Closing The Season Strong: Important Dates and Games at The End

David HedlindAnalyst IIApril 23, 2009

You always hear how important the regular season is in college football. One loss can mean the end of the season.

No place is that more true than at the end of the season. Of course, there have been occasions where a team loses late in the season and it doesn’t hurt them, because maybe they lost to a higher ranked team by a small margin.

Aside from those exceptions, how a team finishes the regular season can go a long way toward a bowl game and recruiting.

I already wrote a piece on the opening weekend big games. This one is going to go to the end.

I m not talking about the championship games, those are obviously the big games. I am talking about the regular season games that should have an impact on the season.

These games are all one of the last two games for either of the teams involved.

Nov. 13 2009

West Virginia at Cincinnati

West Virginia seems to be the trendy pick to win the Big East every year while Cincinnati actually won it in 2008.

Nov. 14 2009

Iowa at Ohio State

Iowa surprised a lot of people and had a strong 2008, they are hoping for a strong 2009 as well. Ohio State is always the favorite to win the Big Ten.

Nov. 21 2009

LSU at Ole Miss

This could possibly be for the SEC West. I think most people believe it will come down to these two and Alabama.

North Carolina at Boston College

This is a cross divisional game and could have a huge impact on both.

Oklahoma at Texas Tech

Many are expecting Oklahoma to stay atop the Big XII and Texas Tech to drop a bit. It is possible, but if it doesn’t happen this one will matter a lot more.

BYU at Air Force

Air Force, in my opinion is an overlooked team in the Mountain West. In 2008 they were a step behind the big three in the conference but they were second in 2007. BYU will be one of the early favorites for the conference.

Oregon at Arizona

Oregon would love to go to Arizona and get redemption for the 2007 season, which came crumbling down in the desert. Arizona is hoping to continue their recent upward trend.

Florida Atlantic at Troy

I believe these two teams will again battle it out for the Sun Belt title.

Nov. 27 2009

Pitt at West Virginia

This game kept West Virginia out of the National Championship game in 2007. In fact, Pitt has got the better of West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl the last two years.

Nov. 28 2009

Georgia at Georgia Tech

Annual rivalry that is outside the conference but can still have an impact in bowl implications.

Florida State at Florida

Another out of conference rivalry that could have more implications on the National picture.

Kansas vs. Missouri

This game has been pretty important in the Big XII north race.

Oklahoma State at Oklahoma

I have heard that some are picking this game as a surprise conference decider. I think it should play quite a factor in to the race.

Utah at BYU

They call it the Holy War and, while last year's game was a bit of a blow out in favor of Utah, 10 of the previous 11 had been decided by a touchdown or less.

Nevada at Boise State

I am big on Nevada this season. I believe the WAC will come down to these two teams, and this game.

Dec. 3 2009

Oregon State at Oregon

For over 10 years the home team won. Now for the last two the away team has won. Last year's game changed the Bowl picture for the conference from top to bottom.

Dec. 5 2009

Arizona at USC

Arizona only lost by a touchdown in 2008 and that could have changed the whole conference. USC is still USC.

Cincinnati at Pitt

This game matches the 2008 Big East champion and runner-up. I would expect that they are both in place to vie for those spots again.

Rutgers at West Virginia

This one will see two teams that I think will be right in the mix for the Big East title.


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