It’s a safe bet that Thanksgiving dinner is one of the best meals a Bro will have all year, especially the ones home from college who’ve been feasting on Easy Mac, dining hall slop, and Ramen Noodles for the last three months. With so much of the focus on the meal every year, the TV seems to be background noise while Aunt Margie asks you how old you are… again. This year it’s a different story. The Lions are no longer a team that gets pounded, which suddenly makes their game versus the undefeated Packers that much more interesting. In fact, this is just one of the many must-watch games this holiday weekend, which runs tonight through Sunday. Check out the complete weekend guide below.
7 p.m.: Stanford vs. Oklahoma State (ESPN2)
It's been a tough week for Oklahoma State’s athletic program. After the death of two women’s basketball coaches in a tragic plane crash, the football team had to play a road game Friday night (they lost), and now the hoops team travels to NYC. I will be pulling for OK State in this one.
9:30 p.m.: Virginia Tech vs. #5 Syracuse (ESPN2)
All Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg does is whine about how he got a “raw deal” in March when his team is left out of the NCAA tournament. I have no sympathy for a team that plays a horrible non-conference schedule, and can’t win big games. Expect Syracuse’s rout in front of their heavy NYC fan base.
7:30 p.m.: Michigan vs. UCLA (ESPN)
10 p.m.: Duke vs. Kansas (ESPN)
12:30 p.m.: Lions vs. Packers (FOX)
I’ve never uttered the phrase “The Lions have a huge game this week” until now. The electric offense of Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson will take on the undefeated defending Super Bowl champion Packers in what looks like a fast-paced must-watch game. I guess there’s a first time for everything.
4:15 p.m.: Dolphins vs. Cowboys (CBS)
Read on Twitter Sunday that the Dolphins haven't given up a touchdown in the last three games (https://twitter.com/#!/Josh__Harris/status/138403163131744256) and could not believe it. Insanely it’s true. Nothing makes for compelling television like Tony “Mr. Unpredictable” Romo versus a hot defense in a must-win game. Sit back and watch the potential explosion.
8 p.m.: #25 Texas vs. Texas A&M (ESPN)
This may be you’re best option for football at night, unless you have the NFL Network.
8:20 p.m.: 49ers vs. Ravens (NFL Network)
How typical of the NFL to have a marquee game (in which two brothers face off as head coaches nonetheless) on a network that most of us won’t see. Reason #4889201 why it’s the NO-Fun-League.
Noon: Iowa vs. Nebraska (ABC)
Big Ten battle with heavy bowl implications. Nebraska is reeling, watch out for an Iowa upset.
1 p.m.: Redwings vs Bruins (NHL, NBC)
The defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins, led by Tyler Seguin's 11 goals, host the always dangerous Detroit Red Wings. I'm personally not a big hockey guy but if the NBA keeps fighting over who makes more millions, I may stick with the ice just out of spite.
2:30 p.m.: #3 Arkansas vs. #1 LSU (CBS)
Must-watch game, with the title hopes of about eight BCS teams involved in it. I am predicting an Arkansas upset. This season has been nothing but chaos in the BCS, and this will only add to it. I’m also predicting Arkansas loses the SEC championship game to Georgia. Which leaves us with no more unbeaten teams… except Houston, but they have no shot at playing in the title game because the BCS is a flawed and money-hungry system.
7 p.m.: Pitt vs. West Virginia (ESPN)
In the “Backyard Brawl,” West Virginia controls its Big East conference title hopes, and must fend off a visiting rival to lock it up. I’ll be pulling for the Mountaineers after watching how wild they get: “Country roads… take me home.”
Noon: #13 Georgia vs. #23 Georgia Tech (ESPN)
Georgia started the season 0-2 with losses to Boise State and South Carolina. Since then, they’ve been pummeling teams, and will face one of the top three BCS teams next week in the SEC title game. Georgia Tech has a great option attack, making this game very compelling.
Noon: #15 Michigan vs. Ohio State (ABC)
Greatest rivalry in college football, but Ohio State is too concerned about getting Urban Meyer to focus on this one. Denard Robinson should run all over the overrated Buckeyes.
3:30 p.m.: #2 Alabama vs. #24 Auburn (CBS)
Rivalry games usually stay close, but Auburn can’t stop anyone. Alabama could be playing to take over the top spot in the BCS with an Arkansas win, or fighting for their lives to keep the #2 spot if Arkansas loses. 'Bama in a rout.
3:30 p.m.: #19 Penn State vs. #16 Wisconsin (ESPN)
Forget the scandal for a second — Penn State has kept another secret for most of this year. They're not that good. The Nittany Lions jumped out to an 8-1 start facing the weaker opponents of the overrated Big Ten. Finally having to face good teams, they were beaten by Nebraska, knocked off Ohio State, and now travel to Wisconsin. Doubtful their crappy offense will head to a place this wild and win.
7 p.m.: Florida vs. Florida State (ESPN2)
Both teams are slumping this season, but we’re praying the talent of hotties attending the game is still at an all-time high. The coaches will be rooting for big plays; we’ll be rooting for more crowd shots.
8 p.m.: #22 Notre Dame vs. #6 Stanford (ABC)
Labor Day weekend seems like years ago, when Notre Dame was pissing away a game against lowly South Florida. The Irish have righted the ship and can get their biggest win of the season vs. Andrew Luck and Stanford. I never expected this to be such a big game, but it definitely is.
1 p.m.: Vikings vs. Falcons (FOX)
My Super Bowl pick is flying quietly under the radar, just how I like it. The “Dirty Birds” are 6-4 and have a pretty easy schedule the rest of the way and can get really hot rolling into the playoffs. That's a method that has a history of success — just ask the Packers.
1 p.m.: Bills vs. Jets (CBS)
It wouldn’t be November without the Jets playing must-win divisional games to have a prayer at making the playoffs. They usually turn out with more scars than success. I still have nightmares from attending this game.
4:05 p.m.: Bears vs. Raiders (FOX)
Just as Chicago was emerging as a Super Bowl contender, Jay Cutler breaks his thumb. Tough break. Chicago will need a win versus a pesky Oakland to show it’s still the real deal.
4:15 p.m.: Patriots vs. Eagles (CBS)
Battle of the biggest obnoxious fan base. Ma**holes vs. Philly. Who ya got?
4:15 p.m.: Broncos vs. Chargers (CBS)
What were the Jets thinking trying to beat Tim Tebow of all people with a Hail Mary pass last week? You know he’s got her on his side.
8:20 p.m.: Steelers vs. Chiefs (NBC)
If you thought the Pats beat up Tyler Palko, wait until the Steelers get their hands on him.
9:30 p.m.: VCU vs #13 Alabama (CBB, ESPNU)
College hoops diehards like me will be tuning in to watch Shaka Smart’s VCU Rams try to knock off this talented 'Bama squad.