Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
Alabama vs. Georgia for the SEC title and a trip to face Notre Dame highlights a somewhat light final weekend.
Time to sit back, eat some cheeseburgers and see who Notre Dame is playing in the national title game. Weirdly enough, even if there was a four-team playoff this year, the only one of these games other than the SEC Championship that would maybe mean anything for the title picture is Kansas State/Texas, and even then it's a reach for the Wildcats to get back into the top four. Weird year. Here we go.
(All times are ET and all rankings are BCS.)
Thursday, November 29th:
Louisville at Rutgers, 7:30pm, ESPN: A little ACC/Big Ten challenge on the gridiron, as the two departing members of the Big East face off for the league's BCS bid. Both are coming off ugly losses, but they might not be the least appealing BCS entrant, because...
Friday, November 30th:
#21 Northern Illinois vs. #17 Kent State, 7:00pm, ESPN: For either of these teams to earn an automatic BCS bid, they need to A) Finish in the top 16 and B) Ahead of any of the auto-bid leagues, including the Big East, which is hilarious. So all Kent State needs is a win here and for one team in front of them to fall behind them and voila, you'll have the Golden Flashes in the Orange Bowl against the ACC champ. Kent State lost to Kentucky by multiple touchdowns. Sports are awesome.
#16 UCLA at #8 Stanford, 8:00pm, FOX: Lo and behold, the team directly in front of the Bruins have to go on the road to play a Stanford team that just whipped them at home! (Granted, UCLA may have been sandbagging that game a bit to avoid a trip to Autzen, but we'll assume it was an honest effort.) The winner here gets to play Wisconsin or Nebraska in the Rose Bowl, meaning that a Bruin win would both hurt Kent State's BCS chances and help protect us from an overly red January 1st.
Saturday, December 1st:
#11 Oklahoma at TCU, 12:00pm, ESPN: The Sooners survived Bedlam and they need a win here to put further pressure on Kansas State stay in the Big XII BCS auto-bid race. The team that would likely lose their BCS at-large spot if Kent State makes it? The Sooners.
#2 Alabama vs. #3 Georgia, 4:00pm, CBS: Hey, the winner here gets to play the...let's see here...Fighting Irish of Notre Dame for the BCS title. That's fun. Aaron Murray is one the two of three best quarterbacks to face the Tide since the start of last season, but his track record against top defenses is not strong. Could be fun.
#13 Florida State vs. Georgia Tech, 8:00pm, ESPN: Winner goes to the Orange Bowl! That's right, you could have 7-6 Georgia Tech against a Kent State team that lost to Kentucky in the primetime New Years Day bowl game. Sports!
#18 Texas at #6 Kansas State, 8:00pm, ABC: Rough couple of weeks for the Wildcats, who had a bye following their lost to Baylor and no opportunity to reclaim momentum for both the BCS title game or Optimus Klein's Heisman chances. A win here clinches a Fiesta Bowl bid and likely matchup with Oregon, which is a fun parting gift but not quite what Bill Snyder's crew was hoping for when they got on that plane to Waco.
#12 Nebraska vs. Wisconsin, 8:17pm (?), Fox: Why is this game starting at 8:17? The only reason 4-4 Wisconsin is playing in this game is because both Penn State and Ohio State - both teams who beat the Badgers during the regular season - are ineligible. Badgers lost a close one when they visited Lincoln earlier this season, so this is a very, very red rematch for a trip to Pasadena.