Rivalry Week in College Football: Saturday Games

#4 Florida visiting #10 Florida State is just one of the huge rivalry games on Saturday that will have a big impact on the BCS standings.

Following on from Thursday’s look at Friday night’s Rivalry Week games, CasinoReview returns with a lowdown of those rivalry games taking place on Saturday, some of which will have serious implications within the hunt for the National Championship.

 

#1 Notre Dame @ USC

The Jeweled Shillelagh won’t be the only thing up for grabs at the Coliseum on Saturday. Notre Dame (11-0) will look to remain perfect on the season, which should be enough to book the Irish a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. USC (7-4, 5-4 Pac-12) has owned the Irish in recent years and will be looking to resuscitate a disappointing year ahead of Bowl season.

Favorite: Notre Dame Spread: 4 Total: 46

 

Auburn @ #2 Alabama (“The Iron Bowl”)

Last week’s chaotic results washed away the Tide’s surprise loss to Texas A&M. A win over arch-nemesis Auburn (3-8, 0-7 SEC) will sew-up the SEC West, and send Alabama (10-1, 6-1 SEC) to the Championship Game in Atlanta next weekend, where Georgia lays in wait.

Favorite: Alabama Spread: 34 Total: 46

 

#5 Oregon @ #15 Oregon State (“The Civil War”)

Stanford’s upset win over the Ducks means it’s now very unlikely that Oregon (10-1, 7-1 Pac-12) will be considered for the National Championship. In fact, Oregon’s division hopes are now in jeopardy and anything less than a win in this rivalry matchup against Oregon State (8-2, 6-2 Pac-12) will be disastrous. If the Ducks take the ‘W’, they’ll then have to hope UCLA knocks off Stanford.

Favorite: Oregon Spread: 12.5 Total: 64.5

 

#4 Florida @ #10 Florida State

Quarterback Jeff Driskell will start for Florida (10-1, 7-1 SEC) but the Gators will be up against the wall in this one, with bookies preferring the Seminoles. Florida State (10-1, 7-1 ACC) has beaten Florida two straight times, and will be looking to make it three in a row for the first time since 1998-2000. The winner of this one can expect to climb the BCS ladder.

Favorite: Florida State Spread: 7 Total: 44.5

 

Georgia Tech @ #3 Georgia (“Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate”)

Georgia (10-1, 7-1 SEC) has already booked its place in the SEC Championship Game, a win in which will most likely send the Bulldogs to the National Championship. This week is about taking home the Governor’s Cup though, something Georgia has done in 10 of the last 11 seasons. An upset win for the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech (6-5, 5-3 ACC) would send Georgia tumbling out of the national title conversation.

Favorite: Georgia Spread: 14 Total: 64.5

 

#12 South Carolina @ #11 Clemson

If Florida State falls to Florida and the Tigers defeat the Gamecocks, not only will Clemson (10-1, 7-1 ACC) take home Hardee’s Trophy but also the Atlantic Division, setting up a clash with Georgia Tech for the ACC championship. South Carolina (9-2, 6-2 SEC) has won the last three meetings between the sides though, making this anything but a dead cert.

Favorite: Clemson Spread: 4 Total: 61.5

 

#21 Oklahoma State @ #13 Oklahoma (“The Bedlam Series”)

Last year Oklahoma State (7-3, 5-2 Big 12) took home the Bedlam Bell, snapping Oklahoma’s (8-2, 6-1 Big 12) eight-year hold on the trophy. This season, the Cowboys will look to keep a hold of it. The Sooners however are not out of the Big 12 title picture and need a win over their state rivals to keep pace with Kansas State, who owns the tiebreaker in the series.

Favorite: Oklahoma Spread: 9 Total: 72.5

 

#19 Michigan @ Ohio State

Michigan’s (8-3, 6-1 Big Ten) hopes of taking the Legends Division outright this year were extinguished by Nebraska’s victory over Iowa on Friday afternoon. Now the Wolverines will look to play spoiler and hand Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten) its first loss of the season. A win for the Buckeyes and the undefeated season that comes along with it will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of those playing for the postseason-banned school.

Favorite: Ohio State Spread: 4.5 Total: 54.5

 

Whilst those games will have some impact on the final BCS rankings and the National Championship hunt, a number of other games this weekend can determine whether teams will be Bowl eligible or not. There’s also bound to be some pure hatred flying around also. Don’t expect any of these to be pretty.

 

Illinois @ Northwestern

Illinois (2-9, 0-7 Big Ten) will hope to take home the Land of Lincoln Trophy for third straight year, securing its first conference win of the season in the process. Northwestern (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten) will look to pile more misery on the so-far hapless Illini.

Favorite: Northwestern Spread: 18.5 Total: 50.5

 

Southern Mississippi @ Memphis (“Black and Blue Bowl”)

Southern Mississippi (0-11, 0-7 CUSA) seeks its first win of the year in Memphis (3-8, 3-4 CUSA). A rivalry game is as good a time as any to notch a debut victory.

Favorite: Memphis Spread: 3.5 Total: 51.5

 

Troy at Middle Tennessee (“Battle for the Palladium”)

A win will not only give Troy (5-6, 3-4 Sun Belt) the Palladium Trophy but also makes the side Bowl eligible. Middle Tennessee (7-3, 5-1 Sun Belt) will look to prevent that, particularly as it looks to remain in the hunt for the Sun Belt Conference title.

Favorite: Middle Tennessee Spread: 3 Total: 67.5

 

Mississippi State @ Ole Miss (“The Egg Bowl”)

A 7-0 start for Mississippi State (8-3, 4-3 SEC) fizzled out once the Bulldogs came up against ranked opposition. Now the side will look to win the Golden Egg Trophy, something Ole Miss (5-6, 2-5 SEC) – looking to become Bowl eligible – will try to prevent.

Favorite: EVEN Spread: EVEN Total: 54.5

 

Indiana @ Purdue

Purdue (5-6, 2-5 Big Ten) is another side looking to become Bowl eligible. The Boilermakers will do so with a win over Indiana (4-7, 2-5 Big Ten), and take home the Old Oaken Bucket in the process.

Favorite: Purdue Spread: 6 Total: 62.5

 

Virginia @ Virginia Tech

Finally, Virginia Tech (5-6, 3-4 ACC) will look to become Bowl eligible with a win over rivals, Virginia (4-7, 2-5 ACC). History is on the side of the Hokies, who have won the Commonwealth Cup in eight straight seasons, and 12 of the last 13.

Favorite: Virginia Tech Spread: 10 Total: 49.5

Deciphering What’s Left of the Season: the Non-AQ Edition

Colby Cameron's Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are just one of the teams looking to take a non-AQ conference title.

Following on from Wednesday’s look at the AQ conferences and how each is likely to pan out this season, CasinoReview takes you to the non-AQ conferences in search of finding those teams looking to take home a division title, or even conference title, this season.

 

CONFERENCE USA

East Division

Central Florida (8-2, 6-0 CUSA) – The Knights need to win one of their two remaining games this season to be awarded the East Division crown. Thanks to a head-to-head win over East Carolina, UCF can still win the title even if it loses both games, providing the Pirates lose two also.

East Carolina (6-4, 5-1 CUSA) – First the Pirates need to win out to have any chance of taking the division and then they need help from Tulsa and UAB, who would both need to win against UCF for East Carolina to be awarded the title.

West Division

Tulsa (8-2, 6-0 CUSA) – The Golden Hurricane can afford to lose this weekend against UCF, but only just. This race will go down to the final game of the season – which has Tulsa traveling to SMU – if the Mustangs win at Rice this weekend. If the Mustangs lose this weekend, Tulsa takes the West.

SMU (5-5, 4-2 CUSA) – The Mustangs need to defeat Rice this weekend in Houston to be in with a shot at the division title. A victory sets up a winner-takes-it-all clash with Tulsa next weekend.

 

MID-ATLANTIC CONFERENCE (MAC)

Eastern Division

Kent State (8-2, 6-0 MAC) – Ohio’s loss to Ball State on Wednesday means the MAC’s Eastern Division will be decided between Kent State and Bowling Green, who conveniently play each other on Saturday. A Kent State win gives the Golden Flashes the division title. A loss means not only would Kent State need to beat Ohio next week, but Bowling Green would also have to lose to Buffalo, in order for the Golden Flashes to head to the championship game in Detroit.

Bowling Green (7-3, 5-1 MAC) – The Falcons must defeat Kent State this weekend or it’s game over. A win would give Bowling Green a huge advantage going into the last week of play. The Falcons would merely need to match Kent State’s result to win the division.

Western Division

Northern Illinois (10-1, 7-0 MAC) secured a spot in the championship game with a 31-24 win over Toledo (8-3, 5-2 MAC) on Wednesday night. With one game to go, neither Toledo nor Ball State (8-3, 5-2 MAC) can catch the Huskies.

 

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE (MWC)

The MWC does not use a tiebreaker to determine the conference champion should two or more teams finish with the same record. Those in a tied position at the top of the table would be considered co-champions.

San Diego State (8-3, 6-1 MWC) – The Aztecs can win outright with a victory over Wyoming (Nov. 24) so long as Fresno State loses to Air Force and Boise State loses one of its last two. In a best case scenario, a loss would likely generate a co-champion scenario.

Fresno State (8-3, 6-1 MWC) – Fresno State can win outright with a victory over Air Force (Nov. 24) and losses for San Diego State and Boise State. The latter would need to lose both of its final games. A loss leaves the Bulldogs vulnerable to a co-champion scenario or losing out on the conference title altogether.

Boise State (8-2, 5-1 MWC) – The Broncos can win the division outright with two wins accompanied by losses for San Diego State and Fresno State. One loss could generate a potential three-way tie with both San Diego State and Fresno State.

 

SUN BELT

Arkansas State (7-3, 5-1 Sun Belt) – In all likelihood, the Sun Belt championship will come down to Arkansas State’s game against Middle Tennessee (Dec. 1). The winner of that game is likely to be crowned champion. Before that, the Red Wolves need to beat Troy.

Middle Tennessee (6-3, 4-1 Sun Belt) – If the Blue Raiders can navigate their way past South Alabama and Troy, they’ll likely set-up a conference championship game with Arkansas State. A loss to either of those sides could prove very costly.

Louisiana-Lafayette (5-4, 3-2 Sun Belt) – The Ragin’ Cajuns’ only hope of winning the conference is to win out and finish tied at the top of the table with Middle Tennessee at 6-2. The two teams do not play this season so further tiebreakers may play out in Lafayette’s favor. It’s unlikely though.

Louisiana-Monroe (6-4, 4-2 Sun Belt) – Although not mathematically eliminated, ULM faces an uphill struggle. That struggle would include winning out in the division and then hoping the other contenders continue to lose leaving ULM and Middle Tennessee tied at the top of the conference with a 6-2 record. ULM holds the tie-breaker in that scenario, and that scenario only.

 

WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE (WAC)

Utah State (8-2, 4-0 WAC) – A win for the Aggies over the Bulldogs this weekend is enough to take the WAC title thanks to the fact that Utah State has already beaten San Jose State. A loss to Louisiana Tech would end all hopes of a division title.

Louisiana Tech (9-1, 4-0 WAC) – The Bulldogs play both their remaining rivals to close out the season. A win over both ensures an undefeated season in the conference and a WAC championship. A win over Utah State this weekend, and a Utah State win next weekend is also enough to take home the championship. A loss to both eliminates the Bulldogs.

San Jose State (8-2, 4-1 WAC) – Spartan hopes are pinned firmly on Louisiana Tech defeating Utah State this weekend. If the Aggies are victorious, San Jose State cannot win the division. A Bulldogs win however would set up a showdown with the Spartans next week. San Jose State would need to win that game and hope the winless Idaho can defeat Utah State. Don’t count on it.

 

So there you have it (almost). There’s still an awful lot up for grabs on the non-AQ side of the BCS. Some champions may be decided as early as Saturday, while others might not be crowned until December 1. One thing’s for sure though; the excitement really starts here.

Big Games Still on the College Football Slate

Thanks to an elaborate sequence of events, a win over Wisconsin this weekend could find the Indiana Hoosiers representing the Leaders Division in the Big Ten Championship Game.

On Tuesday CasinoReview took a look at the biggest rivalry games still to be played this season. There’s a whole chunk of them and College Football is going to be exciting down to the last play of the season.

Today we’ve trawled through the remaining schedule and picked out the biggest (non-rivalry) games left on the slate, most of which focus on those teams looking to play their way into a conference championship game or a conference title itself.

Below is a list of the top ten(ish) fixtures left on the schedule.

Editor’s Note: Much of the content is based on assumptions that the formbook will remain true. Of course, College Football is all too good at throwing upsets out there, so there’s (always) a chance that those games played towards the end of November may take on a whole different meaning. For now, let’s play nicely in the world of theoretical football. As a final note, the games included on this list generally feature two sides that will be impacted by the same game. Yes, we know Alabama-Texas A&M is going to be a big game, but more so for the Tide than the Aggies.

 

Wisconsin @ Indiana (Nov. 10)

Big Ten: Indiana could represent the Leaders Division at the Big Ten Championship Game. This might seem a little beyond the realms of plausibility, but it’s true. Due to both Ohio State and Penn State – the two table-toppers – being ineligible, Wisconsin currently fills the ‘top’ spot, one-game ahead of the Hoosiers. If Indiana beats the Badgers, in theory it has an ‘easier’ schedule (at Penn State, at Purdue) than Wisconsin (Vs. Ohio State, at Penn State). That means this Saturday’s game could ultimately decide the Leaders Division’s representative. Shocking.

San Diego State @ Air Force (Nov. 10)

MWC: It should be duly noted that the Mountain West isn’t simply about one big game; there are plenty to follow. With five teams still in the hunt, this weekend’s clash between the Aztecs and Falcons will not decide the conference, but it will make a massive dent. As well as this meeting with the San Diego State, Air Force still has an impending clash with Fresno State (Nov. 24) which puts the impetus firmly on the Falcons’ side of the field. Nevada’s games with Fresno State (Nov. 10) and Boise State (Dec. 1) could prove to have a huge impact too.

Arizona State @ USC (Nov. 10)

Pac-12: USC hosts the Sun Devils this coming weekend aware that a loss will effectively mean the end of the Trojans’ hopes for the South Division title. A win for USC sets up a must-win game with UCLA the following weekend, although Lane Kiffin’s side will still need to hope Stanford can knock off the Bruins in the last week of the season.

Oregon State @ Stanford (Nov. 10)

Pac-12: Big strides can be made in the Pac-12 North this weekend also, as the Beavers travel to the Farm to take on Stanford. Both sides currently have conference records of 5-1, and are within touching distance of the undefeated Oregon. A loss for either side will see those championship chances extinguished. Both sides still have to face Oregon, which brings us to…

Stanford @ Oregon (Nov. 17) or Oregon @ Oregon State (Nov. 24)

Pac-12: If Stanford beats Oregon State, the North Division title will be decided in Eugene, Ore., on Nov. 17. If the Beavers win, a Civil War showdown in Corvallis on Nov. 24 will be for all the marbles. Yes, we realize that this list wasn’t supposed to include rivalry match-ups, but this is one hell of a three-way dance.

Kent State @ Bowling Green (Nov. 17)

MAC: Bowling Green’s 26-14 win over Ohio on Wednesday night looks to have turned a three-horse race for the MAC’s Eastern Division into a two horse race. Providing the team wins this weekend, the Golden Flashes will visit Perry Stadium knowing that a win will all but secure the title.

Utah State @ Louisiana Tech (Nov. 17)

WAC: The Bulldogs of LA Tech have been bothering the rankings for what seems like the better part of the season now. Only a loss to Texas A&M mars the school’s record. But Louisiana Tech isn’t guaranteed a second straight WAC title. Utah State, still unbeaten in the conference, will have a say in who is crowned the final conference football champion. Essentially, barring any hiccups down the stretch, this game will determine who takes the prize.

Toledo @ Northern Illinois (Nov. 17)

MAC: Currently one and two in the MAC’s Western Division, the Rockets and Huskies will meet in DeKalb, Ill., next weekend in what could be the division decider. Toledo’s loss to Ball State on Tuesday night has given Northern Illinois the advantage for now, but a head-to-head win would propel Toledo above the Huskies.

Louisville @ Rutgers (Nov. 29)

Big East: With both sides facing two conference challenges between now and this New Jersey showdown, a lot of scenarios can arise. For now, it’s simple: if both teams steer the course, this clash will determine who closes out the season as Big East champions.

Arkansas State @ Middle Tennessee (Dec. 1)

Sun Belt: Finally, with four weeks of play left, the Sun Belt Conference is completely up for grabs. No fewer than seven teams (Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, Troy, and North Texas) are still mathematically in the mix, which makes this a bettors’ paradise or nightmare, depending how you look at it. Let’s keep it simple then; if the remaining schedule is true to the formbook, this clash between the Red Wolves and Blue Raiders could well decide the division. This weekend’s rivalry clash between Arkansas State and ULM could have a huge bearing also.

 

List of Conference Championship Games

ACC: Sat., Dec. 1 – Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, NC)

Big Ten: Sat., Dec. 1 – Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, IN)

C-USA: Sat, Dec. 1 – Hosted by team with highest winning percentage

MAC: Fri., Nov. 30 – Ford Field (Detroit, MI)

Pac-12: Fri., Nov. 30 – Hosted by team with best conference record

SEC: Sat., Dec. 1 – Georgia Dome (Atlanta, GA)

BCS National Championship Game: Mon., Jan. 7 – Sun Life Stadium (Miami Gardens, FL)