Week 13 of the 2022 college football schedule literally has it all – it’s the final weekend of the regular season, there are four ranked vs. ranked matchups, it’s rivalry weekend -and- it’s a holiday Friday and Saturday stuffed from dawn to dusk with the greatest team sport in our United States.
But wait friend! There’s more! So many of these games mean something beyond a simple winner or loser. Instead, the final score will decide which teams go bowling, which teams win a divisional title, which teams ascend to a conference championship game, and, yes, which teams remain in the CFP bracket conversation.
An additional item to file under “delicious” is the potential for movement at the top of the rankings. While all eyes will rightly be on (3) Michigan at (2) Ohio State, the three clubs at No. 4, No. 5, and No. 6 in the latest CFP rankings – those precariously placed on the fault line between “you’re in” and “you’re out” – are all favored by ten-points or fewer.
We have arrived at the Promised Land!
Here’s your Rivalry Weekend mental checklist:
(1) While MACtion got the week rolling on Tuesday night, there are NO college football games slated for Wednesday night. The Football Gods have set aside that time for us to prepare our stuffing and Jell-O molds.
(2) Thursday night – or Thanksgiving evening – is home to the Egg Bowl, which kicks at 7pm ET on ESPN. Don’t forget to flip away from the three NFL games on offer.
(3) Friday offers up 13 games with the best starting early in the Noon ET time slot – (19) Tulane is at (24) Cincinnati on ABC while Baylor is at (23) Texas on ESPN. In primetime it’s Florida at (16) Florida State at 7:30pm ET on ABC.
(4) Saturday has too much goodness to mention in a single bullet point, so we’ll just list the anchors: (3) Michigan at (2) Ohio State at Noon ET on FOX, (9) Oregon at (21) Oregon State at 3:30pm ET on ABC, Iowa State at (4) TCU at 4pm ET on FOX, (5) LSU at Texas A&M at 7pm ET on ESPN, and (15) Notre Dame at (6) USC at 7:30pm on ABC.
(5) While Late night is devoid of any blockbusters, it’s home to three quality matchups, all airing at 9pm ET or later, all with point spreads of fewer than seven points.
(6) With 21 rivalry trophies on the line, this week’s viewing guide is the most comprehensive (aka super-duper longest) of the season. Be forewarned, and you’re welcome.
As a note, the Virginia at Virginia Tech game, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been canceled in wake of the tragic shooting in Charlottesville.
Tuesday, Nov. 22
7pm ET – ESPNU – Bowling Green at Ohio – Ohio won 38-14
This game meant more: Ohio’s win over Bowling Green earned it a spot in the MAC title game vs. Toledo.
7pm ET – ESPN+ – Ball State at Miami Ohio – Miami won 18-17
Bowl Alert! Miami’s victory over the Ballers earned it bowl eligibility for the second-consecutive year, also its first back-to-back bowl seasons since 2003-04.
Thursday, Nov. 24, Thanksgiving Day
7pm ET – ESPN – Mississippi State at (20) Ole Miss
Friday, Nov. 25
Noon ET – ABC – (19) Tulane at (24) Cincinnati
This one isn’t likely to be a point-fest with both Tulane (No. 18) and Cincinnati (No. 21) ranked in the top of the FBS in scoring D. This game means more: The winner stamps its ticket to the AAC title game while the loser will need South Florida to upset (22) UCF (Saturday, 7pm ET, ESPN2) to make it to the championship.
Noon ET – ESPN – Baylor at (23) Texas
This game means more: If the Longhorns vanquish the Bears, and then Kansas upsets (12) K-State on Saturday night (8pm ET, FOX), Texas earns a rematch with (4) TCU in next Saturday’s Big 12 title game.
3pm ET – FS1 – Arizona State at Arizona
3:30pm ET – ABC – NC State at (17) North Carolina
3:30pm ET – CBS – Arkansas at Missouri
Bowl alert! Missouri needs an upset win over Arkansas (the Hogs are only favored by three points) to become bowl eligible.
4pm ET – Big Ten Network – Nebraska at Iowa
This game means more: If Iowa wins, they earn a Big Ten West crown and a spot in the Big Ten title game where they’ll face either (3) Michigan or (2) Ohio State. If the Hawkeyes fall, Purdue is in with a victory over Indiana (Saturday, 3:30pm ET, Big Ten Network). If both Iowa and the Boilermakers lose, Illinois earns the title with a win over Northwestern (Saturday, 3:30pm ET, Big Ten Network). What happens if all three lose? Iowa’s win over Purdue breaks the tie and the Hawkeyes play for a Big Ten title. #WildWildBigTenWest
4:30pm ET – FOX – (18) UCLA at Cal
7:30pm ET – ABC – Florida at (16) Florida State
10pm ET – FS1 – Wyoming at Fresno State
Saturday, Nov. 26
Noon ET – FOX – (3) Michigan at (2) Ohio State
On paper this game literally reads like a “game of the century” scenario. On one side of the equation, it’s Ohio State’s No. 2 nationally ranked scoring offense taking on a Michigan D ranked No. 2 in the FBS in scoring. Flip the script and it’s the Wolverines’ offense, ranked No. 9 in scoring, taking on a Buckeye defense ranked No. 10 in scoring.
But who have they earned the high marks against? Only four of Michigan’s 11 opponents in 2022 currently have a winning record and only one is currently ranked. The Wolverines’ defense has only faced one offense ranked in the top 25 in the FBS in scoring (Penn State at No. 19), with the other ten clubs ranked in the bottom half of the nation. Michigan’s offense has had a bit more of an uphill battle, facing three defenses ranked in the top 15 in the FBS in scoring – Illinois at No. 3, Iowa at No. 5, and (11) Penn State at No. 14. As for Ohio State, six of its 11 foes have a winning record and two are currently ranked. Its’ defense has faced two top-ranked offenses: (11) Penn State (No. 19) and Toledo (No. 25) while its’ offense has squared off with four solid defenses: Iowa (No. 5), (11) Penn State (No. 14), (15) Notre Dame (No. 27), and Wisconsin (No. 27).
Overall, the Buckeyes are the more battle-tested of the two teams, and they’re at home – both facts are reflected in Vegas establishing OSU as the 7.5-point favorite. This game will be a down-and-dirty, hard-fought, Battle Royale between two hated rivals for who wants it more. No matter how you feel about either school, the Big Ten, or poisonous nuts being mascots, this game deserves to be savored.
Noon ET – ABC – South Carolina at (8) Clemson
Noon ET – ESPN – Georgia Tech at (1) Georgia
Bowl Alert! Georgia Tech is a 35.5-point underdog, but if it shocks the world vs. the top-ranked Dawgs it will hit .500 and go bowling for the first time since 2018.
Noon ET – ESPN2 – West Virginia at Oklahoma State
Noon ET – ESPNU – Coastal Carolina at James Madison
This game means more: The winner will be crowned Sun Belt East champs and face either Troy or South Alabama in the league title game.
2pm ET – ESPN+ – Rice at North Texas
This game means more: A win for North Texas earns it a spot in the C-USA title game vs. UTSA. If not, UNT would need Western Kentucky to lose to FAU (Saturday, Noon ET, CBSSN). A North Texas loss combined with a WKU win would result in the Hilltoppers ascending to the title game. Bonus Bowl Alert! A win for Rice would mean bowl eligibility for the first time since 2014.
3pm ET – SEC Network – Louisville at Kentucky
3:30pm ET – CBS – Auburn at (7) Alabama
Bowl Alert! Auburn is a 22-point underdog, but a win would make the Tigers bowl eligible for the tenth-straight season.
3:30pm ET – ABC – (9) Oregon at (21) Oregon State
The first ranked vs. ranked Civil War since 2012, this game features a solid strength vs. strength matchup between Oregon’s No. 12 ranked rushing game and Oregon State’s defense, ranked No. 19 in the nation vs. the run. The Ducks skidded to a season-low 59 ground yards in last week’s narrow 20-17 escape vs. (14) Utah, which just so happens to be ranked No. 23 vs. the run. After giving up, on average, 153 rushing yards to its first five opponents, the Beavers’ D has limited its last six – all Pac-12 clubs – to 77. This game means more: A win for the Ducks would earn them a spot in the Pac-12 title game where they’ll face (6) USC. If Oregon falls, (13) Washington (at Washington State, Saturday, 10:30pm ET, ESPN) and (14) Utah (at Colorado, Saturday 4pm ET, Pac-12 Network) both need wins to remain in the conversation.
3:30pm ET – ESPN – Minnesota at Wisconsin
An old-school Big Ten matchup worth watching, this game features the No. 1 running back in college football – Minnesota senior RB Mohamed Ibrahim (#24) – taking on a Wisconsin defense ranked No. 11 in the FBS vs. the run. Ibrahim is fresh off hanging up 263 rushing yards on an Iowa defense allowing, on average, 109 rushing yards per game (No. 17 in the nation).
3:30pm ET – ESPNU – Troy at Arkansas State
This game means more: If Troy wins it captures the Sun Belt West title and will play either Coastal Carolina or James Madison in the league title game. If the Trojans fall, they’ll need South Alabama to have lost to Old Dominion (Saturday, Noon ET, ESPN+) to make the championship. If Troy loses and USA wins, the Jaguars get the nod.
3:30pm ET – ACC Network – Wake Forest at Duke
3:30pm ET – ESPN2 – Memphis at SMU
3:30pm ET – CBSSN – UAB at Louisiana Tech
In what might be Week 13’s biggest mismatch, flip over to this one to see the No. 2 back in college football – UAB junior RB DeWayne McBride (#22) – take on a Louisiana Tech defense ranked No. 130 vs. the run. Only one squad has been more generous on the ground. Bowl Alert! A win for the Blazers would get them back to .500 and bowl eligibility.
4pm ET – FOX – Iowa State at (4) TCU
What makes Iowa State a compelling opponent is its defensive acumen. The Cyclones are currently ranked No. 8 – in the nation – in both scoring and total defense and are No. 13 vs. the run and No. 8 vs. the pass. Not only are they one of the more complete units in the nation, but they’re also the best defense TCU has faced this year. Also of interest is the fact that the Horned Frogs’ offensive scoring has begun a slow trend downwards. Where they averaged 45 points vs. their first seven FBS opponents, they’ve dropped to 27 in their last three outings, wins decided by a combined total of 18 points. What may stop Iowa State from upsetting the Frogs and messing up the entire CFP picture is its offense, which has struggled epically, ranked No. 110 in the nation/No. 10 (or dead last) in the Big 12 in scoring.
4pm ET – Pac-12 Network – (14) Utah at Colorado
Utah’s offense – averaging 37.3 points per game (No. 16 in the FBS) – has been powered by its run game (No. 18) more so than it’s passing attack (No. 51). It sets up for a potential disaster vs. a Colorado defense that’s struggled all over the field but no where more so than against the run. The Buffs are No. 131 in the nation in rushing defense, meaning no club has allowed more yards per game in 2022.
4pm ET – FS1 – Michigan State at (11) Penn State
Bowl Alert! Michigan State is an 18.5-point underdog to not only beat Penn State but to achieve a 6-6 record and be bowl eligible.
7pm ET – ESPN – (5) LSU at Texas A&M
Despite this matchup being between the best team and the worst team in the SEC West, LSU is only favored by ten points. The common thread in the Tigers’ two losses this year was an inability to establish the running game, rushing for an average of 213 yards per game in its nine wins vs. 97 in its two losses. Texas A&M’s defense has been all-world against the pass (ranked No. 2 in the entire nation) but has struggled epically vs. the run (No. 123 in the FBS).
7pm ET – ESPN2 – (22) UCF at South Florida
After sputtering to a season-low 84 ground yards in its upset loss to Navy last Saturday (the Midshipmen D is ranked No. 4 in the nation vs. the run), this week UCF’s high-powered rushing attack (No. 7 in the FBS) draws South Florida, home to a defense ranked No. 128 vs. the run. Only three teams have allowed more! This game means more: If the Knights can beat the Bulls, they’ll play the winner of Friday’s game between (19) Tulane and (24) Cincinnati in the AAC title game.
7:30pm ET – ABC – (15) Notre Dame at (7) USC
After starting the season 0-2, Notre Dame righted its ship with an 8-1 run and has won six straight. What’s fueled the turnaround is its defense, ranked No. 17 in the FBS in total D, No. 27 in scoring, and No. 16 vs. the pass. It sets up for a dream date against a USC passing attack ranked No. 4 in the nation. While the Trojans are the most elite air game the Irish have faced, they did limit a (17) North Carolina offense averaging 329 passing yards per game (No. 6 in the nation) to 301 and an (2) Ohio State attack averaging 288 (No. 17) to 223.
7:30pm ET – SEC Network – (10) Tennessee at Vanderbilt
Two weeks ago, nobody would have predicted that this game would feature a Tennessee team that just got spanked by an unranked South Carolina squad and a Vandy club fresh from back-to-back SEC wins for the first time since 2018. Can the mighty Vols rebound, or will the Commodores sail to their third- straight conference win for the first time since 2013? A Vanderbilt upset may hinge on its pass defense – ranked No. 129 out of the 131 clubs in the FBS – containing a Tennessee passing attack that may be ranked No. 2 in the entire nation but will be without its starting QB senior Hendon Hooker (#5) who suffered a torn ACL. Will it be the Volunteer State or – in a shocking plot twist – the Commodore State? PS Bowl Alert! If Vanderbilt shocks the world – again – it earns bowl eligibility for the first time since 2018.
7:30pm ET – FS1 – Oklahoma at Texas Tech
8pm ET – FOX – Kansas at (12) Kansas State
After holding its first six opponents to, on average, 120 rushing yards per game, Kansas’ defense has freefallen epically, allowing 228 to its last six. Included in the downward spiral was coughing up 427 ground yards and six rushing TDs in last week’s 55-14 beatdown vs. Texas, the most the Jayhawks have given up since getting torched for 510 by Oklahoma on Nov. 22, 2014. Cue up K-State, which is ranked No. 17 in the FBS/No. 2 in the Big 12 in rushing offense, and this one could be rated “NG” for not-good. This game means more: If (23) Texas loses to Baylor on Friday (Noon ET, ESPN), then Kansas State will have already punched its ticket to the Big 12 title game by the time it kicks off vs. Kansas. If the Longhorns manage a win over the Bears, then the Wildcats must beat the Jayhawks to earn a spot in the championship vs. (4) TCU. If not, Texas is, well – “back” (in the title game).
8pm ET – ACC Network – Pitt at Miami Fla.
Bowl Alert! Miami needs a win over Pitt to hit .500, earn a bowl bid, and avoid its worst finish since 2007.
9pm ET – CBSSN – Air Force at San Diego State
10:30pm ET – ESPN – (13) Washington at Washington State
11pm ET – FS1 – BYU at Stanford
OFF THIS WEEK (3)
- American: Navy
- C-USA: Charlotte
- Independents: UConn
FIRST-EVER MEETINGS (2)
- Georgia State at Marshall
- Old Dominion at South Alabama
7: (8) Clemson has won 7-straight over South Carolina (last loss in 2013)
7: Iowa has won 7-straight over Nebraska (last loss in 2015)
7: Oklahoma State has won 7-straight over West Virginia (last loss in 2014)
9: San Diego State has won 9-straight over Air Force (last loss in 2009)
10: Oklahoma has won 10-straight over Texas Tech (last loss in 2011)
10: Boise State has won 10-straight home games over Utah State (last loss there in 1996)
11: Colorado State has won 11-straight over New Mexico (last loss in 2009)
13: (12) Kansas State has won 13-straight over Kansas (last loss in 2008)
- Arkansas has NEVER won AT Missouri (0-5)
- Texas State has NEVER beaten Louisiana (0-8)
- UMass has NEVER beaten Army (0-4)
HARDWARE UP FOR GRABS
THE APPLE CUP – (13) Washington at Washington State – Saturday, 10:30pm ET, ESPN – series started in 1900 – Washington leads 74-33-6, Washington State’s win last year snapped a seven-game losing skid.
The Apple Cup (which was expanded in 2018 to include all sports from each school) officially debuted in 1962 “in honor of Washington State’s delicious and iconic apples.” Originally, the Huskies and Cougars clashed on the gridiron for their version of a Governor’s Trophy. If you measure the rivalry in Apples only, Washington has been fruitful 42 times vs. Washington State’s 17.
THE BATTLE LINE TROPHY – Arkansas at Missouri – Friday, 3:30pm ET, CBS – series started in 1906 – Missouri leads 9-4, Arkansas’ win last year ended a five-game losing streak.
Introduced in 2015, the Battle Line Trophy outlines the conjoined states of Arkansas and Missouri as they would appear on a map. Crafted primarily of silver, it weighs in at a hefty 180 pounds and is nearly seven feet tall. It’s also the natural continuation, geographically, of the Golden Boot, the traveling prize for the Arkansas-LSU series. Both trophies were designed by Arkansas student-athlete David Bazzel. The Tigers have won the Battle five times vs. the Razorbacks’ two.
THE FREMONT CANNON – Nevada at UNLV – Saturday, 6pm ET, SSSEN/MWN – series started in 1969 – Nevada leads 28-19 but the two have split the last four.
Though less-well known than the mini cannon that Illinois and Purdue play for, the Fremont Cannon is a beast. Introduced in 1969, the weapon is a full-size reproduction of the howitzer used by John C. Fremont as he headed west to explore Nevada in the 1840s. The Cannon – which is painted by the winner when exchanged – is billed as “college football’s largest and most expensive rivalry trophy” weighing in at 545 pounds and originally costing $10,000. Unlike many rivalry prizes, the Fremont dates all the way back to the beginning of the series.
THE GOLDEN EGG TROPHY – Mississippi State at (20) Ole Miss – Thursday, 7pm ET, ESPN – series started in 1901 – Ole Miss leads 64-46-6 and has won two-straight.
Awarded to the winner of the Egg Bowl, the Golden Egg debuted in 1926 when underdog Ole Miss (which had only beaten its in-state rival five times in 23 tries) scored an unexpected 7-6 win in Starkville over then Mississippi A&M. Zealous Rebel fans stormed the field after the game, rushing towards the goal posts only to be beat back by State fans wielding cane chairs. According to the MSU school yearbook “a few chairs had to be sacrificed over the heads of these to persuade them that was entirely the wrong attitude.” The incident was so ugly that the student bodies decided to present a trophy after the next game “in a dignified ceremony designed to calm fans.” Ole Miss has collected 59 Eggs vs. Mississippi State’s 31.
THE GOVERNOR’S CUP – Georgia Tech at (1) Georgia – Saturday, Noon ET, ESPN – series started in 1893 – Georgia leads 69-41-5 and has won four-straight.
The first of the three Governor’s Cups played for at the FBS level – all up for grabs in Week 13 – the state of Georgia’s version is awarded to the annual winner of the game referred to lovingly as “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.” Not only do both schools mention one another in their fight songs, each makes a personal, color-coded sacrifice the week of the rivalry contest – for Georgia Tech it’s giving up the use of red pens while for Georgia it’s refraining from the consumption of mustard.
THE GOVERNOR’S CUP – Kansas at (12) Kansas State – Saturday, 8pm ET, FOX – series started in 1902 – Kansas leads 65-49-5 but Kansas State has won 13-straight.
The second of the three FBS Governor’s Cups, Kansas’ version has been awarded to the winner of the football edition of the Sunflower Showdown since 1969. The Jayhawks and Wildcats have played consecutively since 1911 and from 1902-39 competed for an earlier award called the Governor’s Trophy. K-State has won 32 Cups vs. Kansas’ 20, the 1987 game – coined the “Toilet Bowl” as it featured the 1-7 Jayhawks sparring with the 0-8 Cats – ended in a 17-17 tie.
THE GOVERNOR’S CUP – Louisville at Kentucky – Saturday, 3pm ET, SEC Network – series started in 1912 – Kentucky leads 18-15 and has won three-straight.
The third and final of the three FBS Governor’s cups, Kentucky’s version – a whopper physically – dates to 1994, when the two schools renewed their rivalry after a 70-year break. The earlier games were all played between 1912 and 1924, all Kentucky wins by a combined score of 210-0. Since reuniting on the gridiron, Louisville has earned a 15-12 advantage.
THE HEROES TROPHY – Nebraska at Iowa – Friday, 4pm ET, Big Ten Network – series started in 1891 – Nebraska leads 29-20-3, but Iowa has won seven-straight.
The Heroes Trophy was introduced in 2011, Nebraska’s first season in the Big Ten. The name was chosen with the intent of honoring one citizen apiece from Iowa and Nebraska for “extraordinary acts”. Thus far, the Hawkeye’s have won the prize on eight occasions vs. the Cornhuskers’ three times.
THE JAMES E. FOY – ODK SPORTSMANSHIP TROPHY – Auburn at (7) Alabama – Saturday, 3:30pm ET, CBS – series started in 1893 – Alabama leads 48-37-1 and has won two-straight.
Dating to 1948, the award presented to the winner of the Iron Bowl was the brainchild of the Alabama and Auburn chapters of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society. In January 1978, it was dedicated to Dean James E. Foy as he retired as the Dean of Student Affairs at Auburn. Prior to taking on that role in 1950, Foy had served as the Assistant Dean of Students at Alabama. The Crimson Tide have won 44 ODKs vs. the Tigers’ 30.
THE JEWELED SHILLELAGH – (15) Notre Dame at (6) USC – Saturday, 7:30pm ET, ABC – series started in 1926 – Notre Dame leads 48-36-5 and has won four-straight.
Not to be confused with the Shillelagh Trophy (presented to the winner of Notre Dame-Purdue), the Jeweled Shillelagh is a foot-long Gaelic war club made from an Irish blackthorn tree. Legend has it that it’s the only wood tougher than an Irish skull. The jewels are either ruby Trojan heads or emerald shamrocks, depending on the winner, each inscribed with the year and final score. Though the original Shillelagh was introduced in 1952 (and replaced in 1989 after it ran out of room), the medallions go back to the start of the series in 1926.
THE LAND GRANT TROPHY – Michigan State at (11) Penn State – Saturday, 4pm ET, FS1 – series started in 1914 – Michigan State leads 18-17-1 but the two have split the last four.
The Land Grant dates to 1993, when Penn State joined the Big Ten and renewed its series with Michigan State, who it hadn’t played since 1966. The name honors the fact that both schools (founded just 10 days apart in 1855) were “pioneer land-grant schools in the nation.” The trophy features landmarks from each campus as well as each teams’ mascot. Penn State has won 16 Land Grants vs. Michigan State’s ten.
THE LAND OF LINCOLN TROPHY – Illinois at Northwestern – Saturday, 3:30pm ET, Big Ten Network – series started in 1892 – Illinois leads 56-54-5, its’ win last season snapped a six-game losing skid.
First introduced in 2009, the Land of Lincoln, which depicts Abraham Lincoln’s iconic hat, was the result of an online contest conducted with both schools’ fanbases. The two teams played for the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk from 1945 to 2008 but it was retired “out of respect for Native American Nations.” Northwestern has won nine of the new awards vs. Illinois’ four.
THE MAKALA TROPHY – Florida at (16) Florida State – Friday, 7:30pm ET, ABC – series started in 1958 – Florida leads 37-26-2 and has won three-straight.
One of the least known rivalry trophies – especially given its association with a powerhouse matchup – the Makala Trophy is the prize awarded to the winner of the Sunshine Showdown. Dating to 1958, legend has it that “the wooden trophy was carved out in Big Cypress Swamp somewhere in…Florida, by an unnamed Native American leader…in the 1700s. The carving…showcase(s) a Native American leader with superhuman strength about to square off with a hungry alligator in a fight to the death, perhaps as a glimpse into the daily lives of the indigenous people who dwelled in the Swamps of Florida.”
Rather than being awarded on the field after the actual contest, the Makala is presented to the winning team at “a bipartisan banquet in St. Pete on the weekend of the winning school’s spring football game.” And that’s likely why no one has ever heard of it.
THE MICHIGAN MAC TROPHY – Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan – Friday, Noon ET, CBSSN –series started in 1902 – Central Michigan leads 63-30-6 and has won three-straight.
The final leg of the 2022 edition of the three-pronged battle between Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan. Established in 2005 by the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, the Michigan MAC is awarded to both a football and basketball recipient. WMU leads the football competition with seven MACs followed by CMU (the current title holder) with six and EMU with four.
Given that EMU downed WMU 45-23 in Week 6 and subsequently that WMU edged CMU 12-10 last Wednesday night, a win for EMU this week would earn the Eagles their first Michigan MAC since 2012.
THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET – Purdue at Indiana – Saturday, 3:30pm ET, Big Ten Network – series started in 1891 – Purdue leads 75-42-6 and has won three of the last four.
Dating all the way back to 1925, the Old Oaken Bucket was initiated by an alumnus of each school charged with finding a traveling trophy. The duo struck gold at an Indiana farm, where an old bucket, now the Old Oaken Bucket, hung from a well. The first game played for the prize ended in a 0-0 tie, which explains the bronze “IP” attached to the Bucket’s handle. This led to a bronze “I” or “P” being linked to the trophy for each win ever since. So far, 61 “P’s” have been attached vs. 32 “I’s.”
THE PALMETTO BOWL TROPHY – South Carolina at (8) Clemson – Saturday, Noon ET, ABC – series started in 1896 – Clemson leads 72-42-4 and has won seven-straight.
The Palmetto Bowl Trophy replaced the Hardee’s Trophy in 2015, a transition that also marked the first time that the state of South Carolina’s Power 5 football rivalry game had an official name. Clemson has won all six games where the Palmetto was on the line with South Carolina as a double-digit underdog on each occasion.
PAUL BUNYAN’S AXE – Minnesota at Wisconsin – Saturday, 3:30pm ET, ESPN – series started in 1890 – Wisconsin leads 62-61-8 but the two have split the last four.
Introduced in 1948, Paul Bunyan’s Axe was preceded by a wood-crafted Slab of Bacon, awarded to the winner of the annual clash between the two schools beginning in 1930. The tradition of “bringing home the bacon” was halted in the early 1940s when the slab went missing (it was found in 1994 in Madison). Recorded on the long handle of Bunyan’s Axe are the winners of every game since the series began. Wisconsin has taken possession of the Axe 45 times vs. Minnesota’s 26. The 1952-53 and 1956 games ended in ties.
THE PLATYPUS TROPHY – (9) Oregon at (21) Oregon State – Saturday, 3:30pm ET, ABC – series started in 1894 – Oregon leads 67-48-10 and has won four of the last five.
Awarded to the winner of the Civil War, the Platypus Trophy was sculpted (but never officially finished, it’s missing its feet) by an Oregon art student in 1959. Oregon State won the first-ever Trophy game and then retained the prize until 1961 when it disappeared. The Platypus didn’t resurface until 2006 and was reintroduced to the rivalry game in 2007. Since then, the Ducks have won the duck-billed mammal 12 times vs. the Beavers’ three.
THE TERRITORIAL CUP – Arizona at Arizona State – Friday, 3pm ET, FS1 – series started in 1899 –Arizona leads 49-45-1 but Arizona State has won five-straight.
The self-proclaimed “oldest trophy for a rivalry game in America” the Territorial Cup is unique because not only has it been in use for the entirety of the series – it’s also over 100 years old. The name refers to the fact that the Cup was awarded before Arizona was even a state, remaining a territory until 1912.
THE WAR ON I-4 TROPHY – (22) UCF at South Florida – Saturday, 7pm ET, ESPN2 – series started in 2005 – UCF leads 7-6 and has won five-straight.
Not to be confused with the other “Interstate rivalry” in the FBS – The Battle of I-75 – the War on I-4 is an “annual series of scored competitions across multiple sports programs” between USF and UCF that kicked off in 2016-17. Not only do the Knights hold a 5-1 advantage over the Bulls on the gridiron since the War ensued but, after splitting the inaugural title, they’ve also won the overall competition each year since its inception. The two schools are located 100 miles apart on Interstate 4 in central Florida.
The 2022 edition of rivalry weekend is home to two of the four “hate” games played at the FBS level with both slated for Saturday. First up, it’s Georgia Tech and (1) Georgia’s “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” at Noon ET on ESPN followed by Appalachian State and Georgia Southern’s “Deeper than Hate” which airs at 6pm ET on ESPN+.
That leaves Georgia Southern and Georgia State’s “Modern Day Hate” which State won 41-33 on Oct 8 and Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky’s lengthy “100 Miles of Hate” which the Hilltoppers won 35-17 on October 15.