Monday, November 21, 2011
College Football Week 12
This was definitely not the weekend to play for a university that begins with "O." Of those who had much on the line on a national or conference level, they were defeated. It started Friday night with the upset of Oklahoma State. The state of Oklahoma then had to deal with another upset the following night as the Sooners lost to Baylor. Moving to the Pacific Northwest, Oregon had positioned themselves for a spot in the BCS title game, only to be defeated by USC. And in the Big Ten Ohio State lost any chance at the Big Ten title game by losing to Penn State. Definitely a gutsy performance for the Nittany Lions - a group of players being punished in the court of public opinion for something they had nothing to do with.
Had the Big Ten not gone to division play, the typical end of the year match-up between Michigan State and Penn State may have been for the Big Ten title. Instead Penn State has their own division championship game on the last weekend, but in Madison against the Badgers. Definitely the most important conference game of the weekend, but there is much on the line for a number of teams jockeying for bowl position. Iowa secured their spot and improved their ranking with the win over Purdue. Northwestern secured their position while Purdue can do so this weekend with a win at Indiana. And while Illinois has struggled over their last five games, they are still bowl bound. But Michigan's final home game with Ohio State may prove the most pivotal for every one's bowl standing. A Wolverine win and each team may be able to jump a spot. Many are projecting Michigan to make a BCS bowl with a ten win season - currently they are 9-2.
Another game of the weekend will be in Conference USA. Houston travels to Tulsa and defends their undefeated streak against the Golden Hurricane. The winner of the game will be the champions of the West Division and earn the right to play in the conference championship game. The Cougars have much to lose in Central Oklahoma.
And finally the premier football conference in 2011 is the SEC. And while the BCS top three teams have earned the most recognition one team that gets set aside is Georgia. Starting the season 0-2 the Bulldogs have quietly won 9 straight and will play for the conference title the first weekend of December. This past weekend created "BCS Chaos" with many teams in the top five losing. But what kind of chaos would we have if Georgia wins the SEC to earn the automatic BCS bid?