Football highlights holiday sports offerings

As families gather around the turkey on Thanksgiving and the leftovers sure to follow, more than a few will make it back to the couch after the stuffing to watch big games scheduled for the next few days.

From NFL to college football and basketball to the Avalanche, there is something for everyone.

The following are a few of the contests this holiday weekend:

Green Bay Packers v. Detroit Lions

When: 10:30 a.m. Thursday

Where: Ford Field, Detroit

Channel: FOX

Breakdown: MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers leads the 10-0 Packers into this NFC North contest against the 7-3 Lions. After more than a decade of losing, the Lions are trying to make it back to the playoffs, while the Packers hope to keep an undefeated season intact.

Miami Dolphins v. Dallas Cowboys

When: 2:25 p.m. Thursday

Where: Cowboys Stadium, Dallas

Channel: CBS

Breakdown: After an 0-7 start, the Dolphins have won three straight with backup quarterback Matt Moore under center. The Cowboys are 6-4 and seeking to seize control of the NFC East.

San Francisco 49ers v. Baltimore Ravens

When: 6:20 p.m. Thursday

Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore

Channel: NFL Network

Breakdown: First-year head coach Jim Harbaugh leads his 9-1 49ers into Baltimore to battle older brother John Harbaugh and the 7-3 Ravens.

1 LSU v. 3 Arkansas

When: 12:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.

Channel: CBS

Breakdown: The Tigers are 11-0 and the Razorbacks are 10-1. If Arkansas can beat LSU, it could force a three-way tie atop the SEC West and give them a chance to play in the national championship game. But, LSU will look to finish the regular season undefeated and hold on to the No. 1 ranking.

16 Wisconsin v. 19 Penn State

When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wis.

Channel: ESPN

Breakdown: Wisconsin and Penn State battle to see who will represent the Big Ten Leaders division in the inaugural Big Ten championship game. Michigan State will represent the Legends division and has already beaten the Badgers (9-2) this season.

1 North Carolina v. South Carolina — college basketball

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas

Channel: ESPN2

Breakdown: After opening the season against Michigan State, the Tar Heels schedule doesn’t slow down as they begin the 2011 Las Vegas Invitational. North Carolina looks to outmatch the Gamecocks on a neutral court.

Colorado Avalanche v. Edmonton Oilers

When: 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Pepsi Center, Denver

Channel: Altitude

Breakdown: The Northwest division rivals face off in an early season game. The Avalanche went 7-4 in October before losing eight of their first 10 in November. The Oilers haven’t fared much better this month, but they sit second in the division. With the Minnesota Wild pulling away, a win Saturday would be big for both teams.

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