Rivalry week is always a big part of one of the best weekends of the regular season of college football. Two top 10 rivalry matchups will decide the fate of the Big 10 and the Big 12 as well as shape the college football playoff discussion. With conference championship appearances on the line, this could be a watch guide for the ages. Now, let’s get into it as we look at the best matchups in college football with our 2021 week 13 college football watch guide.
Note: All game times are in central standard time
2021 Week 13 College Football Watch Guide
The Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night kicks off our 2021 week 13 college football watch guide. The winner of this game will finish second in the SEC West behind Alabama. And, the winner also has a strong claim for a New Year’s Six game. Nevertheless, this has the makings of a shootout between two of the best quarterbacks in the country with Will Rogers of Mississippi State and Matt Corral of Ole Miss.
A win or go home game Friday morning to start off our day. If Boise State wins, it’s headed to the Mountain West Championship game. The same can be said for the Aztecs. The last five wins for San Diego State have all come by eight points or less. Comparatively, after starting 3-4, Boise State has won four straight including a 26-point victory over Fresno State.
Even though Nebraska is 3-8, their average margin of defeat is just six points with every loss coming by nine points or less. Can they find a way to get a win in the season finale? Meanwhile, Iowa still has an opportunity to play for a conference championship. They need a win and a loss by Wisconsin to secure their berth next week.
The Bearcats finally made their statement with a dominating performance against SMU last week. Now, they must do it again to keep up in the playoff rankings. Now, they face red-hot East Carolina who are winners of their last four games and would love nothing more than to derail the hopes of Bearcats all across the country.
In a reversal of fortunes, it’s the Wolfpack not the Tar Heels with a chance to make the ACC Championship Game. It’s simple for North Carolina State, a win and a Wake Forest loss give them the opportunity to face Pittsburgh for the championship. North Carolina has barely made it to bow eligibility. However, a win over their in-state rivals would be a feather in their cap.
It’s a top-five matchup with everything on the line for the Buckeyes and the Wolverines in “The Game.” Few teams have been more impressive than the Buckeyes down the stretch. And after a late-game collapse in which they were outscored by the Spartans 23-3 over the last 18 minutes of the game, Michigan has rebounded well. A win and the monkey is off your back and a real opportunity is there to play for a conference and national championship.
Georgia is favored by 35 points in this game. Yes, 35! Georgia must guard against looking ahead to a matchup against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game next week. After starting 3-3 and looking like a bowl would be likely in their second year under head coach Geoff Collins, they have lost five straight. That’s including a 55-0 blowout loss to Notre Dame last week.
It’s hard to believe these two proud programs are down to a game with both fighting for bowl eligibility at 5-6. But, at the current state, it looks like both programs are headed in opposite directions. The Gators have only pride to play for after a down season and the firing of Dan Mullen this week. However, Florida State has won two straight and a bowl game would be huge to get this program on the right track.
It’s a simple scenario for Wake Forest. Win and you are in the ACC Championship Game against Pittsburgh next week. However, a loss opens up the possibility for NC State or even Clemson. However, a win won’t be easy in Chestnut Hill to finish the season. The Eagles have not lived up to expectations but would love to be the spoiler.
The SEC Championship Game is set next week between Alabama and Georgia. However, the Crimson Tide has one last hurdle to jump prior to getting there. A win keeps Alabama alive for the playoffs, but a loss to Auburn likely eliminates them from contention. The Tigers are limping to the finish line after three straight losses and sitting at 6-5. Do they have enough for another miracle at Jordan-Haire?
Neither team has an opportunity at a conference championship. However, the Spartans could make it as an at-large selection to the New Year’s Six with a victory over the Nittany Lions. Penn State has four losses but they are by a total of 15 points which makes them the best four-loss team in the country and fully capable of spoiling the Spartans’ fun.
The Badgers have a simple win and you’re in scenario as they travel to Minnesota this week. After a rocky 1-3 start, Wisconsin has won seven straight the way Wisconsin wins by running the football and playing great defense. For the Golden Gophers, it has been a much improved season but could cap it off with a huge win.
Texas A&M has an outside shot at a New Year’s Six game while LSU is fighting to get back to bowl eligibility. It’s been a disappointing season for both programs that had playoff aspirations heading into the season. However, currently without a coach, the extra practice would be invaluable for a Tigers team that has been a mess for most of the year.
Oklahoma State has claimed a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game for the first time in program history. Meanwhile, it’s the Sooners that must win to force a Bedlam Part 2 as long as Texas Tech doesn’t upset Baylor. In a contrast to most games in this series, this has the makings of a defensive struggle. The Cowboys have one of the best defenses in the country and the Sooner defense was stifling last week in recording seven sacks against Iowa State.
If not now, when? The Gamecocks have been about as good as one could have imagined getting South Carolina to bowl eligibility in Shane Beamer’s first season. And, even though Clemson seems to be improving it’s not the same Tigers. If South Carolina is ever going to break the streak in this rivalry, this figures to be their best chance.
Our final game in this week’s 2021 week 13 college football watch guide has us going to PAC 12 after dark. BYU has an outside shot to get to a New Years Six game while Southern Cal is just trying to get this season to a close. Even though, they still have a shot at bowl eligibility. After playing horribly on defense last week, can they put enough together for a big upset?