It’s rivalry week in the college football world. Let’s get into the games that caught my eye.
Texas Tech (4-7) at Texas (6-5) on Friday morning
There’s a part of me deep inside that relishes the fact that Texas is struggling these days with four losses in its last six. It really has nothing to do with the school or program, either. More so because of head coach Tom Herman.
Ever since Herman mocked Drew Lock’s touchdown celebration against Missouri in the Texas Bowl back in 2017, that image has been stuck on my memory like a piece of old pink bubble gum on some railing outside in January. I can’t seem to peel it off. Every time I think of Herman, that image of him prancing around on the sideline like every local school’s worst 13-year-old bully gets replayed in my mind on a loop.
Which is sad, because I like quarterback Sam Ehlinger. I like stud safety Caden Sterns. I like that big 6-foot-6 wideout of theirs, Collin Johnson (wish he was healthy and playing, though).
But their coach? Nah. Don’t like that guy.
I’m sure Herman would just tell me, “Ok. Cool. Hook Em!” So joke’s on me.
No. 17 Iowa (8-3) at Nebraska (5-6) on Friday morning
To give you a sense of how great I am at picking winners in college football, I present to you what I wrote before last week’s Maryland game:
“The last two games Nebraska’s had on the road haven’t been pretty. Until the Huskers show at least a little consistency, how can one pick them with any confidence?
Maryland seems to always have a big game running the ball here and there, but in their last three games the Terps have gone over 100 yards on the ground just once.
I have no idea what to do with this Nebraska team. I guess I’ll be surprised if they get out of College Park with a win.”
I literally couldn’t have been more wrong last week.
We can all have a good laugh now that we know Nebraska beat the ever-loving snot out of whatever team showed up in Maryland’s uniforms last Saturday.
I’m not trying to diminish Nebraska’s win at all, I’m really not. But heck, Osceola/High Plains, the Eight Man-1 team that the York News-Times covered which just won the state championship on Monday, probably could’ve rushed for a few touchdowns against that Terps’ squad.
I’m trying not to be negative, I just call it how I see it. Of course fans should feel good about that win. Any time you can get a W in the Big Ten, you take it and be happy with it. But boy, did Maryland make it easy on the Huskers with how terrible it played.
What’s this mean for the Iowa game? Well, I’d imagine the players got a shot of confidence and will roll into Friday with some much-needed swag. It’ll be welcomed, because I’m leaning toward it being a game in the fourth quarter.
Iowa doesn’t exactly blow the doors off opponents. The Hawkeyes slowly churn you to death with those trademark zone blocking runs that keep banging and banging and banging your front seven until it’s check-your-manhood time in the fourth.
Iowa’s offense is fourth in the conference in time of possession, whereas Nebraska is fourth to last. I don’t expect the Huskers to change the way they play offensively and slow things down to help out their defense, but it might help on Friday.
I’ll go with Iowa in this one. (Hey, with the way I pick these games, this is practically a guarantee that Nebraska will win.)
Oh, and the yearly question about whether Iowa and Nebraska are rivals popped up again.
Sure they are.
But the weird thing is, both fan bases don’t want to openly admit it, probably because there’s a sense of I’m-better-than-them on both sides. Yet in every living room and garage and at every tailgate where either team is brought up in conversation around beers, the wisecracks are cracked and the jokes about both states are delivered. That doesn’t happen if fans don’t care. Husker fans care if they beat the Hawkeyes or lose to them.
In my opinion, it’s obviously a rivalry.
No. 2 Ohio State (11-0) at No. 13 Michigan (9-2) on Saturday morning
I’m all in on the possibility of Jim Harbaugh getting embarrassed on national TV again in this one. Hopefully it happens, because the college football fan in me will really enjoy the trash talk on social media and the articles written afterward. Bring it on.
No. 3 Clemson (11-0) at South Carolina (4-7) on Saturday morning
This is a sneaky game where both teams really don’t like each other. There’ll be some hitting in this one.
That’s all I really have to say about it, too. I’m sure Clemson will put up 55 and win by 41.
No. 5 Alabama (10-1) at No. 15 Auburn (8-3) on Saturday afternoon
The shine of this game has dimmed a bit with the injury to Tua, but it’ll still be worth watching. Too much NFL talent not to.
I’ll be interested in seeing how well true freshman Bo Nix does against that Bama defense. Nix is from Pinson, Ala., which is about 70 miles from Tuscaloosa. Everyone knows everyone on both teams. That’s usually when the hardest hitting takes place.
Texas A&M (7-4) at No. 1 LSU (11-0) on Saturday night
Remember last year’s game between these two that went into seven overtimes, lasted approximately 18 hours and ended with fisticuffs between LSU’s director of player personnel and some young A&M staffer with a frat hair cut?
If you don’t, no worries. These two teams definitely remember. That’s reason alone to watch this one. Let the emotions run hot.