Behind The Scoreboard

Rivalries

For you college football fans, there’s nothing like the last weekend in November.

 It was Rivalry Weekend. The action started Thursday and ended Saturday night.

This is the time of the season when the intrastate rivalries are really showcased from coast to coast. In these contests, it’s a must-win time and a loss right now would hurt any team’s chances at a shot in the playoffs or a bowl berth. Some of the most notable games that were played over the weekend were Alabama vs. Auburn, Michigan and Ohio State, South Carolina vs. Clemson, Washington vs. Washington State, Penn State and Michigan State, Florida vs. Florida State, Grambling State vs. Southern, and Miss State vs. Ole Miss.

And when it comes to in-state rivalries, there’s none bigger than the nation’s number one rivalry game – the Iron Bowl.  This bowl game is played in the heart of the nation’s toughest football conference – the SEC. Offensively, Alabama had prevailed over 11 opponents this season while No. 13 Auburn led the SEC in rushing. The Auburn Tigers didn’t make it easy for the Alabama Crimson Tide late Saturday evening. The Tide had to fight their way to an unbeaten season because the Tigers refused to give them a free pass. But Alabama ended its regular season with another dominant win, 30-12.

Nick Saban’s team became the only Power 5 program to end its regular season undefeated. And despite its flaws, there was nothing in Saturday’s win that would give the College Football Playoff selection committee any reason not to keep the Tide at No. 1 where it has been all season. Alabama will face Florida in the SEC title game December 3.

Considered one of the greatest games in the history of college football’s greatest rivalries – it was the battle between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan looked ready to clear up the Big Ten’s CFP picture before it had collapsed. The second-ranked Buckeyes went on to defeat the third-ranked Wolverines 30-27 in double overtime on Curtis Samuel’s winning touchdown for 15 yards. Now, did this double OT win help Ohio State’s playoff chances? Well, let’s just say, according to the late breaking news Sunday night, the Buckeyes are now the CFP wildcard. But they will still have to wait for the selection committee to determine the value of a conference championship and what to do with an Ohio State team that didn’t win its own division.

The Bulldogs, Miss State that is, finished their regular season on a high note – they carried “The Golden Egg” trophy back to Starkville. For the last two seasons, the Ole Miss Rebels had egged the Bulldogs. But on Saturday, the Bulldogs enjoyed putting the egg on the Rebels’ faces with a 55-20 road victory.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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