What's on the line this weekend? Everything

Author:
Publish date:

Rivalry Week is upon us, which means it's time we trot out one of our (well, my) favoriteannual pieces -- where we (well, I) completely nerd out and lay out everything on the line in each meaningful game this week.

There's a lot of ground to cover here, so let's dive in head first.

TUESDAY

at (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU): Frank Solich has won a lot of games -- 87, to be exact -- in his 11 seasons at Ohio, but he's never won the MAC. A win over Akron put his Bobcats in the MAC Championship for the fourth time and first since 2011.

akron-60
ohio.60

at (7 p.m. ET, ESPN3): We already detailed how Miami (Ohio) is looking to become the first team in college football history to turn an 0-6 start into a 6-6 finish, but the RedHawks can also advance to the MAC Championship with a win over Ball State and an Ohio loss to Akron.

ball-state-60
miami-oh-60

at (7 p.m. ET, ESPN3): Each team has already clinched bowl eligibility at 6-5, but the winner removes themselves from the possibility of having to address a 6-6 team that did not get picked for a bowl game. Central Michigan has won four straight over Eastern Michigan.

central-michigan-60
eastern-michigan-60

THURSDAY

at (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Ed Orgeron's last, best chance to retain the LSU job meets Kevin Sumlin's last opportunity to stave off another November SEC slide. The Tigers are 4-0 in this series since A&M joined the SEC.

lsu.60
texas-am.60

FRIDAY

at (noon ET, ESPN): North Carolina advances to its second straight ACC Championship with a win and a Virginia Tech loss, while NC State needs a win to reach a bowl game.

north-carolina-state.60
north-carolina.60

at (noon ET, ABC): Quite possibly Tom Herman's last game at Houston. (Well, not if the Cougars have anything to say about it.)

houston.60
memphis.60

at (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX): Pretty simple -- this year's Apple Cup also decides the fate of the Pac-12 North. And the Pac-12's national title hopes likely rely on a Washington victory.

washington.60
washington-state.60

at(3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network): Boise State needs a win over Air Force and a Wyoming loss to New Mexico to win the Mountain West's Mountain Division.

boise-state.60
air-force.60

at (3:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1): Aside from the obvious, Texas has not missed a bowl game in consecutive years since 1991-93 and has not dropped three straight to TCU since 1935-38. TCU needs one win in its final two games to avoid missing a bowl game for just the third time in the 16-year Gary Patterson era.

tcu.60
texas.60

at (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC): A Nebraska win and a Wisconsin loss to Minnesota sends the Huskers to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship.

nebraska.60
iowa.60

at (4 p.m. ET, ESPNews): Louisiana Tech has already reserved its spot in the Conference USA Championship, but Southern Miss needs a win to extend its season into December.

louisiana-tech.60
southern-miss-60

at (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2): Western Michigan is 7-0 in league play and Toledo is 6-1, making this essentially a MAC semifinal game. Toledo is also looking to spoil Western Michigan's possible trip to the Cotton Bowl.

toledo.60
western-michigan.60

at (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): The last time Arizona State visited Arizona, the winner went to the Pac-12 Championship. Now, Arizona State needs a win to reach a bowl game, while Arizona is looking to avoid its first winless conference season since 1957.

arizona-state.60
arizona-60

SATURDAY

at (noon ET, ESPN): The Cardinals' College Football Playoff hopes are dashed, but a win here probably sends them to the Orange Bowl. Louisville has won five straight here.

kentucky.60
louisville.60

at (noon ET, ESPNews): A win over the Scarlet Knights sends D.J. Durkin to a bowl game in his first season as a head coach -- while playing in a division with three of the top 10 teams in the country. Not too shabby.

rutgers.60
maryland.60

at (noon ET, ABC): Hmm, let's see. It's the biggest game in a decade in one of college football's legacy rivalries. Ohio State has won four straight, 11 of the last 12 and seven straight in Columbus. It's Game 2 of the Ten Year War II. Michigan wins the Big Ten East with a victory, while Ohio State is playing to bypass the Big Ten Championship altogether and become the first non-conference champion to reach the CFP. The winner takes the mantle as the most serious challenger to unseat Alabama as the game's best team and Nick Saban as the game's premier coach. Looking for an edge here? Michigan has won seven of the nine games in which Metallica released a studio album that same year. Hardwired... to Self-Destruct dropped on Nov. 18.

michigan.60
ohio-state.60

at (noon ET, ESPNU): A win pushes Indiana into back-to-back bowl games for the first time since 1990-91. A win also pushes the Hoosiers' Old Oaken Bucket win streak to four, tying IU's longest streak in a series that dates back to 1891.

purdue.60
indiana.60

at (noon ET, BTN): Another noon Big Ten game, another team looking for a victory to extend its season. This time it's Northwestern.

illinois.60
northwestern.60

at (noon ET, CBS Sports Network): South Florida needs to beat Central Florida and have East Carolina beat Temple to meet Navy in the American Championship.

ucf.60
south-florida.60

at (noon ET, ESPN2): A Hokies went sends Virginia Tech to the ACC Championship opposite Clemson. That'd make six Coastal titles in 12 years for Virginia Tech and 1-in-1 for Justin Fuente. The Hokies are also looking to extend their series-record winning streak to 13.

virginia.60
virginia-tech.60

at (noon ET, ESPN3): After starting 0-4, Arkansas State has ripped off six wins in a row. The Red Wolves have won 15 straight Sun Belt games, and a win here clinches at least a share of the program's second straight Sun Belt crown and its fifth in six seasons -- under four different head coaches. Incredible.

arkansas-state.60
louisiana-lafayette-60

at (3 p.m. ET, ACC Network): Boston College needs a win to reach a bowl game.

boston-college.60
wake-forest.60

at (3:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network): Mississippi State has already cemented an empty December, and the Bulldogs are trying to keep their hated rivals home with them for the winter. Ole Miss hasn't missed a bowl game in the Hugh Freeze era.

mississippi-state.60
ole-miss.60

at (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS): On paper, this game means absolutely nothing. Alabama has already booked its tickets to Atlanta, and even an Auburn upset wouldn't keep the Tide out of the Playoff -- not without another loss to Florida next week. But, c'mon. In a stat that makes you go "Hmm...." Nick Saban is 0-6 all-time against Auburn teams that win nine games or more. Auburn is 8-3.

auburn.60
alabama.60

at (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC): USC needs to win to keep its ultra-ultra-dark horse Playoff status alive (plus some help from Utah).

notre-dame.60
usc.60

at (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU): Navy has already clinched the American West, but the Midshipmen are still playing for a possible Cotton Bowl berth. In what may be his final game at SMU, Chad Morris is looking to send SMU to a bowl 24 months after inheriting a 1-11 program.

navy.60
smu.60

at (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): This one will either mean nothing or everything, and we won't know until kickoff. A Michigan win over Ohio State clinches the Big Ten East for the Wolverines, but an Ohio State victory means Penn State would head to Indianapolis with a win over Sparty.

michigan-state.60
penn-state.60

at (3:30 p.m. ET, BTN): Wisconsin has won a record 12 straight in this series that originated in 1890, and lucky 13 sends the Badgers to their fourth Big Ten Championship in the 6-year history of the game -- and puts the Badgers on the doorstep of the Playoff.

Minnesota
wisconsin.60

at (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3): The Monarchs already wear a crown, and now they can win one. If Marshall beats Western Kentucky later in the day, and an Old Dominion win hands the Monarchs their first C-USA East Division title.

fiu-60
old-dominion.60

at (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3): Thanks to a Hurricane Matthew-induced waiver from the NCAA, a win here sends South Alabama to a bowl game. That'd be two in three years for a program that didn't join FBS until 2012.

south-alabama.60
idaho-60

at (4 p.m. ET, ESPN3): Two more wins plus an Arkansas State loss gives Troy a share of the Sun Belt title in Neal Brown's second year on the job.

troy.60
texas-state-60

at (4 p.m. ET, ESPN3): A win here plus, again, an Arkansas State clues Appalachian State into a piece of the Sun Belt crown.

appalachian-state.60
new-mexico-state.60

at (4 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks): Oregon has won eight straight. One more sets a record for either team in a Civil War rivalry that began in 1894. This is the best chance the Beavers have had in a while.

oregon.60
oregon-state.60

at (4 p.m. ET): A year after taking over a 1-11 program, Seth Littrell needs to beat 3-8 UTEP to send North Texas to a bowl game.

north-texas.60
utep-60

at (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU): Western Kentucky needs to beat Marshall to reach its second straight Conference USA Championship.

western-kentucky.60
marshall.60

at (7 p.m. ET): A year after taking over a 3-9 program -- a 3-9 program that didn't exist in 2010 and didn't join Conference USA until 2013 -- Frank Wilson would send UTSA to its first bowl game with a win over 4-7 Charlotte.

charlotte-60
utsa-60

at (7:30 p.m. ET, FOX): A Buffaloes win sends Colorado to meet the Apple Cup winner in the Pac-12 Championship. A Utah win ships USC to Santa Clara.

utah.60
colorado.60

at (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN): Will Muschamp has already posted an impressive debut in Columbia. Win here? Watch out. Clemson, meanwhile, needs to win to keep pace in the CFP derby. Aside from that, Dabo Swinney was asked if he planned to sit starters ahead of next week's ACC Championship. His response? "You're obviously not from South Carolina." Sums this whole week -- and this whole sport -- up pretty well, doesn't it?

south-carolina.60
clemson.60

at (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network): Vanderbilt is playing for a bowl game. Tennessee is, probably, playing for the Sugar Bowl.

tennessee.60
vanderbilt.60

at (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNews): Temple will reach its second straight American Championship with a win over 3-8 East Carolina.

east-carolina.60
temple.60

at (8 p.m. ET, ABC): Florida is heading to its conference's championship game. Florida State is not. However, Florida State's seniors could become the first in school history to ever go 4-0 against Florida. Also, this is possibly Jimbo Fisher's last game at Florida State.

florida.60
florida-state.60

at (9 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network): The Aztecs have already clinched their second straight MW West Division title, but they'll need to beat Colorado State to keep pace in the Group of 5 push for the Cotton Bowl.

colorado-state-60
san-diego-state.60

at (10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2): A year after going 2-10, Wyoming can win the MW Mountain Division with a victory in Albuquerque, assuming Boise State beats Air Force. A New Mexico wins sends Boise State to the title game.

wyoming-60
new-mexico-60

at (11:59 p.m. ET): The final game of the weekend finds the final team -- Hawaii -- playing to extend its campaign into bowl season.

umass.60
hawaii.60

There you have it. Sixty-one games spread across four days, and there are tangible stakes in 44 of them. Prepare yourself accordingly.