Am I the only one that has a feeling that one of the Buckeyes or the Seminoles (*cough*BUCKEYES*cough*) will blow a gasket and lose their conference championship game, opening the door for, of course, the SEC champion to walk into the BCS Championship game? No? OK good.
Alright, the final week of the regular season is upon us (I count Army-Navy as a special week…nothing regular about that game). And that means conference championship time. At least this season, barring complete insanity (think last Saturday in Auburn at around 7:25), the BCS Championship game will feature two conference champions. Let’s start with the cable schedule for this week:
|Thursday||Louisville at Cincinnati||7:30 PM||SN360|
|Saturday||Oklahoma at Oklahoma State||12:00 PM||ABC|
|Saturday||Texas at Baylor||3:30 PM||FOX|
|Saturday||Missouri vs. Auburn (SEC Championship)||4:00 PM||CBS|
|Saturday||Duke vs. Florida State (ACC Championship)||8:00 PM||ABC|
|Saturday||Michigan State vs. Ohio State (Big Ten Championship)||8:00 PM||FOX/SN1|
|Saturday||Utah State at Fresno State (MWC Championship)||10:00 PM||CBS|
Interesting that the Mountain West title game is ending up on CBS and not CBS Sports Network. The execs at CBS Sports must have been shaking their collective heads when they saw Fresno State play arena ball against San Jose State and ruin their BCS chances in the loss. A Bulldog win would have been a ratings coup for CBS and the Mountain West. Now it’s a game that probably only Bulldogs fans, Aggie fans, and die-hards (like myself) will watch. With four high profile conference championship match-ups, you would think one of them would have had the balls to move their championship to noon. I know it’s not an ideal spot but the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 sharing the same time is ludicrous. The SEC will get pretty much all the viewers at 4:00, especially if Oklahoma State wins Bedlam and ends the Big 12 race earlier in the day. If I had been the ACC, I would have moved the game to noon a few weeks back, knowing Florida State was almost a shoo-in for the BCS title game and their opponent wouldn’t even be in the top 15. At least you’d get more viewers.
Now on to the specialty pack schedule:
|Thursday||Louisville at Cincinnati||7:30 PM|
|Friday||Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green (MAC Championship)||8:00 PM|
|Saturday||Marshall at Rice (Conference USA Championship)||12:00 PM|
|Saturday||UCF at SMU||12:00 PM|
|Saturday||Southern vs. Jackson State (SWAC Championship)||2:00 PM|
|Saturday||USF at Rutgers||7:15 PM|
|Saturday||Stanford at Arizona State (Pac-12 Championship)||7:45 PM|
A couple of differences that I see (at this point) between Rogers and Bell’s specialty pack schedules:
- I see the Louisville-Cincinnati game on the specialty pack for Rogers but not Bell. To be honest, it doesn’t matter since it’s already on Sportsnet 360 (yes it’s on a Sportsnet channel!).
- The SWAC Championship is on the Rogers schedule but not Bell’s. I see this changing by tonight but will keep you updated as to this.
I can see the Pac-12 Championship being the best of the three conference title games at the primetime slot. It is unfortunate that Canadian college football fans who don’t get the specialty channels can’t watch this one thanks to ESPN’s stranglehold on NCAA programming. I still sincerely hope that Rogers and Bell restructure these to include FOX network games next season. That would be a coup and would probably bring in a lot more customers.
I am pretty sure the BCS Selection show is Sunday evening. After that, bowl invites should come out in a steady stream for the next four to five days, filling up most of the slots. And guaranteed, if a team gets an invite, they will snatch it and not go all Louisiana Tech and hope for a better bowl game. I will update pretty much on a daily basis the updated bowl projections and confirmed bids starting Monday.
Update: After winning last night against Cincinnati and securing UCF the American title and BCS bid, Louisville accepted an invitation to the Russell Athletic Bowl (just like I predicted!). Also, Tulane will face UL-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl so it should be a good crowd at the Superdome for that one.