Oh Glorius Day! Has it really been a year since last we met? A year since last we felt this way about a game? A year since we saw Brett Hundley play in his last City Championship?
And, College Football being the joyous bounty of uncertainty that it is, we are not the only ones feeling this way about today's games. Why, the entire nation is joyful as it sharpens it's proverbial knives, and carefully prepares it's barbs for their most hated foes. Ordinarily, I would begin today's thread by reviewing what happened last week to undermine the sheer drama that we watched unfold. None of that matters this week. Today, we feed on our mutual hatred and hope the players do to.
Oh, and if some of these games should intrude upon the National Playoff Picture. Well, then there's that too.
#8 Ohio State at #10 Michigan - 9am, ABC
One of the most established, most watched, and talked about rivalries is back. It has not been much of either since the beginning of the Jim Tressel era, but there's a new sheriff in town, and his name is Jim Harbaugh. Ordinarily, last weekend's last second loss to Michigan State by Ohio State would have taken a lot of the luster off this game. But, not so fast my friends. The Buckeyes have not been playing well this season, often times making critics wonder if they deserved their rankings. But meanwhile, Michigan has been playing well above expectations, while also suffering a last second loss to Sparty. If not for the Spartans, we would be looking at an undefeated Ohio State and a one loss Michigan entering today's contest. Jim Harbaugh meanwhile is quite well remembered as the guy that rubbed Cheat Carroll's nose in it at Stanford, eventually taking over the Pac 10/12, then going on to recreate his magic in the NFL. And, what's Urban Meyer ever done? All he's ever managed to do was win the Natty twice at Florida, before moving to Ohio State and going undefeated his year there, before winning yet another National Championship in his 3rd year for the Buckeyes. One word: Fireworks.
#1 Clemson at South Carolina - 9am, ESPN
A long standing rivalry that also has Playoff implications. The South Carolina Gamecocks have long been the bigger of the two dogs in this fight. But, upstart Clemson has bought in to what Dabo Sweeney is selling and taken it all the way to a #1 national ranking. The Gamecocks meanwhile are playing at home and members of the vaunted ESS EE CEE. Sarcasm aside, an upset here would throw the playoff picture out the window, and actually conform quite well to history in this rivalry.
#2 Alabama at Auburn - 12:30pm, CBS
Probably the most bitter rivalry in the country. The Iron Bowl. Easily the best name for a Rivalry game out there. Alabama comes in to today's game as one of the top ranked and heavily favorited teams to win another Natty under Nick Saban. I don't care that that's not a word. Focus. Auburn has already won bowl eligibility and has nothing to lose. And, they're playing at home. And, they hate Bama. Play ball.
Penn State at #5 Michigan State - 12:30pm, ESPN
Not really a rivalry game here. But, Michigan State has quietly built quite an impressive resume, beating both Michigan and Ohio State (and a suddenly hot Oregon). They would be undefeated if not for those pesky Cornhuskers. They need a win here to win the Big Ten East and schedule a date with undefeated Iowa. Winner of that game probably secures a seat at the Playoff table.
#22 UCLA at USC - 12:30pm, ABC/ESPN2
How long has it been since this game mattered as much as today's game matters? It's been a mighty long time since this game traditionally settled who won the Pac 10. It has not had conference winning implications since the dawn of the Pac 12. Today they play for all the marbles. Check that. Winner gets to play for all the marbles next week in Santa Clara. That doesn't matter to either fan base. Two men enter, one man leaves . . .
#6 Notre Dame at #9 Stanford - 4:30pm, FOX
While not a traditional rivalry, it has certainly become one in recent years. These two team first played in 1925, but 25 of the 29 meetings have been played since 1988, and they have faced each other every year since 1997. Notre Dame enters the game needing a win to solidify their playoff resume. Stanford is the best two loss team in the country, and a win here could open the door to re-enter the playoff picture.
#13 Florida State at #12 Florida - 4:30pm, ESPN
One of CFB's best rivalries is back, with both teams taking spells away from the spotlight in recent years. Both teams have both traded fortune and misfortune, the Gators having won Nattys in 2006, and 2008 while the Seminoles most recently won the 2013 National Championship. Florida still has an outside shot at landing a Playoff spot if they can win this one, and then follow that with a win in the SEC Championsip game.
#3 Oklahoma at #11 Oklahoma State - 5pm, ABC'
The Bedlam Game. Of all the rivalry games with Playoff Picture consequences, this is probably the game that is most evenly matched. Both teams come into the game with only one loss. Without a Conference Championship game for the Big 12, this is their best chance to lock up a berth in the Playoffs. And, talk about familiarity breeds contempt: Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, and Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy will face off for the 11th straight time.
This might just be the day you set up a second television in the living room so you can watch two games at once. I don't blame you.
You can also check in on any of the SBN sister sites and see what other respective fan bases have to say about their particular match ups.