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2016 college football rivalry games you simply can’t miss

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Nov 18, 2016, 5:59 AM | Updated: Feb 3, 2017, 9:07 am

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In late November, people across the United States participate in a long-standing tradition that embodies all of what makes America great. It brings together people from all walks of life and helps them remember everything there is to be grateful for.

College football rivalry season is something many sports fans look forward to all year.

Many of the greatest football rivalries have roots extending back more than 100 years. With few exceptions, most of these contests happen in the latter half of November or the first week in December and they often have a disproportionate impact on the landscape of bowl games and college championships.

The Pac-12 is blessed to have several great rivalries:

  • USC-UCLA (Nov. 19, 8:30 a.m., ESPN)
  • Oregon-Oregon State (Nov. 26, 2 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
  • Cal-Stanford (Nov. 19, 3:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
  • Arizona State-Arizona (Nov. 25, 7:30 p.m., ESPN)

This year, the Washington-Washington State contest (Nov. 25, 1:30 p.m., FS1) has major conference and national implications.

Fans can get the most from rivalry match-ups with a television package like CenturyLink Prism TV, featuring a multiview option that allows you to watch up to four games at once. And with the Pac-12 Network, you’re assured of seeing the games that matter most.

Here are some of this year’s iterations of great all-time college football rivalries.

Army-Navy, Dec. 10, 1 p.m., CBS

“Army-Navy is college football in its purest state,” explains athlonsports.com. “Fans of the teams thirst for victory, and so do the players, who are truly playing for their fellow students. Afterward, they rejoin their classmates in preparation for military service, not an NFL career.”

Through the years, five Heisman Trophy winners have taken part in this game. One unique aspect of this rivalry is that players for each school are truly on the same team, except during this patriotic contest.

Ohio State-Michigan, Nov. 26, 10 a.m., ABC

Always a classic, it’s possible the winner of this game will be in the playoffs and competing for a national championship. Bleacherreport.com calls this the best rivalry in college football. Over the last 94 meetings, the series is tied 45-45-4. The past 25 years is 12-12-1. It is tough to be more competitive than that.

Alabama-Auburn, Nov. 26, 1:30 p.m., CBS

This annual matchup is called the Iron Bowl. Writing for sbnation.com, Michael Bird proposes this series is becoming college football’s perfect rivalry. Even tough Alabama has dominated the entire college football world lately, there should be plenty of interest in this SEC contest.

USC-UCLA, Nov. 19, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

The first of two rivalry games in a row for the Trojans of USC, they should be heavily favored. After losing three of their first four games this year, coach Clay Helton’s team reeled off five straight wins against Pac-12 competition to put themselves back in the division race. In recent years, however, UCLA has regularly spoiled the end of the season for USC by winning three of the past four contests.

USC-Notre Dame, Nov. 26, TBD

After the Trojans face the Bruins, they take on Notre Dame. The two programs account for 11 national championships and seven Heisman Trophy winners. The rivalry began in 1926 and the Fighting Irish lead the series 46-36-5. After struggling in 2014, Notre Dame scored a 10-point victory in 2015. USC should be ready to take revenge.

Arizona-Arizona State, Nov. 25, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

This year hasn’t turned out like expected. As history has proven, however, season records mean little when these neighboring teams compete in the Duel in the Desert.

Dating back to 1899, this is one of the oldest rivalries in college sports. The winner gets the Territorial Cup — so named because the first time it was awarded Arizona was not yet a state. The Wildcats lead the series 48-40-1, but the Sun Devils triumphed in a high scoring 52-37 game in 2015. Bleacherrport.com says this is the most underrated rivalry in college football.

No matter what team you support, make sure you don’t miss any of this season’s rivalry games by watching or recording the contests using the advanced features of CenturyLink’s Prism TV.

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2016 college football rivalry games you simply can’t miss