Now it's rivalry week in college football
With the Big Ten pushing the last conference games of the regular season back to the weekend after Thanksgiving, rivalry week isn't just a TV slogan anymore.
Most of the big rivalry games are being played this weekend. The Game (Ohio-State Michigan), the Iron Bowl (Alabama-Auburn), the Apple Cup (Washington-Washington State), the Backyard Brawl (Pitt-West Virginia), the Bayou Classic (Grambling-Southern), the Civil War (Oregon-Oregon State), the Egg Bowl (Mississippi-Mississippi State), the Battle for the Commonwealth (Virginia-Virginia Tech), Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate (Georgia-Georgia Tech), the Crosstown Showdown (USC-UCLA), Florida State-Florida and Clemson-South Carolina are all today or Saturday. Having them all on a holiday weekend makes for great timing.
A few rivalry games aren't being played this weekend. The other The Game (Harvard-Yale) was last week, as was the Big Game (Cal-Stanford). The Bedlam Series (Oklahoma-Oklahoma State) will be Dec. 3, mainly because the Big 12 doesn't have a championship game anymore. America's Game (Army-Navy) is scheduled for Dec. 10.
A couple rivalry games likely won't be played at all beginning in 2012. Texas-Texas A&M and the Border War (Missouri-Kansas) appear be off the schedule when A&M and Mizzou head for SEC riches beginning next year. The Backyard Brawl could be in danger when West Virginia leaves the Big East for the Big 12 and Pitt goes to the ACC.
Conference realignment also forced the Holy War (BYU-Utah) to be played in September this year. A couple other rivalry games are played early in the season - the Red River Rivalry (Oklahoma-Texas) and the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (Florida-Georgia).
- Howard Primer