Big Ten & SEC Weekend Preview: Michigan-Ohio State & Auburn-Alabama Headline Rivalry Week
In the 13th week of the college football season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are making visits throughout Big Ten and SEC country, meeting with fans across both conferences in advance of the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on December 31st. Our committee is also watching teams across the ACC in case they are selected to play in our game in place of the Big Ten. For the latest on the ACC, check out our weekend preview for the Russell Athletic Bowl.
LSU at Texas A&M – Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN
In the lone college football game on Thanksgiving, LSU (6-4, 4-3 SEC) travels to College Station to face Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3 SEC). The Tigers have defeated the Aggies in all four meetings since Texas A&M joined the conference in 2012 and hold a 31-20-3 record in the overall series. The Tigers are coming off of a 16-10 loss at home to Florida. This will only be LSU’s third true road game this season as they opened their season at a neutral site in Green Bay against Wisconsin. The Tigers are 1-1 in true away games and 1-2 in games outside of Baton Rouge this season. The Aggies have dropped three of their last five games after starting 6-0. Last week they knocked off University of Texas San Antonio 23-10 to curb their two-game losing streak. The Aggies have only lost once all year in front of the 12th man, falling to Ole Miss, 29-28, two weeks ago.
#3 Michigan at #2 Ohio State – 12:00 p.m. on ABC/ESPN
In the biggest edition of “The Game” since 2006 when both teams were undefeated and ranked No. 1 and No. 2, Michigan (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten) travels to Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten) with the winner likely earning a spot in the Big Ten Championship and possibly the College Football Playoffs. Michigan will be without starting quarterback Winston Speight, who broke his collarbone in the team’s lone loss this season. Last week the Wolverines survived a snowstorm and a hungry Indiana team, scoring 17 points in the third quarter to escape with the victory. A win this weekend would put Michigan into the conference championship where they could clinch a CFP spot with a win. Ohio State’s path is slightly different: a win in this game doesn’t necessarily clinch a berth in the conference championship, as Penn State holds the tiebreaker with the Buckeyes. Ohio State would have to rely on the CFP committee selecting them as the first non-champion semifinalist of the CFP era. The Buckeyes escaped East Lansing last weekend after the Spartans went for a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter and failed. Michigan leads the all-time series with Ohio State 58-47-6 but Ohio State has won 10 of the last 11 meetings. The Wolverines haven’t won in Columbus since 2000 when they upset the 12th-ranked Buckeyes before defeating Auburn in the 2001 Citrus Bowl to cap off the season.
#13 Auburn at #1 Alabama– 3:30 p.m. on CBS
Auburn (8-3, 5-2 SEC) travels to Tuscaloosa for the 81st Iron Bowl, where they’ll face an undefeated and top-ranked Alabama (11-0, 7-0 SEC) squad that has already clinched a spot in the SEC Championship. After a 1-2 start with both losses coming to teams ranked in the Top 10 at the time of the game, the Tigers rolled off six straight victories, climbing back into College Football Playoff contention before falling to Georgia two weeks ago. They enter the matchup after their 55-0 drubbing of Alabama A&M and currently sit in second place in the SEC West behind the Crimson Tide. Alabama cruised to a 31-3 victory over Chattanooga last weekend. The Crimson Tide defense has held opponents to 6 points or fewer in six contests this season and have allowed more than 14 points in just two contests. Alabama has won six of the last eight meetings including the past two and are 44-35-1 all-time against Auburn. The Crimson Tide have not won three straight over the Tigers since 1990-92.
#16 Nebraska (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) at Iowa (7-4, 5-3 Big Ten) at 3:30 pm on ABC/ESPN
Georgia Tech (6-4, 3-4 ACC) at Georgia (7-4, 4-4 SEC) at 12:00 p.m. on SECN/ESPN
Kentucky (6-5, 4-4 SEC) at #5 Louisville (9-2, 7-1 ACC) at 12:00 p.m. on ESPN
Minnesota (8-3, 5-3 Big Ten) at #6 Wisconsin (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) at 3:30 pm on BTN
South Carolina (6-5, 3-5 SEC) at #4 Clemson (10-1, 7-1 ACC) at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN
#15 Florida (8-2, 6-2 SEC) at #14 Florida State (8-3, 5-3 ACC) at 8:00 p.m. on ABC/ESPN