Rivalry Week is traditionally a make-or-break moment in the college football season. Amid some of the sport's most recognizable and thrilling matchups, we see division titles clinched, title chances destroyed and coaches losing games that get them fired.
The year 2020 has to be different in every possible way, though, and Rivalry Week isn't quite its normal self. The division races and title shots and fired coaches are still very much in play, but a lot of the key matchups aren't.
Yes, we get an always-vital Iron Bowl and an always-lively Egg Bowl, and the Big Game, Battle on the Bayou, War on I-4, Oregon-Oregon State, etc., are still on the dance card. But you could make the case that the most important games of the weekend are Notre Dame-North Carolina and Iowa State-Texas. Traditionally huge conference matchups, these are not.
That doesn't mean they aren't huge, though! Let's talk about some of the bigger storylines I'm following this week.
All times Eastern.
Can North Carolina slow down the Notre Dame run game?
No. 2 Notre Dame at No. 19 North Carolina (Friday, 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN App)
Despite a couple of unlucky losses, UNC has been, on average, as good as advertised; the Tar Heels are 10th in SP+, and with whatever home-field advantage actually exists in 2020, that gives them a solid chance of pulling an upset Friday.