Welcome to Rivalry Week in college football, where houses are split across the country as Thanksgiving leftovers begin to get slightly tiresome.
Week 13 of the college football season arrives as the final version of the four-team College Football Playoff (CFP) creeps ever closer, with chaos just over the horizon.
With Rivalry Week comes a real possibility that anything can happen as decades of animosity add a new level of intensity to each game.
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Michigan and Ohio State will square off as top-10 teams for the 26th time in the rivalry, Alabama and Auburn fire up the Iron Bowl, and Oregon State and Oregon will have their 128th meeting.
There are massive implications for the CFP on the line, so let’s take a look at the current national championship odds, according to Caesars Sportsbook.
With all the drama surrounding Michigan, the Wolverines have been able to block out the outside noise as they prepare for their biggest game of the season.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh will not be on the sidelines for Saturday’s massive matchup against No. 2 Ohio State. Last week, the University of Michigan and the Big Ten Conference came to an agreement and avoided any chance of going to a courtroom before Michigan’s game against Maryland.
Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh agreed to accept his three-game ban, which canceled a hearing that was set for Friday on whether he could be on the sidelines.
Accepting the three-game suspension means that Harbaugh will not be present against Ohio State, but Michigan continues to have great odds to win the national championship.
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Against Maryland in Week 12, Michigan won without Harbaugh, but they allowed the Terrapins to make it a ball game in the fourth quarter.
“The Game” in Ann Arbor will be a whole different type of challenge as the nation’s third-best defense rolls into town.
The winner heads to the Big Ten Championship Game with a trip to the College Football Playoff in its sights, and the loser is likely out of the national championship picture.
“This is the game. This is the game that’s going to have the biggest implications this weekend for national championship odds,” Caesars Sportsbook college football lead Joey Feazel told Fox News Digital. “Obviously, whoever wins this is going to face Iowa in the Big Ten title game and really cement a spot in that College Football Playoff.”
“These two teams hate each other. It’s always a good game every year, regardless of the score.”
The Bulldogs keep on rolling as the rest of the college football world comes to terms with just how good they are.
Georgia dominated Tennessee in Week 12, allowing just 277 total yards in a 31-10 romp.
The win was the 28th in a row for Georgia and meant that the Bulldogs would go undefeated in the SEC for the third consecutive year, the first time that’s happened since 1992.
“What [Georgia has] done in the past couple years is special,” Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said. “Today was not our best football.”
Most of the questions around this Georgia team have been answered over the last three weeks as the Bulldogs finally got into the difficult part of their schedule.
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“Georgia is really playing well as of late. Obviously, getting [Brock] Bowers back is huge. And they’re just demolishing people. They just demolished that Tennessee team,” Feazel said.
Georgia has now handled three ranked teams in a row as it prepares for Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
A third consecutive national championship is a real possibility, especially with an offense ranked fourth in the country in yards per game and a defense that allows just 15.1 points per game.
“It’s going to be interesting to see,” Feazel added. “If we see a dominant performance by Ohio State or Michigan on Saturday, whoever is the winner of that will probably be the favorite to win the national championship. But it’s going to be hard. Georgia is going to be alive. To get that three-peat is … going to be a difficult task. Obviously, they’re the co-favorites right now.”
Ohio State +600
The Buckeyes have been under the radar since beating Penn State in Week 8, but that changes Saturday with a trip to Ann Arbor.
Ryan Day and his Buckeyes get a chance to show why they’ve been at the top or runner-up in the CFP rankings since late October.
Ohio State’s defense is the third-best in the country while their offense is the best in the Big Ten, sporting a balanced attack.
The Buckeyes have lost the last two matchups with Michigan after winning the previous eight games.
It’s a loser-goes-home game in Ann Arbor as one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports takes center stage.
The Ducks continue their path toward a rematch with Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game, but a rivalry game the day after Thanksgiving will be a major test.
Oregon rolled against Arizona State in Week 12 but now must get past No. 16 Oregon State to keep their CFP dreams alive.
It will be the 128th matchup between the two in-state schools as Oregon looks to bounce back from last year’s loss to the Beavers.
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The formula for Oregon is pretty simple: win out and they’re going to be in the CFP; lose for the second time this season and the dream is over.
Oregon has been ranked by the CFP committee as the top one-loss team in the country since late October.
As Thanksgiving rolls around, Alabama and head coach Nick Saban are in a familiar position.
The national championship picture.
After losing to Texas in Week 2 and looking more than vulnerable against South Florida the following week, the Crimson Tide have reeled off eight straight wins and secured a spot in the SEC Championship Game.
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If Alabama is able to get by Auburn on Saturday, the matchup with Georgia will be for a spot in the CFP. But a win in the Iron Bowl is never a sure thing, even after Auburn lost to New Mexico State in Week 12.
The Crimson Tide have won the last three matchups against Auburn.
Florida State +1400