College Football Championship Week Preview

College Football Championship Week: Previewing the Season's Last Week [College Football Open Thread]

12/2/11 in NCAAF   |   Dan_B   |   1066 respect

This Championship Week has already been called a letdown because spots in the BCS National Championship Game aren't on the line. Nonetheless there is a lot at stake for a lot of teams in this week--including bids to BCS bowls. Here is a breakdown.

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

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12/4/11   |   Pat   |   5134 respect

Eric_ wrote:
Oklahoma State having its way with OU so far. If that holds, the question is what's more important: the team you lost to, or the teams you beat?

Either way, Alabama looks better than Ok State.

But either way, I have zero interest in seeing a rematch of that game, and I think it would be a travesty if we're subjected to LSU-Bama II, when there are other teams with at least a somewhat valid case for a title shot.

12/3/11   |   beach_pirate   |   1121 respect

Game of the Day is in Indy .... Wisconsin / Michigan State.
As if there was ever a question that would be the case.
Sparty up 36-28 (End of 3rd)

Helluva game!
AND ... a Gus game.

p.s.... both of these teams would CRUSH Alabama!!!

12/3/11   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Oklahoma State having its way with OU so far. If that holds, the question is what's more important: the team you lost to, or the teams you beat?

12/3/11   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3292 respect

Eric_ wrote:
I could see why people would rather have a 4 or 8 team playoff, but I figure what's the point of having the lesser conferences in this division if they have no shot of making a theoretical playoff?

For me:

16 team playoff - good
8 team playoff - better
4 team playoff - best

I don't know the point of having the lesser conferences in this division either.

12/3/11   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Chief_aka_James wrote:
I'd just like to say a 16-team system would suck. Can't decide if that's more or less sucky than the BCS, though.

I could see why people would rather have a 4 or 8 team playoff, but I figure what's the point of having the lesser conferences in this division if they have no shot of making a theoretical playoff?

12/3/11   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3292 respect

Eric_ wrote:
Didn't take Houston long to blow all that above work out the window.

I'd just like to say a 16-team system would suck. Can't decide if that's more or less sucky than the BCS, though.

12/3/11   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Didn't take Houston long to blow all that above work out the window.

12/3/11   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3292 respect

Catching the tail end of the Southern Miss/Houston game, and I'm thoroughly confused.

Southern Miss, up 42-21 with 3 minutes left, has a 4th and 15 at the 26 yard line (out of FG range for their kicker). So what do they do? Go with a weird play, a pitch to a WR in motion who throws it wildly to a double-covered receiver and it gets picked off at the 4.

Craig James and Mike Patrick, along with a few football minds (writers, fans) I follow on Twitter, call it unsportsmanlike. Worst case scenario, they score a touchdown and go up 49-21, get accused of piling on, etc. But again, it was picked off at the 4 yard line, and Houston starts a drive with little to no chance of coming back with so little time.

2nd play of the drive, Houston gets picked off and the LB runs it back 20 yards or so for the touchdown. Great play by the D and Patrick/James talk about the great job the whole Southern Miss team has done all day. While all of that is true, didn't they just "pile on" and score more points when they weren't "supposed" to?

12/3/11   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Coming into the day, here's how the playoff system I would implement would look like. My preferred system is a 16 team playoff with the 11 conference champions and 5 at-larges. For simplicity, I'm basing the at-larges and the seedings on the BCS standings. Also for now I'm assuming the higher seeded team in today's title games, both real and de facto, win. I'll update this after the games tonight or tomorrow.

(1) LSU (SEC champion) vs. (16) Arkansas State (Sun Belt champion)
(8) Boise State (at-large) vs. (9) Arkansas (at-large)
(5) Virginia Tech (ACC champion) vs. (12) TCU (Mountain West champion)
(4) Stanford (at-large) vs. (13) West Virginia (Big East champion)

(6) Houston (C-USA champion) vs. (11) Kansas State (at-large)***
(3) Oklahoma State*** (Big 12 champion) vs. (14) Northern Illinois (MAC champion)
(7) Oregon* (Pac 12 champion) vs. (10) Michigan State (Big 10 champion)**
(2) Alabama (at-large) vs. (15) Louisiana Tech (WAC champion)

* Oregon is currently 9th in the BCS. I'm projecting they pass Boise and Arkansas with their Pac 12 win.
** Michigan State is currently higher ranked than Wisconsin, so this scenario assumes they win the Big 10 title game.
*** Since Oklahoma State is higher ranked than Oklahoma, this scenario assumes they win tonight's de facto Big 12 title game. Also, Oklahoma losing that game would presumably take them out of the at-large discussion. Kansas State ends up taking their sport as the final at-large.

Kansas State is currently 11th in the BCS (OU is 10th but would drop in this scenario). South Carolina would be first out. Next three on the list are Michigan State, Georgia, and Wisconsin, who would likely all need to win their title game to make the playoff. Georgia becomes a potential bid thief if they beat LSU, while if Wisconsin wins they become a lower seeded danger team. Houston, of course, needs to wake up against Southern Miss. A loss would presumably keep them out of the at-large pool (Southern Miss I'm guessing would be the 13th seed if they won.)

It's fun to dream.