We can call Week 13 nothing less than decisive in the run for the BCS Championship game. The No. 1 Fighting Irish defended their claim to the title game by putting a decisive stop to the USC Trojans in L.A., 22-13. Alabama and Georgia both crushed their in-state rivals on Saturday and secured their spots in the SEC Championship Game, or should we call it the first “NCAA Football Playoff?” After all, the winner of the Alabama-Georgia game in Week 14, will represent the SEC in the BCS Championship game against Notre Dame. Here we are, two years away from the playoff system and we already have a semifinal in place. Fancy us.
No. 4 Florida’s victory over the Noles on Saturday night most likely guarantees the Gators a match-up against an at-large opponent at the Sugar Bowl. Will the Oklahoma Sooners come through the next couple weekends?
Soon after you finish watching the Alabama-Georgia game on Saturday, another team from the state of Georgia will play for a conference title; however, this game may not be as glamorous and as decisive the prior one. The ACC Championship game will be between the No. 13 Florida State Seminoles and the unranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the sole defenders of the ACC Coastal Division after Miami gave itself a postseason ban. Sigh. The Noles, coming from a sorry loss to No. 4 Florida Gators at Tallahassee, will lay a slam-down on the Jackets and claim their spot in the more-challenging Orange Bowl (Jan. 1st, 2013).
It must also be mentioned that had the previously No. 12 ranked Clemson beaten their in-state rival, South Carolina, on Saturday, the ACC would have likely been awarded two BCS Bowl Games. But that is not to be. The underdog Gamecocks were unrelenting in their offensive attack of the Tigers—another sign of the sorry performance ACC Football has depicted this season.
The Mid-American Conference (MAC) made a name for itself on Saturday as No. 18 Kent State (11-1) and No. 19 Northern Illinois (11-1) each rose five spots in the latest BCS rankings. If things work out for the MAC, we could see a MAC team for the very first time attending a BCS bowl game. This kind of makes you question which conferences should get automatic qualifiers to the BCS…but oh well.
More sorry than the ACC?
The Big East shot itself on the face when both Rutgers and Louisville lost on Saturday night, their positions in the conference championship already secured. The winner will still automatically-qualify for a BCS bowl, however, we may still end up seeing some BCS busters in the next week or so. Keep your fingers crossed!
PS: Three FBS-Division I coaches fired on the same weekend! Some schools must really want to get back in the mix (or get there in the first place).