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By UltimateCapper.com Contributing Writer, Mike Ivcic
Rivalry week is here and in full swing, as Texas and Texas A&M kick it all off on Thanksgiving. Since this column is a little late for that game, we’ll skip over it and pick, as a bonus, the 15 biggest rivalry games from Friday and Saturday. But first, as always, the bowl projections and list of undefeated:
BCS Bowl Projections:
Championship: Florida vs Texas
Rose: Ohio State vs Oregon
Sugar: Alabama vs TCU
Orange: Georgia Tech vs Cincinnati
Fiesta: Penn State vs Boise State
Alabama – SEC
Boise State – WAC
Cincinnati – Big East
Florida – SEC
Texas – Big 12
TCU – Mountain West
1. Illinois @ #5 Cincinnati
Friday, 12:00pm (ABC)
Not a true rivalry, but a big game for the Bearcats to remain undefeated and keep their 0.01% chances at playing for a national title alive
Line: Cincinnati by 21
Pick: Cincinnati 35, Illinois 7
2. #2 Alabama @ Auburn
Friday, 2:30pm (CBS)
The tougher game for the two undefeated SEC teams, but expect Alabama to build a winning streak of two in the “Iron Bowl.”
Line: Alabama by 10.5
Pick: Alabama 24, Auburn 17
3. Nebraska @ Colorado
Friday, 3:30pm (ABC)
Once the classic rivalry in the Big 12 North, this game means only bragging rights to these schools, especially since Dan Hawkins has been (surprisingly) brought back for 2010.
Line: Nebraska by 11
Pick: Nebraska 34, Colorado 17
4. #9 Pittsburgh @ West Virginia
Friday, 7:00pm (ESPN2)
The good ole’ Backyard Brawl reconvenes, this time with Pitt needing a win to keep pace with Cincinnati and set up a winner-take-all showdown for the Big East title next week.
Line: Pittsburgh by 1
Pick: West Virginia 20, Pittsburgh 17
5. #18 Clemson @ South Carolina
Saturday, 12:00pm (ESPN)
Steve Spurrier hasn’t had much success against Florida, but the bigger issue is his struggle to win the rivalry with Clemson. There’s little excuse this time.
Line: Clemson by 3
Pick: Clemson 31, South Carolina 24
6. #25 Mississippi @ Mississippi State
Saturday, 12:21pm (ESPN360)
Coming off a huge win over LSU, the Rebels now have a chance to finish the turnaround of a once-promising season by winning the annual Egg Bowl.
Line: Mississippi by 8
Pick: Mississippi 34, Mississippi State 13
7. #12 Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma
Saturday, 12:30pm (Versus)
The Bedlam Series takes to cable as the power is the series looks to shift. Somehow, the Sooners are still favored, and it might just be that the odds makers turn out to be right.
Line: Oklahoma by 8
Pick: Oklahoma 28, Oklahoma State 24
8. Florida State @ #1 Florida
Saturday, 3:30pm (CBS)
The Gators boast the nation’s longest winning streak, and Urban Meyer has never lost to Bobby Bowden. Don’t expect either of those streaks to change.
Line: Florida by 24.5
Pick: Florida 41, Florida State 20
9. #14 Virginia Tech @ Virginia
Saturday, 3:30pm (ABC)
In what will likely be Al Groh’s last game, the WaHoos can eliminate any small, outside chance Tech has at earning an at-large berth in the BCS.
Line: Virginia Tech by 16
Pick: Virginia Tech 27, Virginia 6
10. Missouri vs. Kansas @ Kansas City, MO
Saturday, 3:30pm (ABC)
Last year, this game had a big impact on the BCS picture. This year, both teams are mired in a down years. Still, this is always a big rivalry game for both schools.
Line: Missouri by 3
Pick: Missouri 28, Kansas 21
11. #21 Utah @ #19 Brigham Young
Saturday, 5:00pm (Versus)
Both teams have lost to TCU, meaning second place and bowl positioning are on the line in the Mountain West. It’s also the only game between two ranked teams this week.
Line: Brigham Young by 7.5
Pick: Utah 30, Brigham Young 27
12. Arkansas @ #15 Louisiana State
Saturday, 7:00pm (ESPN)
It wasn’t looking good for the Tigers anyway, but the loss to Ole Miss last week ended a shot at the BCS. Now they just want the rivalry win over the Hogs.
Line: Louisiana State by 3.5
Pick: Louisiana State 24, Arkansas 10
13. Georgia @ #7 Georgia Tech
Saturday, 8:00pm (ABC)
Tech turned the tables in this series with the huge win in Athens last year. This year’s contest likely won’t be that close.
Line: Georgia Tech by 7.5
Pick: Georgia Tech 35, Georgia 14
14. Notre Dame @ Stanford
Saturday, 8:00pm (ABC)
The luster for this game was lost somewhat with both teams losing last week. Still, the chance to see Charlie Weis coach his last game for the Irish will be must-see TV.
Line: Stanford by 10
Pick: Stanford 34, Notre Dame 31
15. UCLA @ #20 Southern California
Saturday, 10:00pm (Versus)
Rick Neuheisel raised the stakes in this rivalry over the summer, and there’s no better year to take down Pete Carroll than this year. Still, it doesn’t look good for the Bruins.
Line: Southern California by 13
Pick: Southern California 33, UCLA 24
Straight Up: 2-3
Versus Line: 4-1
Straight Up: 43-20
Versus Line: 30-32-1
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