By Charles Jay
What we tried to do is combine the elements of traditional rivalries with significance on a national level. So, even though it is considered to be a “marquee” matchup, the game taking place between Notre Dame and USC did not make our Fab Five list.
But these most certainly did:
Auburn Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide – 7:45 PM ET
- BetAnySports NCAA football betting odds: Alabama -8.5, Total 53.5
Alabama now finds itself perched atop the Playoff Rankings, but obviously one loss can destroy all of that. And who can forget the drama of last year’s matchup, when Auburn returned that missed field goal for touchdown, just one of many magical moments they experienced on their way to the BCS title game. This is big revenge for the Tide, but let’s not forget that even though Auburn has suffered a few defeats this season, they can still cook up an imaginative offensive game plan under Gus Malzahn. And they can chew up an awful lot of yardage on the ground too (296 yards in last year’s meeting). When it comes the Iron Bowl, anything can, and will, happen.
Florida Gators at Florida State Seminoles – 3:30 PM ET
- BetAnySports NCAA football betting odds: Florida State -7.5, Total 53
A lot of people are probably looking at the football pointspread here and thinking “trap game.” They may be right. Florida State, as everybody knows, has been through a lot of close shaves this season on their way to the #3 ranking, and the latest came last week when they had to kick a late field goal to beat Boston College. Meanwhile, Florida, which has struggled on offense, still brings one of the top defenses in the SEC to the table for this one. The Gators allow just 3.1 yards per carry, and this will certainly be an emotional game for many of them – in-state rivalry aside – as it is Will Muschamp’s last with the team. So expect a balls-out effort from them, against a Seminole squad that has covered just once in their last six home games.
Mississippi State Bulldogs at Ole Miss Rebels – 3:30 PM ET
- BetAnySports NCAA football betting odds: Mississippi State -2.5, Total 49.5
The Egg Bowl has probably never meant so much, as Mississippi State will almost certainly maintain its spot in the Playoff Rankings with a win here. From there, it’s going to be up to the people on the Committee as to whether they are going to be admitted to the four-team playoff. Obviously in retrospect, Ole Miss was looking ahead to this one as they were scorched by a 30-0 count by Arkansas last week. The Rebels have now dropped four straight against the football pointspread. And Ole Miss most certainly misses top wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. Don’t make any mistake about that.
Oregon Ducks at Oregon State Beavers – 8 PM ET
- BetAnySports NCAA football betting odds: Oregon -19.5, Total 67
This game is obviously significant because Oregon is the second -ranked team in the only list that matters, which is the Playoff Rankings. And so they can strengthen their position here with a win over this geographic rival. The ducks have won six straight games, and the last five have come by 24 points or more. Over that stretch they have gone 5-0-1 against the football odds, and there are also Heisman ramifications, with Marcus Merry Oda making a very strong case with his ratio of 32 touchdown passes to only TO interceptions. But remember that the beavers hung in very gamely last season, dropping a 36-35 decision in this “Civil War.”
Michigan Wolverines at Ohio State Buckeyes – Noon ET
- BetAnySports NCAA football betting odds: Ohio State -21, Total 51
We included this game because, well, it’s Ohio State-Michigan, and also because the Buckeyes are ranked #6 in the Playoff Rankings, so they still have a shot to get into the playoff. Aside from their hiccup against Virginia Tech, Urban Meyer’s team has been spotless, and recent road victories over Michigan State and Minnesota have certainly made them look good. Who would have thought that after replacing Braxton Miller, a pre-season Heisman candidate, that JJ Barrett, who has accounted for 42 touchdowns, would also get himself into the Heisman discussion? After losing a home game last week against Maryland, we wonder if Brady Hoke believes he can save his job with a win here.
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