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Five Intriguing College Games for Thanksgiving Weekend – From the Bird’s Nest

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There have been some weeks when finding five intriguing games has been a stretch.

This week, we had to narrow it down, sort of.  For most teams, it’s the end of the regular season.  And between rivalries, bowl eligibility and the BCS, there’s lots to consider.  The “sort of” is I coupled some together since they are playing for similar goals.

MISSISSIPPI AT MISSISSIPPI STATE (Thursday, 6:30, ESPN) – Ole Miss is looking for an eight win season under Hugh Freese.  Mississippi State is fighting for survival.  The Bulldogs are 5-6 and need this one to get bowl eligible.  Playing in Starkville gives them a chance.  Every team that has qualified for an at large bowl berth is rooting hard for the Rebels.

EAST CAROLINA AT MARSHALL Saturday 11am, CBS Sports Network/BOWLING GREEN AT BUFFALO (Saturday, 12:30, ESPNU) – The Pirates and Thundering Herd are meeting for a berth in the CUSA championship.  The Falcons and Bulls decide East supremacy and a title shot in the MAC.

TEXAS STATE AT TROY (Saturday, 1pm, ESPN3)/ARKANSAS STATE AT WKU (Saturday, 3pm, ESPN3) – Troy is fighting for bowl eligibility and Texas State is trying to get their seventh win to make themselves more attractive to a bowl game.  The winner of ASU/WKU will have their eighth win and will almost assuredly secure themselves a bowl game.

ALABAMA AT AUBURN (Saturday, 2:30pm, CBS) – Not much needs to be said about this one.  Gus Malzahn is a prime candidate for national coach of the year.  Alabama is Alabama.  It’s a huge rivalry game and never has there been so much at stake.  If Malzahn beats Saban, there’s a contingent in the state of Alabama that will be ready to name him Pope Gus.  Alabama, even at Jordan-Hare Stadium, is gonna be a load, however.

CLEMSON AT SOUTH CAROLINA (Saturday, 6pm, ESPN2) – Always a great rivalry, this one has a lot of meaning, especially for Clemson.  South Carolina plays for the SEC title if Missouri loses.  Clemson is looking at being the second team from the ACC in a BCS bowl if they beat the Gamecocks.  Divorces have happened in the Palmetto State over this rivalry.

TEXAS A&M AT MISSOURI – Another one of the feel good stories in college football.  Not many expected Mizzou to be where they are.  A win here, and they’re waiting in the wings for the Alabama/Auburn winner.  Think they’ve watched film of how LSU was able to contain Johnny Manziel?  Lots of people expected Missouri to drop at least one of its last two games and put South Carolina in the title game.  But that’s okay with the Tigers.  Fans have been undervaluing them all season.


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