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Rivalry Week Shapes Playoffs


Every year on the last week of the regular season, many of college football’s historic matchups take place. Whether it’s a playoff bid on the line, bad blood, or both, rivalry week never fails to disappoint. Teams should never look ahead of their schedule, however, many of the games on the week 12 schedule deserve to be discussed.

#1- Michigan vs Ohio State

The stakes were once again at an all-time high for the game. Not only did Michigan earn a trip to the Big 10 Championship, the team is most likely heading to the playoffs. With a third consecutive loss to Michigan, head coach Ryan Day could undoubtedly be on the hot seat. Ohio State cannot consistently make the playoffs if they keep losing to Michigan. This will continue to put more and more stress on Day’s job, especially if he can’t defeat Michigan very soon. Having been bombarded with suspensions and scandals, who knows if head coach Jim Harbaugh will stay with the team after this season. Even without Harbaugh, the Wolverines topped Ohio State 30-24 on Saturday. Michigan will play Iowa on Saturday in the Big 10 Championship. The Wolverines moved up to the No. 2 spot in the College Football Ranking on Tuesday night.

#2- Oregon vs Oregon State

Oregon vs Oregon State usually is one of the more underappreciated rivalries from most of the college football community. However, all eyes were on the Civil War Friday Night as both teams were in the top 15. The Beavers won the last meeting with an impressive upset, however, this year they traveled to Eugene in one of the hardest road environments in the country. Oregon State displayed great defense in week 12 against a high-powered Oregon team, but the Beavers couldn’t pull it out against a red-hot Ducks squad.  Oregon dominated Oregon State 31-7 on Friday. The Ducks faceoff against Washington this upcoming Friday in the Pac-12 Championship. It’s believed the winner will secure a spot in the College Playoffs.

#3- Alabama vs Auburn

Hands down, Saturday’s matchup was one of the better games of the college football season. This matchup has been at the top of the list of rivalries  for many years. Going into the game, many considered it to be a down year for the Iron Bowl.  Auburn had a less than stellar season heading into the game, so many considered the game would be a blowout,  while Alabama’s season has been overlooked by the college football community. Alabama is currently undefeated in the SEC and within reach of the College Football Playoff. Auburn gave the Tide all it wanted on Saturday. In fact, it took a fourth and goal prayer of a touchdown by Alabama from beyond the 30-yard line to help give the Tide the win. Alabama will now head to Atlanta to play No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship game. Georgia is a complete lock for the playoff as long as the Bulldogs win. If Alabama were to upset the Bulldogs, mayhem would pursue for the selection committee this upcoming Sunday.

#4- Florida vs Florida State

With Seminole quarterback Jordan Travis unfortunately injured for the remainder of the season, the Sunshine Showdown was closer than everyone thought. The Seminoles scrapped by the Gators 24-15 on Saturday. Florida State, despite being undefeated, was already cutting it close against lower ranked opponents, but with the leader of the team gone, it is uncertain if Florida State can finish the season undefeated. Florida State fans seemed to be behind backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker and with the season on the line this upcoming Saturday, fans seem to trust him to deliver against the Cardinals of Louisville in the ACC Championship. Currently, Florida State sits No. 4 in the country, occupying the final spot in the College Football playoffs. Many experts have discussed some doubts about if the Seminoles will make the playoffs, depending on what happens this weekend.

#5- Ole Miss vs Mississippi State

The Egg Bowl situation is very similar to what is currently happening to the Iron Bowl. On one side, Ole Miss (10-2) has had a very solid season with losses only to Georgia and Alabama. On the other side, Miss. St. is 5-7 with only a single conference win. Going into the game with no true head coach, the Egg Bowl looked in favor of a thrashing by Ole Miss. With a rivalry game as big as the Egg Bowl, you can never count out the other team, however. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin and his team pulled out a close one in Starkville on Thanksgiving night, 17-7. The Rebels will now wait to see what bowl game the team will play in moving forward.


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About the Contributor
Rowan Imperial
Rowan Imperial, Reporter
Rowan Imperial-Bobis is a 17-year-old senior at Tracy High School. He was born in San Diego, California, and moved to Tracy at two years old. Imperial’s father grew up in Tabaco City, Philippines, and his mother was born and raised in Jackson, Michigan. He has a passion for many sports including basketball, football, and volleyball. Imperial currently plays volleyball for both a competitive team and at Tracy High School, where he achieved a top 50 hitting percentage rank in the nation his junior year. Imperial is the middle child, with an older brother and a younger sister. He has been a die-hard Michigan Wolverines football fan, and hopes to attend the University of Michigan. Imperial spent his middle school years making YouTube videos and had always loved recording videos and making stories. He plans on majoring in cinematography, and his dream job is to be a sports photographer/videographer. 

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