NCAA Football Conference Championship Weekend
With a win over USC on Saturday night Notre Dame clinched a spot in the BCS Championship Game as the top ranked team in the country. #2 Alabama and #3 Georgia will play each other in the SEC Championship on Saturday for the right to play them. However, there are lots of other BCS bids up for grabs this weekend with games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The only BCS conference not on Canadian TV this weekend is the ACC, where Florida State are two touchdown favourites over Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game.
Here is the complete broadcast schedule. I’ll go on with the importance of each game following the schedule.
Thursday November 29
7:30pm, Louisville (9-2) @ Rutgers (9-2) – theScore
Friday November 30
8:00pm, 16 UCLA (9-3) @ 8 Stanford (10-2) – FOX
Saturday December 1
12:00pm, 11 Oklahoma (9-2) @ Texas Christian (7-4) – TSN2
12:00pm, 23 Oklahoma State (7-4) @ Baylor (6-5) – SN1
3:30pm, 20 Boise State (9-2) @ Nevada (7-4) – ABC
4:00pm, 2 Alabama (11-1) vs. 3 Georgia (11-1) – CBS
8:00pm, 18 Texas (8-3) @ 6 Kansas State (10-1) – ABC
8:15pm, 12 Nebraska (10-2) vs. Wisconsin (7-5) – FOX
The Big East title (and an automatic BCS at-large birth) will be decided Thursday night. With a win Rutgers will claim the outright Big East championship for the first time ever. A Louisville win would result in a three or even four way tie between Rutgers, Louisville, Syracuse and possibly Cincinnati. However, in this situation Louisville would hold the tiebreaker. So, the winner of Thursday’s game will get a BCS birth.
UCLA and Stanford meet for the second time in six days on Friday night. Stanford handled UCLA at the Rose Bowl on the weekend. Now they get to play at home. The winner will play in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.
The Pac-12’s opponent for the Rose Bowl will be decided on Saturday night. The Big Ten title game is also a rematch; Nebraska beat Wisconsin earlier this season. And if UCLA and Nebraska both win this weekend, it will set up another rematch. The two already played each other at the Rose Bowl back in September. UCLA won.
The Big 12 features three games on Canadian TV on Saturday. All three feature two teams headed to bowl games. TCU, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas are all playing for positioning in the bowl pecking order. The Cotton Bowl and Alamo Bowl are top prizes. Texas and Oklahoma are both headed to the BCS with wins. If Kansas State wins, they will go to the Fiesta Bowl as Big 12 champion. If they don’t, and Oklahoma wins, then Oklahoma will. If both lose, Kansas State controls the tiebreaker.
Boise State can clinch a share of the Mountain West title with a win over Nevada in a rare appearance on ABC. If UCLA, Florida State, Kent State and Texas all lose, then they could back their way into a BCS birth as well, unlikely as it is. Mountain West co-champs San Diego State have already accepted a bid to play Brigham Young in the Poinsettia Bowl, while Air Force are headed for the Armed Forces Bowl and Nevada to the New Mexico Bowl. That leaves the Las Vegas Bowl and Hawaii Bowl as the two landing spots for Boise State. If they win Saturday, chances are they are Vegas bound to play a Pac-12 team.
Nothing much needs to be said about Alabama vs. Georgia other than the winner will play for the BCS Championship. The loser will drop all the way out of the BCS as Florida will likely claim the SEC’s 2nd spot automatically just by not playing, and moving past Alabama or Georgia to #3. The Cotton Bowl or Citrus Bowl aren’t bad places to land; however, neither is Miami for the BCS Championship.