Championship Weekend Preview
BCS and bowl bids are on the line as college football comes to a thunderous close. There's much to be decided before the end of Saturday night. Here's what's at stake this weekend:
MAC Championship-Central Michigan vs. Ohio
Oh you may laugh at this one but hang on, if you like offense you'll like this matchup. Central Michigan ranks 14th in the FCS in scoring offense while Ohio averaged 30 points per game during a four game winning streak to close out the regular season. The key player here is Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour, an outstanding quarterback with NFL pedigree. The winner will likely head to the Little Ceasar's Pizza Bowl (I'm not making that bowl up.)
Conference USA Championship-Houston vs. East Carolina
Another matchup that should feature plenty of fireworks. Led by Case Keenum the Houston Cougars piled up 55 points against Memphis on November 21 and then lit up Rice with 73 points the next week. So it should be no surprise that the Cougars have the top scoring offense in the FCS. East Carolina might be a bit overmatched offensively but don't over look quarterback Patrick Pinkney.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Not a conference championship game per se but the winner of this game wins the Big East and heads to a BCS bowl. The Panthers have absorbed the tough, physical philosophy of coach Dave Wannstedt and feature arguably the best freshman running back in the nation in Dion Lewis. Cincinnati counters with a high octane offense and the opportunity to impress the voters enough to climb to #2 in the polls should Texas lose.
ACC Championship-Georgia Tech vs. Clemson
A rematch of one of the most entertaining games of the season. On September 10 the Yellow Jackets won 30-27 with two special teams scores and held off a furious second half rally. It looked Clemson was headed for a nightmare season after a loss to lowly Maryland in late September but the Tigers reeled off six straight wins to clinch the Atlantic Division. Georgia Tech is always a wild card with the Navy-inspired triple option offense.
Big XII Championship-Texas vs. Nebraska
The anticipation from this game can be felt from Fort Worth, Texas to Cincinnati, Ohio. Texas is #3 but with the top two teams meeting in the SEC title game the Longhorns would be a lock for the BCS title game should they win. But if they don't it will open the door for either TCU or Cincy to play for the national championship. This game features two of the best players in college football: Colt McCoy of Texas and Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh. McCoy might win the Heisman while Suh has been the most dominant defensive player of the season.
SEC Championship-Florida vs. Alabama
As good as it gets. Number one versus number two. While most teams playing this weekend are offensive juggernauts these two teams are known for defense. Florida ranks number one is scoring defense. Naturally, Alabama ranks second. These two also run the ball very well. The difference could be at quarterback. The big stage is nothing new for Tim Tebow but Alabama's Greg McElroy was not the starter last year when these same teams met in the '08 SEC title game.