In between helpings of turkey and dressing this weekend, plop down in front of the TV and enjoy the assortment of college football before you. Rivalry Week features several of the country's best matchups spanning from Thanksgiving Day through Saturday.
So what is the Campus Union crew most thankful for this college football season? Zac Ellis and Martin Rickman are joined by SI.com college football producer Ben Glicksman to discuss the topic and much more Turkey Day activity in this week's special edition Triple Option.
Zac Ellis: Somehow, the college football season has reached the week of Thanksgiving. It's amazing we're already this far down the road, and we've had plenty to enjoy so far this season. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, it seems fitting to discuss what we are thankful for in the world of college football. What about you, Martin?
Martin Rickman: First and foremost, I'm thankful a playoff is on the way. It isn't going to solve everything, but it's been a long time coming. From a year of Ohio State being ranked No. 3 and having to listen to talk radio about whether the Buckeyes deserve a shot, just the sheer knowledge that this scenario a year later wouldn't happen anymore is a relief. They'd be in the playoff, we'd get to see it all sort itself out, and the champion would be the champion so to speak. That's just one thing, though. Welcoming in Ben to our read option - now triple option - party, what's on your list after reflecting on things for a bit?
Ben Glicksman: The 2014 end of the nation’s long BCS nightmare is deserving of more than a few cheers this holiday season. I’m also thankful for the (temporary) end of conference realignment, the existence of high-fiving dogs, the creation of target="_blank">highlight reels set to Super Mario music and the fact that we live in a world where a few well-timed cookies can motivate a team better than Lane Kiffin could in four seasons.
This Thanksgiving, in particular, I’m also thankful for the football feast I can enjoy while eating leftover turkey and stuffing and sitting on my couch with my belt loosened. Zac, two questions: Which games are you most excited to watch? And if those games were Thanksgiving dinner staples, which would they be?
ZE: As a football fan, you have to be excited for Alabama vs. Auburn this weekend. The Iron Bowl is, for all intents and purposes, the main dish of the weekend, so that's my big plump turkey. I also think Clemson vs. South Carolina is sneaking under the radar a little bit. Remember way back during conference media days when Tajh Boyd and Jadeveon Clowney enjoyed a little verbal sparring? With that narrative, I'm curious to see how this game shapes up when both teams are still vying for a BCS spot. The matchup resembles an unheralded side dish, so I'd have to say Clemson-South Carolina is mashed potatoes -- a dish that doesn't get the glory but is sure to entertain. What about you, Martin?
MR: I'm really excited about Bowling Green and Buffalo on Friday if only for the fact it settles who gets to play Jordan Lynch and Northern Illinois in the MAC championship in Detroit. But it's not exactly everyone's forte, so maybe it's a green bean casserole. Those who like it are going to get plenty of it to themselves and everyone else can pass. We also have Texas A&M and Missouri, which will be a boatload of points and will fill you up without being necessary at all (but don't tell that to the Tigers, who have a shot at the SEC championship on the line). So let's give it the stuffing tag, although not the regular stuffing - the good kind with hot sausage mixed in. We learned earlier this week that Les Miles is a big fan of Thanksgiving. Ben, who would be your top five of coaches to have Thanksgiving dinner with?
BG: Phenomenal question, and I’m glad you asked. Without further ado, let me count down:
5. Mike Leach: There is going to be a lot of food, and it is going to be ready very fast.
4. Kirk Ferentz: Iowa’s offense is basically human gravy, anyway.
3. Bill Snyder: Thanksgiving At Coach Snyder’s House should really be a movie and now I am sad that it is not.
2. Kevin Sumlin: #YESSIR
1. Ed Orgeron: Tell 'em about it, Jo-Jo.
I was tempted to pick Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, but then I realized the Wildcats’ luck has not been so great this year, and I don’t particularly want food poisoning. Martin, back to you with same question, only five mascots instead of coaches.
MR: Wow, you caught me off guard here. But thinking about it quickly from a purely logistical standpoint, I think all mascots will be good because they are mute and will allow me to eat my food in peace. But for the entertainment value:
5. Otto the Orange, because even in an outright gluttonous day, you need your Vitamin C (as our lives change, come whateverrrrrr).
4. Big Red, if only to see how much food he can pile in.
3. Goldy the Gopher, because who can resist that smile?
2. The Mountaineer. He probably brought moonshine and knows his way around an open flame.
1. Smokey. Somebody's got to be there to pick up the table scraps.
Zac, we never learned what you were thankful for. I mean, aside from mascots and quotable coaches. ZE: Well, first, I'm amazed no one mentioned Steve Spurrier. The Head Ball Coach is the first guy I'd invite to Thanksgiving, because wouldn't he create the most entertaining table conversation? So he's my No. 1. I'd also throw in Jimbo Fisher becausehetalksreallyfast, and maybe Nick Saban, because every Thanksgiving needs an angry uncle for everyone to pick on. But anyway, one thing I'm thankful for in college football is players and coaches on Twitter. From the CAPS LOCK FEELINGS of De'Anthony Thomas to the wise words of Les Miles in 140-character form, social media has brought us a whole other side to the faces of college football. That's not necessarily unique to this season, of course, but it's an element of college football that is growing as we move forward. And it can only get better, right?