Conference Championships Loom Large This Weekend

Conference Championships Loom Large This Weekend
  • Opening Intro -

    It has all come down to this: a handful of conference championships that will determine the bowl placement for 70 college football teams later this month and into January.

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Regular season winds downs.

A half dozen games will have significant bearing, with several other games having a much smaller impact. No one ever said that Division 1-A (FBS) football makes sense and soon, we’ll see just how senseless it can seem, at least for some teams.

LSU Tigers

Big on everyone’s list this weekend is #14 Georgia taking on #1 LSU this Saturday for the SEC championship. The Bulldogs opened the season with losses to Boise State and South Carolina, but have gone 10-0 since. LSU is 12-0 and will be the top seed with a win. However, even if Georgia upsets the Tigers, LSU could still be ranked as high as #2 and take on Arkansas or Alabama for the national championship. Figure that the BCS title game will be an SEC affair again this year with the conference assured of its fifth consecutive national championship.

Even before this Saturday’s action gets started, West Virginia will take on South Florida on Thursday night for a chance to stay in the BCS hunt. However, the Mountaineers will have to win their game and hope that they’re computer ranked higher than Louisville which at 7-5 has clinched a share of the Big East title. Louisville isn’t an automatic for a BCS game, but they still have a chance of getting in.

Pac 10

How did a 6-6 UCLA team get to match up against #9 Oregon for the Pac 10 title game? That’s easy — 10-2 USC isn’t eligible for the game or a post season appearance. The Bruins are coming off of a 50-0 lashing by the Bruins and may have just as difficult a time on Friday night against the Ducks. Other than west coast audiences, this game isn’t likely to draw much interest beyond that area of the country.

Other championship games have #24 Southern Miss battling #6 Houston for the Conference USA title, with the latter all but assured of an at-large BCS berth. Should the Golden Eagles surprise the Cougars, then Houston’s fortunes will likely rest on how the remaining games turn out this weekend. Don’t expect Houston to lose, even though they struggled during the first half of their game against Tulsa last week. Houston and LSU are likely to both finish 13-0, but not face each other for the BCS title game.

Other Games

Virginia Tech vs. Clemson and Wisconsin vs. Michigan State are two more title games of consequence. However, #10 Oklahoma taking on #3 Oklahoma State will likely lead to one of those teams getting a BCS nod with the other having to settle for a bowl of little consequence.

The regular season is not officially over until Dec. 10 when Army takes on Navy in Washington, D.C. Neither team is bowl eligible this year, therefore this game will be each team’s “bowl” game to close out the regular season. We’ll publish our bowl outlook next week and include our predictions on outcomes too.

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