WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND
There are several games with major playoff implications this weekend in the NFL and College Football. Specifically with College as there are only 2 more weeks before the 4 playoff teams are announced. Style points must be earned now.
We start on Thanksgiving as TCU faces Texas. The Horned Frogs currently ranked 5 by the committee might not be able to do anything to improve their ranking. They need a bunch of teams to lose. The absence of a BIG 12 Championship game really hurts them.
On Friday there is only one game of note. Missouri faces Arkansas. This is significant because if Mizzou wins they will represent the SEC East in the championship game. If they lose Georgia goes. Clearly Georgia is the better team and either Alabama or Miss St, whoever goes out of the SEC West, won’t need style points but would have to win that game. The Tigers are the easier opponent. Now if Georgia goes they have a slim outside shot of making it. Being ranked 10 is an issue. But if Bama, Mizzou and Miss State all slip up this weekend and Georgia wins the SEC championship game would the committee deny a 2 loss SEC team a spot in the playoffs. Arkansas is rolling now after killing Ole Miss last week. Don’t forget the Bulldogs who also play their rivals the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. None of these games are ever easy.
As we head to Saturday the Iron Bowl as always is the marquee game. Alabama needs to win stay on the top of the rankings. Auburn wants to be the spoiler. And they can certainly do it. Bama will still go to the SEC championship game with a loss but would need a Miss State loss too. That is a big thing to remember especially since Miss State plays 4 hours before they do.
The Egg Bowl is huge too. But this was looking like a tremendous game a month ago has now gone a bit sour with how badly Ole Miss is playing now. Still it is a home rivalry game for the Rebels. Miss State needs to win to keep pressure on both Alabama and the committee who will be looking to size up a few teams for the final playoff spot assuming no upsets happen in the next 2 weeks.
Now Oregon and Florida State both have their respective rivalry games this weekend too. The Ducks play in Corvallis against the Beavers and the Seminoles host the Gators in the swan song for the embattled Florida head coach. the Noles have been escaping week after week and this is a team with the talent and certainly the motivation to knock off FSU.
For the Big Ten story we have Ohio State playing rival Michigan which could also be the swan song for Brady Hoke. This is as big a rivalry game as there is in the United States among all sports college and pro. Urban Meyer understands that and will drop a 40 spot this weekend. What could also help the Buckeyes would be wins by both Wisconsin and Michigan State. The win by Sparty in Happy Valley could vault State into the top 10 which would be much needed style points for OSU. In addition a win by the Badgers against a good Minnesota team will also move them up and with the Big Ten championship game next weekend OSU could make a huge statement by beating Wisconsin. This weekend in college football will be very interesting to watch.
Over in the NFL We have 3 games on Turkey day that feature 5 teams fighting for playoff spots.
First the Lions host the Bears. The Lions badly need a win and badly need to get their offense in sync. Megatron has battled injuries all year and the Lions need to get him back on track. The Bears playing the spoiler role have won 2 games in a row and are still dangerous offensively.
Philly vs Dallas. Need I say more. Both are 8-3 and tied for first place in the division. This is the first of 2 games they will play in the next 3 weeks.
Same for these 2 teams. The 49ers and the Seahawks also play twice in the next 3 weeks. The Seahawks have now claimed the last playoff spot but there still is a lot of football to play. Both teams have been winning and need to keep winning. Great night game on Turkey Day
Onto to Sunday where the big game is at 4:25 in Lambeau. The Patriots march into Greenbay to face the Packers. This is a real potential Super Bowl preview. Both quarterbacks are on a tremendous roll. This will be a tremendous game to watch.
After watching NE vs GB we get treated to a battle for first place in the AFC West with the Broncos heading to Kansas City to face the Chiefs. After a bad loss to the Raiders, KC looks to rebound his team by knocking off the Broncos and creating further chaos in the division.