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College Football Watch Guide - Week 13

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because there’s still bowl season

NCAA Football: Tennessee at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Well, here we are at the final regular season week of the 2022 college football season. When you start getting deep into the second half of the season it gets harder and harder to accept that the end is nigh, at least it does for me.

“There are still four week left. Lots of season left.”

“Three weeks to the season goes fast.”

“Wait, only two weeks left? What happened, where did the time go?”

“It’s the last week of the season!? No, no, it can’t be the end. It just can’t be.” least we can drown our sorrows in gravy this week.

Yes, we have finally reached the end of the road, my friends. This is the last week for teams to play for whatever they have left, whether that be CFP positioning, a better bowl bid, pride, or simply to play spoiler for their arch rival. “Saving the best for last” could certainly apply here, as there are many story lines whose endings will be revealed and others that will hopefully provide a few plot twists before the finale.

It’s always a bit depressing to reach the end of a college football season, but there is the promise of something bigger once the final whistle sounds. I recently reread The Two Towers and there is a touching exchange which comes to mind:

PIPPIN: I didn’t think it would end this way.

GANDALF: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.

PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?

GANDALF: Championship week. And beyond...bowl season under a swift sunrise.

Amazing how the great works of literature speak to our times.

Thursday, November 24

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Mississippi State @ #20 Ole Miss 6:00 AM ESPN WatchESPN

Friday, November 25

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
#19 Tulane @ #24 Cincinnati 11:00 AM ABC WatchESPN
Baylor @ #23 Texas 11:00 AM ESPN WatchESPN
Utah State @ Boise State 11:00 AM CBS
Central Michigan @ Eastern Michigan 11:00 AM CBSSN
Toledo @ Western Michigan 11:00 AM ESPN U WatchESPN
Arizona State @ Arizona 2:00 PM FS1
NC State @ #17 North Carolina 2:30 PM ABC WatchESPN
Arkansas @ Missouri 2:30 PM CBS
New Mexico @ Colorado State 2:30 PM CBSSN
Nebraska @ Iowa 3:00 PM BTN
#18 UCLA @ Cal 3:30 PM FOX
Florida @ #16 Florida State 6:30 PM ABC WatchESPN
Wyoming @ Fresno State 9:00 PM FS1

Thanksgiving week is unique in the college football season, as there are always lots of quality games on a weekday. Black Friday brings some great rivalries and conference tilts that you can enjoy while you polish off that third plate of leftovers.

Obviously, we’re looking squarely at Nebraska @ Iowa as the Big Ten West could be decided before the weekend even gets started. The Hawkeyes won in the most Iowa-like fashion last week: giving up nearly 400 yards against Minnesota, 312 of which on the ground, but notching two timely turnovers and winning on a last minute field goal. It was about as uncomfortable win as you’ll find but it solidified Iowa’s control over the division. The only thing standing in their way is a middling Nebraska team which hasn’t beaten the Hawkeyes since 2014. Nebraska would love to spoil Iowa’s chances to repeat as division champs. It’s quintessential “rivalry week” stuff.

Saturday, November 26

Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Matchup Time (CT) TV Streaming
Georgia Tech @ #1 Georgia 11:00 AM ESPN WatchESPN
#3 Michigan @ #2 Ohio State 11:00 AM FOX
South Carolina @ #8 Clemson 11:00 AM ABC WatchESPN
West Virginia @ Oklahoma State 11:00 AM ESPN 2 WatchESPN
Army @ UMass 11:00 AM ESPN+ WatchESPN
New Mexico State @ Liberty 11:00 AM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Rutgers @ Maryland 11:00 AM BTN
Coastal Carolina @ James Madison 11:00 AM ESPN U WatchESPN
Old Dominion @ South Alabama 11:00 AM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Georgia State @ Marshall 11:00 AM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Western Kentucky @ Florida Atlantic 11:00 AM CBSSN
East Carolina @ Temple 12:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Kent State @ Buffalo 12:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Akron @ Northern Illinois 12:30 PM ESPN 3 WatchESPN
Rice @ North Texas 1:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
#25 Louisville @ Kentucky 2:00 PM SEC Network WatchESPN
Troy @ Arkansas State 2:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Auburn @ #7 Alabama 2:30 PM CBS
#9 Oregon @ #21 Oregon State 2:30 PM ABC WatchESPN
Illinois @ Northwestern 2:30 PM BTN
Minnesota @ Wisconsin 2:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN
Purdue @ Indiana 2:30 PM BTN
Wake Forest @ Duke 2:30 PM ESPN 2/ACC Network WatchESPN
Hawai'i @ San Jose State 2:30 PM N/A N/A
Memphis @ SMU 2:30 PM ESPN 2/ESPN U WatchESPN
UAB @ Louisiana State 2:30 PM CBSSN
Iowa State @ #4 TCU 3:00 PM FOX
#14 Utah @ Colorado 3:00 PM PAC-12 Network
Michigan State @ #11 Penn State 3:00 PM FS1
Southern Miss @ UL Monroe 4:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Louisiana @ Texas State 4:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Nevada @ UNLV 5:00 PM N/A N/A
Appalachian State @ Georgia Southern 5:00 PM ESPN+ WatchESPN
Middle Tennessee @ Florida International 5:00 PM ESPN 3 WatchESPN
#5 LSU @ Texas A&M 6:00 PM ESPN WatchESPN
#22 UCF @ South Florida 6:00 PM ESPN 2 WatchESPN
#10 Tennessee @ Vanderbilt 6:30 PM SEC Network WatchESPN
#15 Notre Dame @ #6 USC 6:30 PM ABC WatchESPN
Oklahoma @ Texas Tech 6:30 PM FS1
Syracuse @ Boston College 6:30 PM ESPN 3 WatchESPN
Tulsa @ Houston 6:30 PM ESPN U WatchESPN
Kansas @ #12 Kansas State 7:00 PM FOX
Pittsburgh @ Miami 7:00 PM ACC Network WatchESPN
Air Force @ San Diego State 8:00 PM CBSSN
#13 Washington @ Washington State 9:30 PM ESPN WatchESPN
BYU @ Stanford 10:00 PM FS1

“The Game” is the main attraction Saturday morning, with #3 Michigan @ #2 Ohio State kicking off at 11:00 on FOX. The Wolverines squeaked by Illinois last week, also on a late field goal, but also suffered the loss of star running back Blake Corum to injury. If Corum is unavailable they’ll need to make up for that production somewhere, as after last year’s defeat, Ohio State will be looking for revenge in front of their home crowd. Oh yeah, and there’s another division championship on the line as whichever team wins will punch their ticket to Indianapolis. Again, this is top shelf “rivalry week”.

Ohio State v Michigan Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

Elsewhere in the Big Ten there are all sorts of rivalry shenanigans going on. Minnesota @ Wisconsin will decide who gets to wield Paul Bunyan’s Axe, perhaps the best rivalry trophy in the Big Ten. At this point, I’ve stopped considering Floyd of Rosedale a rivalry trophy until Minnesota manages to makes it one again.

Michigan State @ #11 Penn State play for the Land Grant trophy, Illinois @ Northwestern awards the Land of Lincoln Trophy, and Purdue @ Indiana the Old Oaken Bucket. Has someone talked to the Big Ten about its trophy addiction? Come 2025 I fully expect USC and Michigan State to play for a bronze copy of The Illiad.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 23 USC at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Speaking of our future conference brethren, #15 Notre Dame @ #6 USC is another historic rivalry of two gargantuan brands. The Trojans defense to put this nicely?...garbage. And Notre Dame has picked up a great deal of momentum. USC is walking a fine line in the CFP race and doesn’t have much margin for error. They must continue to roll and hope for a slip up ahead of them to be in the conversation.

Aside from the Big Ten, the Big 12 is another major conference whose championship game is undecided. #4 TCU is already in and they’ll host Iowa State. The question remaining is who the Horned Frogs will face in AT&T Stadium next weekend. The most logical choice is #12 Kansas State who hosts Kansas. Both the Jayhawks and Wildcats have had more success this year than anyone expected. If the Jayhawks pull off the upset, the remaining championship spot would go to #23 Texas, should the Longhorns beat Baylor.

South Carolina @ #8 Clemson is a rare non-conference rivalry game this week but given the Gamecocks’ surprise thrashing of Tennessee last week they have to be riding high, but the Tigers will be a tough test. My head thinks they’ll still have a hangover from last week’s upset, but this isn’t the same Clemson team as in years past so anything is possible.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

There are so many games to look forward to this weekend it’s impossible to go through them all. The 2022 college football season is really going out with a bang and I can’t wait to see what happens.