The Big XII title race continues to enthrall while other leagues have us hitting the snooze button. Oklahoma State upset #9 West Virginia, which means that the path to the title game for Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Texas is as follows:
I have to say the best part about the Big XII is this title game and the fact that there are no geographic divisions that potentially would hold back the second best team from the title game. With the Big XII’s round-robin format (everyone plays everyone), and the fact the #1 and #2 team play each other in the title game is what we all want! We don’t want four-loss Northwestern playing Michigan – we want best-on-best -and the Big XII provides us that year in and year out with their format. Bravo!
Friday November 23rd
Noon: Houston at Memphis (ABC) – The AAC Western division crown is on the line. Memphis dispatched SMU in Dallas last Friday, they’ll host Houston for the right to travel to Orlando and take on the undefeated Knights of UCF and their nation-leading 23-game winning streak. Both teams sport top-notch offenses and are certainly the top of the AAC in terms of talent depth. Plus, Houston has DT Ed Oliver back in the line-up.
2:30PM: Arkansas at Missouri (CBS) – Yes, Arkansas is having a terrible season (2-9, 0-7 in SEC play), however, in case you missed Missouri QB Drew Lock dissect the Tennessee defense last week, you should tune in for this one. Lock is a real NFL talent, he makes throws and puts his receivers in positions to make big-time plays and can place the ball anywhere on the field. Tune in just to watch him, seriously.
4:15PM: #9 UCF at USF (ESPN) – USF was 7-0 entering the last week of October. The Bulls haven’t won since and it hasn’t been close; they’ve gone 0-4 with every loss by ten points or more. Last year’s game between these two was one of the most entertaining games of the year. UCF’s McKenzie Milton and USF’s Quinton Flowers put on a show as they each scored 5 TDs in a 49-42 thriller that UCF won on a 95-yard kickoff return with 1:28 left in the fourth. The last two games between these two have been decided by a touchdown.
8:00PM: #6 Oklahoma at #13 West Virginia (ESPN) – “Must Watch.” WVU’s QB Will Grier vs OU’s QB Kyler Murray – I cannot wait for this QB duel. Both WVU and OU don’t play very good defense, but they have some of the most dynamic offenses in the nation. Fireworks galore in this one.
8:30PM: #16 Washington at #8 Washington State (FOX) – This is the Apple Cup, and the winner goes to the Pac-12 championship game against Utah. UDub has dominated the last five games between these two in-state rivals, winning by an average of 23.6 points per game. The WSU Cougars are 10-1 overall and are having the best season since 2001 and HC Mike Leach has perhaps the best QB he’s developed in senior Gardiner Minshew.
Saturday November 24th
Noon: #4 Michigan at #10 Ohio State (FOX) – “Must Watch.” Michigan’s revenge tour has come down to this, the last stop on that revenge tour, finally topping the buggy man of all Michigan teams this century, Ohio State. This has to be one of the most underwhelming Ohio State squads that HC Urban Meyer has fielded in Columbus. They seem to have played down to their competition again and again – at Penn State, at Maryland, and at Michigan State, but that caught up to them at Purdue earlier this year when the Boilermakers left no doubt about who the better team was, winning 49-20. Michigan has a stout defense and a punishing offense – can Harbaugh finally top Ohio State in his fourth try?
2:30PM: Troy at Appalachian State (ESPN+) – Who gets ESPN+? Winner advances to the first Sun Belt championship game. Troy is 9-2 while App State is 8-2, and both teams have been at the top of the Sun Belt conference since 2016.
7:30PM: #7 LSU at #22 Texas A&M (SEC Network) – A&M has yet to beat LSU since joining the SEC in 2011. New Aggies HC Jimbo Fisher seems to have set a new tone in Aggieland, but is it enough to beat the dreaded Tigers in College Station? LSU is no joke on defense, they are near the top in nearly every category and have an offense that is all about imposing their will against the opposing defense.
10:15PM: #21 Utah State at #23 Boise State (ESPN) – “Must Watch.” The rare Group of 5 “Must Watch” here. Utah State is 10-1 and has an incredible offense that is averaging 49.3 points per game, and they are also in search of their first conference title since 2012, when they won the WAC. In their way is Boise State, who has won four of the last five between these two, including the last two meetings. The winner goes to the Mountain West conference championship game vs Fresno State next week.