Weekend Viewer's Guide - Championship Edition

Florida wishes they were on television this weekend, but instead the Gators will sit back and watch as conference championships and bowl destinations are sorted out. The BCS selection show will air beginning at 8 p.m. on Fox, and Florida's bowl fate will be unveiled roughly the same time.

Our categories this week are named for amusing bowl names or sponsors from the past. As always, all game times are Eastern.


LSU vs. Tennessee in Atlanta (4, CBS) - LSU's clearly the better football team in this game, but no one has any clue what the Tigers bring to this game. They have a head coach who'll talk to Michigan next week, a defensive coordinator who's already talking to Nebraska, an injured quarterback who may not start, and they're coming off an emotional triple overtime home loss. If they somehow show up focused and ready to go despite all that, they'll win. Otherwise, Tennessee will pick up their first SEC title in nine years.

Missouri vs. Oklahoma in San Antonio (8, ABC) - What's on the line for Missouri? Only a BCS title shot, a possible Heisman Trophy, and the school's first conference championship in years. To get it, they have to beat the defending Big 12 champs, something they were unable to do during the regular season. Oklahoma's used to playing in big games like this, while Missouri has to rebound emotionally coming off the biggest win in school history. Quarterback Chase Daniel says the Tigers are offended at being underdogs in the game since they're No. 1 and No. 1 should always be favored. Didn't take long for them to figure out how to be arrogant, didn't it?


Boston College vs. Virginia Tech in Jacksonville (1, ABC) - Rematch of earlier 14-10 BC win. Since BC's not in the top ten anymore, this is a game the Hokies can actually win. How BC handles Tyrod Taylor, VT's talented freshman quarterback who was injured the first time these teams met, will probably determine the outcome. If the game gets boring, you can always count the empty seats.


Tulsa @ UCF (Noon, ESPN) - For the second time in three years, UCF is at home with the Conference USA title on the line. They let the last one get away, but running back Kevin Smith has been wreaking havoc down the stretch this season. Tulsa should be able to score, but the Golden Hurricane has actually invested time this week protesting what they considered a disrespectful halftime show toward their coach Todd Graham by the Rice marching band last week. If the guys with Tubas can get in your head, you're in trouble.

Army vs. Navy (Noon, CBS) - Well worth watching for the pageantry every year, even though the football typically isn't elite level. Could be Paul Johnson's last game as Navy's head coach, as he's being discussed for several jobs.

Pittsburgh @ West Virginia (7:45, ESPN) - The Backyard Brawl has been about as exciting as you against your younger brother when you were in tenth grade and he was still seven. With a win, West Virginia secures a BCS championship game spot. Can there be a more depressing feeling for the teams that are still hoping for a miracle entry into the title game than to know they have to depend on Dave Wannstedt to win a game?

Arizona @ Arizona State (8, ESPN2) - With a win, Arizona State gets a chance to stay home for the Fiesta Bowl and still has a shot at the Rose. Arizona's trying to cap off an improbable run to get bowl eligible, but should be overmatched here.


Central Michigan vs. Miami, OH (11, ESPN2) - The Chippewas and Red Hawks get together for the MAC title game. The winner gets to go to Detroit for the Motor City Bowl, but we would probably get a better game if the loser had to.

UCLA @ USC (4:30, ABC) - Last year UCLA held USC to nine points. Even now, the idea seems completely ridiculous. Expect a highly motivated USC to try and prove Pete Carroll's claim that they should get consideration for the No. 1 spot in the AP poll because they're playing the best football right now. For Karl Dorrell, a win probably saves his job for another year.

Oregon State @ Oregon (4:30, ESPN2) - This game is known as the Civil War. For the Ducks, a bigger foe than other teams has been injuries. Last week they lost backup quarterback Brady Leaf against UCLA early and the offense completely fell apart. Maybe a week of practice was enough to get a backup ready to run Oregon's offense, but last week it was astoundingly inept.

Washington @ Hawaii (11:30, ESPN2) - This is the first game Hawaii's played against a BCS conference team this year. Colt Brennan will look to rack up big numbers and impress any Heisman voters with insomnia, but the more important thing is to win and remain in the BCS top 12. Should the Warriors do that, they're bound for New Orleans and the Sugar Bowl. Washington just lost their instate showdown with Washington State and has absolutely nothing to play for, so this shouldn't be too stiff a test for Hawaii.


California @ Stanford (7, Versus) - It's called the Big Game, but it's as small as it gets this week. Nothing's on the line and neither team's playing well. Expect a million replays of the lateral kickoff return from 1982, though.

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