Rivalry Week is here… or something resembling Rivalry Week in the 2020 college football season. We still have a few more weeks of regular season games and makeup games after this. There’s no Michigan-Ohio State. Nick Saban won’t be at the Iron Bowl. It’s going to be a weird one.
Alabama announced today that Saban has tested positive for COVID-19, and has mild symptoms. Unlike the last time he had a COVID-scare, ahead of the Georgia game, this is not a false positive, and was confirmed via a PCR test. As a result, he’s quarantining, and Steve Sarkisian will lead the No. 1 Crimson Tide against the No. 22 Tigers.
Elsewhere, we have a huge game in the ACC, between No. 19 North Carolina and No. 2 Notre Dame in Chapel Hill. With the Fighting Irish facing a struggling Syracuse team next week, this is the last major hurdle for Brian Kelly’s team before a potential rematch with Clemson with significant College Football Playoff ramifications on the line.
We also have big game between ranked Iowa State and Texas teams, as well as Oregon vs. Oregon State—the rivalry formerly known as the Civil War—Clemson vs. Pitt, Texas A&M vs. LSU, West Virginia vs. Oklahoma, and a game between two desperate traditional Big Ten East powers in Michigan and Penn State.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn on SEC teleconference: "First of all, I want to say I'm sorry to hear Coach Saban tested positive for coronavirus. … I hope he makes a speedy recovery. It's gonna be a really weird deal playing an Iron Bowl without Nick being there."
— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) November 25, 2020
Andrew McCarty held serve at top of the rankings, going 20-6 last week, good for third best among the nine staff members. Matt Hladik had the same number and remains three games behind, while Tzvi Machlin jumped into third with a staff-best 22-4 week. He only missed the consensus picks of Nebraska over Illinois and Wisconsin over Northwestern, as well as tossups in Purdue/Minnesota and USC/Utah.
This week, we have some interesting splits amongst the staff. Four people like North Carolina to pull the upset on Notre Dame, which would add some chaos into the ACC race. Washington-Utah is also a close split, while we have an upset pick for LSU over Texas A&M, which would knock the Aggies from outside the College Football Playoff picture. Seven of the nine staff members like Texas over Iowa State as well, which would shake up the Big 12 even further.
Here’s where things stand after last week’s picks:
1. Andrew McCarty: 182-58
2. Matt Hladik: 179-61
3. Tzvi Machlin: 176-64
T-4. Dan Lyons: 174-66
T-4. Chris Rosvoglou: 174-66
6. Alek Arend: 173-67
7. Andrew Holleran: 168-72
8. Matt Lombardi: 165-75
9. Steve Driscoll: 161-79
Here are our picks for Week 13 of the 2020 college football season:
Each week, we pick every college football game involving Power Five and/or ranked teams. Check back as we update our standings.