What’s up everyone, we’re back after a small break. Several annual rivalries have been cancelled this year, and many more have been pushed to a later week, so hate week 2020 is officially canceled. Still a short week, so I’m just gonna get right to it. The previous week was one of the best weeks in FTRS picks history: congrats to dakota bull, Clavin Cliff, and south of the border for all getting perfect 5s; conversely, not a single person got a 0. I should just fill the rest of these out with obscure G5 games going forward, shouldn’t I? Overall, THE MACHINE maintains their cold, robotic, unfeeling grip on the lead, and I think the lack of hate in this week’s slate will likely pay into their favor. Good luck!
#15 Iowa State Cyclones @ #20 Texas Longhorns (-1.5)
Texas, as we know, always plays its most hated rival on or immediately after Thanksgiving, which, as the schedule shows, is and has always been Iowa State, and definitely not any other team that plays in Texas, especially not one that no longer plays in the Big 12. And why wouldn’t they be? The Longhorns and the Cyclones have a storied history dating back over 40 years, or 22 years if you exclude the first game. And don’t let Texas’ winning percentage (over .800) tell you this isn’t a rivalry — if that were a criteria we’d have to stop calling Bedlam a rivalry. The Horns are slight favorites despite being ranked lower, which just goes to show you never know what’ll happen when two rivals as fierce as these play!
Pick: Iowa State
Penn State Nittany Lions @ Michigan Wolverines (-2)
It’s about time we saw these two titans clash. Michigan-Penn State is always a fierce battle to determine who the second best team in the B1G East is after Ohio State, and this year is no different.... well, minus the “second best” part. Penn State is going through their worst season ever, owing a lot to most of their top talent either opting out or being forced to stop playing football. Michigan almost just lost to Rutgers. They really should have lost to Rutgers. It doesn’t look like things have really worked out between Jim Harbaugh and Ann Arbor, and if the Wolverines lose again this weekend..... I’m sure that parting of ways will be quite interesting.
#23 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (-28.5) @ Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks
Hate week brings us all together for Louisiana’s biggest — and, in 2020, really only — intrastate rivalry. UL(L) and UL(M) play in the Battle on the Bayou and — look, as a descendant of Louisiana people I have thoughts on this. The things people tend to think of as stereotypically Louisianan — the food, the French, the Cajun accents, Zydeco music, etc. — are primarily a south Louisiana thing. (Go look up the area covered by Acadiana to get an idea.) North Louisiana? Not so much. They’re almost more like north Georgia than south Louisiana. The state contains multitudes, is what I’m saying, and y’all would do well to remember that.
#24 Auburn Tigers @ #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-24.5)
Just as the Iron Bowl is contractually obligated to be THE SEC game of the week® every rivalry week, so too is it required to be included in the FTRS picks. Yes, Alabama is favored by a lot. Yes, Bo Nix has sullied the Nix family name even more than his dad’s offensive playcalling. But if you ask the Tide faithful, they’re not overly confident. This is Auburn, after all, and every game for them comes down to how #blessed they are that day. They’re going to need to be extremely #blessed for this one.
Mississippi State Bulldogs @ Ole Miss Rebels (-9.5)
Is the Egg Bowl ever a game between two titans of the game, with high stakes and a potential impact on the national title race at large? Other than maybe 2014, no. Does that prevent this from being a bat[SHAED] bananas game people can’t turn away from. Not a bit. A novel could be written about the ending of last year’s edition. Neither of the coaches involved are still around, clearing the way for the Mike Leach vs. Lane Kiffin battle everyone’s been waiting for since the hires were announced. I don’t yet know how they’re going to make this rivalry even nuttier, but we’re all going to watch and find out!
Pick: Ole Miss
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