GREETINGS, EARTH CITIZENS. THE WEEK OF HATRED IS UPON US, AND AS ALWAYS, WE ARE DELIGHTED TO SEE YOUR KIND PIT ITSELF AGAINST EACH OTHER FOR MODEST MATERIAL GAINS, ALL OF WHICH WILL BE RENDERED UTTERLY MEANINGLESS IN THE GRAND MARCH OF TIME.
WE ARE, OF COURSE, REFERRING TO YOUR KIND’S “BLACK FRIDAY”. THIS IS TO BE FOLLOWED BY SEVERAL ATHLETIC CONTESTS USED TO DETERMINE TRIBAL SUPERIORITY. YOUR MEANS OF DETERMINING HIERARCHIC STRATIFICATION NEVER CEASE TO AMUSE US.
#7 Georgia Bulldogs (-11) @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The weather in Atlanta on Saturday is expected to be quite pleasant. Temperatures should be in the mid-60s for most of the day, peaking at 65 around 3pm. Skies will be mostly sunny all day. Shhhhh. There’s no need to worry about a football game. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel can’t hurt you if you don’t let them. It’s all okay. Everything will be okay.
Illuminati pick: georgia
South Florida Bulls @ #15 Central Florida Knights (-10)
(Kicks off at 3:30pm Friday)
“The War on I-4” is a pretty dumb sounding nickname, if we’re being perfectly honest. No rivalry should have such a contrived sounding nickname, but here we are. But hey, you know what? None of that matters as long as there are stakes, and indeed, stakes there are! These two schools, situated less than 100 miles from each other, aren’t just battling for regional state pride this year, but for the AAC east and a date with Memphis for the championship. But even more intriguing than that might be seeing which head coach gets hired away first between Charlie Strong and Scott Frost.
Illuminati pick: UCF
#25 Virginia Tech Hokies (-7) @ Virginia Cavaliers
(Kicks off at 8pm Friday)
Once, long ago, the Commonwealth Cup meant something. It really meant something, you know? Then George Welsh retired, and Virginia hired Al Groh to replace him, and things kinda started going to hell for the Wahoos. Both Virginia and Virginia Tech began anew with new coaches last year, but the pain only intensified for UVA: the Hokies’ 52-10 victory was their second-largest margin of victory in the 98 game, 122 year series. The Hokies have also won 13 straight and 16 of 17 this millennium. Does it all finally end Friday? We’ll find out.
Illuminati picks: Virginia Tech
#9 Ohio State Buckeyes (-12) @ Michigan Wolverines
Ohio State-Michigan is one of the biggest rivalry games in all of college football, but you know what’s weird? It doesn’t have a nickname or a trophy. How, in the conference of a thousand trophy games, does this one not have a trophy? We need to come up with one, preferably not some bizarre buckeye-wolverine trophy called the Wolverbuck. Actually, Wolverbuck is an awesome sounding name. We’ll keep that and work on the actual design of the trophy.
Illuminati pick: Ohio State
Duke Blue Devils @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-12)
Somehow, against all odds, this games is for the mythical North Carolina state championship. That’s a thing, kind of, and it even has its own scoring system: two points for a road win, one for a home win, minus one for a road loss, minus two for a home loss. This was created when the ACC expanded and the four NC schools no longer played everyone else every year. And so now, Wake Forest is in the driver’s seat. Yes, tiny Wake Forest! Never give up on your dreams, kids.
Illuminati pick: Duke
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-4.5) @ #6 Auburn Tigers
It’s once again time for the Iron Bowl, and for seemingly the jillionth consecutive year it’s been deemed as the most important game of rivalry weekend by the media. But it is actually pretty important this year, as the fate of the SEC West has come down to this game once again. The winner gets a date with Georgia next week in the SEC Championship, and has an inside shot at the playoff. The loser.... might still make the playoff, if that loser is Alabama. Either way, maybe there’s a chance Georgia looks past Tech and is more concerned about the outcome of this game. A man can dream.
Illuminati pick: Alabama
#5 Wisconsin Badgers (-17) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers
Wisconsin already has a date with Ohio State next weekend for the Big Ten Championship and a potential playoff spot, but first: the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe against the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. This rivalry is packed with history: it is both the longest running and most played rivalry game in all of FBS, with 126 meetings dating back to 1890. Wisconsin’s never lead the series in all of that, either, but winning 20 of the last 22 has tied it up and gives the Badgers the chance to take their first ever series lead. The Buckeyes can wait, Wiscy; it’s time to change history.
Illuminati pick: Wiscy
#3 Clemson Tigers (-14) @ #24 South Carolina Gamecocks
This series was real fun when it pitted trash-talk grand master Steve Spurrier against..... well, against Dabo Swinney. And then the Gamecocks replaced Spurrier with someone equally as lacking in the promo department as Swinney, while Clemson won a national championship. South Carolina may have fallen behind Clemson a bit recently in football, but there’s always a chance to screw something up for someone else, and for the ‘Cocks, there’s a massive opportunity to screw the Tigers out of a third straight playoff appearance. And this is rivalry week, so yeah, this could totally happen.
Illuminati pick: South Carolina
#8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-2.5) @ #21 Stanford Cardinal
The Notre Dame-Stanford rivalry is one that..... really kind of isn’t? The modern “rivalry” only began in 1988, and the two schools took a two year break in 1995 and 1996. Plus, I mean, when the game is in South Bend, it’s played earlier in the year... but when it’s in Palo Alto, it’s played on Rivalry Week? This makes less sense than Stanford’s band. Even less sense than that is the Irish’s record in major bowls, something the Cardinal could prevent them from even appearing in with a win on Saturday.
Illuminati pick: Stanford
#13 Washington State Cougars @ #17 Washington Huskies (-10)
The Apple Cup is here, and the stakes couldn’t be higher..... for Wazzu, at least: a win puts the Cougars in their first Pac-12 championship game, which would be a deliciously satisfying follow-up to last year’s victory and subsequent championship game for the Huskies. Washington can’t get into the championship game even with a win, owing to their earlier loss to Stanford, but they can eliminate the Cougs, which is almost as good. Either way, the post-game soundbites from Mike Leach will be gold.
Illuminati pick: Wazzu
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