College Football Championship Week: Previewing the Season's Last Week [College Football Open Thread]
Pac-12 Championship Game: UCLA at No. 9 Oregon, Friday 8 p.m. ET:
What's at stake? Only a trip to the Granddaddy of the them all, the Rose Bowl--that's all. Oregon is the overwhelming favorite (31.5 points to be exact) at home against the Bruins and their lame-duck coach Rick Neuheisel. The winner goes to Pasadena (where UCLA normally plays its home games). If Oregon wins UCLA will likely go to the Kraft FIght Hunger Bowl, because it has received a waiver from the NCAA to play in a bowl at 6-7. If UCLA wins the world will explode. But actually, Oregon would likely be jettisoned to the Alamo Bowl and the BCS organizers would be livid.
Conference USA Championship Game: No. 24 Southern MIss at No. 6 Houston, Saturday 12 p.m. ET:
What's at stake? For Houston, quite a lot. With a win the Cougars finish an undefeated regular season and will be guaranteed a berth in a BCS game, likely the the Sugar Bowl. With a loss another at-large BCS spot opens up for for hopefuls such as Stanford, Michigan, Kansas State, Baylor, Boise State, Oklahoma and TCU. Southern Miss could will likely go to the Liberty Bowl with a loss, which is where Houston could end up if it loses.
Connecticut at Cincinnati, Saturday 12 p.m. ET:
What's at stake: Somehow, a BCS bid is at stake, given the Big East's ineptitude. This one is complicated though. If the Huskies win, than Louisville gets a BCS bid (likely the Orange Bowl). If Cincinnati wins than West Virginia likely gets the conference's nod--unless the Bearcats can hurdle the Mountaineers in the BCS Standings, which is unlikely. If they do, however, the Bearcats are BCS bound.
SEC Championship Game: No. 14 vs. No. 1 LSU at the Georgia Dome, Saturday 4 p.m. ET:
What's at stake? For Georgia, quite a lot. A win locks the Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl. With a loss Georgia will not go to a BCS game and will likely go to the Outback Bowl. This is a nightmare scenario for BCS hopefuls, because LSU is likely locked into the BCS National Championship Game versus Alabama regardless, meaning a Georgia victory sends three SEC schools to BCS games. That removes an at-large spot in the BCS. For LSU, as long as they don't lose by say, 100, they will play in the title game.
Bedlam: No. 10 Oklahoma at No. 3 Oklahoma State, Saturday 8 p.m. ET:
What's at stake? Quite a lot. The Big-12 title, which means an automatic trip to the Fiesta Bowl goes to the winner. If the Cowboys win they hold out some hope that voters won't want to see an LSU-Alabama rematch and will vote them into the BCS National Championship Game over the Crimson Tide. That is an unlikely scenario, but not entirely impossible. If the Cowboys lose they could get an at-large BCS bid, though it is unlikely. Oklahoma will likely go to the Cotton Bowl if it loses.
ACC Championship Game: No. 20 Clemson vs. No. 5 Virginia Tech at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C, Saturday 8 p.m. ET:
What's at stake? This one is pretty simple. The winner will go to the Orange Bowl, the loser will go to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Virginia Tech could make a claim that it belongs in the BCS National Championship Game with a win, but the ACC's continued failings in BCS games (2-11 all-time record) all but eliminates the Hokies.
Big Ten Championship: No. 15 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 Michigan State at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., Saturday 8:17 p.m. ET:
What's at stake? The winner of the first Big Ten Championship Game will be headed to the Rose Bowl. The loser will likely be in the Outback Bowl. It's fairy simple. If a second Big Ten team gets a BCS bid it will be Michigan, not one of these teams.
Other Games With Potential BCS Implications:
Iowa State at Kansas State, 12:30 p.m. ET
UNLV at TCU, 2:30 p.m. ET
Texas at Baylor, 3:30 p.m. ET
New Mexico at Boise State, 6 p.m. ET