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Power Ranking This Week's Best College Football Rivalry Games

You can probably guess No. 1.

Rivalry week always helps to sort out the BCS picture. This season will be no different, as things will certainly look a lot clearer after the dust settles this Saturday and we head into conference championship week. But sometimes the rivalry game is all teams have left to play for at the end of the year and often times, it is more than a consolation prize. It’s pride.

Here is a power ranking of the top ten rivalry games to be played this weekend that have the biggest bowl implications, the greatest impact on the final BCS standings and the pride of cities and states hanging in the balance.

Which of these rivalry games are you watching?

10. Washington State at Washington: Battle for the Apple Cup

Washington State comes into Husky Stadium to face Washington in an intense intra-state matchup. Both teams are already bowl eligible, but both are also out of contention for the Pac-12 Championship. Thus, this game is all about the bragging rights of a state. These two schools first met in 1900 and they battle for the Apple Cup. Washington has owned this series all-time, but shouldn't expect to walk all over the Cougars in this game. The contest can be watched on FOX at 3:30 PM ET on Friday afternoon.

9. Georgia at Georgia Tech: "The Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate" Game

Every year, these two schools battle for supremacy in the state of Georgia. Their campuses sit about 70 miles apart and they compete annually for the Governor’s Cup. It's a rivalry that dates back to 1893. Georgia has suffered multiple heart-breaking losses this year and a win over its bitter-rival may ease some of the pain that the Bulldogs must be feeling. Both teams are 7-4 , Georgia representing the SEC and Georgia Tech the ACC. This one can be viewed on ABC at 3:30 PM ET Saturday afternoon.

8. Texas Tech at Texas: Battle for the Chancellor's Spurs

Texas Tech looked like a Big 12 contender two months into the season, but has sense fallen out of contention for the conference championship. Texas, on the other hand, seemed to be on its way to a horrible season after the first month of play but has rebounded to have a pretty decent year. Both teams have seven wins and at this point are only playing for the pride of the state of Texas and possibly improving their chances at a mid-level bowl invitation. These schools first met in 1928 and now play for the Chancellor’s Spurs. The game will be shown on FOX Sports 1 at 7:30 PM ET on Thanksgiving night.

7. No. 3 Ohio State at Michigan: "The Game"

The most storied rivalry in the history of college football is the one that is held in either Columbus or Ann Arbor each year. This season, the underachieving Wolverines are hosting the undefeated Buckeyes at the Big House. Ohio State must win, and win convincingly, to keep its national championship hopes alive. Michigan is 7-4 and the only way the Wolverines can salvage their subpar season would be handing the Buckeyes their first loss; thereby derailing their dreams. These teams don't play for a trophy, they play for the bragging rights of their respective states alone. This border war has been raging since 1897, but been dominated by Ohio State in recent years. The game is going to be shown on ABC at 12:00 PM ET on Saturday. 

6. No. 24 Duke at North Carolina: The Battle for the Victory Bell

For the first time in a lifetime, the Duke Blue Devils have a chance at the ACC Championship. They are 9-2 on the year and a victory will seal their trip to the championship game. Do not sleep on the Tar Heels though, they are 4-3 in conference play and are looking to spoil their arch rival's season. The two schools first met in 1888 and have met annually since 1922 and since 1948 the winner has taken home the Victory Bell. The winning team paints the bell in their shade of blue. This is the most that has ever been on the line for Duke in this rivalry game. Duke's quest for a rare conference championship berth can be viewed on ESPN2 at 12:00 PM ET on Saturday.

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5. Arizona at No. 12 Arizona State: The Duel in the Desert

Arizona comes into Tempe coming off an impressive victory over the Oregon Ducks. Arizona State is headed to the Pac-12 Championship Game and appears to be in line for a possible BCS bid, but the Sun Devils will have to play a good game to beat a hot Arizona squad led by a phenomenal running back in Ka’Deem Carey. The two play for the Territorial Cup and have been battling in the desert since 1899. This should be a fun game to watch as both teams have the potential to put up a lot of points. The game is on the Pac-12 Network at 9:30 PM ET Saturday night. 

4. No. 22 UCLA at No. 23 USC: The Battle for Los Angeles

This game has much more significance than most predicted after the first month of the season. Nobody expected the Trojans to be relevant and UCLA has survived a tough Pac-12 schedule. The series began in 1929 and is particularly heated because both schools inhabit Los Angeles and their campuses are about 12 miles apart. The winner takes home (and paints) the Victory Bell in their school’s colors. Ed Orgeron will try to keep USC’s impressive turnaround going as both teams are lobbying for a decent bowl bid and winning this game is paramount. The matchup can be watched on ABC at 8:00 PM ET Saturday night.

3. No. 18 Oklahoma at No. 7 Oklahoma State: The Bedlam Game

Oklahoma has historically dominated this rivalry, but this year the Clint Chelf led Cowboys seem to be on a mission. Last week, Oklahoma State dismantled undefeated Baylor and looks to bolster its BCS chances with a win over its in-state rival Oklahoma. The previous three years have been close and high scoring games between the two schools. The rivalry began in 1904 and the two universities play for the “Bedlam Bell” but the trophy is not limited to just football – it's for many sports. Oklahoma State is looking to prove that it is for real against its "Big Brother" Oklahoma. The game is on ABC at 12:00 PM ET Saturday afternoon.

2. No. 6 Clemson at No. 10 South Carolina: The Palmetto Bowl

The battle for the state of South Carolina has raged since 1896. The winner gets to hoist the Hardee’s Trophy and the stakes have never been higher. This is one of college football’s premier inter-conference rivalries pitting the ACC versus the SEC. Which senior quarterback will step up and define his legacy, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd or South Carolina’s Connor Shaw? You can view the game on ESPN2 at 7:00 PM ET on Saturday night.

1. No. 1 Alabama at No. 4 Auburn: The Iron Bowl

This game is arguably college football’s fiercest rivalry. The result gives a year of bragging rights for fans of the winning team in the state of Alabama and there has never been more on the line than this year’s installment. The winner will go to the SEC Championship Game and could be in line for an invitation to the BCS National Championship Game. This is the first ever meeting of the rivals where both teams are ranked in the top-5 in a series that dates back to 1893. The winner will hold up the James E. Foy, V-ODK Sportsmanship Trophy but will be thinking about holding up the crystal ball, which they will be one step closer to potentially playing for. These ancient rivals will battle it out on CBS at 3:30 PM ET on Saturday afternoon.

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