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Preview: Championship Week

By Denis Brown
November 28, 2007

It is Championship Week in college football this week. All of the work from 12 games comes down to a single game to decide who the conference champion is going to be.

Atlantic Coast Conference:
Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan probably costed Virginia Tech a chance at a spot in the BCS national championship game when he led the now No. 11 Eagles (10-2, 6-2) on two touchdown scoring drives in the last three minutes of their game against the Hokies (10-2, 7-1) on Oct. 25 and BC won 14-10.

No. 6 Virginia Tech is riding a four game winning streak including a strong 33-21 victory to clinch a spot in the ACC title game against its in-state rival Virginia last weekend.

These two teams will compete for a spot in the Orange Bowl when they face-off on ABC at 1 PM this Saturday.

Big-12 Conference:
This is the main event of the weekend as top-ranked Missouri (11-1, 7-1) goes up against No. 9 Oklahoma (10-2, 6-2). If the Tigers beat the Sooners, Missouri will play for a national championship.

The two teams met on Oct. 13 and Missouri held a 24-23 lead after three quarters, but the Sooners outscored the Tigers 18-7 in the fourth quarter to win the game 41-31.

If Missouri loses to Oklahoma, then No. 3 Ohio State will likely move up and play in the national title game.

Heisman contending quarterback Chase Daniels led Missouri to a 36-28 victory over Kansas last weekend. Daniels completed 40 of 49 passes for 361 yards and threw for three touchdowns.

Oklahoma will take on Missouri this Saturday at 8 PM on ABC.

Conference USA:
C-USA created its conference title game in 2005 and this year’s match up features a rematch of the first game between the University of Central Florida (9-3, 7-1) and Tulsa (9-3, 6-2). The winner of this game will receive a birth in the Autozone Liberty Bowl against a SEC school.

Tulsa beat Central Florida in the 2005 conference title game 44-27, but UCF returned the favor earlier this season by winning 44-23.
Central Florida running back Kevin Smith and linebacker Cory Hogue were the offensive and defensive players of the week in Conference USA for UCF’s 36-20 win over the University of Texas El Paso. Smith rushed for 219 yards and Hogue made career-high 13 tackles in assisting the Knights in clinching the C-USA east title. These two men are playing strong and will be called upon to make a difference on Saturday at noon on ESPN against Tulsa.

Mid-American Conference:
The MAC Championship will play its 11th annual conference title game this Saturday at 11 AM on ESPN 2 when East Division Champion Miami (Ohio) (6-6, 5-2) goes up against West Division Champion Central Michigan (7-5, 6-1).

Miami will need a win against Central Michigan to guarantee a bowl bid. If the Redhawks lose, they would drop to seven losses on the season and despite an NCAA ruling that said a bowl invitation could be extended to a 6-7 championship game runner-up, that bid can only be given out if there are no other seven-win bowl eligible teams in the conference.

Currently, Central Michigian, Bowling Green, and Ball State all have at least seven wins and the MAC is only guaranteed three bowl births.

Southeastern Conference:
This game had a lot of promise last week when many experts thought that LSU would be playing for a spot in the national championship. However, Arkansas handed the Tigers a triple overtime 50-48 loss and possibly knocked LSU out of BCS title consideration.

The No. 7 Tigers (10-2, 6-2) still have a chance to play in the Sugar Bowl, but No. 14 Tennessee (9-3, 6-2) stands in their way. The Volunteers took four overtimes to beat Kentucky last week, but the 52-50 win by Tennessee put the Vols in the SEC title game out of the east division. The Wildcats handed the Tigers their only other loss this season and it was in triple overtime.

A spot in the Sugar Bowl will be on the line when LSU takes on Tennessee in the SEC title game at 4 PM on CBS.

Denis Brown is an independent contributor to College Football


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