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National pregame: The Iron Bowl & Bo Schembechler Part II?

Thanksgiving weekend is football nirvana. Better than New Year’s Day. Better than an NFL playoff weekend. Better, even, than the opening week. Thanksgiving weekend is full of great games and bitter rivalries.

How good is this slate of college football games? The Iron Bowl, with national championship implications, is a top-15 matchup. And isn’t ranked No. 1.

Here are the top 10 non-Big 12 games, along with an upset special in a showdown game and a coach on the hot seat who needs to remember that things could be worse.

1. Ohio State at Michigan, 11 a.m. Saturday, Fox: Will Jim Harbaugh get the Buckeye off his back? This would be shades of 1969, when No. 13 Michigan (Bo Schembechler’s first season) beat No. 1 Ohio State and rekindled a great rivalry.

2. Alabama at Auburn, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, CBS: This decade, Bama is 6-3 vs. Auburn. This century, Auburn is 10-9 vs. Bama.

3. Wisconsin at Minnesota, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, ABC: If Michigan beats Ohio State and Wisconsin wins out, the Big Ten likely won’t have a playoff team.

4. Cincinnati at Memphis, 2:30 p.m. Friday, ABC: Cincinnati at Memphis will be staged on back-to-back weekends, if Memphis wins here.

5. Clemson at South Carolina, 11 a.m. Saturday, ESPN: You probably know that Clemson has won five straight in the series. Did you know that the Gamecocks won five straight before that?

6. Colorado at Utah, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, ABC: The Buffaloes are 2-6 against the Utes since joining the Pac-12.

7. Virginia Tech at Virginia, 11 a.m. Friday, ABC: The Cavaliers haven’t beaten the Hokies since 2003 and 1-19 against VPI over the last 20 seasons.

8. Georgia at Georgia Tech, 11 a.m. Saturday, ABC: First-year coach Geoff Collins could seal his status with Tech fans by pulling an upset.

9. Texas A&M at LSU, 6 p.m. Saturday, ESPN: The Aggies haven’t beaten LSU in regulation since 1995. A&M won last year in seven overtimes.

10. Navy at Houston, 6 p.m. Saturday, ESPN2: If Memphis loses to Cincinnati, Navy can reach the American Conference title game with a win here.

UPSET SPECIAL: Auburn over Alabama

The Iron Bowl almost always is fun and interesting. This year even moreso.

Alabama is 10-1 and politicking for a College Football Playoff berth, even though the Crimson Tide will not win its division.

Auburn, ranked 15th, is 8-3 against perhaps the nation’s toughest schedule. Auburn lost tight at Florida (24-13), at LSU (23-20) and home against Georgia (21-14).

Alabama is without star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but Auburn has only a slight edge in quarterback experience, since it’s been riding freshman Bo Nix.

Strangely, though, Auburn has the much bigger big-game experience. Alabama has played a pedestrian schedule, other than losing at LSU.

Alabama is a three-point favorite on the road, but let’s go with Auburn in the upset.

Upset special record: 4-9.

COACH ON THE HOT SEAT: Steve Addazio and Boston College have been one of the most consistent programs in college football history.

Addazio took over BC for the 2013 season, and since then, here are the Eagles’ records: 7-6, 7-6, 3-9, 7-6, 7-6, 7-5 and 5-6.

That’s right. Five of Addazio’s first six seasons ended with seven wins, and BC could do it again by winning at Pittsburgh on Saturday, then winning a bowl game.

But 7-6 also is the very definition of mediocre, and the discontent on both sides of the Addazio/BC marriage is apparent. So much so that several reports say Addazio has interest in the Rutgers job.

Anyone interested in the Rutgers job has entered desperate status. Perhaps a victory at Pitt, followed by a bowl win, could make Addazio and Boston College remember that things aren’t so bad in Chestnut Hill.

Related Photos
FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2018, file photo, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes already have locked up the East Division, so they likely would survive a loss to Michigan if they win the conference championship game. But the Wolverines, 0-4 against Ohio State under Jim Harbaugh and losers in 14 of the last 15 in The Game, would love to cause their rival even just a little anxiety.  (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2018, file photo, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes already have locked up the East Division, so they likely would survive a loss to Michigan...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a3e1a5f404955447b7510a68abd01cca.jpg" alt="Photo - FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2018, file photo, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes already have locked up the East Division, so they likely would survive a loss to Michigan if they win the conference championship game. But the Wolverines, 0-4 against Ohio State under Jim Harbaugh and losers in 14 of the last 15 in The Game, would love to cause their rival even just a little anxiety. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)" title="FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2018, file photo, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes already have locked up the East Division, so they likely would survive a loss to Michigan if they win the conference championship game. But the Wolverines, 0-4 against Ohio State under Jim Harbaugh and losers in 14 of the last 15 in The Game, would love to cause their rival even just a little anxiety. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)"><figcaption>FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2018, file photo, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes already have locked up the East Division, so they likely would survive a loss to Michigan if they win the conference championship game. But the Wolverines, 0-4 against Ohio State under Jim Harbaugh and losers in 14 of the last 15 in The Game, would love to cause their rival even just a little anxiety. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)</figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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