All times Central
For the foreseeable future my Saturdays in the fall are consumed by college football. I often include a second, and sometimes third screen in my day, and this year will be no exception. Be that as it may, I figured a good way to preview the college football weekends would be to go through the day and say what I plan to watch on each screen.
BCS Bowl Predictions
Rather than list the handful of unbeaten teams, this week will feature my predictions for BCS Bowls. This is based on the current BCS Standings (“if the season ended today”) and mostly focuses on where the at-large teams will end up. If you want information on how teams end up where, check out the official BCS procedures. Bold teams represent existing tie-ins, basically things I am not guessing.
- BCS National Championship – Notre Dame vs. Alabama/Georgia
- Fiesta Bowl – Kansas St. vs. Florida St.
- Sugar Bowl – Florida vs. Oklahoma
- Orange Bowl – Clemson/??? vs. Rutgers
- Rose Bowl – Oregon/UCLA vs. Nebraska/Wisconsin
Friday, November 23rd
Nebraska at Iowa (10 am/ESPN2) – Only of note to Michigan fans. They need an
IowaNebraska loss to give them a shot at winning the Legends division on Saturday. Seems unlikely, but we can hope.
LSU at Arkansas (2:30 pm/CBS) – Barely worth mentioning, but does give us LSU, who still has a very outside chance of making the National Championship with a LOT of help.
Saturday, November 24th
Michigan at Ohio St. (11 am/ABC) – One of the best rivalries in sports. Ohio St. is looking to cap off their undefeated season, and Michigan is hoping a Nebraska loss on Friday will open the door for a Big Ten title game appearance.
Georgia Tech at Georgia (11 am/ESPN) – A win for Georgia seals their “win and their in” fate for the SEC title game. Georgia Tech is hoping Miami (FL) loses so that they can make the ACC title game. A loss puts them at 6-6 though.
Florida vs. Florida St. (2:30 pm/ABC) – Always a huge game anyway, even huger than normal. Florida is still lurking in the National Championship conversation. A Notre Dame loss, or an Alabama/Georgia loss and then subsequent SEC title win would give Florida a weird way to back into the championship. Either way, both teams are also looking for at-large bids. The winner likely locks up a spot with a win.
Auburn at Alabama (2:30 pm/CBS) – I would take Alabama minus anything in this game if I was betting. I suppose anything can happen, but the most likely answer is that it’s Gene Chzik’s last game as Auburn’s coach.
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (2:30 pm/ESPN) – Games like this are what rivalry weeks are about. Oklahoma is still in the driver’s seat for an at-large bid (the pool of teams is looking small) and so this game still matters a lot for them. Also, assuming the Big 12 does it the way the Big 10 used to, this game would get them at least a share of the Big 12 title.
Notre Dame vs. USC (7 pm/ABC) – This game has a lot less buzz now that Matt Barkley is out. There is no reason Notre Dame should lose, but it is a road game and anything can happen. Obviously the biggest game of the week.
South Carolina at Clemson (6:00 pm/ESPN) – This is a game no one is talking about. Clemson is quietly 10-1 and 11th in the BCS. They are 9th in both human polls, but more importantly 15th in the computers. A win here is going to give them a big boost. If Florida St. beats Florida, it should increase their computer ranking as well. If a team or two ahead of them loses, they could jump way up. They will need a miracle, but it’s possible.
Missouri at Texas A&M (6 pm/ESPN2) – Apologies to UCLA and Stanford, but the possibility of that game being repeated in the Pac 12 title game is too high to get excited about it. Johnny Manziel has to the be Heisman favorite at this point. Mantei T’eo can keep hoping, but it just doesn’t seem likely. Texas A&M has made a surprise top 10 appearance in their first SEC season. They should cruise here and have a chance to finish the season in the top 5 depending on how the bowls shakeout. This is his last chance to win voters over.
Did I miss any games you will be watching?