Forty names, games, teams and minute details making news in college football (goose eggs sold separately at Boston College, which was discontinued for the first time in six years by Notre Dame on Saturday):
The fourth quarter
with full Third quarter of Dash this week Dedicated to a monster showdown between Ohio State and Michigan, it’s time to take a look at the week’s remaining rivalry games and put them in context. Among the games most relevant to grudge slid, here’s the full Dash list, with picks:
Habanero Hot (31): teams chasing college football that can legitimately upset.
Notre Dame- USC. The Trojans (10-1) need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and they can jump into the top four in the rankings next week. The Fighting Irish (8-3) hit a five-game winning streak to save the season. Both fan bases are pleased with themselves at all times. Line: USC with five. Dash Pick: Notre Dame 35, USC 34. Fight On / Fight Off.
Clemson South Carolina. The Tigers (10-1) need a win to stay on the playoff side. The Gamecocks (7-4) are coming off an upset blowout of Tennessee and posting their best record in this game in five years. South Carolina hasn’t beaten Clemson since 2013, and their fans harbor a ferocious hatred for all things Dabo. Line: Clemson B 14.5. Dash picks: Clemson 27, South Carolina 23. Sweeney remains the rooster leader in this rivalry.
Hot on top, but not lasting too long (32): The implications of a College Football supplement, however, may not be very compelling games.
Texas A&M-LSU. The Tigers (9-2) have already clinched the SEC West Championship, but they’re trying to stay beatable by winning here and upsetting Georgia in the SEC Championship game. Aggies (4-7) are the nation biggest disaster. Line: LSU by 10. Dash Pick: LSU 21, Texas A&M 7. The season can’t end soon enough at College Station.
Georgia and Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs (11-0) simply need to avoid the face factory the whole time here to seal a playoff bid. The Yellow Jackets (5-6) have shown some flashes of life under interim coach Brent Key and are striving to be fit for the ball. Line: Georgia with 36. Dash Pick: Georgia 38, Georgia Tech 3. Stetson-Bennett’s last game between the fence was a blast.
I got some zing (33): Games that can affect who wins a division and/or advance to the conference title game but does not include the Big Ten West.
Oregon Oregon. The Ducks (9-2) can play in the Pac-12 Championship with a win. The Beavers (8-3) would love nothing more than to derail this dream. Their combined 17 wins in this game is the most in a decade. Line: Oregon Three. Dash pick: Oregon 29, Oregon 24.
Kansas State – Kansas. The Wildcats (8-3) advance to the Big 12 Championship game with a win. The Jayhawks (6-5) can finish with their first winning season since 2008, and their revival is giving this rivalry its first burst of energy in a long time. Line: Kansas State B12. Dash Pick: Kansas State 41, Kansas 27. The Jayhawks defense has crumbled, and the Wildcats will be perfectly happy to exploit that.
Washington State – Washington. The Huskies (9-2) will know by this #Pac12AfterDark kickoff if they still have a shot at the league title game, depending on whether Oregon State wins or loses in Corvallis. The Cougars (7-4) would love to finish the regular season with four straight wins and some glory in the Apple Cup. Line: Washington by two. Dash Pick: Washington State 21, Washington 19. If the weather turns this into a downhill fest in The Palouse — which is still a guess at this point — that’s a bad development for the nation’s top cross-country skier Michael Bennix and the Huskies.
Central Florida and South Florida. The Knights (8-3) claim the American Collegiate Athletic Conference title with a win and a loss against Houston. But if UCF and the Cougars both win, the tiebreaker gets complicated and the score comes down to the CFP standings for the Knights and a loser for Tulane-Cincinnati. Bulls (1-10) are awful. Line: UCF by 19.5. Dash Pick: UCF 58, USF 35. Bet more.
Delicious but potentially toxic (34): Every rivalry game a Big Ten West team participates in, the division swings toward the crowning of a champion.
Nebraska Iowa. The Hawkeyes (7-4) defeat the West. The Cornhuskers (3-8) are just trying to make a memory amidst the misery. Streak: Iowa with 10.5 Dash pick: Iowa 2, Nebraska 0. It’s the only proper way for the Hawkeyes to clinch the division.
Purdue Indiana. The Boilermakers (7-4) can take the division with a win here and a loss to Iowa on Friday in Iowa City. The Hoosiers (4-7) showed some pride last week in rallying to win Michigan State and may bring a similar grit to this game. Line: Bordeaux by 10.5. Dash pick: Purdue 27, Indiana 24.
Illinois – Northwestern. The Illini (7-4) has lost three straight but still has a chance if both Iowa and Purdue choke it away. The Wildcats (1-10) haven’t won in the United States yet since October 16, 2021, with their only win of the season over Nebraska in Ireland. Line: Illinois by 14. Dash Pick: Illinois 17, NW 0.
Minnesota Wisconsin. Neither team can win the division, but they play with a big ax. The Badgers (6-5) have been all over the map under interim head coach Jim Leonard — some weeks have been impressive, some weeks horrible. The Gophers (7-4) brought back some drama to competing under PJ Fleck after years of beatings. Line: Wisconsin by 3.5. Dash pick: Wisconsin 20, Minnesota 16. It’s going to be painful to watch.
Refreshing (35): Both teams have winning records and have a mutual in-state disdain for each other.
Mississippi State – Mississippi. The Rebels (8-3) spat a bit last week in a catastrophic loss in Arkansas. The Bulldogs (7-4) are trying to get Mike Leach’s first win of the competition. Some wonder if this will be Lane Kiffin’s last match in the competition. It’s the egg bowl on Thanksgiving night, get ready for mayhem. Line: Mississippi by 2.5. Dash pick: Mississippi State 28, Mississippi 27.
Florida State – Florida. The Gators (6-5) killed their late-season momentum with an upset loss at Vanderbilt, while the Seminoles (8-3) came on a four-game winning streak. It’s not a Bowden vs. Line: Florida B 9.5. Dash Pick: Florida State 31, Florida State 20.
North Carolina – North Carolina. The Tar Heels (9-2) threw a soup bowl into their season with a loss to Georgia Tech last week, but they still want to get quarterback Drake Maye to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist. The Wolfpack (7-4) has lost since the season-ending injury to star QB Devin Leary. Line: North Carolina by 6.5. Dash Pick: North Carolina 34, North Carolina State 24.
Louisville, Kentucky. The Cardinals (7-4) may have saved coach Scott Satterfield’s job by winning five of their last six — but if they want to be absolutely sure, beating Kentucky for the first time since Lamar Jackson was in uniform will do it. The Wildcats (6-5) were a huge disappointment but still Coach Mark Stoops’ salary boosted to $9 million a year from now on, because college sports. Line: Kentucky by 3.5. Dash Pick: Louisville 24, Kentucky 22.
sudden bite (36): You weren’t expecting much when you bit into this, but it was filling and papery.
University of California, Los Angeles. Will this be the last meeting in Berkeley for two schools that have played each other since 1933? That may depend on the UCLA Board of Regents, which delayed making any decision last week about UCLA’s bid to drop the Pac-12 for the Big Ten — they’ve scheduled another meeting in December. And no matter how it plays out, this rivalry has gained an added edge for the Golden Bears (4-7) and Bruins (8-3). Line: UCLA at 10. Dash Pick: Cal 28, UCLA 26. After beating Stanford last week, Cal can settle all the family business by stunning a Bruins who might be level after seeing their playoff and conference hopes go sideways in the last two games.
Dim taste (37): One team needs to win to gain pot eligibility.
Auburn Alabama. Oh, how the iron pot fell. The Tigers (5-6) are awful and the Tides (9-2) are out of contention. Their eight losses combined is the most in this game since 2012. The streak: Alabama by 21.5. Dash picks: Alabama 35, Auburn 7. The Tigers can walk into an uproar from frustrated Bama players.
Arkansas Missouri. The Tigers (5-6) are trying to continue their run as the most average program in America, looking to go . 500 in the regular season for the fourth year in a row. The Razorbacks (6-5) snap a five-year losing streak to Mizzou in 2021 and are attempting to beat back-to-back Tigers for the first time. Line: Arkansas by Three. Dash pick: Arkansas 21, Missouri 17.
Tennessee Vanderbilt. This might actually be interesting. The Volunteers (9-2) are hurting emotionally and physically after missing playoff prospects and quarterback Hendon Hooker of South Carolina. The Commodores (5-6) are out of the game and have won two consecutive SEC games for the first time since 2018. Now they are playing for a bowl bid. Line: Tennessee B 14. Dash Peak: Vanderbilt 24, Tennessee 23. Shocking the world.
Bland (38): Rivalries over geographic convenience and conferences that would otherwise bring little heat to the negotiating table.
Utah Colorado. The Utes (8-3) might not even need to fasten their chin straps against the Buffaloes (1-10), who are the worst Power 5 team in the country. Line: Utah by 29.5. Dash Pick: Utah 42, Colorado 7.
Rutgers Maryland. The Terrapins (6-5) could clinch their first winning season since 2014. The Scarlet Knights (4-7) could finish on a good note. The Big Ten’s eastern frontier continues to add a little. Line: Maryland B 14. Dash Peak: Maryland 24, Rutgers 17.
Ketchup (39): Bleach.
Arizona – Arizona. The Sun Devils (3-8) have been a mess all season. The Wildcats (4-7) have made some progress this season. That’s all there is to say about this edition of the Regional Cup. Line: Arizona by Four. Dash pick: Arizona 37, Arizona 27.
Nevada-UNLV. They are playing for one of the best trophies in college sports, namely Fremont Cannon (40). But that doesn’t make it a good game. The Wolf Pack (2-9) have lost nine straight games, while the Rebels (4-7) have lost six straight. Font: UNLV by 12. Dash pick: UNLV 40, NV 24.