Ohio State’s regular season concludes Saturday in Ann Arbor, That State Up North. The moment that game concludes, Buckeye fans everywhere look toward 2012 and the prospect of Urban Meyer coaching the program into the future. The season where we were supposed to “shock the world” and “silence the doubters” has been anything but that, making Saturday’s game the best chance the Wolvereenies have had for a regular season-ending victory in some time.
Today is Thanksgiving. It’s a time where we give thanks for our family and friends, mindful of how the passage of time’s constant stream can abruptly take loved ones out of our life. It’s a time where we appreciate the privilege we have to shove food in our gullets, good food even, respecting the good grace and fortune we have to do so. It’s also a time where we give thanks for being Buckeyes, the greatest, most noble fraternity in the world in which membership automatically makes us superior to everyone else who chose alternative paths. They must be made to suffer for their transgressions. It’s a week for thanks and, given changes in the B1G TEN, it’s a week for hate. Yes, the Hate.
- Miami of Ohio @ Ohio (ESPN2, 7:00pm ET). Ohio won this game, 21-14. So, umm… yeah. Hate on: Miami of Ohio. Miami’s stupid loss to Western State Up North at home in Week 12 handed Ohio the MAC East crown. All else equal, this would’ve been a divisional championship game.
- None. Seriously. There were no football games at either the pro or collegiate level for the first time since October 19th. I blame you, Ann Arbor.
- Texas @ Texas A&M (ESPN, 8:00pm ET). There is a very, very good chance this day is reserved for the NFL on your television. To recap, the Packers play Detroit on FOX (12:30pm ET), the Dolphins play in Jerry World on CBS (4:15pm ET), and the nightcap has the Harbaugh Bowl in Baltimore on the NFL Network (8:20pm ET). This is the only college game in town. It will also be the last scheduled meeting between the Aggies and the Longhorns for the forseeable future. For those unaware, Texas A&M found Texas’ patently inegalitarian exploitations of the Big XII (the Longhorn Network in particular) to be so odious that it opted to join the SEC. Yes, Texas A&M would rather have Alabama, LSU, Auburn, and ArKansas run a train on it every year than have to deal with the Longhorns. That’s something. Hate on: It depends. If Texas wins and doesn’t chant “BIG TWELVE”, hate Texas. If A&M wins (again) and doesn’t spray paint “SEC” over the Big XII field logo, nWo style, then hate A&M. Otherwise: don’t give a shit, eat turkey, watch some NFL footbaw.
- Eastern State Up North @ Northern Illinois (ESPNU, 11:00am ET). Footbaw at 10am central time? Mama likey. Hate on: Eastern State Up North, easily. Ypsilanti conjoins Ann Arbor. It’s like someone dipped Ann Arbor in Kentucky grease. It has that smell to it.
- Louisville @ South Florida (ESPN2, 11:00am ET). More footbaw at 10 in the morning. I’m digging this. Hate on: South Florida. Louisville should win to keep pace with Cincitucky, hopefully denying them a BCS spot.
- Iowa @ Nebrasky (ABC, 12:00pm ET). Well well well. B1G TEN football is played on Fridays now, something for which Nebrasky was accustomed in its season-ending games with Colorado. You have probably gathered that I think the B1G TEN mostly screwed up after adding the Cornhuskers into the fold. A tradition-laden program like the one in Lincoln is a great asset for the conference, but I maintain the conference’s subsequent incorporation measures (e.g. Legends/Leaders, splitting Ohio State-TSUN) were mostly screw-ups. This is probably the best decision the B1G made. Nebrasky needed a season-ending series with Iowa. It’s not quite #THERIVALRY that Iowa-Purdue is (everything falls short of that), but it’s the second most interesting season-ending rivalry the conference has. It’s the most natural fit for the Cornhuskers and the hope is that it can be the Legends (or Leaders?) equivalent of Ohio State-TSUN, who are stupidly in separate divisions. Such is the B1G. Hate on: The Legends Trophy. This is a trophy game, and this is what it looks like. If the B1G were to have done this right, the Cornhuskers and Hawkeyes would be playing for an unreasonably large ethanol subsidy from the federal government. Winner gets all the pork barrel spending.
- ArKansas @ Louisiana State (CBS, 2:30pm ET). Ohhhh, God. This game. The first installment in the SEC tongue bathing is, arguably, the game of the week between the undefeated Louisiana State Tigers and the surging ArKansas Razorbacks, who are ostensibly #3 because of its conference affiliation. Color me unimpressed by a Razorbacks team whose best victories are over 6-5 Texas A&M and 7-4 Auburn (at home). Other measuring sticks include a 10 point victory over 3-8 Troy, and household names like New Mexico and Missouri State. Hate on: ArKansas. They need to disappear from national conversation because they have no place in it. Plus, an ArKansas victory would likely propel Alabama to the SEC Championship Game and, thus, the national title game. And seriously? Fuck that.
- Boston College @ Miami (FL) (ABC, 3:30pm ET). PfffffHAHAHAHAHAHA. Hate on: Doug Flutie for maintaining stolen property from Keith Byars for over 27 years.1
- Pittsburgh @ West Virginia (ESPN, 7:00pm ET). Backyard Brawl. In terms of losses, there is a 5-way logjam on top of the Big East for which — brace yourself now — Rutgers currently holds the tie-breaker. Winner of this game knocks out the loser from that logjam and, ostensibly, the Big East race that you care not the slightest bit about. Hate on: Pittsburgh. I’d prefer Cincitucky to be out of the BCS to make the forthcoming bowl season that much more bearable. WVU has a tie-breaker over the Bearcats; Pitt does not.
- California @ Arizona State (ESPN, 10:15pm ET). Night cap! You know how I’ve been complaining for some time that ESPN needs to pay some west coast schools — WAC or otherwise — to play a late night game to give me something to watch while I drink beer in a bar? This is exactly what I had in mind, though I can’t imagine the bar I frequent will be open because of the holiday weekend. See, kids, in the South, businesses close for the day for a variety of reasons otherwise unseen in other parts of the country. These include: Sunday (because it’s the Lord’s day), fears of the second coming of Jesus (perhaps for not celebrating Sunday), being tired/lazy, et cetera. Hate on: California. It’s unnatural for The Big Game between Stanford and Cal not to end the seasons of both. Because Stanford hosts Notre Dame on Saturday, California is left playing an interdivisional game against Arizona State. Therefore, California gets my wrath.
- Iowa State @ Oklahoma (FX, 12:00pm ET). Oklahoma is back in action while Oklahoma State is on a bye a week after playing enabler to this loathsome all-SEC BCS Championship Game talk by losing to Iowa State in Week 12. Seriously, with all that hedge fund endowment money, T. Boone Pickens’ University can’t buy a defense? For God’s sake… Hate on: Iowa State, clearly. Barely beat Kansas in Week 11, and then knock out Oklahoma State in a game where the PA system cranked every song you’d expect to hear in a monster truck rally or professional wrestling hype video. Thereafter, blast Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” over the PA after the students have rushed the field? You go straight to hell. Do not pass Go; do not collect $200. Go straight to hell until you learn my Neil Diamond Rule: if it’s not “Cracklin’ Rosie” or “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”, then don’t play it. That goes double for “Sweet Caroline”.
- Georgia @ Georgia Tech (ESPN, 12:00pm ET). Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. Here is one of those lopsided rivalries. It’s been basically all-Georgia since Bobby Dodd started sucking in the late 1950s. After a 1956 Gator Bowl championship season, Georgia Tech has won only 15 times in 54 encounters. Richt has only lost once to Tech, and that was Paul Johnson’s inaugural season at Georgia Tech. Still, SEC and junk, so Hate on: Georgia. Georgia Tech amuses me, and its fight song tells Georgia to go to hell. It really has the most politically incorrect fight song in college football.
- Michigan State @ Nerdwestern (BTN, 12:00pm ET). Yeah, I’m not watching this. Hate on: Michigan State. See you next year, sweetie.
- Ohio State @ That State Up North (ABC, 12:00pm ET). The Hate. It burns FOREVER. Hate on: Everything. Just, everything and everyone. Long may Urban Meyer reign in Columbus (after he hopefully signs a contract shortly).
- Rutgers @ Connecticut (ESPN2, 12:00pm ET). You’re not watching this either. Hate on: Connecticut. Hell, if the Big East is going to continue getting a BCS bid, let’s continue sending out the silliest squad in the conference to the BCS. Connecticut last year? Rutgers this year.
- Tennessee @ Kentucky (“The SEC Network”, 12:21pm ET). Yeah, and you’re definitely not watching this. Hate on: Tennessee. Shortly after doing a chickenshit thing with it schedule, dropping Oregon and a series with UNC in favor of Buffalo, the Volunteers sit at 5-6 on the season and are flirting with bowl ineligibility. Losing to Kentucky, who they’ve beaten every year since 1984, would be kinda sweet.
- Alabama @ Auburn (CBS, 3:30pm ET). Oh, right. Iron Bowl… with the Rammer Jammering of Yellowhammers and the War Eagles and the what-not. I hate this rivalry. If you attach a “House Divided” license plate in the front of your F-250 because your hillbilly husband is an Auburn fan and you rammer jammers, then it’s not serious. If you’ll sleep with each other, your slight differences aren’t important. Hate on: Auburn. Here’s why: I’ve had a terrible streak in this series for the past two years. I wanted Auburn to win in 2009 and Alabama prevails, getting a national title. I wanted the opposite in 2010 and Auburn wins, ultimately getting a national title. Therefore, I’m hating on Auburn in hopes they win, knocking Alabama out of the national title picture. Alabama will just claim a national title anyways.
- Virginia Tech @ Virginia (ABC/ESPN2, 3:30pm ET). Any other year — truly, any other year — and I’d be pulling hard for Virginia to win this. If Virginia wins, it goes to the ACC Championship Game and I think that’d be kinda cool. But, if Va Tech steamrolls its competition in the next two games, it has the best chance (of anyone) to bitch and moan about an inegalitarian all-SEC BCS title game and play the SEC champion in New Orleans. So yeah. Hate on: Virginia, for what I just said.
- Oregon State @ Oregon (ABC/ESPN2, 3:30pm ET). Civil War. Otherwise known as the least interesting rivalry with a kickass name. Oregon losing in Week 12 to Southern California takes them almost entirely out of the BCS title game picture (thanks a lot). With two losses on the season now, nothing they do from here forward is interesting. But, losing to Oregon State would propel 1-loss Stanford to the Pac-12 title game. Thereafter, Stanford could weasel into the BCS Championship Game picture. Hate on: Oregon.
- Penn Shtate @ Wisconsin (ESPN, 3:30pm ET). Divisional Championship Game of the… … umm, Leaders? Did I get that right? Winner plays Michigan State in Indianapolis, and I’m also very, very bitter. Hate on: Penn Shtate. See you next year, sweetie.
- Florida State @ Florida (ESPN2, 7:00pm ET). Wow, what happened to this game this year? Remember Florida State as the trendy BCS Championship Game pick? And Florida as the perennial SEC East dominant power? Well, Florida State is 7-4 with losses to powerhouses like Wake Forest and Virginia. Florida is 6-5. You’ll be watching (because it’s on TV). You just won’t be caring. Hate on: Florida State. My uncle was a big Florida fan, got a lot of mileage out the run with Tebow and, obviously, the game in January 2007. He finally succumbed to a decades-long battle with advanced diabetes. So, go Gators this one time. Que en paz descanse.
- Ole Miss @ Mississippi State (ESPNU, 7:00pm ET). Mississippi State hashtagged its own Goddamn endzone. Hate on: Mississippi State hashtagged its own Goddamn endzone.
- Clemson @ South Carolina (ESPN, 7:45pm ET). I really don’t care. I just don’t. And I’m not watching this. Hate on: Seriously, how does the state of South Carolina not know how a bunch of discarded car tires became a mound visible from outer space?
- Notre Dame @ Stanford (ABC, 8:00pm ET). There is nothing Stanford can do in the conference other than hope Oregon has already lost by time it kicks off against the Fighting Irish. That would send Stanford into the conference’s new championship game. Beating the Irish, though, would probably make Stanford the favorite (of anyone) to play the SEC champion in New Orleans. Plus, I have a not so subtle crush on Leland Stanford Junior’s University Marching Band and the way Stanford runs Power-I makes me very, very jealous. Hate on: Notre Dame, because nobody likes Notre Dame. Notre Dame has zero Facebook friends.
- That’s actually not quite true, but it’s more fun for Buckeye fans to think of the 1984 Heisman vote in that way. [↩]