With the exception of the Army/Navy game, this was the last week of the college football regular season. The final BIG 12 games took place, most notable the interstate matchup between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. All of the other conference had their conference championship game, the ACC, BIG 10 and PAC 12 having the most on the line.
Friday night saw the PAC 12 and the MAC championship game where Washington dominated Colorado and Western Michigan hung on to beat Ohio. Washington was ranked #4 going into the game and their playoff hopes depended on a victory over Colorado. They crushed Colorado during prime time on the east coast revealing their skill set that is worthy of a playoff bid. The winner of the MAC championship doesn’t often have large national media attention but it did this year as Western Michigan was looking to stay undefeated and their head coach P.J. Fleck has been rumored for several high-profile coaching vacancies. There are only two division one college football teams that are still undefeated and they are the historically great Alabama and the horrendous brown uniform wearing Western Michigan.
On Saturday the ACC, BIG 10 and SEC championships were played. The SEC game was a blow out that proved no one can stand with Alabama. The other two games were competitive as all four teams involved knew what a conference championship means to a program. Clemson was looking to remain in the playoff and fended off the inconsistent Virginia Tech team that rallied together and made the game interesting into the 4th quarter. The highly underestimated Penn State team went into the BIG 10 championship game as big under dogs and with a lot of attention as many felt they were the third best team in the BIG 10 east. After being down 28-7, Penn State came back to beat Wisconsin, win the BIG 10 title and make the job of the college playoff football committee very difficult. Before the come from behind victory I felt Penn State had been elevated by the committee since their first rankings came out and that they didn’t deserve a playoff bid, but they changed my mind. Penn State is a good football team and is the champion of the best conference in college football this year. That can’t be argued with.
I did tune into these championship games for at least a few drives (I didn’t watch the SEC game as it was known who was going to win). But I must admit I didn’t watch them closely as I was watching UFC and Capcom Cup on at the same time. The game that I did watch all of was on earlier in the day; the conference USA championship game between LA Tech and Western Kentucky. This was a fun game to watch as almost no defense was played and ended with Western Kentucky winning by a score of 44 – 58. The first half took forever due to targeting reviews, injuries, and lots of scoring. The commentators began talking about the 61 – 76 score a week earlier between Syracuse and Pittsburgh and how this game was on pace to surpass that score. LA Tech was slowed down in the second half and head coach Brohm turned the second straight conference championship victory into a head coaching job at BIG 10 bottom feeder Purdue. The combined offensive production of 1,163 yards was a fun watch early Saturday afternoon.
That’s it, the regular season is over but the billion bowl games are on the horizon. There is one game this week between Army and Navy and the Heisman Trophy presentation is on Saturday night. I won’t be watching either as I do not car much for the triple option and Lamar Jackson won the Heisman months ago. The first weekend without college football since August, it’s going to feel weird.