner braggin’ rights for a full year until they meet again. There are numerous storied rivalries in college football and sometimes, the outcome can be quite significant. In this Week 14 there are four teams that will battle it out on the gridiron for a shot at a bigger prize than the right to say “We’re the best… until next year.” Four arch rivalry match-ups this weekend will determine whether a team remains or breaks into the College Football Playoff Top 4 and ultimately, a shot at the NCAA National Football Championship.
Tradition and history dating back over 100 years surround college football rivalries – some of the most memorable ones are nothing short of legendary folklore. Whether the particular teams are ranked or deemed ‘good,’ it really doesn’t matter because all the stats and odds go out the window – emotions are high and hype is even higher – you really don’t know who will emerge the victor until the clock ticks down to 0:00.
MUST SEE rivalries this weekend (in no particular order of importance):
1. Mississippi State (4) vs. Ole Miss (19): The Egg Bowl. While you won’t find this game in any Top 10 rivalry lists, it’s ‘the’ game to watch and many will be doing just that on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on CBS. This rivalry is actually one of the 15 longest running series in NCAA history, having been played for approximately 111 years. This year marks only the 5th time in history that both teams have been ranked and it’s the first time in history MSU has been ranked this high, period. MSU has to win if they want to be considered by the committee to secure a spot in the Top 4. Ole Miss leads the series 61-43-6.
2. Alabama (1) vs. Auburn (15): The IRON BOWL hasn’t been short on drama over the duration of the match-up, especially in 2013 with the Kick Six the Tigers executed with one second on the clock. The road to the national championship has gone through the state of Alabama; since 2008. Historical stats show the rivalry game began as early as 1893 and that this is the 79th edition – Bama leads the series by only seven games with one tie. T-Town is where they’ll battle it out and Bama is still fightin’ mad after the way they lost last year. The Tide has to win this game to win the SEC West and play in the conference championship, not to mention keeping their #1 ranking.
3. Florida State (3) vs. Florida: This contest began in 1958 and Florida leads the series 34-22-2. From 1990-2000 both teams were ranked in the Top 10 and the winner would go on to compete in the National Championship six of those seasons. The Gators lead 7-3 the last seven years, but they’re not the team they’ve historically been. However, emotions will be high because this will be their beloved coach, Will Muschamp’s final game as he was recently fired. They have nothing to lose – they’ve already lost their leader – this is the last opportunity to play for him and their goal is to help him go out with a bang. FSU, on the other hand, has a lot to lose. They’re on a 27 game winning streak and #3 in the country. They need this win to reserve their place in the Top 4.
4. Michigan vs. Ohio State (6): Referred to as “The Game.” Played for approximately 110 years and up until the last couple of years, had a lot more lustre. This year? Desmond Howard (a.k.a. Mr. Heisman and ESPN College GameDay host) isn’t uttering a peep about the Wolverines. Ohio State needs this win if they want the CFP committee to consider them for the Top 4. Buckeye nation will definitely have their eyes on this one.
Rivalry week always falls on my birthday… what do I want for my birthday this year? AN EGG BOWL WIN, OF COURSE! #hailstate #morecowbell