I have written before about how much I love college football before, but this time of year is by far the best each season. 

Last week we had rivalry week, and then this past weekend we had the conference championship games. This weekend is mostly an off week with the exception of possibly the coolest game every year with the Army-Navy game. Following that you have the bowl games, which just means there is non-stop footballm which is never a problem. 

These games just mean so much more, and I think that all starts with rivalry week. This may sound a little crazy, but there is something that gets me fired up watching two teams face off that absolutely hate each other. 

Whether it is Ohio State-Michigan, Auburn-Alabama or one of my favorite games, Ole Miss-Mississippi State, there are always memorable games from rivalry week each year. 

For some teams they are having a good year and get to smack their rival around, but for some teams (example: Northwestern) they are having a down year and can use beating their rival as motivation for the next season. 

Conference championship week is always interesting, and this year it reminded me that the discussion of moving the playoff to eight teams is not always a good idea. I think it definitely would’ve worked last year, but this year that top three teams have been settled and every other team was squandering its chance at the fourth spot. I ultimately think they got it right with LSU being the one facing the four Oklahoma and Ohio State being the two having to take on Clemson. The biggest shift was LSU moving up to the one which helped them avoid playing Clemson in the first round which seems to be a big difference between playing Oklahoma. LSU was able to steal that spot by steam rolling Georgia in the SEC championship game and got help from Ohio Sate, which won despite trailing Wisconsin 21-7 at half time. 

The Army-Navy game is a game unlike any other in any sport. It is a rivalry but with a mutual respect from everyone in and outside of the game. I have been to a lot of sporting events in my life, but I think Army-Navy is one of the few left on my bucket list.

That game leads us into bowl week, which has a little more flavor for me than usual this year.

The Illini learned their fate on Sunday, finding out they will take on the University of California Golden Bears in  Santa Clara, Calif. The Illini and Golden Bears will face  off in the Red Box bowl. At first glance I like the match-up for the Illini and I believe they can get a win in a close and relatively low scoring game. 

My Notre Dame Fighting Irish will face the Iowa  State Cyclones in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, Fla. 

On top of those games and the previously mentioned playoff games there are 37 other bowl games to watch. I think it is needless to say if you are not seeing me out covering a high school game you can find me on my couch watching football. 

You can contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@Rantoul