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The Week 13 Rooting Guide and Open Thread

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It's the last full week for college football, and with teams squaring off with their hated rivals it can be hard to decide where your interests lie- The Rooting Guide is here for you to clear up those niggling issues.

Patterson will be clapping for teams other than his own today
Patterson will be clapping for teams other than his own today
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Frogs have already taken care of their business for the week, which means we have another full day where Frog fans can relax and hope for absolute chaos in the rankings around us.  Although some outcomes will be more likely than others, we're going to be providing you with the best possible outcome for TCU in each game.  And what will we do with that information?  The same thing we do every week- Root hard!  Here are today's rules

1.) If a team is ranked above TCU, root against them

Ah the old reliable #1 rule.  With the Frogs just one rank below a playoff spot, all we need is one ideal result to theoretically move us into the top 4- but of course, we want more than that.  We want the best available matchup in the playoff, and we want to leave no doubt that the Frogs get in- so these are the chief rooting interests.

2.) Baylor and Ohio State want to take everything that you have, root against them

Our eternal enemies in Waco and the Big Ten team that started the "Little Sisters of the Poor" nonsense are the only teams that are a threat to catch up with TCU at this point.  It's tough to say whether or not either team will pass us, of course, but it's best to leave nothing to chance- fortunately rooting against Ohio State and Baylor comes easily for us.  Root hard on this one!

3.) If a State school (Mississippi, Florida, Ohio) has played someone (except Minnesota), root against them

In this polling game where every aspect of a resume is considered, the Frogs want every bit of ammunition in their corner when the poll voters get down to business.  As a result, we want to poke as many holes in the "quality win" category for the other teams as possible, so we're rooting for chaos among the ranked teams in the SEC, ACC and B1G and hoping for the best.  Focus your energies on the two above, but if you see any of the rule 3 teams in trouble, feel free to do a mild fist pump.

4.) WHO LOVES MINNESOTA?

WE LOVE MINNESOTA!  The Gopher fans from The Daily Gopher have been amazing this year, from their good natured and insightful commentary during game week, to their mild reveling every week when the playoff rankings come out and we're still ahead of Baylor, so we want nice things for them.  There's also the small matter of the Gophers being our most stalwart on-field ally, by securing a solid season and at-worst a second place finish in the B1G West to give us a very strong OOC win to hang our hat on that the other schools in slots 4-7 simply don't have.  A win over their hated rivals in Wisconsin would not only secure a full rivalry trophy case for the Gophers, but would send the Gophers to the B1G title game where they'd have a chance to do us the ultimate favor and bump off Ohio State- I don't care what else happens the next two weeks, if the Frogs win out and have a win over the B1G champion, we're getting into the playoff.  Root hard for the Gophers, our best blog buds.  With those four rules in mind, let's look at the games.

Rule 1 games

#15 Auburn Tigers @ #1 Alabama Crimson Tide

The SEChaos scenario is still very much in play this week, and I don't think there would be any result more satisfying for college football as a whole than to see 'Bama go down against Auburn for the second year in a row.  No matter how loudly ESPN blows the trumpet for 'bama, two losses will send them out of the top four- though maybe still in front of Baylor.  Get a good root on this one.

#2 Oregon @ Oregon State

Strange things happen in Corvalis, just ask Arizona State and a dynamite USC team from a few years back.  The ducks have the national attention and, with the results of Friday's game, may be tempted to look just a little bit ahead to a chance for revenge against the Arizona Wildcats.  Against a team that always plays them close, that may be enough for the Beavers to break through.  Root hard for the Beavers.

Florida @ #3 Florida State

The Gators will take the field under coach Will Muschamp for the last time, and they know that they have the smashmouth running game to punish the Seminoles and run out clock if they can find a way to take the lead late.  Florida State has been living on the precipice of disaster for weeks now, and this may well be the week that a team shoves them off.  Feel free to start an Ess-Eee-See chant in your living room if the Gators are doing well.

#4 Mississippi State @ #19 Ole Miss

How quickly our loyalties change.  Earlier in the season we rooted hard against Ole Miss to assure ourselves of a possible playoff spot, and now we're left having to root for them for similar reasons.  Mississippi State hasn't put on a good showing against a bowl eligible team since the first of the month, and Ole Miss is going to come to play.  Being at home helps the Rebels as well, so root for the Rebs in this one (even though it makes me feel dirty).

Rule 2 Games

Michigan @ #6 Ohio State

Yes, if Michigan had a chance to pull this off, the Wolverines would have already earned their bowl eligibility.  As much as we may want Michigan to win, don't exhaust yourself too hard in rooting against the Buckeyes- Michigan is a bad team and are going into a stadium that they haven't won in since 2000.  It would be nice, but don't get too worked up if it ends up going poorly the other way.

Baylor @(Dallas) Texas Tech

Yep, everyone's favorite university in Lubbock, Texas is finally getting their shot at Baylor- and coming off of a win as well!  As distasteful as it may be, Tech performing well against the Bears would be a great boon to us even if they don't win- I think the committee is very familiar with our body of work against Texas Tech, and even Baylor will be hard pressed to keep up with that.  Who knows, the Raiders have a running game- they might just stick around.

Rule 3 games

Illinois @ Northwestern

Tim Beckman seems like a nice (if odd) guy, but we're rooting for him to lose this game and possibly his job on Saturday.  Why?  Because it's another win over a bowl eligible team for Ohio State if they do, and besides, we need a little purple solidarity.  Go Cats!

#10 Michigan State @ Penn State

The Nittany Lions are a weird team, taking the Buckeyes to overtime, while losing home contests to Northwestern, and Maryland.  Today we root that the good version shows up and takes the wind out of the sail of Ohio State's (almost) only ranked win.  Man, maybe Ohio State is rooting for the Gophers as hard as we are?

Rule 4 game

Minnesota @ Wisconsin

It's been over a decade since Minnesota last held Paul Bunyan's Axe, the trophy for the Minnesota/Wisconsin rivalry.  Losing to your hated rival is brutal, but for it to happen every single time you play them for a decade is miserable.  Even if we didn't want them to win from a go-Frogs standpoint, I'd still be rooting for Minnesota in this one.  Bring back the axe, Gophers!  Root hard for this.

Rule 5 game

#16 Georgia Tech @ #9 Georgia

There's only one other game that doesn't fall into the other categories, and that's Georgia/Georgia Tech.  As Georgia Tech has already assured itself of a spot in the ACC title game it doesn't matter too much if they win or lose, but we all know how deflating a loss to a rival can be, and if FSU wins out they're going to get in.  As a result, we want Georgia Tech to beat the Bulldogs and be riding the high of self confidence into the showdown with the Seminoles.  Wreck 'em (Georgia) Tech.  I don't know if I could've said that if I didn't throw the Georgia in there.

And with that, I'll be leaving you for the day!  My girlfriend has been very patient with me this week as I explained that football was expanding well outside its usual parameters, but enough was enough so today shortly after I wake I'll be trying to check the scores at Adelaide's new Hello Kitty Cafe.  This is the thread for all of you to get together and discuss the day's games in my stead- and Bolded teams above?   We'll be rooting for you.

Go Frogs.