What we learned on the Saturday before Thanksgiving:
1) Friday is going to be a significant day: Games on the Friday after Thanksgiving traditionally bring good ratings and that will certainly be the case this Friday as the winners of both the SEC East and the Pac-12 South will be decided.
At 2:30 p.m. on CBS, Missouri (9-2, 6-1 SEC) hosts Arkansas (6-5, 2-5), one of the hottest teams in the country. If Missouri wins, it goes to the SEC Championship game for the second consecutive year. If Arkansas wins, then Georgia (9-2, 6-2) goes to the Georgia Dome.
At 3:30 p.m., two Pac-12 games will be played simultaneously to decide who gets to play Oregon in the conference championship game.
If UCLA (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) beats Stanford (6-5, 4-4) on ABC, the Bruins win the South Division. If UCLA loses, the winner of the Arizona State at Arizona game (on FOX) goes to Santa Clara on Dec. 5 to play the Ducks.
2) If Missouri beats Arkansas, the Tigers will have absolutely, positively earned the trip to the Dome: No one from Georgia should complain if Missouri gets to the SEC title game. Yes, Georgia did beat the Tigers 34-0 in Columbia, Mo. But Missouri beat South Carolina and Florida and Georgia did not. Missouri had to beat two hot teams (Texas A&M and Tennessee) on the road to set up the game with Arkansas. Yes, the six SEC teams Missouri has beaten to date have a combined conference record of 14-31. Doesn’t matter. But one favor, Missouri fans. Quit saying that you don’t get any respect because you do. It’s a lazy argument.
3) Florida at Florida State now looks interesting: Will Muschamp’s last game as Florida’s coach will be Saturday when the Gators (6-4) go to No. 3 Florida State (11-0). The Seminoles have been living on the edge all season and needed a field goal with three seconds left to beat Boston College 20-17 in Tallahassee. People will draw comparisons to 2004 when Ron Zook, another lame-duck Florida coach, won at No. 10 Florida State 20-13 in his last game with the Gators. One big difference: That Florida State team did not have Jameis Winston at quarterback.
4) Speaking of Winston: The people who thought he should have been tossed against Boston College have too much time on their hands. Yes, Winston did get into a little pushing match with an official who, correctly, was allowing Boston College to match substitutions when FSU was trying to go hurry up. What the official should have done was blow the whistle, stop play and say to Winston: “No. 5, what are you doing?” Then he should have warned the quarterback and his head coach. The rules on standing over the ball for substitutions are clear. But those who suggested a penalty and ejection were in order were apparently in some kind of Twitter-induced coma. That’s one of the side effects of Winston’s issues off the field. He is never going to get the benefit of the doubt outside of Leon County, Fla.
5) There should be no changes in the CFP top seven: No. 6 Ohio State played around with Indiana before winning 42-27. No. 3 Florida State, as we mentioned, beat Boston College with a last-second field goal. It cost the Seminoles the No. 1 spot in the coaches poll (Alabama took over) but I don’t think it impacts their status in the new CFP rankings that will be released Tuesday night. So I’m going with the status quo this week. After looking at this weekend’s schedule, there is the potential for big changes next week.