What to watch for: Keys to the 2014 Iron Bowl
1:57 | College Football
What to watch for: Keys to the 2014 Iron Bowl
Wednesday November 26th, 2014

Welcome to Rivalry Week! This overabundance of football goodness is spread across multiple days, and to celebrate the cornucopic feast that is upon us, here is a very special edition of Your Perfect Saturday. It's more of a Your Perfect Weekend as we spread from Thursday evening's TCU-Texas and LSU-Texas A&M games all the way through the late-night Pac-12 and Mountain West games on Saturday night.

For those fans whose teams unfortunately won't make a bowl game and aren't in the American or Big 12, this is the last chance to tailgate, don your favorite jersey, paint up, make signs and dress up in a costume. But don't be sad; there's still lots of football left, even if it's not your favorite team, and even when football is gone, it's always with us in some way, shape or form.

I'm thankful I get to do this every week. It's something I always wanted to do, and I don't really need a holiday for an excuse to say that. Let's watch some football, everybody. 

Friday Night Lights

The early slate

11 a.m.: Northern Illinois at Western Michigan (ESPNU)

Wake up early and watch some MACtion. There are some serious conference implications as Northern Illinois needs to win this one to lock up the West (the Huskies hold the tiebreaker over Toledo) while Western Michigan needs a win and a Rockets loss to 2-9 (1-6 MAC) Eastern Michigan (a tougher proposition) to claim the division.

Second screen specials

These are games that are tailor-made for your tablet, extra laptop, giant phone or any other device you use to stream things. Go crazy.

Noon: Nebraska at Iowa (ABC)

This matchup may not have any big conference implications, but it's a fun one all the same. Make a plate of mashed potatoes and settle in. 

Dog day afternoon

3:30 p.m.: Stanford at No. 8 UCLA (ABC)

UCLA can win the Pac-12 South by beating Stanford. The Bruins have played better against top competition recently than they have in games they were easily supposed to win. I wouldn't go so far as to call this a trap game with so much on the line, but Stanford could relish the role of playing spoiler and closing out the season with a little extra oomph. 

3:30 p.m.: No. 13 Arizona State at No. 11 Arizona (Fox)

If UCLA were to lose to Stanford, the winner of this game wins the division. That's fun, and it's even better knowing these two teams will play at the exact same time as UCLA, so they will give it everything they have. Watching the Pac-12 play out in real time might make you feel like Ed Harris in The Truman Show, so go ahead and buy one of those Kangol hats if you want. You're at home, nobody's judging you.

• RICKMAN: Where are Arizona State, Arizona in Power Rankings?

Second screen special

2:30 p.m.: Arkansas at No. 17 Missouri (CBS)

This is it for Missouri. Win this one, and win the East. Seems easy right? Not quite. The Razorbacks have shut out LSU and Ole Miss in their last two games and have allowed just 17 total points in their last three.

Night moves

8 p.m.: Virginia at Virginia Tech (ESPN)

Hey, it's a rivalry, and the winner makes a bowl game. Plus Virginia hasn't beaten Virginia Tech in the last 10 meetings. The Cavaliers probably want to break that streak.

• ​INSIDE READ: Is Virginia Tech nearing end of Frank Beamer era?

Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)

The early slate

Noon: Michigan at No. 6 Ohio State (ABC)

Don't try telling anyone from Ohio or Michigan that this game doesn't mean as much with the Wolverines in another down year. They've been X'ing off every "M" on the Ohio State campus, and there's still plenty of hate to go around here. Michigan wasn't supposed to stay in it against the Buckeyes last year either and came within a play of winning.

Noon: No. 16 Georgia Tech at No. 9 Georgia (SEC Network)

An option attack vs. one of the best rushing attacks in the country? Expect lots of points, lots of yards and a relatively quick game. 

Second screen specials

Noon: Kentucky at No. 22 Louisville (ESPN2)

After starting the year 5-1, the Wildcats have dropped five straight and need to beat the Cardinals to become bowl eligible. There's already enough incentive to want to beat an in-state foe, but when bowl hopes are on the line, weird things sometimes happen.

Dog day afternoon

3:30 p.m.: No. 4 Mississippi State at No. 19 Ole Miss (CBS)

Just a few weeks ago this seemed like the game of the year with the potential to upstage the Iron Bowl. Now that Ole Miss has dropped three of its last four, this rivalry game has lost a bit of luster, but the Bulldogs are still in the playoff race, and the Rebels want to take home that Golden Egg.

• ​STAPLES: Underdogs like Ole Miss have nothing to lose vs. rivals

3:30 p.m.: No. 18 Minnesota at No. 14 Wisconsin (Big Ten Network)

The Battle for the Big Ten West comes down to a game on the Big Ten Network, so if you don't already have that channel number committed to memory, go ahead and find it ahead of time. You'll also get a chance to see Melvin Gordon push for the record books as he tries to get closer to Barry Sanders' FBS single-season rushing record.

• ​ELLIS: Bowl Projections: Where are Minnesota, Wisconsin headed?

Second screen special

3:30 p.m.: Florida at No. 3 Florida State (ESPN)

Florida State is playing, so I am contractually obligated to mention that this game should/will be close and the Seminoles will probably win after an eagle snaps the ball out of the air and tosses it to Rashad Greene, who jumps on a hoverboard and rides it into the end zone while a Sigur Ros song plays.

Night moves

7:45 p.m.: No. 14 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama (ESPN)

Chances are you are going to watch this game, so you probably don't need to tell me to tell you to watch it. If you do need a reason, feel free to ask me for one on Twitter. I'll be happy to help.

• ​LAKE: Looking back at historic Iron Bowl a year later

Second screen specials

8 p.m.: No. 2 Oregon at Oregon State (ABC)

The Civil War is always fun, especially when you consider Oregon State is in a similar position to Michigan against Ohio State, hoping to make a bowl game and upset its rival's playoff hopes.

• ​SCHNELL: Never has Civil War featured better QBs than Mariota, Mannion

Late night theater

10:30 p.m.: Washington at Washington State (Fox Sports 1)

We need something to watch after coming off of the high of a college football Saturday, and nothing fills that void better than late night Pac-12 football.

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