Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: College football weekend preview

College football weekend preview

by WCT, The Ship of Fools

Its week 15, and we have come to the end of our journey. The season that we seem to wait forever for, is over just like that. Yes, I know that we still have bowl season, but I refuse to acknowledge bowls as an actual portion of the college football season. As far as I'm concerned, the season ends Saturday. After that, there will be a mythical national championship game sometime in mid-January, preceded by dozens upon dozens of meaningless exhibition games, involving teams that most of us haven't cared about over the last four months.

Speaking of that, I love the argument that bowl-proponents bring up that a playoff will "make the other bowl games meaningless." Laughable. Quick, who won last year's Poinsettia Bowl? Unless you A) are a fan of the team that won, B) are a fan of the team that lost, or C) had a memorable gambling experience associated with the game, you have no idea. There is nothing that could make that game more meaningless than it is right now.

Don't get me wrong, I'll watch the meaningless bowl games (gambling!) but I won't enjoy them, nor am I under any sort of illusion that they mean anything.

In any event, we only have one more week left people, so lets enjoy it.

(all times eastern)

Pittsburgh at Connecticut (-3.5) - Noon -
Washington at California (-33.5) - 3pm -
South Florida at West Virginia (-7.5) - 8pm -
Cincinnati (-7.5) at Hawaii - 11:30pm -

Why is it that in a weekend replete with Championship Games, and rivalry grudge matches, we are subjected to these piece of shit games involving Big East and Pac-10 teams playing out the string? Any of these games stand out to you? The only ones that catch my eye are Washington, going for a perfect 0-12 season (fingers crossed!) and Cincinnati, taking the 9 hour (or whatever it is) flight out to play Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors love to feast on travel-weary teams from the mainland that make the trek out there to play them at bizarre kickoff times. The Bearcats better watch out and make sure their jet-lag doesn't get the best of them!

Army vs. Navy (-10.5) - Noon - One of the great spectacles in college sports. Not great football, but an entertaining game nonetheless, just because of the passion and pageantry involved. Admittedly, I know very little about these teams, other than the fact that Navy runs the option and Army isn't very good. I usually take Army, just because I like to cheer for a close game in this matchup, so I will stick with that.

ACC Championship Game - BC vs. Virginia Tech - 1pm - The game that literally hundreds of fans attended last year in Jacksonville is back! In a rematch of the riveting '07 ACC title game, the team from the city that doesn't care about college football and has no discernible fan base, takes on the team most famous for producing scofflaw quarterbacks and malcontent cornerbacks. I'm sure the execs in the ACC offices are doing cartwheels. When the ACC expanded, divided into two divisions, and added a title game, they thought they would see talent-laden Florida State and Miami teams facing off each year to showcase the best of the league. Now you have two non-descript teams playing boring football in an empty stadium. For two consecutive years. I guess I'll take V-Tech, but I'm only betting on the game so that I can tolerate watching it.

USC (-33) at UCLA - 4:30pm - Who else is sick and tired of hearing about this "rivalry?" First, during the offseason, UCLA plastered a huge ad in the LA papers proclaiming that the "College Football Monopoly in Los Angeles is Officially Over." Since then, the Bruins have played 11 uninspiring, mistake-filled football games, and now sit with a 4-7 record. USC, on the other hand, has gone 10-1 and dominated almost everyone they have faced. In other words, the monopoly on turnover-laden, mediocre, below-.500 college football in Los Angeles continues indefinitely. This week, the non-controversy-controversy was over Pete Carroll's desire to rekindle the tradition of both USC and UCLA wearing their colored jerseys in this game. He is apparently so set on this that he is willing to take the NCAA punishment, and forgo one timeout per half. Whatever. Someday, this game might evolve back into to a perennially competitive one, but for not, USC stomps UCLA easily.

SEC Championship Game - Alabama vs. Florida (-9.5) 4pm - I'm very conflicted here. On the one hand, Bama could be a complete fraud. In retrospect, nobody that they have beaten is any good. They barely have anyone on their schedule that would even be considered decent. Looking at the line, Vegas certainly seems to think they are a fraud, placing a 12-0, #1 ranked team as nearly a double-digit underdog. On the other hand, Nick Saban is one of the best big game coaches in College Football today. If there is anyone who could devise a scheme to slow down Tim Tebow and the potent Gator offense, you would think it would be him. I have also caught wind of a possible BCS doomsday scenario, that involves Florida winning ugly, and not getting into the Championship Game. That outcome, however unlikely, is what I, and other BCS Anarchists of my ilk, will be cheering for. I guess that means I think UF wins, but bet on Bama plus the points.

Big 12 Championship Game - Missouri vs. Oklahoma (-16.5) - 8pm - More has been made of whether or not Oklahoma belongs in this game than has been made of the actual matchup. Why is that? Because Mizzou has little to no shot of winning this game. Missouri, who looked like the strongest team in the nation for the first half of the year, has collapsed down the stretch, hitting rock-bottom last week when they lost a rivalry game at the gun to an already collapsed Kansas team. That being said, wouldn't it be great if Missouri won this game, and somehow Texas ended up in the BCS Championship game? Another nightmare scenario I will be hoping against hope for.

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