Good morning Fackers. If you're like me, you're still shaking out the cobwebs from a gluttonous Turkey Day. If you're not, you've just returned from shopping at some ungodly hour just to save a few bucks. Either way, the good news is we have some college football to help while away the day. Without further ado, here's a special Friday edition of College Football Saturday, er, Friday:
Rutgers at Louisville, 11:00 ESPN2: Well, at least it beats what's usually on at 11:00 on a Friday. I'm in Jersey this morning, so I suppose I'm obligated to pull for the State University in this one.
Temple at Ohio, 11:00 ESPNU: Maybe you want to go back out and try to get some shopping done afterall
Illinois at #5 Cincinnati, 12:00 ABC: Sort of an odd match-up for a day like this. This is neither a conference game nor a rivalry game. But it's an important one. Cincy is still undefeated and needs to remain as such to keep alive whatever slim hope they have of reaching the BCS Championship Game. With a de facto Big East Championship game looming against Pitt next week, this one has the makings of a classic trap game.
#2 Alabama at Auburn, 3:00 CBS: The Iron Bowl. 'Bama has already clinched a berth in the SEC Title Game, but there's no way they're looking past this game. Rankings or no rankings, this is the only game of the year that matters in the state of Alabama. The rankings and Vegas both heavily favor the Crimson Tide. But rivalry games like this tend to be the ones to beat the odds. And recent history favors Auburn. Auburn has won seven of the last nine meetings, including six in a row from 2002 through 2007. Alabama holds the current bragging rights however, pitching a 36-0 shutout last year.
Nebraska at Colorado, 3:00 ABC: There was a time when this was a big game. This year is not one of those times. Both teams have been down from their previous lofty standards in recent years, but the Cornhuskers have rebounded this year. Nebraska already has an appointment to be annihilated by Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game. Colorado is finishing off a miserable season. This will be the final game for head coach Dan Hawkins and his benched QB son Cody.
#9 Pittsburgh at West Virginia, 7:00 ESPN2: The Backyard Brawl. I'll give this one a slight edge over the Iron Bowl as the game of the day. Pitt has a huge showdown looming with Cincy next weekend, but there's no way they overlook the Mountaineers - not just because this is their rivalry game. Pitt knows firsthand how this game can derail a season, as two years ago a poor Pitt team pulled off a stunning upset of a West Virginia team that was a win away from playing in the BCS Championship Game. The roles are reversed this time, and there isn't quite as much at stake, but 2009 Pitt isn't quite as good at 2007 WVU, and 2009 WVU is far, far better than 2007 Pitt. A Pitt win tonight means next week's game against Cincy is for the Big East title.
Nevada at #6 Boise State, 10:00 ESPN2: Another contender for game of the day. Boise St is one of six undefeated FBS teams, but is the only one that isn't close to a sure bet for a BCS game. Both teams are undefeated in the WAC. A Nevada win gives them the conference and ends the Broncos' BCS hopes. If Boise State can conquer the Wolf Pack's historic rushing attack, they'll win the conference and need only a win against lowly New Mexico St next week to ensure a perfect season and will likely be deserving of a BCS at large bid.
That's it for today's abbreviated slate. Enjoy the games Fackers. We'll be back tomorrow with the Saturday games.