Football is your true friend over the Thanksgiving weekend. When the in-laws and gluttony have driven you to the brink of insanity and vomiting, football is there to provide escape and respite.
This is your Football Viewer’s Guide for Thanksgiving weekend. Bookmark this puppy for emergencies. Has the family consumed a case of wine and decided now is the time to discuss politics? Quietly slip out and turn on the game.
Here is your schedule (all times Central):
THANKSGIVING! Thursday, November 26
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions | 11:30 AM | FOX
Like many traditions, the Lions playing on Thanksgiving morning is steady, inexplicable, kind of comical, and often results in tears. These are two bad NFL teams that will engage in a pillow fight yielding fumbles and ridiculous coaching gaffes. The good news? This game will incentivize your fam to play a little pick-up pigskin out in the yard while the food cooks. Watch the roughing-the-passer penalties when your aunt drops back in the pocket.
Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys | 3:30 PM | CBS
More tradition! Jerry Jones and his Cowboys are a Thanksgiving afternoon staple. Over the last 15 or so years, the Cowboys have looked more like the aforementioned listless Lions than “America’s Team.” This year, the undefeated Carolina Panthers will visit Dallas. Led by MVP Cam Newton, the Panthers are looking more and more like legit Super Bowl contenders. Plus, Luke Bryan is performing at half-time.
Texas Tech at Texas Longhorns | 6:30 PM | FOX Sports 1
The NFL has essentially taken over Thanksgiving Day with their wall-to-wall triple header. What’s a diehard college football fan to do? Well, the biggest games commence on Friday, but here’s a little Texas showdown to wet your beak. Tragically, this isn’t Texas A&M versus Texas, but it’s, well, something.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers | 7:30 PM | NBC
Think you’re a diehard football fan? The forecast in Green Bay for Thursday night is temperatures in the 20s with a mix of snow/rain. UNPLEASANT. No matter because Lambeau Field will be packed to the gills. These fans will out-eat, out-drink, and out-football you on Thursday. Pay homage.
Friday, November 27
Navy at Houston | 11:00 AM | ABC
To the surprise of just about everyone, this is a huge football game. Both upstart, well-coached programs are ranked in the Top 20 and are vying for a conference championship and a prestigious postseason destination.
Missouri at Arkansas | 1:30 PM | CBS
The Battle Line Rivalry! It’s unclear what the animosity and hate is between Missouri and Arkansas. What are the ill-informed stereotypes that each clings to? Arkansas has steadily improved all season and has the manpower to bully anyone in the country. Mizzou has had a tough season on the field and – as a university – off the field. Long-tenured coach Gary Pinkel is retiring after the season to continue his battle with cancer. Expect an emotional Mizzou team playing for bowl eligibility and their beloved coach.
Iowa at Nebraska | 2:30 PM | ABC
The Hawkeyes will look to put a bow on a historic, perfect regular season. Lincoln, Nebraska is never an easy place to play and the Huskers will be gunning to play the role of spoiler.
Baylor at TCU | 6:30 PM | ESPN
True college football fans have had this game circled since the summertime. We may not be getting the clash of the unbeatens that we all hoped for, but this game will featured two high-powered programs that sincerely hate one another. Hate always makes for good theater.
Saturday, November 28
Ohio State at Michigan | 11:00 AM | ABC
Speaking of pure, unabashed hatred, look no further than these century-old rivals. Michigan is rebuilding quickly under John Harbaugh. Harbaugh is just the kind of character this rivalry needs.
Clemson at South Carolina | 11:00 AM | ESPN
Can the Gamecocks – recent losers to The Citadel (!) – ruin Clemson’s perfect season and No. 1 ranking? Highly doubtful, but this may be compelling for the first five minutes or so.
Georgia at Georgia Tech | 11:00 AM | ESPN2
Isn’t rivalry week just the best? So much hate. Throw out the records when programs like this meet up. When this much pride is involved, anything can happen.
Alabama at Auburn | 2:30 PM | CBS
More HATE. Are you detecting a trend? Parts of what makes college football great are the nasty rivalries that span decades and generations. These are the rivalries that divide families and foster resentment. It’s simply beautiful.
Vanderbilt at Tennessee | 3:00 PM | SEC Network
The elitist academics from the big city head east to Rocky Top.
Ole Miss at Mississippi State | 6:15 PM | ESPN2
It doesn’t get the national hype of Ohio State-Michigan or Auburn-Alabama, but hate that permeates the Egg Bowl is older than dirt itself. Oh, and both teams are actually good these days! Rare for this rivalry.
Notre Dame at Stanford | 6:30 PM | FOX
A Top 10 matchup with huge playoff implications.
Texas A&M at LSU | 6:30 PM | SEC Network
Is this somehow Les Miles’ final game as the head coach of LSU?
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State | 7:00 PM | ABC
The stakes have never been higher in this heated rivalry. The Sooners and Cowboys both still have aspirations of making the four team College Football Playoff. A win here bolsters the resume substantially.
Is that enough football to distract you from countless hours with the people you love that so endearingly get on your nerves? This rundown doesn’t even include the Sunday NFL slate.
Enjoy the games and have a great Thanksgiving!
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