The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports Columns

November 29, 2013

Rivalries dominate this weekend


Duke at North Carolina. A national headliner, as usual. Wait a minute, this isn't a basketball game? Sorry for the confusion. Duke has never won 10 games in a football season and never been in the ACC title game, and the Blue Devils will do both with a victory. North Carolina, 6-5 after starting 1-5, has lost twice to Duke in 23 years.

Florida State at Florida. The Seminoles are outscoring opponents by an average score of 55-11. Florida has dropped six in a row, including to a Georgia Southern team that didn't complete a pass, which guaranteed the first losing season in Gainesville in 34 years. Even the state's alligators are calling for Will Muschamp's job. It's a last chance — if the size of a gnat — for Florida to erase a disaster.

Texas A&M at Missouri. A Tigers victory sends them to the SEC championship game, the final answer to those who ever questioned if they belonged. Johnny Manziel's Heisman reelection campaign is in trouble, but still could be saved with a big day.

Fresno State at San Jose State. If you're one of the 99.8 percent of Americans who have never seen Fresno State play, the Bulldogs can finish their first perfect regular season in 52 years and likely grab a BCS bowl spot. In 502 passes, Derek Carr has thrown 39 touchdowns and only four interceptions. It'd be nice if someone noticed.

Clemson at South Carolina. Clemson has somehow gone 10-1 quietly, but the Tigers can worry about recognition later. First, they have to do something about that four-game losing streak against Steve Spurrier.

UCLA at USC. If the Trojans win, how can USC not hire interim coach Ed Orgeron as a fulltimer, right there on the 50? Meanwhile, UCLA coach Jim Mora is anxious to stop USC's recent dominance in this crosstown war — the Trojans are 12-2 the past 14 years — no matter his ancestry. Both his parents went to USC.

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