July 20, 2009

By Adam Caparell

Over the summer, NCAA.com will look at the FBS schedule, highlighting the top matchups, the can't-miss games and the best storylines for each of the 15 weeks of the regular season. Check in every week to find out which games you simply have to see.

FBS Calendars: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11
Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 & 15

With the Big Ten having already wrapped up its regular season before the four-day holiday weekend sets in, every other conference - besides the Big East and Pac-10 - puts the finishing touches on its regular season with the arrival of Thanksgiving. The quintessential American holiday features more top-notch games than any other weekend of the regular season. And the fact that so many rivalry games take place makes this weekend that much sweeter. Just to give you an idea of how stacked this weekend is, traditional matchups like Clemson-South Carolina, Nebraska-Colorado, Ole Miss-Mississippi State and UCLA-USC don't make the list of must-see games as we look four months into the future.

Week 13's Can't Miss Games

Thursday, Nov. 26 - Texas at Texas A&M  
Wouldn't the Aggies love to spoil a potential BCS berth for the Longhorns with a victory on Thanksgiving in College Station? Texas A&M and its boisterous supporters will be salivating for this one after last year's blowout saw the Longhorns cruise to a 40 point victory. A&M finished with -24 yards rushing - yes, minus-24 - as Texas improved to 74-36-5 all-time against its rival. There's something about Thanksgiving and the Longhorns that agree. Texas is 41-18-2 all-time on the holiday.

Friday, Nov. 27 - Pittsburgh at West Virginia
The Backyard Brawl just happens to be the 14th oldest in the nation and this one could once again prove to be defining for both teams. The Panthers and Mountaineers figure to be fighting neck and neck for the Big East crown with one game to go after this. And history is decidedly on the Panthers side. Despite modest returns during his tenure in Pittsburgh, Dave Wannstedt has done a pretty good job against the Mountaineers. Pitt has won two straight in the series, including that dramatic 13-9 victory two years ago that prevented West Virginia from probably going on to the BCS championship game. Pitt leads the all-time series, 61-37-3.

Friday, Nov. 27 - Nevada at Boise State
For all intents and purposes, this game could turn out to be the WAC championship game. With only nine teams, the league can't hold an official championship game. But the league's schedule makers saved the biggest game for the last when the Wolf Pack and Broncos square off on the blue turf. Offenses will be on the display as Boise's Kellen Moore looks to outduel Nevada's Colin Kaepernick. Not only will the WAC title be on the line, but Boise could possibly be playing for a BCS berth as well. The Broncos were 41-34 winners last year and clinched their sixth WAC title in seven seasons with the win in Reno.

Saturday, Nov. 28 - Oklahoma State at Oklahoma
It won't get much bigger than this in the Big 12 South this year. Not only are two rivals meeting in the latest chapter of the Bedlam series, but the division could very well be on the line. Texas, Oklahoma or Oklahoma State has been penciled in by the all prognosticators to win the Big 12 South so this game should put the finishing touches on the race. The scoring figures to be frenetic once again after last year saw the two teams combine for 102 points, Oklahoma 20 better than OSU. Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 79-16-7, having won six straight.

Other Games To Keep An Eye On

Friday, Nov. 27 - Auburn at Alabama
The Iron Bowl is regarded as one of the top rivalries in college sports and to say it splits the state of Alabama in half wouldn't do justice to how seriously they take their football down there. The Tide holds a 39-33-1 advantage in the series.

Saturday, Nov. 28 - BYU at Utah
Just like the Nevada-Boise matchup, this one should decide the Mountain West and very well could decide whether the conference sends a team to the BCS for the second straight season.

Saturday, Nov. 28 - Kansas vs. Missouri (Kansas City, Mo.)
The Border War has been a pretty important matchup in the Big 12 North the past few years and 2009 doesn't figure to be any different. This time, however, Missouri will play the role of underdog without Chase Daniel under center.

Saturday, Nov. 28 - Georgia at Georgia Tech
Don't you just love some Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate? This rivalry dates back to 1893 and Mark Richt had been dominating since taking over in Athens before Paul Johnson put a stop to that last year.

Saturday, Nov. 28 - Florida State at Florida
The Gators and Seminoles close out another regular season in what will be Tim Tebow's swan song at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida will be looking to pad its BCS resume in this non-conference matchup.