It's always a bummer for us at the VFA that Penn State really has no natural rivals. Sure, the Lions played Pitt, USC and Notre Dame a bunch of times back in the 'independent days', but now the Big Ten's here, Penn State have got nobody they can truly lift the finger to.
If I was Penn State' AD Tim Curley, I'd stop scheduling trash and go for a 30-year home and home series against Pitt, or Notre Dame. Penn State Nation needs it.
Anyway, back from all that talk, because it's Thanksgiving Weekend, which means that we're all getting our hate on this weekend (and the weekend after, if you're an Oregon or Oregon State fan, who battle it for the Pac-10 title in a week's time).
So here we go:
The 'Saw Varsity's Horns Off' Game: Texas vs Texas A&M
Texas is going to walking into a world of hate at Kyle Field. Aggies fans have had this pencilled in since January, and the Longhorns, who are playing as well as anyone this year, have to come to play a Texas A&M which has been fun to watch AND inconsistent this year. How else do you explain dumping 50 on Texas Tech on the road? We watch with bated breath while munching turkey.
Prediction: Texas wins, but in a squeaker.
Bedlam: Pittsburgh vs West Virginia
Stoke up the coal and get the couches ready, people, because Pittsburgh's coming into Morgantown. These two Big East rivals really, really dislike each other, and this should be Friday fun for all.
Prediction: Go to Ikea and get a couch! West Virginia in the upset.
'Good Ole Fashioned Hate': Georgia vs Georgia Tech
Georgia can't stop the run, and Georgia Tech are run specialists. Sound like a recipie for disaster for Bulldogs' fans? Does to us. The 'high school stadium' as Georgia fans rudely - and rightly - refer to Bobby Dodd Stadium - will be rocking.
Prediction: Georgia Tech. By 21.
The Baja Georgia Game: Florida State vs Florida
Now that the 'Noles are bowl-eligible for 27 straight years, Bobby Bowden's shut up the critics yet again. Greg Reid is an incredible defensive back/punt returner, and could cause trouble for the Gators on Saturday. But really, this one's about Tebow and running through a Florida State defensive that's not a lot better than Florida International's.
Prediction: Good job you beat Maryland, Bobby, because you ain't beatin' the Gators, dadgummit! Florida by 28
'The Go To Hell' Bowl: Alabama vs Auburn
"Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer Let's Go Alabama/ Go To Hell Alabama!" If anyone's dumb enough to get married in the State of Alabama this Saturday, then don't expect many people to be attending. Even the groom. Or the bride. Or the priest. Game-wise, Mark Ingram and the Crimson Tide defense should shut down Auburn, but Auburn can pride themselves on a pretty good season.
Prediction: Alabama wins by 10, and starts chanting their version of the song. Which I'm not going to go into.
The 'Hot Bowl': Arizona vs Arizona State
We've ramed this epic desert classic because there's so much eye-candy on show in this one. Arizona and Arizona State constantly battle each other to be Playboy's top party/co-ed/Pac-10/cheerleaders school (Arizona won the cheerleader battle last week, we'd like to note), and Tempe-Phoenix-Scottsdale area is going to be jumping. We can't wait. Oh, and there's a football game on too, which has been great over the past few years.
Prediction: Arizona wins by 7 in a classic
The 'Disappointing Bowl': Oklahoma State vs Oklahoma
Both teams have been disappointing this year. The Sooners have been plagued by injury and horrible defense, while the Cowboys have been plagued by Dez Bryant and his ghost. The Sooners will be coming off an ass-handing by Texas Tech, while O-State has got to stop laughing and reload.
Prediction: Oklahoma State in a high-scoring, Oklahoma-style shootout.
The 'Al Just Go' Bowl: Virginia vs Virginia Tech
If all things are right, this should be Al Groh's last game in charge of the Cavaliers after an indistinguished tenure. We don't see a lot of hope for his Virginia side at Lane Stadium, although if we're honest and thinking Penn State BCS chances, we're hoping for a UVA victory.
Prediction: Virginia Tech by 31
The 'Cockfight': Clemson vs South Carolina
This deeply-felt South Carolina rivalry is a throwdown every year - including the game where both sets of players brawled in out! South Carolina haven't been bad this year, but will they be able to deal with CJ Spiller?
Prediction: South Carolina in a monster upset.
The 'Hollywood Bowl': USC vs UCLA
With USC on its knees, the time could not be riper for UCLA to score an upset on their Los Angeles neighbours. It's strange, because at the VFA we've hardly mentioned Rick Neuheisel's side this season apart from the (still laughing!) win over Tennessee this year.
Prediction: USC gets it done.
The 'Hate Bowl': Missouri vs Kansas
Missouri HATES Kansas and Kansas HATES Missouri. Mangino might be the inspiration, but a loss to the Jayhawks' biggest rival might be inspiration enough for the Jayhawks administration to boot Mangino's rotund behind out of Lawrence.
Prediction: Roll out, Mike. Missouri by 14
'The Charlie Weis Bowl': Notre Dame vs Stanford
No game will be more intriguing than this one, people. The Irish are on their knees. Jimmy Clausen was cold-cocked after the Irish lost to UConn. Charlie Weis will probably get fired on Monday. Stanford needs to win to have any hope of a BCS/high-Jan 1 bowl/high ranking after losing 'The Game' to California in a loss that was basically their fault. Toby Gerhardt is the best running back in college football (we think he's better than Alabama's Mark Ingram), and Notre Dame is poor at stopping the run. Oh dear Charlie?
Prediction: Stanford wins by 10. And Charlie Weis hands in his notice. With a little shove from 'Irish Universe'.
And very quickly.....Ole Miss will beat Mississippi State; BYU will win a tight one against Utah; Cincy will thrash Illinois; LSU will beat Arkansas in a track-meet; North Carolina will win the battle of Tobacco Road against North Carolina State; and if Miami lost South Florida we'll laugh, and then laugh some more.
If you didn't think Rammer was loud....
And the Auburn version