Once Rivalry Week wraps up on Saturday night, only Conference Championship games stand between some of the nation’s best teams and the College Football Playoffs. Those opportunities dwindle with every Saturday that passes as the penultimate week of the season rages on, and some of the above contenders will find themselves embroiled in hotly contested rivalry matches, the sort of contests that can make or break a season.
The biggest game of the day is The Game itself. No. 2 Ohio State hosts No. 3 Michigan, with the winner advancing to the Big Ten Championship Game and earning an inside track for the CFP. The loser will be watching from the outside, hoping that some form of chaos will allow them to sneak into the four-team field. Jim Harbaugh is aiming for his second straight win after guiding the Wolverines to their first straight win since 2011 last season, while Ryan Day hopes not to become the first Buckeyes coach since John Cooper (1999-2000) loses consecutive games against his rival. .
In second place in terms of playoff impact is Saturday night’s rivalry showdown between No. 6 USC and No. 10 Notre Dame. A win could potentially propel the Trojans to fourth in the CFP rankings next Tuesday, while a loss would see Pac-12 out of playoff contention for the sixth time in eight editions of the event.
Also on deck is No. 7 Alabama, visiting Auburn for the SEC’s Iron Bowl on CBS Game of the Week, No. 8 Clemson hosting a team from South Carolina that shockingly destroyed Tennessee last week, and the civil war with Oregon, No. 9, visiting No. 21 Oregon State in an already great season for both programs.
Be sure to stay tuned to CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from the opening kick on. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the best games to play during Rivalry Week.
Odds on Caesars Sportsbook | All times Easter
#3 Michigan in the state #2 Ohio
Featured Game | Ohio State Buckeyes versus Michigan Wolverines
noon | Fox, fuboTV (Try it for free) — I don’t know who will win this game. I played both sides in our expert picks. I took Ohio State straight but Wolverines against the spread. The truth? My confidence in both picks is low. However, I really like the bottom. The way I see things, Michigan has to win on the ground if it’s going to win. That should keep the score low. Meanwhile, Ohio State has not seen many defenses like Michigan’s. If that’s the case, then we’ve seen his attack fight. At the same time, I have to assume that an outbreak would be in Ohio State’s favour. However, this only happens when Michigan fails to score. All of these scenarios end with an overall score below 56 points. Prognosis: Under 56 -Tom Fornelli
South Carolina at No. 8 Clemson
Featured Game | Clemson Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
noon | ABC, fuboTV (Try it for free) — Can lightning strike twice? Sure, why not. Clemson has dominated this matchup, winning seven straight games since 2014. However, the Tigers get Shane Beamer’s Gamecocks right while they find their rhythm. Quarterback Spencer Rattler rediscovered his mojo with a school-record six touchdown passes in a 63-38 win over No. 10 Tennessee. South Carolina has scored on nine of their ten full possessions to win back-to-back seasons. There’s a way for South Carolina to have the best quarterback on the field when things are going well. Forecast: South Carolina +430 – Shehan Jeyarajah
Maroon at No. 7 Alabama
Featured Game | Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers
3:30 p.m. | cbs, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App — I’ll take the Crimson Tide to win and find cover, although it won’t be easy. Auburn’s rushing attack is deadly, but the Crimson Tide are talented enough to stay disciplined and make sure Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter don’t keep breaking loose. That defense will wear down Auburn’s offensive line and put Robby Ashford in some awkward situations. This game will be out about two and a half quarters, but Alabama will retire for late cover. Prediction: Alabama -22 – Barrett Hallee
No. 9 Oregon at No. 21 Oregon State
Featured Game | Oregon State Beavers vs. Oregon Ducks
3:30 p.m. | ABC, fuboTV (Try it for free) — The Ducks battle their bitter rivals in a matchup they desperately need to win, but Oregon State isn’t going to make it easy for him. The Beavers have had Washington and USC on the ropes in close losses, and they have one of the best defenses in the Pac-12. Ultimately, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix’s health will decide this game, and his performance in a narrow win over Utah is enough to bet on him securing the Ducks’ berth in the Pac-12 championship game. Prediction: Oregon -3 – Shehan Jeyarajah
#5 LSU at Texas A&M
Featured Game | Texas A&M Aggies vs. LSU Tigers
7 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try it for free) — Texas A&M wants its season from hell to finish. LSU has a potential college football playoff berth at stake. The difference in motivation between these two teams is incredible, not even counting the skill and coaching gaps between the two programs. A double-digit street line is big, but the Tigers will take care of business. Prediction: LSU -10 – Shehan Jeyarajah
No. 10 Notre Dame at No. 6 USC
Featured Game | USC Trojans vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish
7:30 p.m. | ABC, fuboTV (Try it for free) — The Trojans will find that Notre Dame will be one of the toughest tests of the season as the Fighting Irish look to stay away from Caleb Williams with solid ground play and then complement that with a bend-but-don’t-break defense . But if I’m forced to choose between Williams and Drew Pyne in a game I expect to be close, I will side with the Heisman Trophy contender. Forecast: USC -5.5 – Chip Patterson
What college football picks can you hit with confidence in Week 13, and which top 25 teams will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the range – all from a proven computer model that has brought in nearly $3,000 in profits over the last 6+ seasons – and find out.