In honor of the holiday in which we gorge as much food as possible in a short amount of time, it is time we compare schools to traditional and nontraditional Thanksgiving dishes. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because I love turkey and mashed potatoes but I understand why some people may not like it. Those people would be wrong. Eat as much food as you can on Thanksgiving, enjoy the NFL and do not forget about the Egg Bowl!
Turkey: Clemson – Every Thanksgiving we are focused on one item, the turkey. As long as someone knows what they are doing, the turkey will turn out pretty good. If one or two things go wrong the turkey could be dry and less appealing. Clemson has been one of the most consistent teams of the last decade. This year they had a few injuries and few players leave and now they sit at 8-3. For most schools that is a good record but this is well below the current Clemson standard.
Mashed Potatoes: Alabama – Mashed potatoes are the best part of Thanksgiving dinner and I will fight anyone who disagrees with me. You can dress up the potatoes as much as you want. Add some extra butter, throw some gravy on the potatoes and they will be phenomenal. Alabama is consistently the best team in the country and mashed potatoes are the best part of Thanksgiving.
Corn: Nebraska – Nebraska corn is better than Iowa corn. That is all.
Green Bean Casserole: Ohio State – Every year I go to Thanksgiving and someone has a green bean casserole, I always think I am going to stay away from it. I take one bite and I remember how good it is. Green Bean Casserole is an underrated dish and everyone should have it at their dinner. Ohio State tends to underperform every year and then they play a big opponent in late October or November and they flex their muscles on the rest of the Big Ten.
Cranberry Sauce: Virginia Tech – Somehow every Thanksgiving cranberry sauce shows up to dinner. I have no idea who brings it or who eats it but the dish is always on the dinner table. Cranberry sauce just appears similar to how Virginia Tech fans just appear. I have never met a Virginia Tech fan. I have no idea where Blacksburg is, but I know it exists.
Noodles: Oklahoma – Noodles are always expected at my Thanksgiving dinners and you know everyone is putting some on their plate. Noodles do not make or break Thanksgiving but you do expect them and they will be good. Think about Oklahoma over the past decade. They have been really good but have not quite reached the level they have expected.
Mac and Cheese: Missouri – Does mac and cheese really belong at Thanksgiving or is it only there because a few people just like mac and cheese? Your aunt knows your seven year old cousin will eat mac and cheese and that is all she is concerned about. Everyone knows mac and cheese is best for summer cookouts. Does Missouri really belong in the SEC or are they only here for the pay day? Every fan knows Missouri fits better in the Big 12 or even the Big Ten but here they are in the SEC East playing Florida and Georgia every year.
Rolls: USC – The rolls are always the forgotten item at my Thanksgiving. We realize the day before we need rolls and we ask the person not bringing a dish to pick up rolls. The rolls will be consistently good and any leftover rolls can be repurposed to make sandwiches in the following days. USC is in one of the most fertile recruiting grounds and the next coach can always build off the talent already on the roster. You can rely on USC to have talent but the person leading the charge is rarely reliable.
The Children’s Table: UCF – Remember when UCF went undefeated in two straight seasons and they did not get invited to the playoff? That situation was the equivalent of being 20 years old but still having to eat dinner with your 8 year old cousin who just ate boogers and then ate his turkey with his hands. Now you are 25 and your 17 year old brother has been invited to eat at the adult table.
Salad: Penn State – Salad is always a safe option. No one can screw up a salad because half the time the salads are premade. Some people will enjoy a salad while others will pass. If you add a little dressing or some hard boiled eggs, a salad can be a solid dish. Penn State has been an incredibly safe option when picking if they will win games. They are going to have a winning record every year but they could reach 10 or 11 wins.
Pumpkin Pie: LSU – When you go to your grandma or aunt’s house for Thanksgiving and they pull the fresh baked pumpkin pie out of the oven, you never want to leave. The aroma of a fresh baked pie is one of the best smells. You know the pie is going to be incredible where you could have a slice without whipped cream and it will still taste delicious. When LSU recruits, they rarely have to worry about anyone leaving the state of Louisiana. The coaches bring recruits in and show them the homemade pie and then coaches know they are committing.
Gravy: Florida State – Gravy is a great option at Thanksgiving but no one is eating gravy by itself. If anyone eats a bowl of gravy like soup at your dinner I would suggest you kick them out. There is a good chance this person is a serial killer. Florida State is a newer program compared to the rest of college football. Bobby Bowden helped put them on the map but over the past decade we have seen Florida State’s brand will not recruit itself. The Seminoles need good leadership to help make them competitive.
Stuffing: Michigan – Here is my Thanksgiving hot take, stuffing is overrated. No one comes out of Thanksgiving dinner thinking “wow, that stuff was so good. I really want more.” You put stuffing on your plate because it is a safe option. When was the last time people were excited about a Michigan team being good and they held up their expectations? They have not beat Ohio State in a decade.
Champagne: Georgia – Does your Thanksgiving meal have champagne in the morning? Sometimes I drink champagne before I eat a big meal and it makes me sleep ever more. I tend to miss the end of the Cowboys game because I am asleep from the champagne and food. Georgia fans are always ready to celebrate early in the season just to get knocked out when it matters most. Can myself and Georgia hold it together this year?
Apple Pie: Washington State – When my family heads to the dessert table after we have finished dinner, apple pie is the forgotten dessert. The family will raid the pumpkin pie and other desserts and apple pie may have one or two pieces taken. Washington State is the forgotten team in the Pac-12. Even when they are good, they do not get the respect they deserve. Washington State will continue to show up but that does not mean the rest of the country will remember.
Sweet Potatoes: Ole Miss – Sweet potatoes are either amazing or disgusting, no in between. If the cook knows how to properly prepare sweet potatoes with some marshmallows for Thanksgiving, I will be sure to get seconds. On the opposite end of the spectrum I could take one bite and be sliding them off the plate. Ole Miss has seen incredible highs and incredible lows over the past decade. They have missed bowl games but also been ranked in the top 4 at times.
Watching the Detroit Lions: Texas Longhorns – Is anyone actually excited to watch the Detroit Lions play football on Thanksgiving this year? The Lions are awful and no one wants to watch them. At this point in the season does anyone really want to watch Texas either? The Longhorns are without stud running back Bijan Robinson and have lost their last six games.