NCAA football week 13 recap
The GIST: The only thing that screams “Thanksgiving” more than turkey? Football. And the Division I (DI) gridiron is serving up more hot dishes than grandparents this weekend. While the FCS tourney’s first round kicks off on Saturday, the FBS, including the CFP’s Top 4, is bringing Rivalry Week to the table for the regular season’s dessert course. Bring your spoons.
Baylor Bears (6-5) vs. No. 24 Texas Longhorns (7-4), Friday at 12 p.m. ET (ESPN): Even though the Bears and Longhorns aren’t the Lone Star State’s most storied rivalry, the Bears nearly toppled undefeated No. 4 TCU last weekend — a team the inconsistent Longhorns fell harder to the week before. See if the ’Horns can hook ’em under Friday night lights.
No. 3 Michigan Wolverines (11-0) vs. No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0), Saturday at 12 p.m. ET (FOX): Not only is “The Game” the nation’s biggest rivalry, but this year it’s also the biggest test of both unbeaten squads’ seasons. Michigan has the most to lose: Given their weak non-conference schedule, an L makes it near-impossible to remain in CFP contention.
- The Buckeyes, on the flip side, could afford to lose a close one and still make the playoffs. That said, a win seems likely for Ohio State — not only have they been the more consistent team, but they also haven’t lost to the Wolverines at home since 2000.
No. 9 Tennessee Volunteers (9-2) vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (5-6), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET (SECN): While the Vols should earn the easy dub, these teams are living in the SEC’s upside down. Tennessee was shockingly pummeled by South Carolina last week and Vandy recently notched surprising wins over Kentucky and Florida after a three-year conference victory drought.
- Not only that, but the Commodores have bowl eligibility on the line in a game where truly anything could happen. Don’t tear your eyes off this one.
No. 13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-3) vs. No. 5 USC Trojans (10-1), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC): In yet another week where the Trojans represent the Pac-12’s last CFP hope, they face their near–100 year Irish rivals. Notre Dame has been resilient, bouncing back from a brutal season start, meaning the Irish could play spoiler.
- The Trojans, on the other hand, need an impressive Saturday scoreline, a big Pac-12 title game dub next week and a stumble from TCU, LSU or Michigan before the final rankings drop to make a come-from-behind CFP photo finish.