By Stewart Mandel
December 02, 2011
College Football Pickoff: Week 14
Friday, Dec. 2
7 p.m. ET (ESPN2) MAC Championship Game: Northern Illinois (9-3) vs. Ohio (9-3)
Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore are in the house, so expect a barnburner. Huskies quarterback Chandler Harnish fell short in a thriller against Miami (Ohio) in this game last year and must now face a Bobcats' defense that has done a nice job slowing down some of the prolific offenses in the MAC. Ohio coach Frank Solich has reached the title game twice. This time he'll take the trophy.
8 p.m. ET (FOX) Pac-12 Championship Game: UCLA (6-6) at No. 8 Oregon (10-2)
In the most awkward sendoff imaginable, Rick Neuheisel travels north for one last conference bloodbath. As the ultimate insult, Los Angeles native De'Anthony Thomas -- the kind of elite athlete Neuheisel never managed to recruit or develop at UCLA -- will likely be responsible for at least some of the Ducks' inevitable scoring barrage.
Saturday, Dec. 3
4 p.m. ET (CBS) SEC Championship Game: No. 1 LSU (12-0) vs. No. 12 Georgia (10-2)
Some have speculated the Tigers may tank this game knowing they have a BCS title spot locked up. Not a chance. The SEC championship is too important to these players. Georgia has won 10 straight, but hasn't faced a team anywhere near LSU's level since the first two weeks of the season. Sam Montgomery and Co. will make life miserable for Dawgs quarterback Aaron Murray.
8 p.m. ET (ABC) No. 13 Oklahoma (9-2) at No. 3 Oklahoma State (10-1)
The Cowboys have been waiting 15 days to erase the taste of that Iowa State loss. The Sooners don't want to cede state supremacy. Neither team will be able to stop the other (much like in last year's shootout), which means the biggest question is whether Mike Gundy's team truly believes it can end its eight-game losing streak to the Sooners. The Cowboys do, and they will.
8 p.m. ET (ESPN) ACC Championship Game: No. 5 Va. Tech (11-1) vs. No. 21 Clemson (9-3)
Clemson has gone into a tailspin the past two weeks, which couldn't be worse timing. Frank Beamer's teams always seem to play their best in the ACC title game. We'll see some of the Tigers' swagger return, with star receiver Sammy Watkins making big plays, but their defense is in no shape to hold David Wilson and the Hokies to a field goal like last time.
8 p.m. ET (FOX) Big Ten Championship: No. 11 MSU (10-2) vs. No. 15 Wisconsin (10-2)
Michigan State did a nice job slowing down Wisconsin's offense for most of the first meeting, but Russell Wilson still managed to lead the Badgers back before Kirk Cousins' Hail Mary. Wisconsin also wasn't riding Montee Ball to the extent it is now. He'll help open opportunities for Wilson, as Wisconsin, on a neutral field, avenges consecutive years' losses in East Lansing.
Noon (ABC) C-USA Championship: Southern Miss (10-2) at No. 7 Houston (12-0)
It's an unfortunate but inevitable ritual: Just as the hot mid-major coach (Kevin Sumlin) prepares to coach a potentially program-changing game, reports of his imminent departure (possibly to Texas A&M) are already swirling. Sixth-year senior Case Keenum won't be distracted. In one last showcase for Heisman voters, he'll send his team to the BCS.
3:30 p.m. ET (ABC) Texas (7-4) at No. 19 Baylor (8-3)
Robert Griffin III can either win or lose the Heisman based on his performance in this one. Texas boasts the nation's ninth-ranked defense, but its young secondary remains susceptible to big plays. Expect Griffin and Kendall Wright to hook up on a few. Texas will be able to run the ball successfully on Baylor, but ultimately lacks the weapons to keep up.
Noon (ESPN) Connecticut (5-6) at Cincinnati (8-3)
The Bearcats haven't played in Nippert Stadium since Oct. 15. During that span they lost quarterback Zach Collaros for the season and lost consecutive Big East games to West Virginia and Rutgers before righting the ship by routing Syracuse last week. Paul Pasqualoni's Huskies upset the Scarlet Knights last week, but they've struggled on the road.
7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2) BYU (8-3) at Hawaii (6-6)
UPSET SPECIAL: This one's a stretch considering Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz is still out with an ankle injury -- but I didn't see a lot of other options. BYU's Riley Nelson plans to start despite injuries to his ribs and lung that cost him a game. Hawaii has more to play for (bowl eligibility), and the Cougars haven't played a true road game since Oct. 15.
Record Last Week: 10-2               Record This Season: 87-45
Week 14 Preview
Source:SI previews the top championship action, including the SEC and Big Ten title games, Bedlam and more.

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)