Saturday, December 02, 2006

The last week of regular-season college football

Firstly, congratulations to Central Michigan. The Chippewas looked great against the Miami Bobcats as they won the Mid-American Conference title game. Second, congratulations to the local (for the moment) Houston Cougars, who beat Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA title match. Additionally, the most well-known college football rivalry game was held this week; the Midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy were victorious against the Cadets. Now, for the games with greater financial impact:

Louisville easily dispatched UConn, and if the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers slip up against the West Virginia Mountaineers, the one-loss Cardinals will be in a BCS game. (And maybe even if they don't.)

In the ACC title game, which was the weakest of the BCS conferences this year, Wake Forest got three field goals to Georgia Tech's two. Thus, the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest will be competing in the Orange Bowl. There was another outcome of the game as well, though--the losses this week and last will likely knock Georgia Tech out of the top 25. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is to another team--the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Notre Dame lost big to Michigan and USC, the two top teams they've played. Their best wins are against Penn State, Navy, and Georgia Tech, who will probably all be in the "Also Receiving Votes" category. Ths may be enough to convince a BCS game to invite Louisville instead of Notre Dame.

Who am I kidding? Notre Dame not deserving to get a spot doesn't matter. They'll have one anyway, but it will seem much more defensible if Rutgers loses and there's only one single-loss Big East team.

USC lost to UCLA when a late drive to win was stopped at the ten by an intercepted pass. USC will be in the Rose Bowl. Rivalry games have a tendency to be close, because players on struggling teams often look to that single game as a chance to redeem their unimpressive seasons. (E.g. BYU-Utah was also quite close, Georgia Tech lost to Georgia, Stanford threatened Cal, Army was not totally dominated by Navy, A&M edged out Texas.)

Florida is up on Arkansas at the half, and Rutgers @ West Virginia is just underway; Florida may have a chance at the championship with a win tonight, and Rutgers will be in a BCS game with a win, but Louisville is cheering for West Virginia. Also almost underway is the Big 12 championship between Nebraska and Oklahoma... can I cheer for both of them to lose?

I'll post again later tonight after the important games have ended.


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