It’s the final week of the college football regular season, which means two things: huge rivalries and title game spots on the line. If you’re a big college football fan, you already know what game you’re watching. If you’re a casual one, you have quite a few games to chose from. And with the holiday weekend, it starts on Friday. Let’s look at the conference scenarios to get an idea of the importance of this weekend.
Clemson has won the Atlantic division, but the Coastal division is still up for grabs. Virginia Tech, who host Virginia (Saturday, noon, ESPN2), have the head to head tie breaker over North Carolina, who host NC State (Friday, noon, ESPN). So this could be wrapped up before Virginia Tech even kickoff. If #4 Clemson gets upset by South Carolina (Saturday, 7:30pm, ESPN) then we could get into some 2 loss chaos with the playoff committee, which opens up the door for a few teams.
The SEC Championship Game is already set, with East division winner Florida facing West division winner Alabama, a rematch of last year. #15 Florida plays #14 Florida State on Saturday at 8pm on ABC, if Florida wins that and #1 Alabama loses to #13 Auburn (Saturday, 3:30, CBS) and then Florida manages to upset Alabama, could the playoff committee put in a two loss team? Florida would have a strong case.
If you really want to play a what if scenario that gets a 2 loss team into the playoffs, then there’s the Big 12. There’s no conference championship since the Big 12 only has 10 teams (yeah), but 9-2 #10 Oklahoma State vs 9-2 #8 Oklahoma is the de facto Big 12 title game. However that game isn’t until next week, so we’ll have to see how the dominoes fall first.
The Pac-12 is completely up for grabs. The winner of the Apple Cup of #5 Washington at #23 Washington State (Friday, 3:30pm, FOX) wins the North division. It’s a Pac-12 semi-final. The South has a similar situation. #9 Colorado begin the day as the leaders there. They host #22 Utah (Saturday, 7:30, FOX), win and they’re in the title game. But if they lose then it’s #12 USC’s division. They host Notre Dame (Saturday, 3:30, ABC), an upset loss there doesn’t hurt them in the Pac-12 standings.
You want chaos? Then the Big Ten is for you. One of the #2 and #3 teams in the playoff and AP polls is guaranteed to not even make the conference championship, and there’s a real chance that neither will.
#3 Michigan at #2 Ohio State (Saturday noon, ABC), is must watch. If Michigan wins, then they win the East division, simple as that. But if Ohio State wins, that puts #7 Penn State, who host Michigan State (Saturday, 3:30, ABC) in position to win the division.
In the West, #6 Wisconsin just needs to beat Minnesota (Saturday, 3:30, Big Ten Network) to get into the title game. Should they lose, then if #16 Nebraska beats Iowa (Friday, 3:30, ABC), they’re in.
Other rivalry games of note:
Territorial Cup: Arizona State at Arizona, Friday 9:30, ESPN
Governor’s Cup: Kentucky at #11 Louisville, Saturday, noon, ESPN
Egg Bowl: Mississippi State at Ole Miss, Saturday 3:30, SEC Network
Clean, Old Fashioned Hate: Georgia Tech at Georgia, Saturday, noon, SEC Network