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College Football Schedule Week 13: Gobble Down

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What better way to waste away a long weekend after having gorged on turkey and walking around like zombies in a tryptophan-induced haze than to vegetate on the couch while watching some college football? Having no life, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing until I will be forced to brave the elements Saturday evening to cover the Kings game at STAPLES Center.

This is the weekend where we start seeing the good rivalries being played. The Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama (more on that later), Michigan-Ohio State, Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina, BYU-Utah, Oklahoma-Oklahoma State (only aired here in Los Angeles on ESPN3), Notre Dame-USC and the always fun Grambling State-Southern. That should be enough entertainment to whittle away the leftovers - turkey sandwiches, turkey casseroles, turkey shakes and whatnot.

And what’s a better way to close the college football week than with a Notre Dame-USC rivalry game played at the Coliseum? Granted Notre Dame is bad (yet somehow beat Utah - can someone explain that one to me?) and USC has nothing to play for except for pride. With quarterback Matt Barkley looking on in practice Tuesday on crutches from a high ankle sprain suffered in Saturday’s game against the Oregon State Beavers, it looks like this will be the first game started by Mitch Mustain since he and Houston Nutt fooled people in Arkansas all those years ago.

USC has really surpassed my expectations despite matching last season’s four losses. I expect them to unleash all of their frustrations out on Notre Dame on Saturday. It won’t be a close game.

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One thing will become very clear by Friday night: either TCU or Boise State will in fact play for the National Championship. No, Oregon will not lose at home to Arizona. Auburn will indeed lose to Alabama as they travel to Tuscaloosa. One thing Auburn will not be taking with them is their defense since they don’t really have one to begin with. That’s problematic with Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy who is not a gambler, reliable running backs Trent Richardson and Heisman winner Mark Ingram.

Another problem for Auburn: name a player on offense not named Cam Newton. I’ll wait. Waiting…

The ‘Bama defense the brainchild of head coach Nick Saban’s austere mind has the ability to stop Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. They’ve held opponents to just under 13 points per game, third amongst Football Bowl Subdivision teams, and offenses to 294 yards per game. They lead the FBS with 21 interceptions, so Newton will have to be very wary of trying to go for too much in the passing game.

Alabama is a four-point favorite, and seeing as how they will win 28-17 I would lay the points. Yes this will pave the way for TCU or Boise State to face Oregon in the BCS Championship game. Unlike what most BCS conference schools think it won’t be Armageddon. North Korea will not decide to shell South Korean islands filled with fishing communities - that’s only reserved for Clippers’ wins. However it will help legitimize the BCS much to the chagrin of playoff proponents. But that’s another story for another day.

Meanwhile here’s the television schedule:

FRIDAY

Louisville at Rutgers. ESPN, 8:00 a.m.
Ohio at Kent State. ESPNU, 8:00 a.m.
West Virginia at Pittsburgh. ABC, 9:00 a.m.

SMU at East Carolina. CBS College Sports, 11:00 a.m.
Auburn at Alabama. CBS, 11:30 a.m.
Colorado at Nebraska. ABC, 12:30 p.m.
UCLA at Arizona State. FS Prime Ticket, 12:30 p.m.

Southern Mississippi at Tulsa. CBS College Sports, 3:30 p.m.
Arizona at Oregon. ESPN, 4:00 p.m.

Boise State at Nevada. ESPN, 7:15 p.m.

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SATURDAY

Michigan at Ohio State. ABC, 9:00 a.m.
Kentucky at Tennessee. KDOC, 9:00 a.m.
South Florida at Miami (FL). ESPNU, 9:00 a.m.
Boston College at Syracuse. ESPN, 9:00 a.m.
Michigan State at Penn State. ESPN2, 9:00 a.m.
Tulane at Marshall. CBS College Sports, 9:00 a.m.
Kansas at Missouri. FSWest, 9:30 a.m.

Grambling State at Southern. NBC, 11:00 a.m.
LSU at Arkansas. CBS, 12:30 p.m.
Northwestern at Wisconsin. ABC, 12:30 p.m.
North Carolina at Duke. ESPNU, 12:30 p.m.
Florida at Florida State. ESPN, 12:30 p.m.
North Carolina State at Maryland. ESPN2, 12:30 p.m.
Washington at California. Fox College Sports Central, 12:30 p.m.
BYU at Utah. CBS College Sports, 12:30 p.m.
TCU at New Mexico. Versus, 1:00 p.m.

Mississippi State at Mississippi. ESPNU, 4:00 p.m.
South Carolina at Clemson. ESPN2, 4:00 p.m.
Oregon State at Stanford. Versus, 4:30 p.m.
Georgia Tech at Georgia. ESPN, 4:45 p.m.
Notre Dame at USC. ABC, 5:00 p.m.