NCAA Football Report (Week 12)

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After a wild Week 11 where two of the top four found themselves on the losing end of some big games most of the best teams took what amounts to a bye week.

It is a common practice in these days as some of the biggest programs invite small schools to play on the big stage.

Week 12 tends to be the time that these games are scheduled as this is the week that the biggest teams in the country want a little bit of a break.

Of course, not every game is that simple as these can usually be the trap games for the big programs who are clearly looking to next week.

That is the week when some of the most entertaining games of the year are scheduled as Week 13 of the NCAA season marks rivalry week.

That makes Week 12 a good time for the bigger programs to play smaller schools and get what should be an easy win for most of them.

It helps them prepare for the rivalry week but that is always the danger when playing these small schools.

It is tough for a team that has never lost against some of the best programs in the country to take a smaller school seriously.

They can often overlook these smaller school and think that it is as easy as showing up while they look ahead to a bigger and tougher program the next week.

It has led to a lot of surprises over the years as trap games are some of the most dangerous in the season.

Teams like Appalachian State have taken full advantage of these type of games to launch massive upsets that can change everything.

Luckily for the big programs this year, there were no big upsets on the glorified bye week as Alabama easily took out Mercer, Clemson took care of the Citadel, Miami prevailed in a slightly tougher test against Virginia and Oklahoma got by Kansas.

None were overly amazing games but any losses in those games would have had the committee seriously considering a big change for the playoff with only two games left to recover, or just one for some teams.

That isn’t the case this year though as the playoff four should remain intact for another week but it will set up a great rivalry week.

Week 13 in the NCAA can be some of the most exciting on the schedule as rankings don’t seem to matter during rivalry week.

It is what makes the NCAA so special as two schools with long histories against each other face off for pride above everything else.

Often there are no championships on the line but it doesn’t stop both teams from putting on their most intense performances.

Whether it be a game that has withstood for decades that both teams want to win or it is a rivalry that spans one highway some of the biggest games of the year reside on rivalry week.

The next two weeks of this season will change everything for the playoff as teams enter rivalry week and then championship week with a lot on the line.

Unfortunately for the top four, the rivalries are a bit lacking this year with Miami and Oklahoma forced into conference play.

Miami takes on Pitt in an ACC game that means almost nothing as Miami will play in the ACC Championship game against Clemson, which will be an extremely important game.

Oklahoma had their biggest rivalry already with a big win at Bedlam and will finish their season against West Virginia.football-sidebar

It doesn’t mean there is nothing left to watch though as Clemson takes on their biggest historical rival in South Carolina.

It seems like a pretty easy game for the Tigers but like any rivalry game, they will need to come out strong.

Although the Gamecocks are far from competing this year they will put on their best game of the season if only to spoil the season for the Tigers.

The big game this year will be the Iron Bowl where the Alabama Crimson Tide take on the Auburn Tigers.

This game has been one of the most important for the last decade and with the return of Auburn to a true contender, it could be the most interesting of the week.

Alabama has gone pretty easily through their schedule this year but they have run into the Tigers wall before and it has ended their season.

The Tigers are ranked #6 in the country this year and have a legitimate shot at beating the Tide, much like they do any year.

If Alabama loses this game their playoff berth is in serious risk as a loss in this game means that they are eliminated from the SEC Championship game.

If Auburn wins they will take the division title and play Georgia in the title game, a team that they beat only a few weeks ago ending the Bulldogs’ undefeated season.

There is no guarantee that the Tide are eliminated from the playoff with a loss but winning a championship from any of the Power Five is usually a good way to secure a top-four spot.

Without that championship, they are among the other one-loss teams in the country and will have to compete against teams that have a title attached to them.

The Iron Bowl and rivalry week could change everything and that is why Week 13 will be a great one for more than a few teams.

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