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What to watch for: Big Ten Championship preview
2:03 | College Football
What to watch for: Big Ten Championship preview
Thursday December 4th, 2014

This is it. We've worked all season long to perfect our dip recipes, to open cans and bottles at lightning speed, to learn all the channels (even CBS Sports Network and those weird Big Ten alternates) and to find the shortcuts back from the stadium. It comes down to this. One more weekend of glorious regular-season football before we set our bowl schedule and learn which teams are competing in the inaugural College Football Playoff. Almost every game on Saturday matters in the national picture, and there aren't all that many to choose from. It's like distilling all the football from the year into a best-of list and pressing play. 

So, let's sit back and enjoy it before the season passes us by, left to wither and dissipate under those scary words like "hot stove."

This is Your Perfect Saturday for Week 15.

STAFF: Championship week picks: SI experts make their selections

1:35 | College Football
What to watch for: Big 12 title race

The early slate

Noon: Louisiana Tech at Marshall (ESPN2)

This one doesn't have quite the intrigue it did before Marshall fell to Western Kentucky in overtime last week, dashing the Thundering Herd's hopes of an undefeated season and an invite to a big-money bowl. But as Conference USA championships go, it should still be a lot of fun. Louisiana Tech and Marshall combined to score 142 points in their two respective games last weekend, so the potential for another shootout is there. Plus, this is quarterback Rakeem Cato's last regular-season game, and we don't see college careers like his very often.

Second screen special

Noon: Iowa State at No. 3 TCU (ABC)

I don't expect this to be close, but the Big 12 can be shocking sometimes. Maybe, just maybe, Iowa State can keep it close and add chaos to the playoff picture.

Dog day afternoon

p.m.: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 16 Missouri (CBS)

The SEC title game is a must-watch as we navigate through Championship Saturday. Alabama is the heavy favorite, but Missouri's unlikely run to an East Division title featured plenty of games the Tigers weren't supposed to win. If Mizzou is somehow able to pull this out, we would be faced with the very real possibility that the SEC could be shut out of the playoff. 

HAMILTON: Alabama riding offensive evolution into SEC title game

Second screen special

3:30 p.m.: Oklahoma State at No. 20 Oklahoma (FOX Sports 1)

When we last saw Samaje Perine, the Oklahoma freshman was breaking Melvin Gordon's one-week-old FBS single-game rushing record. What will Perine do for an encore? Can Oklahoma State topple the Sooners to become bowl eligible?

Night moves

7:45 p.m.: No. 9 Kansas State at No. 6 Baylor (ESPN)

Bill Hancock recently said that Baylor's body of work will "change drastically" after the Bears play Kansas State, implying that the selection committee has held Baylor to a different standard since it has played just 11 games to date and will face its second-best opponent of the season this weekend. It's still hard to tell exactly what that means for the Bears' playoff hopes, but from a purely football standpoint, this matchup has the potential to be the best of the day.

8 p.m.: No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 11 Georgia Tech (ABC)

Another game with monumental playoff implications, Florida State likely has to win to get in. Not that this sort of pressure seems to bother the 'Noles. They've been in a do-or-die type situation for much of this season and keep finding ways stay undefeated, despite everyone looking for reasons why they aren't as good as their record suggests. This will be as tough a task as any Florida State has faced all year, as Georgia Tech will limit possessions and has an option attack led by quarterback Justin Thomas and backs Synjyn Days and Zach Laskey.

RICKMAN: How to beat undefeated Florida State: A five-step blueprint

8:17 p.m.: No. 13 Wisconsin vs. No. 5 Ohio State (FOX)

Let's see what Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones can do against a Wisconsin front seven that is one of the more underrated groups in college football. The Buckeyes have an outside shot at cracking the top four with a win, but it won't be easy: Ohio State, which has given up a bunch of rushing yards recently, will take on the nation's best runner in the Badgers' Gordon.

Late night theater

10 p.m.: Fresno State at No. 22 Boise State (CBS)

The Group of Five's access bowl berth is on the line for the Broncos, who have won seven straight, averaging 50.6 points per game during that stretch. This is also a great opportunity with no other distractions to get a glimpse of running back Jay Ajayi, Boise State's veteran playmaker who deserves a lot more attention than he has received.

Week 15 Schedule
 
date matchup tv
Dec. 6 (Noon ET) Iowa State at TCU ABC
Dec. 6 (Noon ET) La. Tech at Marshall ESPN2
Dec. 6 (Noon ET) Houston at Cincinnati ESPN
Dec. 6 (3:30 p.m. ET) Okla. State at Oklahoma FOX Sports 1
Dec. 6 (4 p.m. ET) Alabama vs. Missouri CBS
Dec. 6 (7:45 p.m. ET) Kansas State at Baylor ESPN
Dec. 6 (8 p.m. ET) FSU at Georgia Tech ABC
Dec. 6 (8:17 p.m. ET) Wisc. vs. Ohio State FOX
Dec. 6 (10 p.m. ET) Fresno State at Boise CBS

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