Adam is CSTV.com's football editor and national football writer. E-mail here!
Over the summer, CSTV.com will be taking a look at the college football schedule, highlighting the top matchups, the can't-miss games and the storylines that make certain contests so intriguing. Check in every Friday for the heads-up on what games are shaping up to be the best each week, the worst each week and a few others that have piqued our interest.
"Rivalry Week" isn't relegated to one week in college football.
After Week 12's games featured some of the game's greatest annual matchups, like Michigan-Ohio State, Alabama-Auburn and a plethora of other traditional rivalry games, Week 13 picks up right where it left off.
This weekend also marks the end of season for many teams around the country, except for a few Pac-10 games and select other contests that wrap up Dec. 2.
The real question is how will they be able to top last year's game? The thriller in South Bend was the regular season game of 2005. This year, everyone knows there will be no Matt Leinart and no Reggie Bush for the Trojans, but that doesn't mean they're lacking for talent. USC will again be one of the top teams in the country and the same goes for the Brady Quinn-led Irish. If both teams play up to their capabilities, they could come into this game undefeated. That means someone's national title hopes will be extinguished. Heading into the season, this is easily one of the top three matchups of the year. This will be the season finale for the Irish, but the Trojans will have one more left against UCLA.
The usual end of the season matchup between two of Florida's best football programs will be a chance for the Seminoles to exact some revenge on the Gators. Florida pounded the Seminoles last season, winning by 27 at The Swamp. Florida's defense forced four FloridaState turnovers and Chris Leak outshined Drew Weatherford. Florida will be looking to make it three in a row over FloridaState in the season finale for both teams and has a 10-game advantage in the all-time series.
Here's a matchup that could easily get passed over with all the other great games around the country. Nevada's a team that could finish anywhere in the WAC, from fourth to first, so they very well could be battling for first place against Boise State in the season finale for both teams. Nevada lost some talent on both sides of the ball, but will return QB Jeff Rowe to lead a unit that was second in the WAC last season in total offense. Broncos QB Jared Zabransky is back for his senior season to man an offense that finished ninth in the nation in scoring average. BoiseState bullied the Wolf Pack last year, 49-14, but that was in Boise.
This rivalry dates all the way back to 1896 and was squarely in the spotlight two years ago, after the game disintegrated into an all-out brawl at South Carolina. Bench clearings, one-on-one fistfights and general lawlessness were the featured attractions that Saturday in 2004. But that incident doesn't quite come as close to the one that transpired in 1902 when a riot broke out in Columbia. After the heavily favored Tigers were upset, armed Clemson cadets were confronted by equally armed South Carolina students. The "Big Thursday" rivalry was put on hiatus for seven years. While football may seem like life and death in the South these days, it apparently really was at the beginning of the 20th century.
Mismatch of the Week
Sat., Nov. 25 - Oklahoma at OklahomaState
Despite not having Rhett Bomar, the Sooners will have more than enough fire power to dispatch the Cowboys. Oklahoma pasted the Cowboys last year by 28 in Norman. Yes, it's a rivalry and yes, it's in Stillwater this year. But aside from a three point loss in 2004, the Cowboys haven't been very competitive against the Sooners recently. OklahomaState was 107th against the run last season, and with little experience outside the defensive line returning, Adrian Peterson could have another field day. He ran for 237 yards in last season's game. This contest will mark the end of the season for the Cowboys. The Sooners hope their's is only beginning.