U.S. Thanksgiving offers football fans one of the best weekends of action all season. While the NFL season is in full-swing and features some great games, college football offers some of the most-heated rivalries in all of sports. Games start on Thursday night and run through the day on Black Friday and Saturday. I’ve included info on all of the big games that will air on Canadian TV.
Thursday November 28, 7:30pm – Ole Miss @ Mississippi State – TSN2
This rivalry, known as the Egg Bowl, is the tenth longest uninterrupted series in college football and was first played in 1901. Ole Miss leads the series and comes in as the favourite; however, Mississippi State has a lot to play for as they become bowl eligible with a win.
Thursday November 28, 7:30pm – Texas Tech @ Texas – SN 360
Thanksgiving night just doesn’t seem the same without Texas playing Texas A&M. Texas Tech first played Texas in 1928 and the teams have met annually since 1960. Texas has won 47 of the 62 games played. Texas Tech is trying to stop a four game losing streak, while Texas is still in contention for a Big 12 title.
Friday November 29, 12:00pm – Iowa @ Nebraska – ABC
The Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers first met in 1891; however, the rivalry didn’t become an annual event until Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011. The teams have met 43 times, with Nebraska winning 38. This year both teams come into the game bowl eligible and competing for positioning in the Big Ten standings.
Friday November 29, 2:30pm – Arkansas @ 17 LSU – CBS
The Razorbacks and Tigers have met a total of 58 times, including annually since Arkansas left the Southwest Conference for the SEC in 1992. LSU leads the series with 36 wins. The game is usually played on Black Friday; however, beginning next season it will move earlier in the season so LSU can play Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night.
Friday November 29, 3:30pm – Washington State @ Washington – FOX
The Apple Cup is one of the oldest rivalries on the west coast, having been first played in 1900 with 105 meetings since. It was only five years ago that the two teams entered the game with a combined 1-20 record. Now they are both heading to bowl games Washington State’s passing attack, featuring Mike Leach’s air raid, is seventh best in the country. Last year the underdog Cougars won in a thrilling overtime game.
Saturday November 30, 12:00pm – 3 Ohio State @ Michigan – ABC/TSN
This one is simply called “The Game” in Columbus and Ann Arbor. The Buckeyes and Wolverines have meet a total of 108 times since 1897. Ohio State still have a chance of a BCS Championship birth with a win, and losses by Alabama or Florida State. Since scoring 63 against Indiana on October 19, Michigan has struggled. They don’t really have a signature win this year, but this is their chance for one.
Saturday November 30, 12:00pm – 2 Florida State @ Florida – TSN2
The Seminols are only two wins away from a trip to the BCS Championship and are the hottest team in the country, having scored 40 points in every game this year. They are coming off a 80-14 trashing of Idaho. Florida are not heading for a bowl game after a loss to FCS side Georgia Southern last week. The only thing that could keep this game close is Florida’s defense, which hasn’t given up 40 points in any game this season and is ranked 16th in the nation. On the flip side Florida State gives up second fewest points per game, while Florida’s offense is among the worst in FBS.
Saturday November 30, 3:30pm – 1 Alabama @ 4 Auburn – CBS
The Crimson Tide and Tigers have met in the Iron Bowl 77 times since 1893. This year’s matchup is arguably the biggest ever as the winner gets a spot in the SEC Championship Game. Last time the Iron Bowl has such high stakes was in 2010 when Cam Newton led the #2 Tigers to a 28-27 victory, overcoming a 24 point deceit. Auburn would go on to win the BCS Championship.
Saturday November 30, 3:30pm – Georgia @ Georgia Tech – ABC/TSN
This rivalry is known as “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate”. The two schools first met in 1893 and the Bulldogs lead the series with 69 wins. The Yellowjackets haven’t won since 2008. However, they come into this game with home field advantage and an equal 7-4 record to the Bulldogs. Georgia is without its standout quarterback Aaron Murray. Both teams are ranked in the top 25 in points for this season.
Saturday November 30, 3:30pm – Northwestern @ Illinois – BTN
These two rivals in Illinois first met in 1892, with Illinois holding a slight advantage in all-time victories. The Wildcats and Illini have had perfectly average seasons this year. Both teams are reeling, without wins since September and in the Big Ten basement. This game does feature an interesting matchup at quarterback, with Nathan Scheelhaase facing Kane Colter.
Saturday November 30, 3:30pm – Purdue @ Indiana – BTN
Fans in Indiana are probably just looking forward to the start of the Big Ten basketball season in a month. Purdue and Indiana have met 115 times since 1891, with Purdue leading the series with 72 wins. The Boilermakers are still looking for their first conference win this year.
Saturday November 30, 7:00pm – 25 Notre Dame @ 8 Stanford – FOX/SN1
The Irish and Cardinal have played annually since 1997 now, with their first meeting in 1925. Fox scores its first matchup featuring the Fighting Irish since getting into regular season college football last season. With Stanford dropping their game against USC, this game loses a lot of its intrigue as it is meaningless to the national title race. Stanford are still in contention for a BCS at-large birth, though. Irish fans, one the other hand, are just hoping their team plays in any desirable bowl game and not St. Pete on a Monday afternoon before Christmas. Last year this game was a thriller, ending in an Irish overtime goal-line stand.
Saturday November 30, 7:45pm – 21 Texas A&M @ 5 Missouri – TSN
While this isn’t a traditional rivalry by any means (they’ve only met 13 times), it is one of the more important and interesting matchups of the weekend. Missouri will play in the SEC Championship against the Iron Bowl winner with a win. The Tigers will get help at quarterback as James Franklin returns from injury. This could be the last regular season game for last season’s Heisman winner Johhny Manziel, who is expected to enter the NFL Draft next spring.
Saturday November 30, 8:00pm – 22 UCLA @ 23 USC – ABC
This is the biggest football game of the year in the country’s second largest TV market. The teams first met in 1929 and USC leads the series with 44 victories. This year the winning team will finish second in the Pac-12 south and get priority bowl selection (probably the Holiday Bowl or Sun Bowl).