Your Guide to the Conference Title Games
I bet you were wondering what you’re supposed to do during the conference title games this weekend.
You were thinking: What do I do?? Who do I cheer for? What dip do I use with my Tostitos scoops? (This one’s easy – something cheesy and spicy.)
Well, as always, BS is here with all the answers. You’re welcome.
Let’s take a spin around the country and talk title games.
And who better to do that than the fans of a program that is further from conference title games than boilerdowd was from boobies in college?
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BGSU-NIU – MAC Title Game
Northern Illinois is in position to go to their second straight BCS bowl. To do it, they’ll need to win their third straight MAC championship. It’s kind of incredible that they play teams like Kent State and Akron and may also be playing a traditional power in a BCS game. Are they the new Boise State? Certainly not as trendy-cool, but man what a great program. It’s made me wonder a few times if Dave Doeren regrets leaving at all. I’m sure the paycheck is nice at NC State, but I would also think that NIU would be willing to pay guys if they keep going to BCS bowl games. The money is a windfall for a MAC team, and if you need little bits of evidence, look at their frequent alternate unis and helmets. It’s been noted that those cost money (which is why Purdue rarely does it).
Who You Should Pull For: NIU. Any time a lesser-conference team can crash the BCS party, it’s fun to pull for. Sure, they usually get pasted when they play a big-time foe, but seeing SEC hillrats get angry and shout that their sixth-place teams are better is always fun.
Duke-FSU – ACC Title Game
So while we have zero love for Ohio State, let me posit this one to you. How come FSU is a shoo-in for the BCS title game (assuming they win) but there are those making a case against Ohio State. Both teams would be unbeaten, but FSU would have just trounced Duke while OSU would have just survived MSU. Has the anti-Big Ten football narrative gone so far that we’re now pretending the fricking ACC is far better? Because that’s kind of a silly joke.
Yes, Florida State pasted Clemson earlier this year when Clemson was #3. You know Clemson, right? The team that always, without fail, falls on their faces when it matters most? Clemson and Georgia should get together and buy a house in the country because they are perfect for each other. Always good, always talented, rabid fan base… never come through when it matters. Like, ever.
This is usually where some idiot tells us that because Purdue sucks, we have to shut up. Which makes zero sense. If the only people who can talk and judge are those whose team just won the title, then only Alabama fans are allowed to speak on anything this season. See how dumb that is? (Everybody knows Alabama fans aren’t literate.)
But back to this actual game. Yes, FSU will run over Duke. Is there any chance of them “looking ahead”? Sure. But even if they do, FSU should still roll – this is one of those games. Should be exciting. And should also demonstrate that the ACC is awful – but to those who’ve already decided FSU should play for the title, it’ll only demonstrate how good Florida State is.
Who You Should Pull For: Duke. It’s one of the rare times that a lot of non-Dukies will want to see the Blue Devils win anything. FSU has always been an unlikable program filled with thugs and that doesn’t seem to have changed. Duke football winning ten games to this point is nothing short of incredible, really. How great would it be to see little ol’ Duke football ruin Seminole dreams?
Mizzou-Auburn – SEC title game
As much as we take shots at the SEC, they do play some ridiculously exciting games. And that’s fine – but let’s call it what it is. It’s a shootout league and many of their games look like arena football. It will be hard to top Auburn-Alabama from last week, but Mizzou and Auburn should be a lot of fun, too. This is one of those weird scenarios that seems to happen thanks to conference title games where two teams are playing for the conference and the best team in the conference is at home. I mean, because whether you like Saban and ‘bama at all, it’s hard to argue they’re the best team. I’m too lazy to look it up, but I don’t think they trailed this season since their early-season game against A&M prior to the clock being at all zeroes in the Iron Bowl.
Auburn, on the other hand, needed truly miraculous plays at the ends of back-to-back wins to get to their 11-1 season. So, sure, if they wind up 12-1 and SEC champs, they absolutely can crow a bit and make their case to play for the title. However, they’re that close to being 9-3, and that’s completely leaving aside too close for comfort wins over Washington State (by 7) and Miss State (by 4).
Mizzou, of course, came within a fourth down TD and an overtime loss of being 12-0 this season. Kind of incredible. And don’t think we don’t love that two castoffs from the flailing Big 12 came right in and have almost immediately dominated the mighty SEC. My problem with Mizzou is that I think they’ve been playing over their heads all season. Sure, they came through in two games where a pretender could easily fall in their final two, on the road at a ranked Miss State and at home vs A&M. But as Charles Barkley said on GameDay, A&M had mailed it in already… 0-4 vs ranked teams, 8-4 (4-4) on the season but still ranked? Seriously? You know who else is 8-4 (4-4) in the SEC? Vandy. And I don’t seem them getting love.
Who You Should Pull For: I want Mizzou to win because their fans are probably living the impossible dream right now and they barely missed their shot at the national title game in ’07. Auburn just won a title in 2010 with a questionably-obtained QB leading them. Plus, as mentioned, they barely squeaked their way here. That said, I say the Tigers will win.
Stanford at Az St – Pac 12 Title game
Who had this one? It’d be much jucier to have Oregon or USC somewhere in the mix, but Stanford is one of those teams that just win games relentlessly. Arizona State might be the quietest ten-win team out there right now (if they were in the SEC, they’d be top 5 – as it is, they’re not even top ten). But they have some really nice wins – vs Wisconsin, the Kiffenblaster against USC, a 31-point crushing over a then-ranked Washington team, a win at a ranked UCLA and big time blowout in their rivalry game against Arizona. Of course, they also have been beaten pretty badly by Stanford already and also lost to an underwhelming Notre Dame team.
Stanford has been Stanford.
Who You Should Pull For: Well, Arizona State has @ASUConfessions but they also had Sam Keller and he sucked. If most of the bros at ASU are like Keller – and you know they are – then there’s no way you can pull for them. Go Trees.
OSU vs MSU – Big Ten Title Game
If the Rose Bowl is the Grandaddy of them all, then what is the title game in Indy to go to the Rose Bowl? The God-daddy of them all? The Pappy of them all? I’ll let you decide.
This game should also be excellent viewing this weekend. Whether you like these teams or not, they’ve more than earned their way here (compare this to the stinkfest of Nebraska vs. Wisconsin last year), with a 23-1 combined record. MSU’s only loss? Again, to a Notre Dame team that just isn’t all that good. And to think that the site Every Day Should Be Saturday (ostensibly a Florida-centric site) wrote this post mocking Dantonio and the Spartans just prior to the season. I guess he turned out to be a decent coach, after all. Dantonio, that is, who just won 11 games for the third time and will go to his seventh bowl game in seven seasons at MSU.
Across the field stands Ohio State. It’s no secret that we have no love for this school or program, but there is no denying Urban Meyer’s prowess as coach. Sure, they’re loaded, sure it’s easy to recruit there. But he took a team that Luke Fickell couldn’t nudge over .500 and hasn’t lost with them. At all. The closest was probably when Purdue effectively had the game won last year and coughed it up late. I know people claim they don’t win impressively enough (wow, if ever there was a nebulous criticism – I’ll take winning in any level of impressiveness), but they’re 24-0 in two seasons. This may be their toughest test yet, frankly, and we’ll know a lot about them after this game.
Who you Should Pull For: MSU. We’ve been over this before. Rooting for a conference is just plain dumb. So if you’re rooting for OSU to win so they play for the national title – where you’ll again root for them – then you’re free to go now. OSU is evil. They’re one of Purdue’s most-loathed opponents. They should be on your short list of teams you never pull for, quite honestly, along with Indiana and Notre Dame. We’re on record as not liking many teams from the Big Ten at all. But I’ve also never made a secret of the fact that I think Mark Dantonio is a great coach. He’s the kind of coach Iowa thinks Kirk Ferentz is. He’s a former grad assistant at Purdue, so he has to be a good guy, right? Regardless, he’s a very good coach. You should pull for him and his Spartans. Not just to upset the apple cart at Ohio State, but to send Buckeye fans into a deep depression.
A fun scenario to piss everyone off: If OSU, Auburn and FSU all lose….does Alabama wind up in the title game?
Enjoy the games, everyone. After this, the college football outlook gets thin – and then bleak – for a long time.