- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday15 mins ago
Pac-12 Conference Championship No. 7 Stanford at No. 11 Arizona State Dec. 7, 7:45 p.m. ET, Sun Devil Stadium
HOW THESE TEAMS GOT HERE: Stanford: Using a stellar running game and stingy defense, the Cardinal started off the season 5-0 before a perplexing loss on the road at Utah, but then quickly rebounded with impressive wins over UCLA, Oregon State, and Oregon. A tough loss at USC followed before the Cardinal finished out the year with wins over Cal and Notre Dame to finish the regular season at 10-2. In a week three matchup with Arizona State, Stanford handled the Sun Devils at home 42-28.
Arizona State: Arizona State stumbled out the gates with a 3-2 start (including the Stanford loss) before reeling off seven straight conference wins to finish the regular season at 10-2. The Sun Devils feature a high-powered offense that averages a whopping 43.3 points per game, good for eighth best in the country. A late-season 38-33 win on the road at UCLA clinched a ticket to the title game. A 58-21 win in the season finale over Arizona gave the Sun Devils home-field advantage.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday1 hr ago
SEC Championship Game (5) Missouri vs. (3) Auburn 4 p.m. ET, Dec. 7, Georgia Dome
HOW THESE TEAMS GOT HERE:
Missouri: It's not sacrilege to say that the Tigers may have the best defensive line in the SEC. Michael Sam, Kony Ealy, Shane Ray and Markus Golden have each turned in big moments for Mizzou, who won the SEC East by a game over South Carolina. The Gamecocks were the only team to beat Missouri, taking them down 27-24 in double overtime in Columbia, Mo., but South Carolina lost to Georgia and Tennessee. And until Mizzou beat Texas A&M 28-21 Saturday night to ensure a trip to Atlanta, every win had been by two touchdowns or more.
Auburn: Do we even need to mention the craziness of the last two games? You're pretty familiar with the way that Auburn beat Georgia and beat Alabama, right? OK, good. These Tigers lost to LSU on the road, but are unblemished otherwise. Sure, there have been some close games -- Auburn has won six games within a possession -- but this team is getting all the breaks right now. And that's not a diss. You have to have things go your way in a great season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday2 hrs ago
Conference USA Conference Championship Marshall at Rice Dec. 7, 11 a.m. CT, Rice Stadium
HOW THESE TEAMS GOT HERE: Marshall: The Thundering Herd averaged 44.6 points per game en route to a 9-3 regular season record (7-1 in conference play). MU is looking for its first Conference USA title since moving over from the MAC in 2005. The Herd reeled off five straight wins to end the regular season, including a dominating 59-28 performance in the season finale at home over East Carolina to clinch the C-USA East and a berth in the championship game.
Rice: Like Marshall, the Owls reeled off a 9-3 overall record and won seven conference games to lock up the Conference USA West Division. Also like Marshall, Rice has never won a Conference USA title since joining the conference in 2005, but reeled off three straight wins over Louisiana Tech, UAB and Tulane to close out the year and claim a spot in the title game.
Note: The two teams did not face another during the regular season so Rice was chosen to host the game due to a higher BCS ranking.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday2 hrs ago
This was Teddy Bridgewater's proverbial "Heisman Moment." Too bad he's not in the Heisman race.
The Louisville quarterback made a great play Thursday night against Cincinnati when he kept himself alive in the pocket and flung a pass towards the back corner of the end zone just before he got hit.
And the catch was pretty good too. Damian Copeland got his feet down in bounds in time to snag the 22-yard touchdown and give Louisville a 17-14 lead. The Cardinals eventually won 31-24 in overtime to give Central Florida its first BCS berth and win the beautifully named Keg of Nails, which goes to the winner of the Louisville-Cincy game.
The Knights beat Louisville at Louisville on October 18. That's the Cardinals' only loss of the season. Had Louisville stayed undefeated, it's likely that Bridgewater would be in the Heisman discussion with Jameis Winston and Jordan Lynch.
Bridgewater, a junior, is widely expected to be a first round pick if he declares for the NFL draft. Through 12 games he's 268-382 for 3,523 yards and 28 touchdowns and four interceptions.
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- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday2 hrs ago
Update: In a press release, Washington has confirmed the Petersen hire.
"On behalf of the University of Washington and the entire Husky Nation, I am proud to welcome Chris Petersen as our new head football coach," Washington athletic director Scott Woodward said. "Coach Petersen's success and record are extraordinary, but even more impressive is the man himself. His integrity, work ethic and character make him an outstanding fit and leader of our student-athletes at UW. We are thrilled and proud to call Coach Petersen a Husky."
— Washington Huskies (@UWAthletics) December 6, 2013
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- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday13 hrs ago
The first BCS bowl spot of the 2013 -14 season has officially been secured.
Central Florida, a team that was in Conference USA this time last year, will be the American Athletic Conference representative in the final edition of the BCS and it has Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to thank.
It was Bridgewater who put the Cardinals on his back in the fourth quarter and ultimately led them to a 31-24 overtime victory over Cincinnati. The win gave the Knights the outright conference title. Otherwise they would have needed a win against SMU to secure the BCS berth. UCF can lose that game and tie for the AAC title with Louisville but own the head-to-head tiebreaker.
So, the first piece of what could be a very interesting BCS bowl puzzle has now been placed, but we still don’t know where the Knights will ultimately end up. Obviously their preference would probably be home-state advantage in the Orange Bowl, but Dr. Saturday’s Chris Wilson projects the Knights against Auburn in the Sugar Bowl.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday16 hrs ago
Mid-American Conference Championship Bowling Green vs. (14) Northern Illinois Dec. 6, 8 p.m., Ford Field
HOW THESE TEAMS GOT HERE Bowling Green: The Falcons, who have not played in the Mid-American Conference title game since 2003, rallied from a two-game losing streak in late October to win four straight, including a 24-7 victory over Buffalo in the regular season finale to secure a spot in the title game.
Northern Illinois: Much like last year, Northern Illinois cruised through its MAC schedule. The Huskies have not played a close game since escaping Akron 27-20 on Oct. 12. This is the first time in the past three seasons NIU has gone undefeated in conference play.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Travis Greene, RB, Bowling Green: Part of Bowling Green’s offensive gameplan is to establish a strong running game to set up the play-action pass for quarterback Matt Johnson. Green is second in the MAC with 1,422 rushing yards and is averaging 6.1 yards per rush. But Green will have his work cut out for him since NIU has the league’s second-best rushing defense.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday17 hrs ago
Boise State coach Chris Petersen, who has been one of the most sought after coaching in past seasons, will interview at Washington, according Adam Jude of the Seattle Times.
Can confirm that Boise State's Chris Petersen is scheduled to interview with UW on Friday.
— Adam Jude (@A_Jude) December 5, 2013
Petersen also interviewed with USC, but withdrew his name from consideration prior to Steve Sarkisian being named the head coach. Now, Petersen is seeking Sarkisian’s old position.
Petersen and Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, who reportedly interviewed Thursday, are the frontrunners for the job.
This isn’t the first time Washington has courted Petersen. In 2009, when the school ultimately hired Sarkisian, Petersen was on the short list. Petersen has been the hot name for years because he’s built a program that has consistently been in the national rankings and played in – and won – two BCS Bowls. Petersen is 92-12 in his eight seasons with the Broncos, but four of those losses came this season. Up until this season, Petersen had never coached a four-loss team.
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- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday17 hrs ago
The media availability for Tim Jansen, the attorney for Jameis Winston turned into nothing short of a circus on Thursday afternoon after Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs announced that Winston would not be charged in the sexual assault case he had been named in.
Car horns were honking. People were in the background waving. Reporters were shouting over each other. But nothing typified the off-the-rails nature of the presser than when someone asked Jansen if the accuser's family had ties to Alabama.
Seriously. As ridiculous as the event was, it was a jaw-dropping moment that was incomprehensible. Nothing through the reporting or investigation had uncovered any hint of anything Alabama in the case. It felt like it was a random message board rumor that was suddenly deemed credible enough to be asked at a nationally televised press conference. No matter how bizarre the atmosphere had become.
And please, there's not an Alabama angle to everything in college football.
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- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday19 hrs ago
No, Nick Saban isn't going to Texas.
Like a stubborn weed, the rumors of Saban wearing burnt orange next year popped up this week (again) after Alabama's loss to Auburn on Saturday. So they needed to be doused again. This time, it's by Texas president Bill Powers, who said Thursday that he'd never even met or talked to Saban.
"I've never met Nick Saban. I've never talked to Nick Saban. We have not hired Nick Saban," Powers told the American-Statesman on Thursday afternoon. "Mack's our coach, and I can say flatly that the rumors we have hired or come to an agreement with Nick Saban or even talked to him are false."
A Texas regent met with Jimmy Sexton, Saban's agent in January, but with Mack Brown entrenched as the coach, it was simply that.