Welcome to Week 13 of The Lowe Down.
Perhaps the best definition of the word ‘Rivalry’ as it pertains to “Rivalry Week” could go a little something like this: competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field.
Jordan, Pistons. Niners, Giants. Lakers, Celtics. Auburn, Bama. Braves, Mets. Tennessee, Florida. Those are just a few of the rivalries I grew up on. But they are also ones I really grew to admire due to the team-oriented play.
Look, winning championships isn’t easy. Actually, it’s tough as hell. And, more often times than not, there’s always one great team standing in the way of another great team’s accomplishments.
And we all know those teams. Ya know, the one your team can never beat — and for whatever reason.
Just think about for a smidge; how many times do you, the sports fan, yes, you, look at the schedule and say, ‘well, damn, wish we didn’t have to go their house?’
I do it every single year, and, quite frankly, there have been some college football loyalists that have been doing that for a LONG time.
Last week’s record was 17-6, bringing the yearly record to 169-66. To the Saturday games we go…
Saturday, November 26
No. 3 Michigan (10-1) at No. 2 (Ohio State 10-1) 11:00 a.m. CT
It seems to me like every college football pundit out there has penciled in Ohio State in the College Football Playoff. But if Michigan wins, the Wolverines will play Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game as the East representative. Ohio State got outplayed by Michigan State a week ago and I’m not sold on Buckeye quarterback J.T. Barrett beating a good defense, which Michigan has, with his arm. Jim Harbaugh’s team enters The Horseshoe and gets a W behind its stout D and a workmanlike performance from tailback De’Veon Smith on the ground.
The Lowe Down: Michigan 20, Ohio State 17
Georgia Tech (7-4) at Georgia (7-4) 11:00 a.m. CT
Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets have won four out of their last five games behind a revived rushing attack, led by senior quarterback Justin Thomas and sophomore tailback Marcus Marshall (6.5 yards per carry), and an opportunistic defense. But big plays in the passing game have been a key component in Georgia Tech’s resurgence. Expect those plays to be there against a Georgia defense that’s been up and down this season, especially against quality passing teams, but the Yellow Jackets will be challenged running against a tough Bulldogs’ run D. Throw in the fact that UGA quarterback Jacob Eason has really elevated his play over the last few week, and all signs point to a Georgia win.
The Lowe Down: Georgia Tech 23, Georgia 31
Notre Dame (4-7) at No. 12 USC (8-3) 2:30 p.m. CT
Notre Dame has been in every game it’s played this season, but I think they get smoked here. USC is playing really good football and they could sneak into the Pac-12 title game if Utah can knock off Colorado. Expect the Trojans to play well and continue to roll.
The Lowe Down: Notre Dame 17, USC 38
No. 13 Auburn (8-3) at No. 1 Alabama (11-0) 2:30 p.m. CT
It’s tough to say whether Auburn will be able to score on Alabama’s top-ranked defense due to the team’s uncertainty at quarterback (Sean White, shoulder), running back (Kam Pettway (leg) and Kerryon Johnson (ankle)) and H-back (Chandler Cox (knee)), but the Tigers’ defense/special teams should allow Gus Malzahn’s team to hang around. Now for how long that will be is left to be determined, but the Tigers’ defensive line and skill at corner could give Alabama Jalen Hurts and the Crimson Tide offense some problems… for a little while. Look, I’m not sure if Auburn’s offense could consistently move the ball with all systems go, much less with a number of key players banged up, against an Alabama defense that could have five or six guys drafted in the first round of this year’s NFL draft. And I sure as heck don’t think that will happen with Jeremy Johnson at quarterback. Bottom line: Bama is the better team. And the better team usually wins this game.
The Lowe Down: Auburn 6, Alabama 23
No. 22 Utah (8-3) at No. 9 Colorado (9-2) 6:30 p.m. CT
What a story the Buffaloes have been. With a win, they can lock down the Pac-12 South title and set up a date with Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game. That seems like an achievable feat playing in front of the home crowd. Utah’s defense hasn’t been playing as well as it normally does over the last few weeks, so look for Colorado’s dynamic duo of quarterback Seo Liufau and tailback Phillip Lindsay, along with the consistent Buffaloes’ D, to be the difference.
The Lowe Down: Utah 17, Colorado 34
In other Saturday games:
Michigan State 20 at No. 7 Penn State 27
No. 25 Navy 38 at SMU 34
Mississippi State 27 at Ole Miss 30
No. 18 West Virginia 42 at Iowa State 38
Minnesota 17 at No. 6 Wisconsin 22
Oregon 33 at Oregon State 30
No. 17 Tennessee 27, Vanderbilt 30 (Upset special)
South Carolina 23 at No. 4 Clemson 28
No. 15 Florida 23 at No. 14 Florida State 27