This weekend the bowl picture will be much clearer as conferences host championships. Last night, Oregon captured the Pac-10 title against Oregon St. and will meet Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. The Big 12 Championship and the SEC Championship highlight the weekend, but their are plenty of other games that matter too. Here is a quick preview of each conference championship and a Heisman watch:
In the SEC Championship game, the Florida Gators play the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Both of these teams are very good and are experienced on offense and defense. Tim Tebow leads the Gators as they hope to clinch a spot in the national championship game. Tebow is the leader of this team and means a lot to this team.
Tebow leads this team in passing,rushing, and has 30 total touchdowns on the season. Riley Cooper and Aaron Hernandez are the leading receivers with 12 touchdowns combined. The defense has also been great this year, but they will be without Carlos Dunlap as he was suspended for getting a DUI. Brandon Spikes is the main defensive leader for this team and will have to come up big against Alabama.
Meanwhile, Alabama can certainly match the Gators. Greg McElroy and Mark Ingram leads the team into the SEC Championship game. Ingram has had a career year and Julio Jones has been on fire these last few weeks as he has helped lead this team to the conference championship game. McElroy is having a great first season under center with 2200 plus yards and 16 touchdowns.
Ingram is having a Heisman type season too with over 1400 yards and 12 touchdowns, while Julio Jones has 545 yards and four touchdowns. The defense has also been really good this year, as Terrence "Mt. Cody" Cody as been steady on the defensive line as he had two game-winning field goal blocks against Tennessee.
In the Big 12 Championship game, the Nebraska Cornhuskers play the Texas Longhorns in Arlington, Texas. The Longhorns are playing for a spot in the national championship game, but the Huskers will look to ruin their chances.
The Texas Longhorns are playing well right now, especially Colt McCoy. This offense will be going up against a very good defense and will have rely on the leadership and athletic abilities of McCoy to lead them to victory. McCoy has over 3600 passing and rushing yards combined and 29 touchdowns combined as well. McCoy must lean on senior Jordan Shipley, who has been very good this year to lead them to victory.
Shipley has over 1200 yards and 11 touchdowns receiving. The defense is good too. Sergio Kindle is a top player on the defensive line, along with leading tacklers Roddrick Muckelroy and Earl Thomas. These three will have to shut down Zac Lee and the Nebraska running game.
On the other hand, Nebraska has been playing extremely well as of late too and they seem to be ready to take on the Longhorns. For the Huskers to win, Zac Lee must get into a zone and not feel pressured or dazed. Lee has to rely on his recievers and the running game. Roy Helu Jr. and Rex Burkhead, are coming off good games against Colorado and will look to take their momentum into Arlington. Both of those backs combine for over 1300 yards and 11 touchdowns. Niles Paul is the Huskers leading receiver and will have to get open to take pressure off Zac Lee.
The defense must completely shut down Colt McCoy if they want to win. Ndamukong Suh and Jared Crick are as good as defensive tackles as anyone right now and have to get pressure on McCoy and make him make mistakes. Suh is the leading tackler on the team with 70 tackles. Suh also has three blocked kicks, one forced fumble, ten pass break-ups, and 7.5 sacks. Crick leads the team with nine sacks. Larry Asante and Matt O'Hanlon, are two players who help lead this defense.
For the Big East title, Cincinnati takes on Pittsburgh for the right to represent their conference in a BCS bowl. Both of these teams are high scoring offensive minded powerhouses.
For Cinncinnati, they have to continue what they do best, spread the ball out on offense with Tony Pike behind center. Pike was banged up a bit this season, but now he is healthy and must show the nation why Cincinnati deserves to go to a BCS bowl. Pike has over 2000 yards and 23 touchdowns. Pike has a big weapon in Mardy Gilyard to throw to in this game. Gilyard has 10 touchdowns and a 1000 plus yards and 10 touchdowns.
The Bearcats have to play good defense and stop Lewis from running all over them, if they want to win. They have given up 190.7 yards rushing and 442.7 total yards in their past three victories.
Pittsburgh is a good offensive team too. Dion Lewis can run the ball and score. Lewis has over 1400 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is having quite a year, considering he is only a freshman. Wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin is their leading receiver and gives Bill Stull a threat to score through the air. Stull has over 2200 yards and 19 touchdowns. Pittsburgh has got to find a way to stop Pike from throwing for a lot of yards and Gilyard from catching a lot of passes.
Georgia Tech plays Clemson for the ACC Championship and the right to go to a BCS bowl game. Both of these teams have already met this year and Georgia Tech won the first meeting.
Georgia Tech is filled with offensive play-makers. Josh Nesbitt leads them at quarterback and they have an excellent running game that is led by Jonathon Dwyer. If Georgia Tech is going to win, its going to be on Nesbitt and Dwyer's shoulders. Nesbitt and Dwyer are very good on the ground and can run the option very well. Nesbitt is also a good passer. DeMaryius Thomas is a 1000 yard receiver for the Yellow Jackets.
For Clemson, they have one of the best running backs as well, C.J. Spiller, who also returns kicks. He is a Heisman hopeful and can be a game-changer. Spiller has 942 yards and seven touchdowns and is an all-purpose threat, as he has returned five total returns for touchdowns. Quarterback Kyle Parker will also need to play well and not worry about the pressure in order to win this game. Parker is a 2200 yard passer and has 19 touchdowns.
There is a look at the conference championship previews and here is list of five Heisman hopefuls:
1. Tim Tebow, Florida Gators
Tebow should win the Heisman because of the season he has had. The offense has struggled some, but he is one of the all-time best college football quarterbacks in history. His five touchdown performance against Florida State in his last home game for the Gators, sealed his trip to New York City. He has also broken records for most rushing touchdowns in the SEC history and he has broken many more records.
2. Colt McCoy, Texas Longhorns
McCoy is a good quarterback who has not won the Heisman because Tebow and Bradford won it the last two years. McCoy is the Longhorns leader on and off the field. He has shown the Longhorns that he wants to win a championship and be successful as a team.
3. Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska Cornhuskers
Suh should probably win the Heisman, but he is a defensive tackle. Suh, however, has stats that are good enough to be considered. He is constantly double teamed, yet he always finds a way to make key tackles and sacks. He blocks kicks, tackles for losses, and sacks opposing quarterbacks. He is the ultimate force to be reckoned with in games.
4. C.J. Spiller, Clemson Tigers
Spiller may not get some people's vote, but he has to be considered. If he was on a better team, he would probably get more votes, but despite that, Clemson is in the ACC Championship game anyway. He has set records for kick and punt returns. He is an all-purpose threat that makes teams look bad at times in games.
5. Mark Ingram, Alabama Crimson Tide
Ingram was the leading candidate a few weeks ago, but has faded away a little bit. He is an excellent running back who has helped carry this team to victory this season.
Now it's up to you; go out and watch the games this weekend and the Heisman Trophy presentation next weekend!