Championship week has arrived upon the 2014 College Football season. The Pac-12 (Arizona vs Oregon), SEC (Alabama vs Missouri), ACC (Florida State vs Georgia Tech) and the Big Ten (Wisconsin vs Ohio State) will have their regular season finale to determine the conference champions, and probably who gets into the playoff.
And the Big 12? They don’t have a championship game. There, it’s a regular season that determines a champion, or co-champion, and makes life complicated for all of us.
Pac-12: Arizona vs Oregon
When & Where: Friday, December 5, 9 PM Eastern Time at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Arizona are playing in the Pac-12 championship game for the first time since the tradition began in 2011. They haven’t won the Pac-12 since 1993. That earned them a trip to the Fiesta Bowl, the last time the Wildcats played in a major bowl game.
Oregon are a bit more accustomed to the occasion, winning the conference in 2011 after beating UCLA, going on to beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl that season. Oregon were the best team in the conference this season, but their only loss came at home, at the hands of Arizona, 31-24. They have lost their last two games to the Wildcats under Rich Rodriguez.
SEC: Alabama vs Missouri
When & Where: Saturday, December 6, 4 PM at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Alabama are the number one team in the nation, not something they’re new to. The conference has been decided that way since 1992, with Alabama playing in eight of those games. Their most recent trip was in 2012, beating Georgia before going on to crush Notre Dame and win the national championship.
Missouri, new to the SEC (third season), played in it against Auburn last season, losing 59-42. They have met Alabama just once since joining the SEC, losing 42-10 in 2012.
ACC: Florida State vs Georgia Tech
When & Where: Saturday December 6, 8 PM at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
Florida State, the defending national champions, are in the conference title game for a third straight time. In 2012 they beat Georgia Tech 21-15 before moving on to the Orange Bowl. Overall, they’ve played in this game four times, losing just once: in 2010 to Virginia Tech.
Georgia Tech are in it for the title for a fourth time, winning just once before: In 2009, beating Clemson. They also lost in 2006 to Wake Forest.
Big Ten: Wisconsin vs Ohio State
When & Where: Saturday December 6, 8:17 PM at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The Big Ten began it’s tradition of championship games in 2011. Wisconsin have missed out on it last year, but won it the previous two seasons, beating Michigan State and Nebraska. In 2012 they only made it to the game because both Ohio State and Penn State were facing sanctions that kept them out of playing in a bowl game and for the conference title. The Buckeyes were a perfect 12-0 that season.
Ohio State played in the championship game last season, stunned by Michigan State 34-24. They’ve won their last three games against the Badgers.
And what about the Big 12?
Well the Big 12 doesn’t have a championship game. What it does have is a week all alone of regular season play, while also the MAC, Mountain West and Conference USA play a one game championship decider.
TCU, the highest ranked of the one-loss teams (in conference play) get an easy day out in Ames against Iowa State. Baylor and Kansas State, the two other teams with a claim for the title, are playing each other in Waco. It’s worth mentioning that Kansas State messed up on their visit to TCU. How about the big boys of the conference? Texas aren’t even playing, while Oklahoma, ranked #20 in the nation, get to play an awful Oklahoma State team in a lackluster rivalry game.