By Dan Gartland
November 22, 2018

Your Thanksgiving viewing guide

Camerique/Archive Photo/Getty Images

The sports gods have given you plenty of excuses to ignore your family this weekend and plop yourself in front of the TV. Between the NFL, college football, college hoops and hockey, there are countless games that will keep you glued to your couch from the moment the turkey goes in the oven until when all the leftovers are finally gone. Let’s rank them. 

10. Rangers vs. Flyers — Friday, 1 p.m. ET on NBC

The NHL is trying to turn Black Friday into a hockey holiday, and so it scheduled a full slate of 15 games. None of them are outrageously enticing but a rivalry matinee sounds nice. It sure as hell beats Iowa vs. Nebraska, airing at the same time on Fox. 

9. Bears vs. Lions — Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET on CBS

This game sounded a lot more interesting before we learned Mitchell Trubisky was dealing with a shoulder injury and Chase Daniel was going to get the start at quarterback.

8. UCF vs. USF — Friday, 4 p.m. ET on ESPN

For my money, UCF’s 23-game winning streak is the best story in college football.

7. Redskins vs. Cowboys — Thursday, 4:30 p.m. ET on Fox

Sure, this game has major implications for the NFC East race, but it also features two teams who have played some horribly ugly football this season. I’m just hoping Mark Sanchez sees some action and there’s a Thanksgiving Buttfumble sequel. 

6. Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State — Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

There’s a reason Andy Staples ranked the Egg Bowl as this weekend’s most hate-filled rivalry. Most people might think it’s Ohio State-Michigan, but those are two blue blood programs. The hate is so much more pure when you’re two mediocre programs from the state everyone in America makes fun of. 

5. Vikings vs. Packers — Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC

The loser of this classic rivalry game will have a really hard time making the playoffs. The winner will have a hard time, too, but it’ll be especially hard for the loser. 

4. Saints vs. Falcons — Thursday, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

I don’t expect this to be a particularly close game but it should be a joy to watch Drew Brees do his thing. 

3. West Virginia vs. Oklahoma — Friday, 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

Kyler Murray. Will Grier. Need I say more?

Maybe I do need to say more. The Sooners come into this game at No. 6 in the playoff rankings. A strong showing in Morgantown (especially paired with a Michigan dud in Columbus) could easily vault OU into the top four. 

2. Washington vs. Washington State — Friday, 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox

The Apple Cup is always fun. Even 10 years ago when the Huskies and Cougars entered with one win combined, the game went to double overtime. Now both teams are ranked in the top 20, and Wazzu has a likely Heisman finalist quarterbacking its explosive offense. Plus, the winner of this game is playing for the Pac-12 championship next week and a spot in the Rose Bowl. It could get nuts.

1. Ohio State vs. Michigan — Saturday, 12 p.m. ET on Fox

With any luck, this game will be as thrilling as the 2016 double-overtime classic that the Buckeyes won 30–27. While that game was essentially a play-in game for the College Football Playoff, this year is more just a chance for Ohio State to spoil Michigan’s playoff hopes and move closer securing a Rose Bowl bid. Hoping to see the Wolverines disappointed will be enough motivation to get the crowd in Columbus riled up. 

Thanksgiving smorgasbord

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Something to keep in mind this weekend (please watch the whole thing)

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Maybe wait to eat until you get home, Lions fans

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White meat vs. dark meat

A good song

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