This week, I say screw the rankings. Everyone is just competing for a conference championship or simple pride. Rankings don’t matter until after.
Record: 141-72, 98-112-3 AS
Friday, December 4, 2009. 8 pm ET
Mid-American Conference Championship
Ohio (9-3) at Central Michigan (10-2) (-13.5)
It’s not Dan LeFevour’s swan song, but it’s his last shot at a championship of any kind. And only Frank Solich’s Ohio team is in the way. Yeah, I’m taking the way-awesomer version of Tim Tebow.
Pick: Central Michigan
Saturday, December 5, 2009
12 pm ET
Houston (10-2) at East Carolina (8-4) (+3)
Is this game disappointing or what? Houston only gets to gaze at all the success, praise, and BCS money being heaped on Boise State and TCU and wonder what could have happened had they not choked that game away against UTEP. Lame. And you know Skip Holtz has something ridiculous ready for the Cougars too. Case Keenum needs to be huge.
12:30 pm ET
Fresno State (7-4) at Illinois (3-8) (-3)
Wait, why am I picking this game?
Pick: Fresno State
West Virginia (8-3) at Rutgers (8-3) (+1.5)
I think the schedulers in the Big East took a shot that either West Virginia and Rutgers or Cincy and Pitt would be playing for the conference title. There’s no way these matchups just happen like this. That said, this is the OTHER Big East game of the weekend. That is, if people still care about the Big East. Which they don’t.
Pick: West Virginia
Cincinnati (11-0) at Pittsburgh (9-2) (-2)
Sadly, it would be a tragedy if Pitt won this game. Not because they suck or something. They’re actually pretty impressive. It would be a tragedy because a Pitt berth into the BCS means one of the at-larges gets screwed and reduces the chance for chaos while increasing the chances for totally unwatchable BCS games. I will have none of this. And thus, I root for the Bearcats on Saturday.
3 pm ET
New Mexico State (3-9) at Boise State (12-0) (-47.5)
Upset watch? Hmm? Hmm? Naaaaaaah. And this is the biggest cover I’ve ever predicted.
Pick: Boise State
3:30 pm ET
Arizona (7-4) at Southern California (8-3) (-7)
I get a weird feeling from USC. This is easily the worst team Pete Carroll has had in his time at USC. The offense makes big plays but has absolutely no firepower whatsoever. Is that possible? Maybe firepower isn’t the word I’m after. Fire? Yeah fire. This incarnation of USC’s offense has no fire. It is arch-conservative and is brutal to watch most of the time. Sure, that’s probably the result of having a true freshman quarterback, but it’s true nonetheless. And USC’s defense just plain sucks. I guess that happens when you lose 8 starters to the NFL draft and those guys spent all their time as starters giving the backups (who are now the starters) some really bad habits.
Pick: USC wins but doesn’t cover
4 pm ET
Southeastern Conference Championship
Florida (12-0) at Alabama (12-0) (+5.5)
Now that both teams are undefeated and my hopes for BCS chaos lie solely with Nebraska beating Texas, I really don’t care who wins this game. The talking heads will describe either team as “gutty” and “tough” and “deserving of a shot at the national championship.” It’s going to be lame and yet probably deserving either way.
I just can’t wait for the outcry when Texas loses and a one-loss SEC team makes the title game anyway because the pollsters are high, or coaches who don’t watch the games. Either way. Does TCU automatically deserve a shot? Absolutely. Their resume is even better than Texas’. But the perception of the SEC as the greatest conference that is so impossibly difficult to win is far too pervasive.
8 pm ET
Atlantic Coast Conference Championship
Georgia Tech (10-2) at Clemson (8-4) (-1)
Georgia Tech had better f*cking win this game. Clemson cannot be the champion of anything. It’s against their nature. If this program isn’t mediocre and THIS close to winning, then what will its identity be? Do us all a favor, Tech, keep the status quo.
Pick: Georgia Tech
Big XII Championship Game
Texas (12-0) at Nebraska (9-3) (+14.5)
Texas’ offense is peaking at the right time. Colt McCoy finally looks like the Colt McCoy from last year. Their defense has been fantastic all year, though their schedule probably helped that out a little bit.
Everything lies with Nebraska. If they can beat Texas, TCU has a legitimate shot at the BCS and Florida. It would be the college football apocalypse, though I’m shocked, SHOCKED that some are already in the press saying Cincinnati could jump TCU with a win over Pitt. You know, because Cincy has played such a tough schedule compared to TCU.
I’m just saying. Watch out for The Man this weekend.