Welcome to Championship Week! This year, we’re featuring four relatively mundane Power 5 title games, some even more pedestrian Big 12 matchups, and finally, some really good mid-major contests. Way back in September, weren’t you daydreaming about watching decisive matchups involving programs that aren’t going to be playing on New Year’s Eve?
We’re super fired up for that Sunday climax when we find out that Clemson, Bama, Oklahoma, and Michigan State will be ringing in 2016 in Miami and the Metroplex!
Alabama vs. Florida – We’re sorry, but we’ve already said that we think the Gators are going to fall flat on their snouts (again) this week so many times that we’ve run out of entertaining ways to say it, though we’re still fond of that line from two weeks ago: “We don’t foresee any problems unless, of course, the game comes down to a kick, offense, or anything else involving a football.”
Clemson vs. North Carolina – When you’re out of stuff to argue about at 2am this weekend, go ahead and debate which is the more meh team on the verge of playing for a national championship: UNC or Iowa. When Sunday rolls around, somebody should really book them into the same bowl game so we can resolve a debate that will otherwise rage on for seconds.
Michigan State vs. Iowa – The funny thing is, Iowa could actually win this game. We’d say it shouldn’t be close – and it really shouldn’t – but given that it’s going to be a bare-fisted, in-the-trenches, old school Big Ten brawl, the Hawks should be within range of Sparty heading into the fourth quarter, so you never know. Okay, we know.
Stanford vs. USC – Boy, is Ed Orgeron pissed about now! On the other hand, the Southern Cal fanbase didn’t seem too thrilled about Head Coach Helton. D’ya think they’ll be more thrilled coming Sunday morning? Naw – neither do we.
Temple vs. Houston – A comment on the fickle nature of college football: the Owls almost beat Notre Dame, but USF blasted them by three touchdowns. Another comment on the fickle nature of college football: three months ago, if someone told you that the AAC Championship might be the most interesting game of this weekend, you’d have soiled yourself laughing. You’d also have made boom boom in your shorts at the thought of Temple or Houston playing in a major bowl game. Luckily, you’ve had an entire season to prepare for it.
Texas @ Baylor – And here you thought that Championship Weekend wouldn’t feature a game we could call the Depression Bowl. Don’t you feel silly now? With zero first-string quarterbacks, zero chance for Texas’ season to continue and zero chance for Baylor to make the playoff, someone’s going to have to work hard to turn their frown upside down.
Air Force @ San Diego State – Get your tickets on the 50 yard-line now for just $11! That raises a small question: if a conference championship game falls in the woods and no one notices, does it make a sound?
Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois – When you’re not busy wondering how NIU got here (again) ahead of Toledo (surely Matt Campbell wasn’t unfocused during WMU week), you should probably be busy wondering why the nice people who brought you #MACtion haven’t figured out a way to play this game on a Tuesday night in November.
Southern Mississippi vs. Western Kentucky – Lookee here: it’s another mid-major championship game that will probably be more interesting than the Power 5 games this weekend with 4,000-yard QB’s (shut up, Nick Mullens will get there in the first quarter this week) and 1,000-yard WR’s and RB’s (okay, so third quarter for Anthony Wales). The weird thing is that both teams are pretty good defensively too. If we were in your shoes (and we are), we’d make sure we’ve got two screens going for the noon Eastern games.
Georgia State @ Georgia Southern – We’re fascinated with this matchup for some silly reason(s). Southern is one of the few programs to come up from FCS that looks like it might be more than just a middling player one day. We keep saying State is the San Diego State of the Southeast: they’re in a huge market/recruiting area, and they play in an NFL stadium. Now that the program has at least won a few games, the possibility of bowl eligibility is huge for them. It’s too bad they have to go through Statesboro to get it. SDSU isn’t nationally relevant, but they’re climbing; GSU isn’t as far along as SDSU, but we’re curious to see if they can keep climbing too.
West Virginia @ Kansas State – The stakes are huge! Both teams need a win to get to bowl eligibility! (Except that K-State will still bowl at 5-7.) Okay, so this is a heated rivalry between close neighbors who’ve been going at it for…oh hell, we can’t scare up a single reason to care unless you’re an alum. Sorry, we really tried.
New Mexico State @ Louisiana Monroe – Just kidding. We’re guessing this isn’t the game they were thinking of when the marketing minds behind FBS’ least relevant conference came up with that #FunBelt hashtag.