This Weekend's Top Games park
Here's a look at some of the top upcoming games for this week of college football action. All times listed are Central. Please check local listings to confirm broadcast information.
Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois (MAC Championship, Detroit, Friday, 6 p.m., ESPN2): The Mid-American Conference will have a rematch in its title game as Northern Illinois looks to avenge last year's loss to the Falcons. The Huskies will be appearing in their fifth straight conference championship game.
#8 Arizona vs. #3 Oregon (Pac-12 Championship, Santa Clara, Friday, 8 p.m., FOX): The Pac-12 Championship affords Oregon the opportunity to avenge its only loss of the season as they take on the Wildcats, winners of four straight games. The Ducks, meanwhile, have been piling up outlandish statistics since suffering that loss on Oct. 2; in the seven games since the loss, Oregon is averaging 47.8 points per game and beating teams by an average of 20.9 points per game.
Louisiana Tech at Marshall (C-USA Championship, Saturday, 11 a.m., ESPN2): Despite taking its first loss of the year on Friday, the Thundering Herd will still host the C-USA title game at their home field, taking on a Louisiana Tech squad which thumped Rice, 76-31, to capture the West Division title on Saturday.
Iowa State at #4 TCU (Saturday, 11 a.m., ABC): Of the top teams battling for a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff, the Horned Frogs are the only one not playing a ranked opponent; instead they host the Cyclones, who are winless in Big 12 play this season.
#1 Alabama vs. #14 Missouri (SEC Championship, Atlanta, Saturday, 3 p.m., CBS): For a team that some considered unworthy of SEC membership, Missouri has only impressed as it advances to its second straight SEC Championship game. After losing 59-42 to Auburn last year, the Tigers once again face a powerhouse in the Crimson Tide, which has won 23 conference titles.
#9 Kansas State at #5 Baylor (Saturday, 6:45 p.m., ESPN): The winner of this game is guaranteed at least a share of the Big 12 title, but the stakes could be even higher for Baylor. Many think that if the Bears can win this game, the CFP Selection Committee will bump them ahead of TCU and into the top four. A major question mark is the status of Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, who left in the second half of Saturday's game against Texas Tech due to a concussion.
#2 Florida State vs. #12 Georgia Tech (ACC Championship, Charlotte, Saturday, 7 p.m., ABC): The Seminoles have been living on the edge for much of the season; despite being undefeated (for the second straight year), they have trailed in the first half of nine games this year, including the last six in a row. The Yellow Jackets come in with a five-game winning streak and their unique triple-option offense is producing 334 yards per game, third in the nation – not the type of team to fall into a hole against.
#6 Ohio State vs. #11 Wisconsin (Big Ten Championship, Indianapolis, Saturday, 7:17 p.m., FOX): Unfortunately, this match-up of top-tier teams is sure to be significantly affected by injuries. Ohio State lost star quarterback J.T. Barrett to a broken ankle – Barrett had surprised many by developing into a Heisman Trophy contender after taking over the starting role just before the season opener when original starter Braxton Miller was injured. Now the Buckeyes turn to third-string quarterback Cardale Jones, who has attempted just 17 passes this season. Meanwhile, Wisconsin may not be 100-percent either as its own Heisman Trophy contender, Melvin Gordon, has been bothered by a sore ankle – though it's hard to see the results of that as he has run for a Big Ten record 2,260 yards this year.
Fresno State at #22 Boise State (Mountain West Championship, Saturday, 9 p.m., CBS): Boise State looks to add to its impressive haul of conference championships – the Broncos have won nine titles since 2002. Though after tallying eight championships in the Western Athletic Conference, they moved to the Mountain West in 2011 and have only captured a share of the title in 2012. On the other side, Fresno State looks for its second straight league title after they held off Utah State last year in the league's first conference championship game. A win for the Broncos would seemingly wrap up the "Group of Five" bid to one of the top New Year's bowls, which will go to the highest-ranked champion from the AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC and the Sun Belt.