As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
8:00: Ball State vs. Buffalo (@Detroit, MI; ESPN2): We get the championship weekend started with the resurgent Buffaloes and potential hot coaching commodity Turner Gill versus undefeated Ball State. There was apparently an offer for the Cardinals to play Boise State, but out in Boise, which I agree is silly. Anyway, Ball State goes 13-0 and then off to the Motor City Bowl, most likely.
- Pittsburgh @ Connecticut (ESPN): I’m going to be frank here and say this is going to be a really boring game. UConn hasn’t beaten anyone other than Syracuse in a month, so I guess I’ll go with Pitt.
- East Carolina @ Tulsa (ESPN2): ECU has had a real roller coaster season, but they’ve been more consistent than their other C-USA East brethren. Except for two nightmare weeks, Tulsa has been pretty darn good, and with the home field advantage I’ll go with them.
- Navy vs. Army (@Philadelphia, PA; CBS): I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I want Army to win, but will pick Navy to do so. Also, this matches up two of the top 10 rushing offenses in the country, so there’s also that.
1:00: Virginia Tech vs. Boston College (@Tampa, FL; ABC): If the fans of the schools involved can’t be bothered to show up, why should I? Seriously, this game cannot get to Charlotte quickly enough. That said, Virginia Tech’s offense is epically bad, barely scraping out victories against a depleted Duke squad and a very mediocre UVA. I’m taking BC.
3:00: Washington @ California (FSN): Cal. Next!
4:00: Alabama vs. Florida (@Atlanta, GA; CBS): It’s Bama! It’s Florida! And my very overused cliche! Anyway, this game is very tough to predict. Florida is flat-out one of the most productive offense teams in the country and has not scored less than 38 points since the baffling loss to Ole Miss. Alabama may not be as flashy on offense, but come in sporting thirds place in total and scoring defense. It’s difficult for me to pick a team here. I was convinced that I was going to pick ‘Bama, but maybe it’s my bias or just being impressed with Florida’s offense performance this season. If there’s anything I’ve learned in life, though, your first instinct is usually right. So I’ll stick with Bama, though it pains me so.
4:30: Southern California @ California-Los Angeles (ABC): USC. Next!
- Missouri vs. Oklahoma (@Kansas City, MO; ABC): Honestly, while Mizzou is a good football team it has been shown several times this year they haven’t really been able to run with the elite of the Big 12 South this year. It also helps that OU has put up 60+ for a month now. Of course, this game has produced surprising results on occassion, but I’m going to stick with the favorite.
- Arizona State @ Arizona (ESPN): ASU has to be in the conversation amoung most disappointing teams this year. As I said last night, the winner here earns a trip to the Las Vegas Bowl. ASU has won 3 straight, but against 3 of hte worst teams in the Pac-10 this year. Of course, Arizona hasn’t won since beating Wazzou a few weeks, but I’ll take them anyway, and then probably forget about the game as I’ll be watching Mizzou-OU.
- South Florida @ West Virginia (ESPN2): Speaking of disappointing seasons, I think both of these teams have had one. WVU still has better talent, though maybe not good coaching as the Bill Stewart face has permeated the Internet this year. Nonetheles, I’m picking WVU.
11:30: Cincinnati @ Hawaii (ESPN2): Wouldn’t be hilarious if Hawaii beat the Big East Champion? It’s unlikely, though, as they only managed 24 on a very moribund Wazzou squad. I’ll take Cincy here.