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The Spun’s 2021 College Football Staff Picks: Rivalry Week

Big Ten rivals Ohio State and Michigan players during a college football game.

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 30: Davon Hamilton #53 of the Ohio State Buckeyes makes the stop on Zach Charbonnet #24 of the Michigan Wolverines during the third quarter of the game at Michigan Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ohio State defeated Michigan 56-27. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

The best weekend of the college football season is finally here.

That's right folks: it's rivalry week.

After fans are done celebrating Thanksgiving, the college football slate promises to entertain all weekend long. With games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the action on the field is sure to entertain throughout the holiday.

Rivalry weekend is perfectly positioned in 2021 as it comes just in time to help settle some of the most hotly contested debates about this year's College Football Playoff. With just one more set of rankings to go before the final field of four is set, the outcomes this week will go a long way in helping the selection committee.

Georgia held the No. 1 spot in the latest edition of rankings, but pandemonium broke out behind the Bulldogs. Ohio State leapt Alabama after dominating Michigan State to snag No. 2, while the Crimson Tide dropped to third. Cincinnati rounded out the current playoff field, becoming the first non-Power Five program to make it into the Top 4.

A number of one-loss teams are lurking just behind the Bearcats, hoping to see one of the frontrunners stumble during rivalry week. No. 5 Michigan seems to be the best-positioned to benefit from turmoil in the Top 4, but the Wolverines will face a test of their own this weekend when they welcome in the Buckeyes to Ann Arbor for the 117th playing of "The Game."

The Big Ten East rivalry highlights the weekend's slate that's jam-packed with intriguing matchups. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will meet in a Top 10 edition of Bedlam. Alabama travels to Auburn for the Iron Bowl. No. 14 Wisconsin plays Minnesota, while No. 16 Iowa square off with Nebraska in a pair of games with Big Ten West implications. No. 18 Wake Forest looks to hold onto a spot in the ACC Championship game against Boston College. Georgia, Cincinnati and UTSA will look to cap off the only undefeated regular seasons in college football this year.

The staff of The Spun has now picked 473 college football games this season, but the field hasn't thinned out much. After yet another week, Steve Driscoll still leads the way, but challenger Andrew McCarty is close on his heels.

Here are the standings after Week 12:

1. Steve Driscoll: 366-107
2. Andrew McCarty: 363-110
3. Zach Koons: 362-111
4. Dan Lyons: 359-114
5. Alek Arend: 358-115
6. Matt Audilet: 356-117
7. Chris Rosvoglou: 353-120
8. Tzvi Machlin: 351-122
9. Matt Hladik: 349-124
T10. Matt Lombardi: 348-125
T10. Andrew Holleran: 348-125

The biggest splits in this week's set of picks came not only from the most highest-profile games but also some of the lesser-known rivalry matchups. San Diego State-Boise State, Texas-Kansas State, Nebraska-Iowa, NC State-North Carolina, Michigan State-Penn State and Oklahoma State-Oklahoma were among the matchups that came with the widest disparities in the weekend's selections.

Here are our picks for Week 13 of the 2021 college football season:

A screenshot of The Spun's Week 13 college football picks.

Each week, we pick every college football game involving Power Five and/or ranked teams. Check back with The Spun each week for updated standings.