It's Championship Weekend! Which is weird when you think about it because technically the weekend of the BCS National Title game is Championship weekend. Then again, this is college football. It's not supposed to make sense, it's just supposed to keep Lee Corso gainfully employed. Lots of important games with big implications so let's find out what looks tasty and what might be worth pushing to the side of your plate in this weekend's college football buffet. (All times are Eastern.)
GIVE ME A HEAPING HELPING
SEC Championship: Florida v. Alabama (CBS, 4pm) - The game we've been waiting 13 weeks for is finally here. Call it the national semifinal, call it the de facto national championship, call it whatever you want. It's No.1 vs. No. 2. The latest chapter in the TV show that is Florida Gators football will be without regular castmember Carlos Dunlap. Don't fret, there will still be plenty of Tim Tebow, Brandon Spikes, Mark Ingram and Julio Jones to go around. Make sure you're prepared for this one.
I'LL HAVE A SCOOP OF THAT, PLEASE
Big 12 Championship: Nebraska v. Texas (ABC, 8pm) - Remember when Texas used to get offered up as a sacrificial lamb to the Nebraska juggernaut in the Big 12 Championship game? The shoes go on the other feet these days. Texas will be going up against a competent defense and they'll need a big game from Colt McCoy if they want to ensure that they're the team from Texas that plays for the national title.
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (ABC, Noon) - Kudos to the Big East scheduler for this one. The winner will play in a BCS Bowl, the loser will get passed over by the Gator Bowl (yay, bowl system!) and settle for something called the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Cincinnati is looking to finish the season undefeated for the first time in school history, but probably still won't get a sniff of the national title game. Meanwhile, Panthers have both home field advantage and a history of knocking conference rivals out of potential national championship contention.
ACC Championship: Georgia Tech v. Clemson (ESPN, 8pm) - The Conference Championship Everyone Always Forgets once again has little effect on the big picture. Is Clemson's C.J. Spiller a legit Heisman contender? If he is, Clemson's inability to consistently perform on offense isn't helping matters. Most importantly though, can they stop the veer option?
I'LL TASTE IT FIRST...
South Florida @ Connecticut (ESPN2, 8pm) - Two teams going in opposite directions. The Huskies have won their last two and are looking to better their bowl standing. The Bulls have emerged from their yearly-November slide scathed but not out.
Arizona @ USC (ABC, 3:30pm) - It's been a disappointing season for the Trojans but they can close things out right with a win against Arizona and ensure they head to the Holiday Bowl. Wildcat QB Nick Foles' hand is "busted," which just makes matters worse for the Cats.
West Virginia @ Rutgers (ESPN, Noon) - Of all the things Rutgers has changed about its football program recently, there is still one constant...losing to West Virginia. It's been 14 years since the Knights beat the Mountaineers. QB Tom Savage and WR Tim Brown will have to put together another great performance if they hope to reverse the trend.
I'LL KEEP THAT IN MIND FOR THE NEXT TRIP
Conference USA Championship: Houston @ East Carolina (ESPN2, Noon) - Last year, East Carolina was the trendy CUSA team du jour. They'll get a chance to upend this year's version, Houston, when they play for the conference crown. Despite the fact that Houston has a better record, the Pirates are hosting this game. Alrighty...
I DON'T KNOW...SMELLS KINDA FUNNY...
Wisconsin @ Hawaii (ESPN2, 11:30pm) - Wisconsin took up Hawaii on their yearly offer to play a 13th regular season game on the Big Island. Hawaii needs the win if they want to remain bowl eligible and head to...Hawaii. Badger fans aren't too worried.
California @ Washington (CSN California+/FSN Washington, 6:30pm) - Cal is looking to put themselves in position for a quality bowl while the Huskies try to salvage the lost season. Will either team show up? If Cal wants to head south rather than remain in the Bay Area come late December, they will.
MAC Championship: Central Michigan v. Ohio (ESPN2, Friday 8pm) - Everything is on the line Friday night when the Central Michigan Chippewas battle the Ohio Bobcats in the Mid-American Conference championship game at Ford Field. And by everything, I mean a marginally-viewed bowl appearance on that very same field against a 6-6 Big Ten team. The Chippewas look like the favorite here. I don't really know. I'm guessing.
NO THANKS, PLATE'S FULL
New Mexico State @ Boise State (KTVB, 3pm) - Does Boise State need to make a statement against 3-9 New Mexico State? Is there any kind of statement left to make? With a BCS bowl bid up for grabs, don't expect the Broncos to leave anything up to chance.
Florida Atlantic @ Florida International (Sun Belt TV, 7pm) - The Battle for Florida's Borders. Or Waters. Or...Airspace. One of those.
Fresno State @ Illinois (BTN, 12:30pm) - Making their first-ever trip to Champaign, the Fresno State Bulldogs close out their regular season this weekend with a matchup against disappointing Illinois. This is their second chance to beat a Big Ten program, having lost to Wisconsin 34-31 earlier in the year. Excuse Illinois fans if they don't really care, they're still going nuts over the basketball team's win over Clemson.