Rivalry Saturday Preview
(Photo: Jason Getz USA Today Sports)
Ah, rivalry week. A week full of matchups between teams that are often just a relatively short drive from one campus to the other. One of the most volatile weeks between fan bases as yearly bragging rights and sometimes more is on the line. We’ve already been fed two contests this week along with all the turkey and mac and cheese that we could physically fit into our bodies, but we’ve got more coming on Saturday.
CLEAN OLD FASHIONED HATE
Georgia has a chance to go undefeated in regular-season play for the first time since 1980 if they can take care of business in Atlanta. Georgia Tech has less at stake, being 3-8, but would love nothing more than to spoil their rival’s perfect season. Georgia is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings of this series. Of course, the two didn’t meet last year due to COVID, but the Bulldogs throttled the Jackets in 2019, 52-7. Georgia is currently a 35.5-point favorite and the over/under has been set at 54.5.
Location: Bobby-Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Time: 12:00 PM ET
THE SUNSHINE STATE RIVALRY
The showdown between Florida and Florida State on Saturday has massive implications for both teams as the winner will go to a bowl game while the other will be done for the year. Florida agreed to part ways with head coach Dan Mullen on November 21st, special teams coordinator/running backs coach Greg Knox will take over as interim for the rest of the season. The Gators have won the last two in the series after losing the previous five from 2013-2017. The Seminoles have been playing good football recently, winning five of their last seven. Florida is currently a 3-point favorite and the over/under has been set at 59.
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
Time: 12:00 PM ET
THE IRON BOWL
One of the fiercest rivalries in all of college football renews once again on the Plains. Alabama already has the SEC West locked up and is set to face Georgia in the SEC Championship on December 4th, but a loss this weekend could prevent the Tide from reaching the College Football Playoff no matter the outcome next weekend. So the stakes are still very high in this game and much like Georgia Tech, Auburn would love to put a little more pressure on their in-state foes if they can pull off the upset. Auburn is without their starting quarterback Bo Nix though, who has been out for a couple of weeks with an injury and will miss the remainder of the season. Alabama has lost the last two games of the series in Auburn but still leads the all-time series 47-37-1. The Crimson Tide are currently favored by 20.5 points and the over/under is set at 57.
Location: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL
Time: 3:30 PM ET
With the past decade being split five-five, someone has to set the pace for the next decade. This is also Vanderbilt’s last chance to get an SEC win this year. Tennessee’s first-year head coach Josh Heupel has had a good season so far and would like to end it on a high note against a far inferior Commodore squad. Tennessee’s high-powered offense should be able to move down the field fairly easily, but if Vandy can get some turnovers and give their offense a short field to work with, they could keep it close. Tennessee is a 31.5-point favorite and the over/under has been set at 63.5.
Location: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN
Time: 3:45 PM ET
TV: SEC Network
Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies would like to go into Baton Rouge and finish the regular season on a high note, while Ed Orgeron looks to end his tenure at LSU with a bowl birth. The Tigers are 4-2 at home, but better than their 1-4 record on the road, so that should be an advantage for them on Saturday. The Aggies own the better defense, but their offense can become stagnant at times. LSU won the previous matchup in Baton Rouge in 2019 before eventually becoming national champions. That success quickly dissipated, but LSU could avoid its first losing season since 1999 with a win. Texas A&M is currently a 6.5-point favorite and the over/under has been set at 46.5.
Location: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
Time: 7:00 PM ET
South Carolina has lost the last six against Clemson, but they definitely have their best chance to end that streak this year. Clemson has had a down year as they transitioned a lot of new players into their system, but the Tigers have played much better of late. First-year head coach Shane Beamer already impressed Gamecock fans with their win against Florida, but he would get their full stamp of approval if he can pull off the upset on Saturday. South Carolina is an 11.5-point underdog against the Tigers and the over/under has been set at 43.
Location: Williams-Brice Stadium, Colombia, SC
Time: 7:30 PM ET
TV: SEC Network
THE GOVERNOR’S CUP
Kentucky travels across the way to take on Louisville in the latest renewal of The Governor’s Cup. The Wildcats have had their best season in years and look to cap it off with a win over their in-state rivals and send themselves to most likely a New Year’s Six bowl. Kentucky won the last matchup against the Cardinals 45-13 at home in 2019. Both teams are coming off of blowout wins and Kentucky offensive coordinator Liam Coen called Tuesday’s practice “the best one we’ve had all year”, which shows how much this rivalry means to both teams.
Location: Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY
Time: 7:30 PM ET