Happy Thanksgiving, folks! Today is legitimately a great day for sports. We’re going to use this as our thread for ery’thing, so feel free to chime in the NFL games, ‘Bama Hoops, and some great evening college football (and both games should be great ones).
All schedules below are in God’s Right and Proper Central Standard Time:
Bears at Lions (11:30 Fox)— Matt Nagy is allegedly fired after this game, win or lose. Maybe Da’ Bears will show some signs of life against the NFL’s only winless team?
Raiders at Cowboys (3:30 CBS) — I heard you like some ‘Bama? The Raiders have about 81 Alabama players on their roster. That’s worth it, right?
Buffalo at New Orleans (7:20 NBC) — Two defensive teams with some curious, bad losses and outright flirting with .500 — and both were early Super Bowl contenders. Sigh, Buffalo gonna Buffalo.
No. 10 Alabama vs. Iona (4:30 ESPN) — If the Ruggs-less Raiders make you sad, then definitely tune in to this one — which you should do anyway. Rick Pitino’s Iona Gaels are a far more athletic team this year than the one that Alabama faced just 8 months ago in the NCAA Tournament.
The Tide haven’t quite gelled on defense yet, and the halfcourt offense needs more work, so this road trip is by no means a gimme, no matter that ranking beside Alabama’s name. Another good quality opponent to test the Tide before it begins a brutal stretch against the likes of Gonzaga, Baylor, Houston, and Memphis.
If you missed Parker’s primer on the ESPN Invitational, and want a thorough preview, check that out here.
Turkey Day Classic (Tuskegee at Alabama State) ESPN+ 2:00 — One of the most heated HBCU rivalries in all the land, and one of its oldest. This is the 97th meeting between the two central Alabama schools, less than 40 miles apart. The animus is very real. e
Fresno State at San Jose State (2:00 Fox/FSN) — The surprising Fresno State Bulldogs have already claimed UCLA’s pelt, damn near beat Oregon, are in play for the MWC title, and have been in and out of the Top 25 all year. Not bad for a team that was predicted to finish last in its division.
Their opposite number was last year’s MWC surprise, also predicted to finish last, but also nearly winning its conference title and being ranked throughout the year. But this season has seen far more difficulties, as the Spartans have slid back towards a .500ish team with several close losses. Still, SJSU is a dangerous team, with one of the MWC’s best secondaries, playing at home vs. a Fresno team that can and has turned it over in droves. This will be a very close contest, no matter the record. And, hey, enjoy DeBoer (FSU) and Brennan (SJSU) now — they’ll almost certainly be at bigger gigs soon.
Egg Bowl (6:30 ESPN) — You can’t hype this one much more than it’s being hyped, and for good reason: Lane Kiffin vs. Mike Leach, both teams ranked, Ole Miss at No. 10, both looking at major bowls. And, my god, the hate.
The Iron Bowl, the Red River Rivalry, Cocktail Party, and The Game (OSU/Michigan) may get a lot more press, but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen two teams and two fanbases that legtimately hate one another every day, all day (with such a stark difference in the student body and everyday fan), as much as ‘State and Ole Miss do. There are culture wars, then there’s this disaster of loathing.
It’s always good for the improbable
And, if you’re around on Twitter, Egg Bowl meltdowns are amazing.