Apparently teams outside of the great state of Alabama participate in their own, cuter versions of rivalry week. Let's humor them by taking a look at some of their sorority-house pillow fights. As always, times listed are Central.
Minor League (non-SEC) Schedule
(3)Ohio State @ Michigan: 11 a.m., ABC
Optimistic Auburn fans will be watching this game closely on Saturday. If Michigan pulls off the big upset in the morning, the afternoon Iron Bowl becomes a BCS play-in game for both teams. Just let that sentence soak in for a second. Ohio State is clearly the better team, and Michigan's decent record (7-4) doesn't indicate the kind of struggles that the Wolverines have had this season. However, this is rivalry week -- anything can happen, especially when you're playing at home. If the Michigan offensive line can somehow find a way to protect Devin Gardner, then maybe, just maybe, Ohio State may be in for a tougher game than most would expect.
(25)Notre Dame @ (8)Stanford: 6 p.m., FOX
Stanford is one of the more confusing teams in the country. The Cardinal overpower great teams like Oregon and UCLA, but drop inexplicable games to Utah and USC. They can get their season back on track with a big win against a respectable Notre Dame squad. These are two old-school teams that want to beat you at the line, grind out an offense and field a stout defense. If watching Oregon and Baylor make you pine for the good old days, you'll probably want to tune into this one.
(22)UCLA @ (23)Southern Cal: 7 p.m., ABC
The most compelling storyline of the second half of the year has been the emergence of Ed Orgeron as a legitimate candidate for the Trojans' head coaching position. Undoubtedly, USC appointed him interim coach precisely because it knew he wouldn't do a good enough job to realistically throw a wrench into their offseason hiring plans. The school underestimated DA COACH O and now have an incredibly difficult decision to make. The Trojans have gone 6-1 since Orgeron's debut as interim, including a current streak of five straight. Coach O may very well be impossible to fire at season's end. I fully expect the O-Train to keep rolling in the Battle for Los Angeles this weekend.
(24)Duke @ North Carolina: 11 a.m., ESPN2
When Duke and North Carolina clash, it's always must-watch television -- in basketball. David Cutcliffe has turned our world upside down and turned the Duke Blue Devils into a serviceable football team. With a win over arch-rival North Carolina this weekend, Duke will wrap up the Coastal Division and set up an ACC title tilt against Florida State. North Carolina is actually a pretty decent team too, and would love nothing more than to ruin Duke's conference aspirations.
Remember to check in on Thursday to see our SEC Preview.