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Friday, December 2, 2011

Sportaholic College Football Weekend Setup: Championship Weekend Edition

Championship week is upon us in college football which is always something to be bittersweet about. The season is already coming to a close but this is probably one of the best weekends to be a college football fan. Another thing to cheer for is the formation of a few new conference championship games. You may not like the conference realignment that is sweeping the nation but it has given us the opportunity to witness additional games this weekend. We now have the Big 10 championship game, Pac-12 championship, and even the MAC and Conference USA championship games. So far in my opinion this is the only good thing that has come from all this shifting in college football. The conferences got what they want by adding championship games.

Although the season is winding to a close, a plethora of questions remain. Can Alabama really play in the BCS championship game without winning its conference? What about the other one-loss teams, can any of them leap frog the Crimson Tide? Who is the front-runner for the Heisman at this point? If LSU stumbles in the SEC Championship game against the red hot Georgia Bulldogs, should they still get an invite for the Championship game? Like I said, a lot of unanswered questions still abound that should make for a list of interesting storylines.

Maybe the most entertaining narrative is the Rick Neuheisel -UCLA drama. I’m sure by now you now the story as he was fired by the Bruins, although they made it to the inaugural Pac-12 championship game. He will actually coach in the game even though he is technically axed from his job. Crazy times as always in the Pac-12 that are sure to get even crazier with the addition of the mad genius Mike Leach to Washington State.

Championship week also provides us with a few old fashioned rivalry games like Army vs. Navy and the Bedlam battle between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. It stinks this is the last regular season week in college football but at least we have more than enough games to watch.

SEC Championship Game: Georgia Bulldogs (10-2) vs. LSU Tigers (12-0) – My fellow writer Taylor Cannon will do the honors for this game:

And here we go (Heath Ledger JOKER VOICE), this is for SEC supremacy, EAST vs. WEST. The Top ranked LSU TIGER come to Atlanta as Western division champs and undefeated , while the GEORIGA BULLDOGS started off cold 0-2 and Mark Richt seat was BLAZIN, but now the seat has cooled off and da DAWGS are hot winning 10 straight. SOMETHING has to give, both these teams have a BCS bid, but BOTH want the SEC TITLE. So , who will it be, will it be the LSU TIGERS who are on a mission for titles, or will it be UGA who will want to give the “home “ fans something to celebrate in the ATL.

Offense vs. Offense: UGA is led by super sophomore Aaron Murray with 2698 yds 32 Tds 10 interceptions; his running counterpart Isaiah Crowell 172 carries 832 yds with 5 TDS and their main receiving threat in Malcolm. Mitchell 34 catches with 582 yards 4 yds. The Bulldogs have an above average offense capable of putting points up on anyone. LSU will have Jordan Jefferson at QB has came on as late and has taken charge of this team. The quad monster running back team of Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Kenny Hilliard, and Alfred Blue looks to give Georgia’s D some fits and if receivers Russell Sheppard and Rueben Randle get open and get hot LSU will look to light up the scoreboard. Edge: LSU

Defense vs. Defense : LSUs Defense is solid it’s been putting pressure and has been given SEC QBs nightmares all year and look to do the same against Murray. Georgia’s defense is no slouch either as they ranked in the top 10 in points allowed, rushing yards and total defense. With that being said we all know that the Tigers defense has been by far the best of any team in the nation this year. Edge: LSU

Intangibles: LSU has been playing focused all year and mistake free football. This is the main game they can’t trip up because the whole nation is watching, some STILL think LSU does not deserve to play in the national championship if they lose, so LSU must come out and play ball. The Bulldogs want to crash the Tigers little homecoming party in New Orleans, site of the BCS Championship and keep their winning ways going as they have ran off with nine straight victories. Edge: Push

Winner and why – LSU 45-UGA 28- Too much LSU D and offense. The Tigers just have too much on the line to lose this game and after beating all comers (In Les Miles accent) they should finish the season off with a win and the chance to play for all the marbles in January.

Big Ten Championship Game: Michigan State (10-2) vs. Wisconsin (10-2) – The highly anticipated rematch of these teams was what most people wanted to see in the first Big 10 Championship game. Their epic battle that saw Michigan State win on a last play Hail Mary was one of the most memorable moments of the year. They will get it on again this time for a chance at the Rose Bowl. The two teams know each other well so expect a slugfest. Wisconsin’s bread and butter is on the ground as RB Montee Ball is quietly having one of the best scoring seasons in all of NCAA history with his 34. Ball and Russell Wilson lead a dominant Badgers offense (averaging 44.8 points per game) that will put pressure on Michigan State’s number 3 ranked defense (266.7 total yards per game). The Spartans have a pretty offense as well with the likes of QB Kirk Cousins, WRs B.J. Cunningham and Keyshawn Marin, and RB Edwin Baker. I think the Badgers still have that taste in their mouths from the last time they played so they will be out for blood. Motivation is always a big momentum swinger in games of two evenly matched teams so mark this one down for the Badgers.

The Pick: Wisconsin

ACC Championship Game: Virginia Tech (11-1) vs. Clemson (9-3) – Another Championship and another rematch. Clemson thrashed the Hokies 23-3 two months ago but Tech hasn’t lost a game since and looks as if the lost made them stronger. ACC player of the year David Wilson at running back has really taken it to another level as he seemingly is breaking off big runs in every game they play. Clemson has lost three out of their last four and it seems the wheels are falling off at this point. Dabo Swiney’s team was a nice story as QB Tajh Boyd and WR Sammy Watkins carried the team for most of the season but both of those players productions really have fallen since their hot start. There is no way you can pick against the Hokies in this one as they should go on to win yet another ACC Championship.

The Pick: Virginia Tech

Pac 12 Championship: Oregon (10-2) vs. UCLA (6-6) – Like I said above, this one is interesting for the simple fact that its Rick Neuheisel’s last game at the Bruins coach rather he likes it or not. He has already been fired but is still coaching and would need a miracle to pull off the upset as the Ducks are favored by 30 points in this one. The Bruins needed a heap of misfortune just to make it into the game as they lost to USC 50-0 (The Trojans would won the division this had it not been for the whole NCAA ineligibility thing) and had to have Utah lose to Colorado to win the south division. This game is ripe for a blowout as the Bruins have nothing to counter the Ducks high powered offense featuring the likes of Darron Thomas, Lamichael James and Deanthony Thomas.

The Pick: Oregon Ducks

The Battle of Bedlam: Oklahoma (9-2) vs. Oklahoma State (10-1) – This was suppose to be the game that decided who would go on to face the SEC winner in the BCS Championship but unfortunately both teams lost to teams they shouldn’t have and now are relegated to needing a miracle to get in. This will be a game of offensive fireworks featuring two of the best QB in college right now with Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden. The two have combined for over 8,000 yards in passing this year and another 62 touchdown passes. The Sooners have a dealt with injuries as Jones favorite target WR Ryan Broles went down earlier this year with a torn ACL and his other favorite target Kenny Stills has been slowed by multiple injuries. Justin Blackmon is Weeden go to guy and he has racked up 103 receptions 1,241 yards and 15 touchdowns so far. This one will be fun just because of the offense but when it boils down to it, the Sooners defense should be able to get a stop when they need it. They are way more capable then the Cowboys defense which isn’t bad but not even close to being as good as the Sooners are on that side of the ball.

The Pick: Oklahoma Sooners

Lastly, I saw an interesting article on the prices of each major BCS conference ticket. Check out the chart below