Last Legs: Season Ending Weekend For Some Gridiron Teams

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Being a schedule maker for college football teams must be an interesting profession, though that job usually falls upon the capable shoulders of the school’s Athletic Director. Filling out the conference schedule is a snap, but when it comes to non-conference games against ever changing opponents, lining up teams and filling in dates on a calendar suddenly becomes quite a challenge.

This weekend will be the last weekend that some teams will see action unless they are bowl eligible. college footballIn that case, a game in December or one in January will extend their season, perhaps giving fans the chance to fly off to a warmer climate to enjoy local sites and a great game.

For some teams, what happens this weekend will have a profound impact on their season, elevating a handful to the upper stratosphere of college football if they win, while placing others in obscurity (or a lesser bowl) if they lose. Let’s take a look at some key contests this weekend and what the stakes are:

Michigan at #10 Ohio State – The Buckeyes are very much alive in the Big Ten race and could win the conference crown if they beat Michigan and Penn State loses to Michigan State. For the Wolverines, they’re playing for dignity because with eight losses (the most in the school’s 129 year football playing history) only a win over the Buckeyes can ease the pain of 2008.

#15 Michigan State at #8 Penn State – The Nittany Lions have recovered from their stunning loss to Iowa, but they still need to beat the Spartans this weekend to qualify for a BCS bowl game. Michigan State can move up in the rankings by knocking off Penn State, helping crown Ohio State the Big 10 champion.

#14 Brigham Young at #7 Utah – Any other year and this game might simply be played for bragging rights for the best team in the state of Utah. The Cougars slipped up badly when they lost to TCU but can achieve redemption by knocking of the Utes. For Utah, a win means a BCS bowl game, perhaps a shot at the national championship if things fall their way.

#20 Pittsburgh at #19 Cincinnati – Both teams will play regular season games after this Saturday, with Pitt still needing to beat West Virginia and UConn once the Bearcats are out of the way. The winner of this game takes over the Big East lead while the loser will probably have to settle for a December bowl game.

#2 Texas Tech at #5 Oklahoma – The Red Raiders of Texas Tech can ensure that they’ll face Missouri for the Big 12 conference title with a win and maintain their shot at playing for the national championship. Should the Sooners prevail, the Texas Longhorns will move up unless the Sooners wipe the Red Raiders off of the field.

What is the oddest match up this weekend? Why that would be 4-7 The Citadel which will take on #4 Florida Gators in the swamp. Ever since losing to Mississippi State by one point on September 27th, the Gators have rolled over every SEC opponent they faced. For FCS The Citadel, a sixty point loss is a real possibility this Saturday.


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