It was “almost week” last Saturday in college football.
Ohio State almost lost to Maryland, Michigan almost lost to Illinois, TCU almost lost to Baylor and USC almost lost to UCLA. Tennessee did lose, tho, and not in a small way, to, er, South Carolina!?
Now we’re about to get stuffed on Rivalry Week in college football and while there may be a few turkeys there’s also enough tasty games with all the trimmings. This is the last Pigskin Prognosticator of the 2022 season so enjoy this column, as well as all the pigskin action.
Now onto the games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
• Thursday, Nov. 25
Mississippi State at Mississippi (The Egg Bowl, 4 p.m., ESPN)
If rumors are correct then the Lane Train will be making tracks for the Plains, which would leave egg on the face of the Rebs the day after the Egg Bowl, win or lose. Things are really scrambled in the Magnolia State now with “will he or won’t he” talk while the Leaches are at the kitchen stove with the apron on holding an omelette pan. The Colonels have popped the second half of the season and they may get cooked this week. Winner: Mississippi State
• Friday, Nov. 26
Arizona at Arizona State (Duel In The Desert, Noon, ESPN)
The Sun Folks are having a devil of a time getting wins this year while the Zonies are starting to get into the zone – by the Not-So-Wildcats recent standards, anyway. This Desert Duel will be going to the Tuscon team and not the Tempe team. Winner: Arizona
USA vs. England (World Cup, 11 a.m., FOX)
If the Colonials could only tie against a country the size of Rhode Island, what chance do they have of upending the Three Lions? About as much as a Beefeater giving up the Crown Jewels. Winner: England
UCLA at Cal (12:30 p.m, FOX)
It’s the Baby Bears at the Papa Bears and while last weekend was hardly a stellar one for the Westwood athletic department with the football team falling to their cross-town rival in a thriller and the basketball team dropping two in Sin City. But there’s nothing to sooth the pain of those defeats like playing the sleeping parents to the north. The Trampolines will bounce back up and end the regular season with a W. Winner: UCLA
Florida at Florida State (4:30 p.m., ESPN)
After the Chompers’ turkey of a game against Vanderbilt, Osceola and Renegade are looking to stick their spears into some Gator meat on Thanksgiving Weekend. Unless the Gainesville Group regroups then they are going to get toasted in Tallahassee. Winner: Florida State
• Saturday, Nov. 27
Michigan at Ohio State (9 a.m., FOX)
The Game is in the four-letter state this year and TTUN will be attempting to crack the Nuts to get another crack at, er, Georgia? For the Acorns, this is redemption time to atone for last year’s bitter defeat in the Big House. To this point, given their less-than-formidable schedules, neither team has done anything do diminish the idea that they are just a bunch of bullies beating up defenseless opponents, thus leading to this unbeaten encounter. There’s likely to be some hysteria in the Horseshoe and to put the olive on top of the martini that is the pregame dotting of the “i” ritual, the home team will have do deliver through the air. With rain and temperatures in the upper 40s, all those transplanted Wolverine and Buckeyes fans in Southern California will be glad they are watching the game in their respective schools’ alumni bars while wearing shorts and sandals. Winner: Ohio State
Georgia Tech at Georgia (9 a.m, ESPN)
The Kirby Canines won’t have their Thanksgiving Weekend feast interrupted by pesky Yellow Jackets because the Rambling Wrecks from Georgia Tech may be a helluva good group of engineers but they won’t be able to design an upset in this Peach State rivalry. Winner: Georgia
South Carolina at Clemson (9 a.m., ABC)
After hanging 63 – 63! – on the Rocky Toppers last week which caused that hill to collapse, the Cock-sure boys from Columbia have another mountain to climb this Saturday in college football’s other Death Valley. But the unstable Roosters – win one game and lose the next – are about as reliable as an Uber Eats delivery driver. Like Ohio State and Michigan, the Dabos have been feasting on inferior opponents in a weak league and if they find themselves in a fight they don’t have the quarterback to keep them in it. Winner: Clemson
Auburn at Alabama (The Iron Bowl, 12:30 p.m., CBS)
The Pachyderms have had some problems this year, mainly a lack of leadership, that has prevented them from stomping on opponents with their usual ferocity. Still, they have more beasts than their in-state rivals, despite the Felines traveling to T-town in their shiny new Cadillac. There will be no No. 1 this year, no SEC Championship or trip to the College Football Playoffs for the Tide so this is the last chance for them to roll in a game that means something. And it means a lot to the coaches, players and fans on both sides. Winner: Alabama
Oregon at Oregon State (The Civil War, 12:30 p.m., ABC)
The Waddlers waddle down to Corvallis to take battle in the Civil War, a win they need to clinch a spot in the Pac-12 Championship. From there, anything can happen although they would need chaos ahead of them to occur, which in college football is entirely possible. The feisty Beavs are building a dam to keep that all from happening and have shown the ability to clog up some teams tho not quite win; just ask USC. What they lack, tho, is an offense good enough to hold back the rushing waters of offenses and that will enable the Ducks to fly out with a shaky win. Winner: Oregon
LSU at Texas A&M (4 p.m., ESPN)
The game is at the Kyle and people may actually show up for it, all those highly-touted freshman will surely someday play to their potential, the Bayou Boys may be looking ahead to Georgia and…nah. Winner: LSU
Notre Dame at USC (4 p.m., ABC)
Here’s a college football trivia question that can win you a bar bet: why is this game played in November one year and October on the other? The answer is that when the rivalry started, USC agreed to it on the stipulation that it did not have to go to South Bend in November. Troy is riding high after its wild ride in the Rose Bowl tho if it wants to continue its march toward the College Football Playoffs it needs to do something it could not accomplish last week: force the other team to punt a few times. Winner: USC
Washington at Washington State (Apple Cup, 7:30 p.m, ESPN)
The Dogs will be bobbing for a W in the Apple Cup, something they have accomplished 10 of the last 12 games. But not last year. The arrival of and passing of Penix will make all the difference this time and by the end of this one, the Cougs will be bowing down to Washington. Winner: Washington