You have to kind of hope for it right? Let’s put this into perspective. If Clemson and Alabama both win, then ESPN won’t have that GREAT DEBATE that they want on Sunday over Who’s In. Oklahoma and the Big Ten champion are in for sure no matter what. Hell, Clemson and Alabama may even take most of the guesswork out of the New Year’s Six as well. Woe is ESPN to have a four-hour long show over basically nothing. Could be worse I guess. We could have to watch TSN radio (yes, watch) for four hours straight. I think I would gouge out my eyes and then try and feel around for my ears and stick pens in them just to be safe.
Alright, here is the short but sweet college football TV schedule for this Saturday (plus one):
MAC Championship – Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois (in Detroit) (Friday, 8:00, specialty pack) – Now that Toledo lost their way out of the MAC title game, it takes the guesswork out of the Group of Five New Year’s Six spot. This should be a good game in what has to be Dino Babers’ final game at Bowling Green after one full season. He is one of the crop of next big things when it comes to coaching. Imagine a game pitting him against Mike Leach? It would take five hours and the score would be 96-95. We need to make this happen.
Texas at Baylor (Noon, TSN5) – This has become less important ever since Baylor lost to TCU and Texas played like shit after the Red River Shootout. I cannot stress this enough but Charlie Strong needs to take one of the Power Five jobs and get out of Austin or he may be in trouble. I wouldn’t expect him to last the whole 2016 season with the Horns unless they blow everyone away and become a top 10 team again. As for Baylor, it’s simple. Win and they clinch the Sugar Bowl spot thanks to fun-time tiebreakers.
AAC Championship – Temple at Houston (Noon, ABC/TSN4) – The American conference has been featured multiple times on ABC this year. This is how good this conference has been. So it makes sense that this game determines who gets to play in a New Year’s Six bowl and who goes to, like, St. Petersburg or something.
Conference USA Championship – Southern Miss at Western Kentucky (Noon, specialty pack) – Talk about a turnaround story. Southern Miss was horrid the past few years. Now they are one win away from a conference championship. WKU still has to be considered the favourite here though.
SEC Championship – Alabama vs. Florida (in Atlanta) (4:00, CBS) – I wonder how much of a favourite Bama is in this one (sweet Jesus 17.5 points?). This should be a cakewalk…operative word being should. The Committee is secretly hoping for the Tide to win going away. ESPN is hoping for CHAOS! So naturally they would want Florida to win so they can debate late into the night and all the way up until the new Selection Show on Sunday (which we can’t get because the CRTC hates us all). Anyway, I fully expect the Tide to win and The Committee to be happy.
SWAC Championship – Alcorn State vs. Grambling (in Houston) (4:00, specialty pack) – Now that the SWAC and MEAC have this Celebration Bowl on Bowl Opening Day, they need to send their champs to play. The MEAC sent theirs what feels like a month ago. The SWAC, on the other hand, keeps playing regular season games, then a conference championship, and THEN they can send their team there. Most of the time this ends up being a good game. It may not be the most high-quality football, but a close finish is a close finish. Plus, seeing who they are up against, a close game is the only thing that will bring eyeballs over to their game.
Mountain West Championship – Air Force at San Diego State (7:30, specialty pack) – The CBS experiment is over (for now) for the Mountain West Championship game. The last two years it was on CBS at 10:00 and it caused a whole host of problems. I mean the fact that some stations decided it was more important to put news on than the game tells you how popular this game was. I mean if this had been for the Group of Five spot it would be a different story. Anyway, not many will watch this game considering what it’s up against.
Pac-12 Championship – Stanford vs. USC (in Santa Clara) (7:45, specialty pack) – This game has been relegated in importance at this point. Saying that, if Alabama somehow loses earlier, this game becomes huge since it opens the door to Stanford entering the College Football Playoff. Otherwise, should be a good game for new PERMANENT head coach Clay Helton as the Trojans try to get some momentum for 2016.
Big Ten Championship – Iowa vs. Michigan State (8:00, FOX) – I still don’t understand how the Big Ten has their championship on FOX. But I guess with FOX holding some ownership in the Big Ten Network it makes sense. Winner here goes to the CFP no questions asked. I’d love to see Iowa win since they are the one team that doesn’t feel like a college football blueblood.
ACC Championship – Clemson vs. North Carolina (8:00, ABC) – Again, a game where The Committee and ESPN have opposing views of what they (secretly) want to happen. This is much different than the SEC Championship. UNC is coming in red hot and will be playing in their own backyard. They have a chance to really shake up the CFP if they win here. I have a feeling this will be close.
We have some NFL football tonight with Green Bay playing Detroit. It feels like there is basically no football after what we had for the previous three-plus weeks. I am hoping to update bowl projections as they become bowl bids. Many of these should start sometime tomorrow or early Saturday, well before the Selection Show on Sunday.