Friday: 6:00: MAC Championship Game: Northern Illinois vs. Ohio (ESPN2) – This gets the championship games started. This will be a close one. I like Frank Solich though. Ohio 24-23.
7:00: PAC XII Championship Game: UCLA @ Oregon (FOX) – Well Rick Neuheisel finally got fired…right after he won the PAC XII South division*. The Bruins were blasted by USC 50-0 last week. The game is at Autzen Stadium. When UCLA loses, they get blown away. Well, they’re gonna lose here…and get blown away. Hopefully, the petition they filed to be given bowl eligibility despite ending up 6-7 after this loss works out for them. Quack Quack to the Rose Bowl 48-10.
11:00 AM: C-USA Championship Game: Southern Mississippi @ Houston (ABC) – If the Cougars pull this home game out, they are likely headed to the Sugar Bowl as a BCS automatic qualifier. I haven’t watched Southern Miss play much this year, but I did watch them lose to UAB. Enough said. Cougars 38-21.
‘Kinda’ Big East Championship Game: Connecticut @ Cincinnati (ESPN) – If West Virginia won on Thursday night, Cincinnati is out of the Big East race, but this game can still affect the BCS automatic bid from the Big East. If Cincy wins after a West Virginia win, West Virginia is Big East champ. If Connecticut wins this game, Louisville is the Big East champs. If Cincy wins this game and South Florida won on Thursday night, Cincy is your Big East champ. Wow, that’s a lot of space talking about a conference champion who will get blasted in its BCS game. Okay enough already…Cincy 28-13.
1:00: Central Arkansas @ Montana (espn3.com) – Congrats to the UCA Bears on a first round win. Now they travel to grizzly country to take on Montana. Good luck with that.
2:30: Texas @ Baylor (ABC) – Robert Griffin is still in the Heisman race even if the award doesn’t mean much anymore. A good showing against an overrated Texas could be his breakthrough. I like the Bears at home. After all, they beat the Horns in Austin last year. Texas’ offense doesn’t have the punch to stay in this one. Bears 34-26.
3:00: SEC Championship Game: Georgia vs. LSU (CBS) – See “If I Were a Bettin’ Man…” below.
3:30: Troy @ Arkansas State (espn3.com) – The 29th ranked and conference champs Red Wolves look to pick up their 10th win of the year. Truly amazing. They are a win here and a win in a bowl game away from being ranked in the top 25. I never thought I would see the day. Hugh Freeze for national coach of the year! Hopefully he sticks around Jonesboro for a while, and this isn’t his last game as ASU’s head coach. Howl Yeah 38-17.
7:00: ACC Championship Game: Clemson vs. Virginia Tech (ESPN) – This game has already been played in the regular season, and the ACC will once again have its championship game about half full I’m sure. If their own fans aren’t interested, I am not either. The Hokies get revenge and Clemson gets to that comfortable loss mark of 4 with one still to come in a bowl game. Va Tech 31-30.
B1G Championship Game: Michigan State vs. Wisconsin (Fox) – There was a fake post on Craigslist this week looking for “seat-fillers” for Saturday night at an event in downtown Indianapolis where this game is being played. People were asked to wear red or green, and they would be paid $75 for their trouble. Needless to say no one in Big Ten country is that excited about their inaugural championship game. On stubhub.com alone, there are over 5 pages of tickets under $50. The game itself should probably be pretty good. These teams played in the regular season, and you may remember it came down to a controversial Hail Mary pass completed for a touchdown by Michigan State at the buzzer. I think Wisky gets revenge and a Rose Bowl bid to play Oregon, which will be an excellent game too. Badgers 35-27.
Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State (ABC) – Forget the two other 7:00 games mentioned above if you only have one TV. This is the game to watch. Points galore. Bedlam just got kicked up a notch and look who the favorite is – OSU. Okie State has the outside shot at the big game. Oklahoma is finishing a disappointing season not living up to their standards. The winner wins the Big 12 and gets an automatic BCS bid. The home crowd will be tough to go against for the Sooners, but I think the underachieving Sooners show up for this one just to ruin the Cowboys’ season. Sooners 45-42.
If I Were a Bettin’ Man… - Take all of the money you have made this year and double it up on this game. MItB.
SEC Championship Game: Georgia vs. LSU (-13) – If you have read the blog any this season, you know how I feel about both of these teams. LSU is the best team in the nation, and Georgia is smoke and mirrors. Aaron Murray is a very inconsistent QB who overthrows at least five passes a game. Their running game is not much better because their freshman RB Isaiah Crowell can’t finish a game. Georgia’s best win this year is either Georgia Tech or Auburn (they’ve won 10 in a row due to the cakewalk schedule they’ve faced). Remember the last time the Bulldogs faced a swarming defense (that is not near as good as the LSU nasty boys they will see Saturday night)? Try South Carolina (a narrow loss at home in which numerous Georgia turnovers set up easy scores for the Gamecocks) and Boise State (in the Georgia Dome too, Boise dominated the game and it wasn’t as close as the final score – a 35-21 Bronco win). Geaux Tigers 34-10.
Enjoy your weekend!-Ernie