College Football Rivalry Week: The Games You Forgot About
Gabriel Rauch for wannamakeabet.com
- Mississippi St @ Ole Miss Thursday 7PM EST on ESPN
- Oregon @ Oregon St Saturday 3:30 PM EST on ABC
Hey everybody, it’s rivalry week in college football, so you know what that means: cliche time. Let’s get them all out of the way.
- These teams don’t like each other
- Throw out the record books
- Emotions are going to be high
- Both teams leave it all out on the field
- This game is gonna get physical
- These fan bases are gonna be LOUD
- Gonna be a hostile environment for-
OK enough of that; you get the point. Sports media hammers these into the ground every year. But there is some truth to them, And during this feast week (and weekend) we will examine the merit of these cliches with two rivalry games that both fan bases have been waiting all year for. (sorry another cliche).
Miss St @ Ole Miss (-2.5)
We start with the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving Eve, where both teams have promising starts to the season leading to faltered finishes, with Ole Miss having all three of their losses in the last 6 games, and Miss St having three of their four losses in the 2nd half of the season. The difference in this one will be Miss St having essentially a rest week last week and a confidence booster, whomping East TN St (is that even a real school?) before the short turn around at Ole Miss. On the other hand, Ole Miss defense has looked shaky all year and is coming off a tough game against Arkansas.
The real kicker however, is the Lane Kiffin distraction and rumor of him leaving for Arkansas, which he did deny on Twitter. College coaches hate nothing more than distractions and I think this one will be enough of one to lose Ole Miss the rivalry and add more fuel to the fire of Kiffin leaving. Lastly, I would pay heavy attention to the spread in this game, as it looks like a trap line. Most of the bets are on Ole Miss, a team which is barely favored at home over a team that (on paper) should be easily superior to.
Pick: Miss St +2.5
Oregon (-3) @ Oregon St
Onto the next game, I will either look like a genius or an idiot. The deciding factor will be whether Oregon decides it wants to look like a slapstick comedy team that tried very hard to lose against Utah, yet somehow won last week, or look like the wagon of a team that dominated UCLA. Meanwhile, the Beavers have been consistent all year round and have been close in every game this season (besides Utah). With their new quarterback, they’ve been frisky and have an underrated home crowd to cheer them on. The Oregon football team has a quarterback that perfectly matches the team in Bo Nix, who has looked very good all year, but at times looks completely outmatched.
I’m going to take a risk and say that the Oregon St home crowd is too much for Oregon and that the Beavers will win. Or, they will at least cover in a close, wild typical Pac 12 style implosion game. Similar to the Ole Miss game, this line also feels like Vegas is setting a trap for you to take Oregon. I mean, just look how menacing that beaver is!
Pick: Oregon St +3
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