College Football Champs, Premier League Derbies and More to Watch This WeekendNovember 30, 2018
Must Watch: College Football Conference Championships 🏆
Every major college football conference championship will be decided on Saturday, with four of them having significant impacts on the College Football Playoff. The rankings will be revealed Sunday afternoon (noon ET, ESPN). Here are the top title game matchups, with all rankings reflecting the latest CFP rankings.
SEC Championship Game (4 p.m. ET, CBS) | GameCenter
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Georgia, from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta: A rematch of last season's CFP National Championship Game in the same location. Most everyone thinks Alabama will advance to the final four regardless of the outcome on Saturday, while Georgia likely needs a win to make the playoff. Anything remotely resembling the last game the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs played will be a treat to watch.
Big 12 Championship Game (12 p.m. ET, ABC) | GameCenter
No. 5 Oklahoma vs. No. 14 Texas, from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas: The Sooners lost to Texas 48-45 in the Red River Showdown this season and will look to flip to script on the Longhorns this time around. If it wins, Oklahoma will probably turn on the SEC title game and spend the rest of the afternoon yelling "Roll Tide."
Big Ten Championship Game (8 p.m. ET, Fox) | GameCenter
No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 21 Northwestern, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis: The Buckeyes obliterated Michigan last Saturday to earn their spot in this game and reinsert themselves into the CFP discussion. They too will be rooting for Alabama to beat Georgia to open up that fourth spot in the rankings and will have the benefit of knowing that game's result before kickoff. But with a 29-point loss to 6-6 Purdue on its resume, that discussion around Ohio State could be short.
ACC Championship Game (8 p.m. ET, ABC) | GameCenter
No. 2 Clemson vs. Pittsburgh, from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina: Pitt is the only unranked team of the Power Five conference title-game participants, but the Panthers are more than capable of giving Clemson all they can handle. The Tigers gave up 35 points playing way down to South Carolina's level last week, but with Trevor Lawrence at the helm and that talented defensive line, Clemson is rightfully the heavy favorite to retain its ACC crown.
Notre Dame's conference championsh...oh wait.
Pac-12 Championship (Friday, 8 p.m., Fox) | GameCenter
No. 11 Washington vs. No. 17 Utah, from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California: Barring unrelentingly absurd chaos in the rest of the country on Saturday, this game won't have any CFP implications. However, the winner will have a chance to jump into the top 10 and will be perfectly situated for a New Year's Six bowl.
Full odds, predictions for conference championship week
NFL Matchups to Watch 👀
Because most of the NFL's Week 13 schedule features teams with good records against teams with bad records, the matchups between top teams pop even more on Sunday.
Los Angeles Chargers (8-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1), 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
The Chargers are tied for the second-best record in the AFC, but they're somehow an afterthought since they play in the same division as wunderkind Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Their own quarterback, Philip Rivers, set an NFL record last weekend by completing 25 passes in a row to start a game. On the other side, the Steelers lead the AFC North and can earn what could be a crucial playoff-seeding tiebreaker over L.A.
Minnesota Vikings (6-4-1) at New England Patriots (8-3), 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox
The Patriots are among those tied with the Chargers at 8-3. While New England is in first place in the AFC East, Minnesota is second in the NFC North. A road win over Tom Brady could be exactly what the Vikings need to separate themselves from the pack in a crowded NFC playoff picture.
Cleveland Browns (4-6-1) at Houston Texans (8-3) 1 p.m. ET, CBS
OK, this is one of those "bad record vs. good record" games, but the Browns have won two games in a row and the Texans have won eight in a row. Baker Mayfield vs. Deshaun Watson—sounds fun.
Full odds, predictions for Week 13
3 More Things to Watch This Week 📺
1. NBA League Pass on B/R Live
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will bookend your NBA League Pass weekend with games on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. And not to worry, we have you covered on Saturday night also with the Golden State Warriors in action. In total, there are nine games on Friday night and six each on Saturday and Sunday. Settle in, and don't miss a moment.
Full NBA schedule | NBA League Pass on B/R Live
2. English soccer derbies
If Sunday morning football is more your cup of tea (see what we did there) than Sunday afternoon football, set those alarms for a tripleheader of Premier League derbies (all three on NBCSN, times ET):
West London derby, 7 a.m.: Chelsea vs. Fulham
North London derby, 9:05 a.m.: Arsenal vs. Tottenham
Merseyside derby, 11:15 a.m.: Liverpool vs. Everton
Those are five of the top six teams in the EPL table. Fulham is battling to get out of the relegation zone and just hired Leicester's championship-winning manager from two years ago, Claudio Ranieri, so each matchup should be highly competitive.
More on the best storylines for Week 14
Furthermore, we have plenty of European soccer on B/R Live this weekend:
Scottish League Cup Final
Sunday, 10 a.m.: Celtic vs. Aberdeen | Watch
Sunday, 7 a.m.: Hearts vs. Rangers | Watch
Belgian Pro League
Saturday, 2:30 p.m.: Antwerp vs. STVV | Watch
Sunday, 8:30 a.m.: Club Brugge vs. Standard Liege | Watch
Sunday, noon: Anderlecht vs. Genk | Watch
3. Big Ten Basketball Begins
Last year, the Big Ten started conference play early because its conference tournament took place a week before all the others. That's not the case with the tournament this year, but the early start to conference play continues nonetheless. And with a few quality ranked matchups, who can complain?
Friday, 8 p.m.: No. 22 Wisconsin vs. No. 14 Iowa (Big Ten Network)
Saturday, 3:30 p.m.: No. 19 Purdue vs. No. 7 Michigan (ESPN). Funny enough, the Wolverines are ranked No. 7 right now in both football and basketball.
1. UEFA Champions League and Europa League Matchday 5 was insane from start to finish. Just ask Jose Mourinho.
You can still watch free replays of Bayern Munich's win over Benfica and RB Salzburg's win over RB Leipzig.
Plus check out the full highlight shows from all three days of action with your B/R Live soccer subscription:
Tuesday UCL Highlight Show
Wednesday UCL Highlight Show
Thursday UEL Highlight Show
2. The MLS Cup Final is set. After Thursday night's second leg of the conference finals, Atlanta United won the East, and the Portland Timbers won the West.
Atlanta defeated New York Red Bulls 3-1 on aggregate. Portland defeated Sporting KC 3-2 on aggregate, with all five goals coming in the second leg, with none better than this golazo from Sebastian Blanco:
Atlanta's higher regular-season point total earns the Five Stripes home-field advantage in the Dec. 8 final at its Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the previous MLS Cup Final attendance record will be shattered by more than 10,000 when at least 70,000 fans take in the winner-take-all match.
3. In more Atlanta news, the Braves made the first big splash of MLB free agency this week, signing former AL MVP Josh Donaldson to a one-year, $23 million contract.
And on the college side, longtime Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson announced his retirement, ending his run at the ACC school where his triple-option offense routinely led the nation in rushing. Johnson went 82-59 in 11 seasons with the Yellow Jackets.
4. Zion time: With Thanksgiving last week, it's been a minute since we convened in this area for the most recent rim exploits of Duke freshman Zion Williamson. Well, folks, he delivered once again this week, throwing down six dunks in Duke's 90-69 win over Indiana as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. He even shared the wealth and tossed one alley-oop to fellow freshman RJ Barrett.
5. Copa Libertadores, Madrid-style: After violence last weekend forced the postponement of the second leg of the final between Argentine clubs River Plate and Boca Juniors, a new date and location have been set: December 9 at the legendary Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the Spanish capital.
The sides drew 2-2 in the first leg at Boca Juniors' home stadium. River Plate has been fined $400,000 for the bus attack. The Copa Libertadores is the South American equivalent to the UEFA Champions League, and the matchup between two longtime rivals from the same area has made it the biggest final in South American soccer history.