Here are three college football games worth watching in Week 13.
Game of the week: No. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-0) at USC Trojans (7-4, 5-4 Pac-12), Saturday, 8 p.m., WJET (ABC).
Pregame rant: This is pretty simple. The Irish win, they’re playing for a national title.
Notre Dame hasn’t won it all since the 1988 season, but hasn’t really contended for one since 1989 when it lost to No. 1 Colorado in the 1990 Orange Bowl.
So for the Irish, this is a long time coming. For USC, this is a season it’d like to forget.
The Trojans have lost four games, their best player – quarterback Matt Barkley – is out with a shoulder injury and they’re coming off a 38-28 loss to in-town rival UCLA.
Beating the Irish would sure wipe the slate clean for USC.
Auburn Tigers (3-8, 0-7 SEC) at No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1, 6-1 SEC) Saturday, 3:30 p.m., WSEE (CBS).
Pregame rant: On paper, it’s a mismatch.
Alabama has better players, better coaches and the game is in Tuscaloosa.
Auburn is winless in the SEC, starts a true freshman at quarterback and has a coach on a seat hotter than the Human Torch’s toenails.
Then again, it’s the Iron Bowl.
So Auburn will give Alabama a game early, but it could easily get away from the Tigers by halftime. If that happens, it will get ugly in so many different ways.
No. 20 Michigan Wolverines (8-3, 6-1 Big Ten) at No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten), Saturday, noon, WJET (ABC)
Pregame rant: Ohio State is ineligible to play in the Big Ten title game, but can sure make a claim to it by beating their rival.
Urban Meyer has quickly turned the Buckeyes around. Don’t even look like the same team that finished 6-7 last season. How ironic is it that Ohio State’s last loss was against Florida where Meyer won two national titles.
Michigan was considered a national title contender before losing to Alabama in the opener. The Wolverines enter Saturday’s game with this new offense that has Devin Gardner starting at quarterback and Denard Robinson doing just about everything expect throwing a pass due to a nerve injury he sustained at Nebraska.
If the Wolverines can get between 6 to 10 big plays out of this, they’ll pull off the upset. If Ohio State can contain this makeshift Michigan offense, it’s a wrap.
Snooze on these, though.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-5, 5-3 ACC) at No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (10-1, 7-1 SEC), Saturday, noon, ESPN.
Pregame rant: To ensure a spot in the BCS title game is on the line when they in the SEC title game, the Bulldogs have to put away Georgia Tech.
Now Georgia Tech has won four of its last five since losing three straight, but Georgia will play with the type of urgency necessary to put away a rival.
No. 21 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-1, 5-0 Big East) at Pittsburgh Panthers (4-6, 1-4 Big East), Saturday, noon, ESPN2.
Pregame rant: Pitt is heading to the ACC. Rutgers is bound for the Big Ten.
And this is a Big East game?
Virginia Cavaliers (4-7, 2-5) at Virginia Tech Hokies (5-6, 3-4 ACC), Saturday, noon, ESPNU.
Pregame rant: They say misery loves company.
If that’s true, Virginia would love to beat Virginia Tech and knock them out of bowl contention.
Then again, a 6-6 team shouldn’t even be allowed to play in a bowl game.