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.

3 thoughts on “NCAA Football Conference Championship Weekend

  1. Great summary Josh.

    It seems like each and every year the Fiesta Bowl gets the best BCS matchup (not including the title game), probably because of their at-large slot. It’s looking like Kansas St vs Texas A&M this year, which would be a dandy (if only to see Klein and Manziel go head-to-head).

    The only scenerio I can see of the loser of the SEC championship keeping the 3rd spot is if it’s a really close final score. Regardless, the BCS final will be a huge ratings day for ESPN simply due to the fact that Notre Dame will be playing – I’m guessing the biggest audience in the last decade.

    • I could see Alabama keeping #3 over Florida, but no chance Georgia will. Which is unfortunate because Georgia are basically getting punished for beating Florida in October (if they lose).

      A&M will not go to any BCS Bowl. As I said, Florida and ‘Bama/Georgia winner will get the 2 SEC slots. Fiesta Bowl will almost certainly be Oregon vs. the Big 12 winner. Oregon will probably be ranked #3 or #4 and Phoenix is within the Pac-12 footprint. The way the picks go this year is (To make it easy I’ll assume favourites win on Saturday):

      Auto-bids are: Nebraska and Stanford go to Rose; Florida State goes to Orange; Kansas State to the Fiesta

      Sugar gets 1st pick (to replace ‘Bama/Georgia): Florida
      Fiesta gets 2nd pick: Oregon
      Sugar gets 3rd pick: Oklahoma or Clemson (depending on if Oklahoma wins or not)
      Orange gets 4th pick: Louisville/Rutgers winner

      The Fiesta, Sugar and Orange all have at-large slots. The Fiesta getting the best matchups is purely based on luck, and being forced to Boise State and TCU a few times (which gave great matchups, but not so much revenue).

      Now the real wildcard is if Kent State moves up to 16th, which could happen if UCLA and Texas lose. Because the Big East (and possibly Big Ten and ACC) winner(s) are ranked below them, they would also get an automatic bid. That would knock Oklahoma and Clemson out of contention. And the Sugar would have to take Kent State or the Big East winner, so not exactly desirable. Florida-Louisville and Kent State-Florida State are hardly exciting BCS matchups.

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