Plenty of interesting rivalry games

Published 4:10 pm Friday, October 11, 2019

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There are a number of classic matchups and big rivalry games this Saturday in College Football. Some will have playoff implications. Others… Well, I’ll just say they’re probably going to be a little lopsided.

At noon, we will be graced with the 115th regular season meeting between Oklahoma and Texas in the Red River Shootout. Folks on TV will try to tell you that this annual college football tradition is called the Red River Showdown, or sometimes the Red River Rivalry. Those are not their names. It’s the Red River Shootout, forever and always. That’s my tangent for today.

The Sooners (6) and the Longhorns (11) had a great—and I mean GREAT—Red River Shootout last season. Texas won, but Oklahoma got them back in the Big 12 Championship game. Oklahoma is undefeated, Texas is 4-1, its only loss coming from LSU. Much like last season, the winner of this game will be in the driver’s seat for a bid to the College Football Playoffs, and like last season, this game will be a warmup for the conference championship. I think the Sooners will win it, but not by more than one score. Then they’ll meet again in December.

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Florida State travels to Clemson at 3:30 p.m. and will face the wrath of a newly inspired Clemson team. The Tigers won by the skin of their teeth against North Carolina last Saturday, and will be looking for a punching bag to show the world they aren’t going to let anyone come that close to beating them again. Unfortunately, that’ll be the Noles. Death Valley will be rowdy and hostile, as usual. I’m thinking FSU will score once or twice on the back of Cam Akers, who is clearly one of the most talented tailbacks in college football yet stuck in an ugly transition period for the program. Other than that, it’ll be all Clemson.

The USC Trojans are doing everything they can to salvage what looks to be a season going down the drain. I don’t give them much hope against Notre Dame. The Irish defense is stingy when it comes to passing offenses, and that’s what the Trojans hang their hat on. I would say they might have more luck running the ball, but Notre Dame did a pretty good job of defending the run against Georgia, one of the most aggressive run-first teams in the country. Good luck to USC, because I really don’t see much chance of them winning this one.

The crown jewel of this Saturday’s slate of games is Florida (7) at LSU (5). The other Death Valley in Baton Rouge will have one of the wildest atmospheres this whole season when the Gators step onto the field. Mind you, the Gators embarrassed LSU last season in The Swamp, and I doubt LSU has forgotten one bit of what that loss felt like. An undefeated Florida team is scary. But angry Tigers and angry LSU fans are much, much scarier. I see the LSU winning by two touchdowns, at the very least.