Who’s gonna lose, week 14

The 2011 college football season is winding down, and it’s conference championship week, with seven of the six conference with championship games holding those games. That math may seem a little skewed, but that’s how this season has gone.

Two of the conferences have already held their championship games, with Northern Illinois winning the Mid-America championship game and a berth in the GoDaddy.com bowl, and Oregon winning the Pac-12 and a spot in the Rose Bowl.

If you’re not a football fan, don’t worry. We’ll find something shiny for you to play with.

Football fans, it’s time to find out who’s gonna lose this weekend. Maybe, from that, you can tell who will win. Maybe not.

Texas (22) vs Baylor (17)

It’s not a conference championship game. Rather, it’s a match-up of two ranked teams with seven losses between them. Baylor is the highest ranked 3-loss team, and Texas is the highest ranked 4-loss team. The big attraction about this game is Baylor’s quarterback, Robert Griffin III, whose name sounds like he ought to be stranded on a tropic desert isle with a professor and a movie star.

Most of the talking heads at the ESPN channel want to have his baby — I’m talking about the guys, not the sports babes — and are promoting his for the Heisman. And the numbers he’s put up against Stephen F. Austin, Rice, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Kansas and the like is impressive. And, if he can put up some more big numbers, he could be the first Heisman Trophy winner from a 3-loss team since 1987.

Mack Brown’s Big Horny Cattle might have something to say about that, though. This season has been better than last year for Texas, but they haven’t beaten a ranked opponent all season. This is their last chance, and it won’t be easy.

Who’s gonna lose? Texas.

New Mexico vs Boise State (7)

There’s no conference championship on the line in Smurf Village this weekend, just the hope of a BCS bowl when Chris Petersen’s Broncos host the Spanish Wolves from Albuquerque. Unless the SEC sends three teams to BCS bowls, there’s an opening for an at-large, non-AQ conference team that’s ranked high enough. The team from the 57th State fits the bill … if they can get past New Mexico.

Bob Davie is unbeaten as the Lobos head coach, but he’s winless as well. His debut at the helm of New Mexico couldn’t come at a worse time.

Who’s gonna lose? New Mexico.

Oklahoma (10) vs Oklahoma State (3)

This is the game that caused the funny math I was talking about earlier. There is no Big 12 championship game this year, because there aren’t 12 teams in the Big 12. However, as things worked out, the winner of this game isn’t just the Oklahama State Champs, but they’re also the Big 12 champs.

All the experts that were talking about Oklahoma playing for the national championship look pretty silly right about now. Still, the Sooners are the highest-ranked team with less than 10 wins.

The Cowpokes from Stillwater, under the direction of Brandon Weeden and his posse of receivers, look to take another wheel off the Sooner Schooner, and hope for an upset in Atlanta to help them make it to the national championship game.

That’s a long-shot at best, but Oklahoma State has the tools to do its part … and will.

Who’s gonna lose? Oklahoma.

Southern Miss (24) vs Houston (6)

More than just the Conference-USA title is on the line when the Cougars from Houston take on the Golden Eagles from Hattiesburg. If Houston wins, they get a BCS bowl slot. Of course, if Southern Mississippi wins and jumps from 24 to 16 (or higher), they’ll likely get a BCS slot.

Case Keenum has put up some obscene numbers this season for the Big Cats. His worst game was a 304-yard performance. And they took him out of that game after the 2nd play of the 4th quarter.

Those numbers, though, have come against unranked opponents. This week will be Houston’s first game with a ranked team. Of course, it’ll be Southern Mississippi’s first game against a ranked team, too.

While Austin Davis doesn’t have the same kind of numbers Keenum has, he’s still thrown for over 3,000 yards this season, which isn’t too shabby. The Golden Eagles running game is a little better, as is their defense … but not by much.

Unless the Cougars make mistakes, they should wrap up a BCS bowl slot and keep their unbeaten record intact.

Who’s gonna lose? Southern Mississippi.

Virginia Tech (5) vs Clemson (20)

If not for their loss on October 1st, the Hokies could be in line for a shot at the BCS championship game. But they did lose that day. And, in this year of rematches, the team that beat them is their opponent in the ACC Championship Game.

Clemson was on a roll, playing world beaters until the last four games of the season. The Tigers lost 3 of those 4 games and dropped from contending for the national championship to tryng to be the next-to-worst BCS bowl team.

VPI would win this game on paper … but they don’t play it on paper. The Cats from Death Valley will be a hard foe to beat. The Hokies may not have it in them. Then again, they just might.

Who’s gonna lose? Clemson.

Wisconsin (15) vs Michigan State (13)

The first Big Ten championship game is also a rematch. Back in October, Wisonsin got beat after time expired on a hail mary and an instant replay review. The win helped Michigan State wind up with the best record in the B-1-G. And, since those two teams are in different divisions, they get to do it all again.

Well, maybe not all. Don’t expect another Hail Mary on the final play and another instant replay overturn after the clock has run out. But don’t be surprised if the unexpected happens.

It’s been a funny year, and these two teams helped the comedy play out. This should be a good game, and the winner gets to play Oregon in the Rose Bowl. The loser won’t get a BCS slot, but probably should.

Who’s gonna lose? Michigan State.

Georgia (14) vs LSU (1)

After opening the 2011 season with a performance that was as ugly as those silly-ass Nike uniforms, the Bulldogs from Georgia have turned into a decent football team. So good, they made it to the SEC championship game for the first time in six years. It’ll be Georgia’s 4th visit to the conference title game, and the 3rd time they’ve faced LSU in the title game.

LSU, meanwhile, is making their 5th appearance in the title game. And, if the Tigers win, they’ll secure the SEC a 6th straight national championship. Of course, they way this season has gone, LSU could lose this game and still play Alabama for the national championship. That scenario puts Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, and probably keeps Boise State out of a BCS bowl. That would be payback for making the Bulldogs look so bad back in September.

How likely is that to happen? Well, the Bulldogs have one of the best defenses in the nation. Jarvis Jones lead the SEC in sacks, while Bacarri Rambo leads the conference in interceptions.

LSU, though, has the best defense, and defense wins championships.

Who’s gonna lose? Georgia.

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  1. Gold is shiny. Can you find me some gold to play with?

    I try to be a college football fan – but IU is my home team.


  2. I don’t know what you do during the off season, Basil.

    BTW, I actually watched the Oregon vs UCLA game last night and Oregon is a bunch of cheaters! Basically, they hold on almost every play!

    So, I wanna watch the Wisconsin vs Michigan State game to see if either team doesn’t win by cheating.

    I don’t like cheating.


  3. Alright, all you college football fans, I’ve got a question for you. Why are all the talking head predicting Michigan vs Houtson in the Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma St. vs Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl?

    The way it works is, the Big 12 champ (OK St, presumably) goes to the Fiesta Bowl; then the Sugar Bowl gets to pick first from the rest of the qualifying teams, the Fiesta Bowl picks second, the Sugar Bowl picks third, and the Orange Bowl gets stuck with the Big East champ. If Houston wins today (which everyone is assuming), they are garunteed a BCS spot, and will almost assuredly be chosen third (Sugar Bowl).

    So my question is, why is everyone predicting that the Sugar Bowl will pick Michigan over Stanford? This has been puzzling me for a few days now.


  4. If you want to see some dirty play, watch LSU-UGA. That RB Crowell is talented, but when he gets hit hard, he hikes up his skirt and goes running to the sidelines like a little girl. I expect LSU to hit him hard, often, & late. He won’t last the game. QB Murray will get up, wipe away the blood, and get ready for the next play. Crowell is a tittie baby. He’ll transfer to Jacksonville State during the off-season.


  5. @ernie, Michigan? Michigan isn’t going to a BCS game, not by a long shot. Michigan STATE could go, but they need to beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game first (btw, they were lucky to beat Wisconsin the FIRST time).

    IF Oklahoma State wins what is essentially the Big-12 championship game, and IF Virginia Tech wins the ACC championship game, and IF LSU wins the SEC championship game, and IF Houston wins the Conference-USA game (which isn’t looking so good right now), the BCS bowl breakdown will look something like this:

    National Championship – #1 LSU (SEC champ) vs. #2 Alabama (SEC rep)
    Rose Bowl – Oregon (Pac-12 champ) vs. Michigan State/Wisconsin (Big Ten champ)
    Sugar Bowl – #4 Stanford (at-large) vs. #8 Arkansas (at-large)
    Fiesta Bowl – #3 OK State vs. #6 Houston
    Orange Bowl – #5 Virginia Tech (ACC champ) vs. #who cares? (Big East Champ, probably West Virginia)

    The Sugar Bowl LOVES their SEC teams, and clearly Stanford is the best of the non-champions. I think that Boise State will get left out in the cold, although I could see Boise State replacing either Arkansas or maybe Houston. But the Sugar Bowl really loves their SEC teams.
    We will see.


    • Scotty:
      In your scenario, Arkansas gets left out of the BCS because the SEC champ gets a NCG slot. The only way a conference gets 3 BCS slots is if both NCG participants are from the same conference, but neither is conference champ. If UGA beats LSU, and LSU is still in the top two, that scenario happens. But, either way, Arkansas doesn’t get a BCS slot.


    • dee:
      When I first posted, I didn’t have Southern Mississippi listed. When I posted my later post, I changed the post to show Southern Mississippi was going to lose. What was I thinking?


  6. @basil. i see what you’re saying, and obviously if Georgia wins (and they are looking sexy right now), they are the SEC champs, and LSU probably still goes to the title game anyways. OK State COULD sneak in there IF the beat the crap out of Oklahoma, but that’s unlikely.
    But Arkansas stands a decent chance at grabbing one of three at-large bids with a LSU win.
    LSU – SEC champ (title game)
    Alabama – SEC at large (title game)
    OK State – Big 12 champ
    Whoever – Big East champ
    Wisconsin – Big Ten champ
    Oregon – Pac-12 champ
    Stanford – At Large
    Boise State – At Large
    But it is conceivable that the Sugar Bowl may pass on Boise State, given their ridiculous loss to then-unranked TCU vs. Arkansas’ (ugly) losses, albeit to the #1 and #2 teams in the country.
    Unless there is someone “can’t have three teams from one conference in the BCS” rule that I don’t now about. And there may very well be. I don’t know though.


  7. # 8 Basil. I don’t know anyone that thought Southern Miss would come within two touchdowns of Houston. I posted my “OOPS!” comment AFTER the game.


  8. I vegetated on the couch much of yesterday and enjoyed some football.

    Better than expected: Oklahoma State and Southern Miss. Way overrated: Houston. Underrated: Michigan State. Boring: LSU.

    Wisconsin vs Michigan State: great game. And Wisconsin gets to kick Oregon’s butt in the Rose Bowl!



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