This is it, essentially the last week of the college football regular season. With it, there are conference championship games and “de facto” championship games, all coming to a television screen near you. This week is for all the marbles as college football fans will see the national title picture and the rest of the BCS mess cleared up.
Nothing is on regional coverage this week, so to hell with the coverage maps! All rankings are the current BCS standings. Grab some cold ones and crash your couch like you’re a Salahi at the White House with Eyes Of TX’s week 14 viewing guide as your ticket to this week’s college football match-ups. No Secret Service approval necessary.
9:00 PM ET
#16 Oregon State at #7 Oregon, ESPN
The winner of the Civil War will take the Pac-10 title and with it, a trip to meet Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. You’ve got to love an in-state rivalry game with so much riding on it. Neither team has been to the Rose Bowl in at least 15 years (or, 45 years for the Beavers). USC head coach Pete Carroll is rolling over in his L.A. grave, er, mansion. OSU bonus: Sara Jean Underwood!
8:00 PM ET
Central Michigan v. Ohio, ESPN2
The MAC Championship. Central Michigan carries an unbeaten conference record that includes victories over Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, and Michigan State. Who knew Michigan was so big? They also dominated Northern Illinois (hey, they’ve got to start somewhere), so they are the favorite in any game featuring a region, thus giving Ohio a fighting chance, right? Oh, we lost you at MAC?
12:00 PM ET
#5 Cincinnati at #15 Pittsburgh, ABC
Another conference championship is on the line, this time featuring an undefeated team without a prayer of playing for the national title. Football fans would sooner see a rematch of the SEC title game than the Bearcats sneaking into the BCS’ top two. Given the shine of the Irish gold, could this be Brian Kelly’s last game for Cincinnati? Bonus: Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt’s uneven mustache!
3:30 PM ET
Arizona at #18 USC, ABC
To fill in the gap before the SEC Championship check in on this one. Plenty is riding on this game for USC with regard to bowl placement. The Trojans could finish second in the conference with a win (if Oregon State loses), or as low as sixth if Arizona pulls off the victory. Is Arizona football suddenly better than Arizona basketball? In December, it sure seems to be the case – go Desert Swarm!
On a Big 12 note, the #2-ranked ‘Horns take on USC on the hard court in the Erwin Center in Austin on Thursday night (9:00p ET on ESPN2).
4:00 PM ET
#1 Florida v. #2 Alabama, CBS
Blah, blah, blah, Tebow, blah, blah, Saban, blah, blah, blah, scripture, blah, eye poking, blah, blah, Ingram, blah, defense, blah, blah, DUI, blah, blah, blah, rematch, blah, Heisman, blah, blah, blah. This game will be great, too bad it’s sullied by all of the hyperbole and exhausted storylines. Plus, if you choose to watch this game and not the Big 12 Championship, you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog.
#22 Nebraska v. #3 Texas, ABC
The Big 12 title game is finally here. One final test for the Longhorns and after a neck-and-neck game last week at A&M, there’s plenty of speculation that this will be a greater test than anyone anticipated midway through the season. As expected, a victory on Saturday all but guarantees Texas a slot in the BCS title game in Pasadena. Expect loads of negative energy to be focused on the ‘Horns as most of the country would love nothing more than for the Cornhuskers to pull off the upset and throw the BCS world into a tizzy with TCU waiting in the wings to move into one of the top two national rankings. Bonus: Truth! Hook ‘Em!
Now, a viewing guide bonus!
Sunday, December 12th
2:30 PM ET
Army v. Navy, CBS
This game is always a treat despite the fact that neither team has been really competitive on a national level for about a hundred years. In the wake of the President’s recent announcement that the U.S. will be committing 30,000 more troops to the war effort in Afghanistan, it is nice to pause and watch kids being kids because after all, this violent game is what these guys do for fun, and when they go to work, their jobs are far worse. It’s also a source of morale for our men and women already serving overseas, and as fans and patriots of a great country, we can’t send them enough. So good luck and thank you to both sides for all that you do to protect our freedoms.
Thanks to LilPete for what has been an awesome series of viewing guides this season, keeping college football fans around the world on track. Perhaps a bowl season viewing guide is next?