The Bummer Fact this weekend is that Notre Dame is done for the regular season and won’t be playing. Alabama and Georgia duke it out on Saturday to determine which team will dismantle the Arsh in the BCS Championship game – which savor, incidentally, because you won’t be seeing another one under the BCS system.
It’s a weekend of endings. But Tulsa has one more go hosting Central Florida on Saturday morning for the C-USA title. Both come in 9-3, 7-1 conference. Tulsa lost a very stupid game last week to the worthless SMU Mustangs, who came to play, unlike the Golden Hurricane bench, which came to put in the time. UCF’s losses this season were (relatively) tight ones to Ohio State, Missouri, and Tulsa. The Knights are not to be sneezed at, even for the team that beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010. TU will have its work cut out for it. A win has the potential of putting Tulsa in the Liberty Bowl. A loss will mean one of four booger bowls with which C-USA is affiliated this year, which at least are in great places like Dallas and St. Petersburg.
Oklahoma, BCS #11, will be at TCU on Saturday, and if you’re into Big 12 drama, Saturday’s the day for you. If Texas can beat #6 Kansas State and Oklahoma beats TCU, there’s a possibility of OU sharing the Big 12 title. Frankly, the Sooners don’t deserve that this year. But I wouldn’t mind seeing Texas beat K-State. Oklahoma is unquestionably the better team in the TCU match-up, but the Horned Frogs beat Texas last week in Austin. So it’s another exciting Big 12 finish (minus the actual championship game this year), and the computers could get a work-out depending on the outcomes tomorrow.
On the other hand, if K-State wins over the Longhorns, the Big 12 champ will be the winningest and best team in the conference, which would put the Big 12 in company with the SEC, as opposed to the weird stuff going on with division leaders in some of those other conferences.
#23 Oklahoma State will be at Baylor, and should also be watching its six. I do expect the Cowboys to be pumped and hungry, as always. I really like how they keep playing football until the game’s actually over. That just resonates with me. In any case, they’re the better team at this point in the season, and the oddsdudes have them giving 5.
The Game (Army-Navy) will be on the 8th. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech, closing the season at 6-6 last week, will be waiting for a bowl bid while Florida State heads to Georgia Tech for Saturday’s ACC title game. In the always hilarious Coastal Division, 8-4 North Carolina is ineligible and 7-5 Miami has imposed a bowl ban on itself for the second year, so 6-6 Georgia Tech is carrying the division torch. ‘Noles give 14.
Nevada hosts #20 Boise State, and we went over the historical excitement of that match-up last week. Weather will be a balmy 57 with showers at game time in Reno. If the Broncos win, they’ll share the Mountain West title with Fresno State and San Diego State. If they don’t win, no title honors. Nevada, 7-4, is bowl-eligible already, but would obviously love a win. The two teams are unlikely to play much when Boise State joins the Big East next year. So Saturday’s game will be a form of farewell.
Around the top 10, the Alabama-Georgia game is clearly the game of the week in terms of being a difference-maker. Should be pretty good football too. The Tide isn’t invulnerable; we know that. We here at the TOC Football Commentary Service give ‘Bama the edge in this one, flowing with an oddsquad that has them giving 7. We deem either SEC team well capable of beating Notre Dame to a pulp. But the magic is with South Bend this year, and first, the ‘Tide and the ‘Dogs have to get through tomorrow.
#4 Florida and #5 Oregon are on the sidelines this week, as other teams play for their conferences’ titles. Tonight we’ll see #8 Stanford host #16 UCLA in the Pac-12 championship game – and it’s guaranteed to be raining. Upper 50-ish at game time. The Heathered Aubergine is favored by 9. Go Bruins!
LSU should be pretty locked in at #7, with a good bowl game to look forward to. The only thing that might disturb Texas A&M at #9, or South Carolina at #10, is a thumping win by UCLA. Not expecting that.
In the other ranks of the FBS, we are pleased to report that Louisville slew Rutgers 20-17 last night, in New Jersey. Heh. The Cardinals cement the Big East, for whatever good that does these days.
#12 Nebraska will be at Wisconsin, representing the Legends Division in the Big Ten championship game. The Leaders Division has the sickness going around this year: two teams above Wisconsin – 12-0 Ohio State and 8-4 Penn State – who are ineligible due to being bad. So a 7-5 Wisconsin will try to keep the trophy out of Husker hands. Nebraska’s parsimonious fans haven’t bumped the give above 3. We predict Huskers will cover.
#21 Northern Illinois and #17 Kent State have just started the Mid-Atlantic Conference championship game. The Golden Flashes just scored. West Virginia will host unfortunate Kansas on Saturday, in a Big 12 sideshow, and much as we love the 6-5 Mountaineers, we’d enjoy seeing the 1-10 Jayhawks bump it up to 2-10. It’s kind of annoying for anybody to be that pathetic. Get yourselves a coach, guys.
In the pointless filler games category, we would be remiss not to mention #15 Oregon State hosting Nicholls, one of our favorite from among the FCS teams that regularly show up to be a punching bag for a top 25 FBS team late in the season. The cellar-dwelling Colonels are 1-9 (0-7 in the FCS Southland Conference), and this will be their first meeting with the Beavers. Somebody in Corvallis has a sense of humor.
The Sun Belt Conference’s South Alabama Jaguars apparently wanted to take a Hawaii vacation, as they too are participating in an ultimate pointless filler game with the Warriors on the last day of the regular season. The Jaguars are 2-10 and on the bottom in the rapidly disintegrating Sun Belt. Hawaii is 2-9 and last in the Mountain West. Warriors give 6 in this one. We hope lots of armed forces families will be able to enjoy the evening in Aloha Stadium.
Northern Illinois just tied it up at 10-all with Kent State. Pac-12 game about to start. Bowl match-ups start on the 15th.