It’s time. The week we’ve all been waiting for. The week our favorite team goes up against our least favorite team in a fight for the ultimate prize: 12 months of bragging rights. We’re taking a closer look at some of the best matchups we’re thankful for during Thanksgiving weekend.
#22 UCLA at USC(1:30pm ET Saturday, ESPN)
Though the Bruins (8-3) are ranked and the Trojans (7-4) are not, this classic rivalry game, which marks the the 85th meeting between the two SoCal teams, will decide the Pac-12 division. How’s that for stakes?
Last year, UCLA reached their biggest point gap last year in their win over USC for the first time since 1986, which was an elimination game for the Trojans, too. USC has failed to take away the win from the Bruins the last 3 times they met, so one can only assume they’ll be thirsty for blood this time.
#14 Florida State at #10 Florida (7:30pm ET Saturday, ESPN)
The Seminoles currently have a 9-2 record while the Gators are 10-1. In a rivalry historically dominated on both sides by the strength of the quarterback and the passing game, both teams have moved toward more emphasis on defense and the running game.
This marks the 16th regular season meeting between the two Florida teams where both have been ranked in the top 15, but only the 3rd since 2001. The Gators are coming off a skin-of-their-teeth win over Florida Atlantic (who?) in overtime, which might embolden Florida State to capitalize on the shakiness going on in the swamp.
#7 Baylor at #15 TCU (7:30 ET Friday, ESPN)
The rankings say Baylor is clearly the better team, but let’s not forget these two were ranked side-by-side for a good portion of this season. It wasn’t until TCU began to barely skate by schools like Texas Tech and suffered a loss to Oklahoma State that they dropped in the ranks. The Bears are currently 10-1 while the Frogs are 9-2, both losing to OU.
The Frogs hope to see their star quarterback Treyvone Boykin healthy and under center, though he’s still listed as probable due to an ankle injury. Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham is unlikely to play against TCU as well because of fibula, back, and hand injuries, so the Bears will be leaning on their 3rd string QB, Chris Johnson. This also means both teams will rely heavily on the run game, which poses another problem for the Bears: Running back Shock Linwood – the leading rusher in the Big 12 – is also questionable for Friday’s game.
Other games on Sling TV this weekend: (all times Eastern)
South Florida at UCF, 7:30pm, ESPN
Miami at Pittsburgh, 12pm, ESPN2
Massachusetts at Buffalo, 4:30pm, ESPNU
#7Baylor at #19 TCU, 7:30pm, ESPN
Tulsa at Tulane, 8pm, EPSNU
SMU at Memphis, 12pm, ESPNews
#1 Clemson at South Carolina, 12pm, ESPN
Virginia Tech at Virginia, 12pm, ESPNU
Georgia at Georgia Tech, 12pm, ESPN2
Penn State at #5 Michigan State, 3:30pm, ESPN
#16 Northwern vs Illinois, 3:30pm, ESPNU
#14 North Carolina at NC State, 3:30pm, ESPN2
#22 UCLA at USC, 3:30pm, ESPN2
Connecticut at #25, 7pm, ESPNU
#18 Ole Miss at #21 Mississippi State, 7:15pm, ESPN2
#13 Florida State at #12 Florida, 7:30pm, ESPN
Air Force at New Mexico, 10:15pm, EPSNU
Nevada at San Diego State, 10:45pm, ESPN2