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The Weekend That Will Be: Rivalry Week

Being a college football fan has its ups and downs, but no matter what your team's situation there's something to be thankful for.

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports


Arkansas at No. 17 Missouri, 2:30 p.m. (-3 UA)-

Arkansas- Be thankful for SEC wins. As we all know now they are so precious and shouldn't be taken for granted. Be thankful for Bret Bielema and the way in which he coaches his players. When he talks about his kids you get a feeling that he truly views them as member of the family, maybe a step below his Yorkies.

Mizzou- Be thankful for the SEC East and the two year welcoming party it's had for you. The Tigers entered the league at the right time to play in one title game and, with a win today, another.

Pick: Arkansas

Stanford at No. 8 UCLA, 3:30 p.m. (-5.5 UCLA)

Stanford- Be thankful for your education and hopefully that the run that Jim Harbaugh started is only in a rough patch, not the decline.

UCLA- Be thankful for second opprotunities. After a hard fought win over Virginia in Week 1 and consecutive losses to Utah and Oregon, the Bruins still have an outside shot of making it to the playoffs with a win here and over Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship.

Pick: UCLA

No. 13 Arizona State at No. 11 Arizona, 3:30 p.m. (-2.5 ASU)-

Arizona State- Be thankful that Todd Graham decided to stick around for more than a year. He has a good thing going in Tempe, with money rolling in and recruiting well in southern California. This could be a power in a few years.

Arizona- Be thankful for Rich Rodriguez's service. He's done about all that he can do at your program and if the right opportunity opens up, don't be surprised if he's gone. The one think lacking from his Arizona resume is a victory over the Sun Devils. It won't be easy this season.

Pick: Arizona State


No. 16 Georgia Tech at No. 9 Georgia, Noon (-13 UGA)-

Georgia Tech- Be thankful for the triple option if you can find it in heart to do so. I've long had the argument with Tech fans that it may win you eight or nine wins a year, but never a national title. But as a fan who has gone through some tough times, love those eight wins.

Georgia- Be thankful for Paul Johnson and former coaches of the Rambling Wreck. The Dawgs have won 12 of the last 13 and 19 of the last 23. Be thankful for a weak SEC East and a chance to still make the championship game, despite losing to Florida and South Carolina.

Pick: Georgia Tech

Kentucky at No. 22 Louisville, Noon (-13 UL)

Kentucky- Be thankful for basketball season. Football may never be your thing, but as long as John Calipari avoids the NCAA, you can always look forward to basketball season.

Louisville- Be thankful for Bobby Petrino while he's there. He's going to win y'all some football games. He'll screw you on down the road somewhere, but you know that. Enjoy it while he's rolling, though.

Pick: Louisville

Florida at No. 3 Florida State, 3:30 p.m. (-7 FSU)

Florida- Be thankful the Will Muschamp experiment is done. Also be thankful that you have one of the largest athletic budgets in college sports and should be able to pick an elite successor.

Florida State- Be thankful that the Jameis Winston experiment is nearly finished. That is unless he comes back for his senior season... No matter what you think about him and his actions, there's no denying his talent on the field. However, you have plenty of enough talent in your state to find a serviceable quarterback to keep winning national title without the headache.

Pick: FSU

No. 4 Mississippi State at No. 10 Ole Miss, 3:30 p.m. (-2 MSU)

Mississippi State- Be thankful for Dak Prescott and timing. No one believes that this sort of success is a long-term endeavor, but thanks to the stars aligning you are having that magical, once in a quarter century run. The Dak Attack has been the cog in the wheel of success this season and when he leaves so too may some of the wins. Be thankful for the schedule makers who also helped you climb to the top of the first ever playoff poll.

Ole Miss- Be thankful for The Grove because no matter how bad your football team gets, God knows y'all are proud of that.

Pick: Mississippi State

No. 18 Minnesota at No. 14 Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m. (-14 UW)

Minnesota- Be thankful that your coach looks like your mascot. But in all seriousness, we can all be thankful for Jerry Kill's health this season, after his coaching career was threatened with health issues last year with multiple seizures.

Wisconsin- Be thankful for Melvin Gordon because there might not be a more fun player to watch in college football. If he can average 191 yards per game in his final three contests, he has a shot at breaking Barry Sanders' rushing mark for a season. Of course Barry did it with three less games...

Pick: Wisconsin

No. 15 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama, 7:45 p.m. (-9 Bama)

Both of y'all be mature and be thankful for one another. The winner of this game has gone on to play for the national championship each of the last five seasons. Think about that. Alabama, a state with a population of 4.8 million people has produced one half of the championship matchup for half a decade. These programs fuel each other to be better, recruit better, play better, build better facilities. All of it. If you've never been to an Iron Bowl do yourself a treat and put it on your bucket list. There is nothing like this rivalry in any sport.

On the thankful note, PAAAAWWWLLL should be thankful for this rivalry game, too. It and Harvey Updyke have helped make him a household name to all college football fans.

Pick: Alabama

No. 2 Oregon at Oregon State, 8 p.m. (-20 UO)

Oregon- Be thankful for uniform combos because y'all keep blowing out every team you play. The only reason half of America watches is to see what you're wearing that week.

Oregon State- Be thankful for Corvallis, where miraculous upsets reign supreme. The Beavers have a history of top-10 takedowns, one coming already over then No. 8 Arizona State this season.

Pick: OSU

Last week: Arkansas Fight 6-1;  3-6

Season record: Arkansas Fight: 55-58-1 (48.7%); 35-45-3 (43.8%)