- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday31 mins ago
Big Ten Conference Championship (10) Michigan State vs. (2) Ohio State Dec. 7, 8 p.m. Lucas Oil Stadium
HOW THESE TEAMS GOT HERE:
Michigan State: If the 8-0 Spartans want to hold something over their opponents' heads, they can say that none of their conference wins had a margin of victory of less than two possessions. Ohio State had two. The recipe has simply been dominant defense with an offense that's methodical and gets the job done. That's not a slight; Connor Cook has thrown 17 touchdowns and four interceptions and Jeremy Langford has run for over 1,200 yards. It's just that defense has been Michigan State's calling card.
Ohio State: Bradley Roby and Ryan Shazier were preseason All-Americans on Ohio State's defense, but it's been the offense that's been the strength of the team as Ohio State has also gone 8-0. Specifically the rushing offense. The Buckeyes are second in the country with 321 rushing yards per game, and Carlos Hyde will eclipse the 1,300 yard mark Saturday night. Braxton Miller is at 891, and with a good game could crack 1,000.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday42 mins ago
There's going to be a lot of SEC football on the SEC Network.
The channel will carry three games per Saturday after carrying two games on Thursday, August 28. On Friday in Atlanta, the SEC announced that in addition to Texas A&M's visit to South Carolina, Vanderbilt's game against Temple will also be broadcast that night.
"In the span of two or three days we will have five football games on the SEC Network, and then a triple-header every Saturday thereafter,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in a release.
ESPN senior vice president Justin Connolly added that "We have an unprecedented commitment to putting events of national interest on the network every week,”
And while that may be true -- CBS saw its highest ratings ever for its 3:30 p.m. ET SEC games -- there's just one problem. The distribution for the network still isn't very widespread yet.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday1 hr ago
ACC Championship Game (20) Duke vs. (1) Florida State 8 p.m. ET, Dec. 6, Bank of America Stadium
HOW THESE TEAMS GOT HERE:
Duke: Think about this for a second. Had Duke lost to North Carolina on Saturday there would have been a five-way tie for the ACC Coastal Division. Yes. A five-way tie. But while the other four teams in that scenario stumbled down the stretch in their bids to win the division outright, Duke won its last six games to win the Coastal by a game.
Florida State: By obliterating everyone in its path. Florida State's average margin of victory this season is a whopping 38 points. Yeah, we'll keep the possibility that the ACC is worse than the Big Ten quiet, but even in a poor conference that is an impressive margin of victory. Oh, and the Seminoles have the presumptive Heisman winner at quarterback who is now free of the off-field case that he's been involved in.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday2 hrs ago
It's Johnny Manziel's 21st birthday.
Since he's become the quarterback at Texas A&M and a national sensation, Manziel hasn't shied away from having fun. Like wearing a Tebow jersey to a Texas frat party. Hanging out with Drake.Taking pictures of his winnings at a casino.
The list goes on. So what do you think Manziel did? Maybe he took the Vanderbilt cheerleaders up on that invitation?
If his tweet is any indication, he may not remember.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday2 hrs 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. Saturday3 hrs 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. Saturday4 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. Saturday4 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. Saturday5 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. Saturday15 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.