If you are like me you have taken some time off this holiday but are now ready to get back to civilization and, more importantly, college football. This is a good weekend for vegging out your favrite sport, especially when you consider that approximately 48 percent of you will still be gripped with a Tryptophan-induced stupor (leftovers leave a lingering effect).
As usual in late November, conference and division championships will be earned and lost and BCS style points will be awarded. Typically, the Heisman Trophy campaigns are in full bloom but this season has had as little Heisman chatter as any I can remember.
West Virginia v. Pittsburgh
12:00 PM, ABC
Dave Lamont, Brock Huard
This game has a duplicity written all over it. Sure, Pitt is the ranked team (in the BCS Standings), but West Virginia has the better record (in conference), is favored on the road, and is still capable of winning the Big East title.
There is also the matter of revenge for West Virginia, after Pitt knocked off Rich Rod and co., thus keeping them from playing in the mythical national championship game and keeping RR in Morgantown.
Alas, Pittsburgh is not playing for much more than pride at this stage and this is likely McCoy’s final game in a Panther uniform (why would he stay?). Pat White had a huge game last week and Pitt is coming off a tough loss in the de facto Big East championship game against Cincinnati. Will the Mustache rally the team or will the Bill Stewart Experiment end on an up swing?
LSU v. Arkansas
2:30 PM, CBS
Don Criqui, Dan Fouts
This was probably the best game I watched last season. I was into it like I really cared about one of the teams and, in fact, I was cheering for Arkansas so that Ohio State would get into the BCSCG over LSU. We saw how that worked out.
Oops. This is decent flip game if, for no other reason, than Les Miles or Bobby Petrino loses another game. This game has zero league or conference cache, but if you dislike these two coaches as much as I do and seeing one of them lose is pleasurable.
Fresno State v. (9)Boise State
6:00 PM, ESPN2
Joe Tessitore, Rod Gilmore
I put this one on here because if you had to go shopping with your significant other this is likely to be your only football-related reward. (It is up to you to negotiate anything else.) And, you may want to put some energy behind Fresno State.
While Boise’s undefeated season is not responsible for Ohio State’s pending exclusion from the BCS (thank Utah for that) a loss by the Broncos would move OSU up in the rankings would allow them to gain BCS exposure if, say, the Tide were to stumble on Saturday and against Florida.
With the Big Ten on hiatus until late December, this is your chance to watch and learn about those teams you have seen on College Football Live or read in the back pages of the paper. You will not be surprised to see that noon block devoid of diversity, but there is at least one game that can keep you calm before the big boys start playing at 3:30pm.
(18)Georgia Tech v. (13)Georgia
12:00 PM, CBS
Craig Bolerjack, Trev Alberts
There are a handful of reasons to watch this game, but at the top of my list is the reemergence of Trev Alberts. Trev is infamous for his outburst directed towards Mark May and abrupt departure from the ESPN family.
Georgia Tech is still waiting to see if they make the ACCCG (see below), but in the meantime they get to test their option offense against the SEC. The Jackets ran it to perfection against Miami and if they execute that well again they will give the Dawgs a serious challenge (read likely upset).
This would probably be Georgia’s biggest win of the year, if you can believe that.
Virginia v. Virginia Tech
12:00 PM, ESPN
Dave Pasch, Andre Ware, Todd Harris
A VT win will send them to the ACCCG over GT because of their 20-17 win earlier this season. About a month ago, it looked like UVA was going to be the Costal representative but three straight losses fixed that. If the Georgia Bowl is uncompetitive this serves as a decent safety net. This game has to be close because both offenses suck.
Here is your ABC/ESPN2 coverage map for the afternoon. Most of the country will receive Battle of Northern Florida, while those in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions will receive get Maryland visiting BC. Check out the mirroring to see how you receive the opposite game on ESPN2.
(2)Florida v. (23)Florida State
3:30 PM, ABC
Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, Paul Maguire, Stacey Dales
I would love to see this game assume its rightful position among the most anticipated of the season but I have very little hope that FSU can stay within 20 points of the surging Gators. Still, it is the best option for the afternoon. The Seminoles played much better last week against Maryland with all of their receivers present, but Florida is a totally different animal. As if Herban needed any extra motivation, an appearance in the MNC game is in sight. Two titles in 3 years would make Florida the nation’s premier program.
Maryland v. (20)Boston College
3:30 PM, ABC
Pam Ward, Ray Bentley
Intrigue abounds in this game. Can Boston College and their backup quarterback can get this win at home, to play for the league title for the second straight year? Can Maryland rise up and send FSU to the title game? Can Pam Ward finish strong in the Pammy Awards? Can you watch this entire broadcast without having to hit mute with these two announcers?
Auburn v. (1)Alabama
3:30 PM, CBS
Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson
Iron Bowl, where have you gone? While the scores have been close, Auburn has been taming the Tide for six straight and seven of eight. You have to believe that Alabama will pulverize the Tuberville, but their recent performances have left a little to be desired. Vegas seems to have noticed, making 'Bama only a two-touchdown favorite at home versus the 5-6 Tigers.
(19)Oregon v. (17)Oregon State
7:00 PM, Versus
Tim Neverett, Glenn Parker, Anne Marie Anderson
You should be an interested observer of this game, is only for one hour before the prime-time kicks off. If Oregon wins, USC will likely go to the Rose Bowl, thus freeing up a spot for Ohio State to slide into the BCS as an at-large team. You can decide if you think that is a good thing.
The Western OSU has only recently starting getting national respect and rankings but they are one win from playing Penn State again, this time with a huge flower painted on the field. I will have a hard time not pulling for the Ducks—uniforms withstanding.
(3)Oklahoma v. (11)Oklahoma State
8:00 PM, ABC
Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Lisa Salters
I love BCS chaos, but I do not love Bob Stoops, so I want the Cowboys in this one. I just do not think OU should be rewarded with a berth in the BCSCG by virtue of the timing of their schedule. The Sooners have beaten Oklahoma State five straight times but the two games in Stillwater have been decided by a total of nine points.
Notre Dame v. (5)Southern Cal
8:00 PM, ESPN
Mike Patrick, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe
I hate Notre Dame and the prospect of them losing again to the Trojans by a huge margin is the height of schadenfreude. And if it contributes to the firing of Charlie Weis, all the better.
So, during commercials of the OU/OSU game, I will be flipping over to this one for obligatory highlights of USC players streaking down the field. Incidentally, the Las Vegas Sports consultants still rank USC No. 1, meaning they would be favored against every other team on a neutral field.