College football no longer has a defending national champion. The formally #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide tasted defeat for the first time Saturday, and must prepare to relinquish the title belt come January 6th. The Tide lost a heart-breaker to their in state/arch rival Auburn, in the year end clash known as, The Iron Bowl. In a finish that was EASILY the craziest I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes, the Tigers trumped the Tide and punched their ticket to Atlanta for the SEC title game. Below I’ll dissect this weekends 4 marquee conference titles games, and unveil the new BCS top 10.
- Florida State
- Ohio State
- Oklahoma State
- South Carolina
- Michigan State
ACC Championship Game- The newly minted #1 Seminoles of Florida State have just one hurdle in their way in order to punch their ticket to Pasadena. That hurdle comes in the form of the Duke Blue Devils, easily the countries most surprising team this season. Duke clinched their first ever 10 win season on Saturday after besting rival North Carolina, and will make their first appearance in the conference title game. Duke coach David Cutcliffe seems to be a shoe in for national coach of the year with the exceptional job he’s done turning around this once dismal program. Cinderella story aside, the Blue Devils may have finally met their match. FSU is without a doubt the best and most complete team in the country. There is not a single hole anywhere on this Florida State roster, and with the BCS title game in their sights, you better believe coach Jimbo Fisher will have his team exhibiting laser focus Saturday. Couple that with the superior athletes on FSU’s side, and most are expecting a runaway victory for the Noles.
Big 10 Championship Game- The only fans in the country who were happier than Auburn fans Saturday night, were those in Columbus. With Alabama going down, Ohio State finally found itself on the inside looking out after nearly two years. Now at #2, the Buckeyes find themselves one win away from reaching the Rose Bowl to play in the BCS title game. Michigan State and the nations #1 defense stands in their way. All year Big 10 folks have wondered what would happen if OSU’s high powered O, met Sparty’s vaunted D, on Saturday evening we find out. All the talk has been about QB Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes wide receivers but Carlos Hyde is a MAN, and one of the more under appreciated players in the nation. I personally believe this game will be decided when the Spartans have the ball. The Michigan State offense hasn’t scared many folks this year, but yet the OSU defense can’t seem to stop a nosebleed. The Buckeyes enter the game as a slight favorite, but I’m having a hard time having any confidence in Urban Meyer’s squad, now that they control their own destiny.
SEC Championship Game- Riding high off of their miracle win over Bama, the Auburn Tigers now find themselves in the spot Ohio State’s been in for weeks, spot #3. They draw the SEC east champion, Missouri Tigers in the Georgia Dome, Saturday afternoon. A stingy defense, filthy receiving corp, and clutch quarterbacking has vaulted Mizzou to the top of the SEC east. Senior James Franklin is back at the helm after a mid-season shoulder injury and he’s the leader the Tigers will need if they want to hoist the SEC crown. Auburn will have to take their momentum into the Georgia Dome and again rely on the arm of QB Nick Marshall to lead them to victory. Unfortunately for both teams, winning this game may just be a consolation prize, as I wouldn’t expect either to pass the Buckeyes in the polls if OSU beats Michigan State. Of course, if Ohio State losses (wouldn’t surprise me) the winner of the SEC title game would then head to Pasadena, to play for it all.
Pac 12 Championship Game- I know you were expecting hurry up offense, scat backs everywhere, beautifully hideous uniforms (had a nice ring to it) in this game but, nope, no Ducks. Just grown men, smash mouth football, and traditional uni’s, kinda. The Arizona State Sun Devils will host the Stanford Cardinal in this year’s title game. The Cardinal come in as the national power, who dismantled the conference favorites earlier in the season. The Sun Devils come in with a chip on their shoulder, as the national media has seemed to neglect that they even exist, let alone that they’re on the verge of a Rose Bowl birth. Even with a loss, the Cardinal may receive a BCS at-large bid, but of course they’d like to keep it rolling with a victory. Winning this game is the only way for Arizona State to make a BCS appearance. Expect them to be ready, and Tempe to be rocking.
Extra Point- I would like to sincerely thank the Big 12 conference for NOT having a conference title game, thus forcing me to explain the scenario to you regarding who can win the Big 12 title this Saturday. It’s really not that complicated actually, I’m just getting toward the end of this post and my arthritis is beginning to kick in (I’m 24, going on 42). Oklahoma and Oklahoma State face of in their year end clash known as, Bedlam. If the Cowboys can beat the Sooners at home in Stillwater, they will be the outright Big 12 champs and clinch a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. If the underdog Sooners pull off the upset, things get interesting, and the atmosphere in Waco will ratchet right up. The nightcap between the Texas Longhorns and the Baylor Bears would then be for the Big 12 crown. While I have no dog in the race, the college football fan in me wouldn’t mind seeing a Sooners victory, in order to make the Texas vs Baylor contest for all the marbles.