Miller Lite Locks
by Jonathan Ellerbe

The last two weeks of November are here which means one thing for college football, "Rivalry Weeks"! Over the next two weeks you’ll get to hear or see games like Auburn/Alabama, Clemson/South Carolina, Virginia/Virginia Tech, Texas/Texas A&M, Georgia/Georgia Tech, Mississippi/Mississippi State, Florida/Florida State and Oklahoma/Oklahoma State. 

Most big college football rivalries are games featured in the South and games with two in-state schools. The one thing that seems to be missing is a game from the great state of North Carolina. I know, Duke is playing at North Carolina this weekend but that’s a basketball rivalry. 

Wouldn’t a Saturday after Thanksgiving game of East Carolina versus North Carolina State EVERY YEAR be a fun game and a huge economic boost for the state of North Carolina?  With the 64 bypass, the schools are one hour apart, plus it would give the fans in this state something to talk about and the media something to hype all week. 

Just like all other great rivalries, the three rules for the game should be this: 

1. The teams must play every year.

2. The game has to be the Saturday after Thanksgiving (unless a television network steps up & pays A LOT of $$$ to move it to Thanksgiving Day or the Friday after Thanksgiving).

3. The game will be played on an alternating basis in Greenville and Raleigh. No more Charlotte! The fan base for ECU is in Greenville and the fan base for NCSU is in Raleigh. 

The state of North Carolina not having a college football rivalry game in November to embrace, market and make money on is the same as North Carolina not having the lottery. It just does not make sense. The good news is state lawmakers got the lottery done, so let’s hope ECU and NCSU can see an opportunity and make the most of it.

Finally, all great rivalries have a name for their game or a novelty trophy they play to win.  ECU and NCSU need to start an annual "Backyard Brawl". I’m betting going to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium or Carter-Finley Stadium the Saturday after Thanksgiving would be a great tradition for not only ECU and NCSU, but for the whole state of North Carolina. 

With all that in mind, here are your updated "Miller Lite Standings & Picks":

Overall Standings:

Eddie King        22-10-1
Ellerbe               16-16-1
AC Casey          9-7
Ian the Animal    16-17 

"Miller Lite Locks" for week 12:

Eddie King’s Locks:
Broncos -13.5 vs. Jets
Bengals +5.5 vs. Colts
Giants -8 vs. Eagles

AC Casey’s Lock:
Patriots -9.5 vs. Saints
Bengals +5.5 vs. Colts
Giants -8 vs. Eagles

Ian The Animal:
Vanderbilt +12 @ Tennessee
Kentucky +26.5 @ Georgia
UTEP -7.5 vs. UAB

Ellerbe’s Locks:
South Florida -19 vs. Cincinnati
LSU -17 @ Mississippi
Colorado State -14.5 @ UNLV

Until we greet you next week from the Miller Lite Sports Bar, have a great sports weekend.

Jonathan Ellerbe