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. Oregon
- Sugar Bowl – Florida vs. Rutgers
- Orange Bowl – Florida St./Georgia Tech vs. Kent St.
- Rose Bowl – Stanford/UCLA vs. Nebraska/Wisconsin
Thursday, November 29th
Main Screen Louisville at Rutgers (6:30 pm/ESPN) – This game will decide the Big East. Rutgers controls their destiny, but a Louisville win creates a logjam at the time where all kinds of tiebreakers come into play.
Friday, November 30th
UCLA at Stanford (7 pm/Fox) – The Pac 12 Championship features two teams no one thought would be here. UCLA had a huge season under new coach Jim L. Mora. Stanford upset Oregon and here they are. This is going to be an interesting game.
Northern Illinois vs. Kent St. (6 pm/ESPN2) – Who would have thought the MAC Championship would factor in to the BCS picture. Kent St. is 17th in the BCS standings and if they crack the top 16, and finish ahead of the Big East champ (which is a lock), they would automatically qualify for a BCS bowl. Even NIU has a shot to crack the top 16 if things fall their way. The Pac 12 champ could fall, as could Nebraska and Clemson if they lose their championship games.
Saturday, December 1st
Oklahoma at TCU (11 am/ESPN) – Oklahoma is still hoping for a shot at an at the Big 12 title or an at-large bid. If they win and Kansas St. loses, they will win the Big 12. As far as at-large bids go, they are definitely third behind Florida and Oregon in the pecking order (one would assume). If Kent St. (or NIU) doesn’t steal the last at-large bid, they are likely the best option.
Oklahoma St. at Baylor (11 am/FX) – Should be a high scoring Big 12 affair. Might also be Art Briles last game in Waco.
Alabama vs. Georgia (3 pm/CBS) – It’s unsurprising that the SEC Championship is going to serve as a de facto national semifinal. It’s also unsurprising that these are the two teams in the game. This should easily be the game of the weekend, especially with so much riding on it.
Texas at Kansas St. (7 pm/ABC) – Kansas St. will know before kickoff if they have already won the Big 12 title or need to win this game. That will definitely play a role. Collin Klein went from Heisman lock a few weeks ago, to pretty much an afterthought. Last impressions are always important, and with Mantei Te’o and Johnny Manziel not playing, Klein has a very long shot at getting back.
Nebraska at Wisconsin (7:17 pm/Fox) – Wisconsin goes back to the Big 10 Championship for the second time in a row, and these teams are playing a rematch of their September 29th meeting. Winner heads to the Rose Bowl, but other than that it’s not the best game in the world.
Florida St. at Georgia Tech (7 pm/ESPN) – The ACC Championship is definitely the low man on the championship list. And when your top two teams (North Carolina and Miami) are ineligible, things like 6-6 Georgia Tech happen. You have to kind of root for them to win, if only for the potential that four of the BCS teams could be: Georgia Tech (7-6), Kent St., anyone from the Big East and a 9-3 UCLA.
Did I miss any games you will be watching?