The 7-5 Boston College Eagles are bowl eligible for the first time in three seasons. My gut tells me that the Eagles will safely land in one of the ACC's eight bowl games with the Belk (Charlotte), Music City (Nashville) or Independence (Shreveport) the most likely destinations. However, with more teams qualified than spots available, there's always the chance that BC falls out of the ACC's bowl lineup. Boston College AD Brad Bates would then have to find a game as a replacement for another conference that can't fill all of its bowl obligations.
It seems very unlikely that Boston College and senior running back Andre Williams, a presumed Heisman Trophy finalist working on one of the NCAA's all-time greatest single-season rushing performances, would be left out of a bowl. But it never hurts to ensure this is the case.
With that, here is a Boston College fan's rooting guide and TV schedule for Saturday's Championship weekend action. Follow along and leave your thoughts on today's action below.
No. 6 Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1) over Oklahoma (9-2, 6-2), Noon, ABC
With a win in Bedlam, Oklahoma State is headed to the Fiesta Bowl to take on the American Athletic champ, UCF. That's important as Oklahoma (#17 in the penultimate BCS standings) wouldn't be able to overtake Clemson (#13) with a loss, paving the way for the Tigers to hold onto a top 14 BCS finish and an Orange Bowl berth. The only other team with a realistic shot of overtaking Clemson is UCF. If one of them falls on Saturday, Clemson should be in the BCS and another ACC bowl slot opens up.
Update: Oklahoma upsets Oklahoma State, 33-24, in Bedlam. The Baylor / Texas winner will now almost certainly go to the Fiesta Bowl. The chances a second Pac-12 lands in a BCS bowl are much better now. That would take one less at-large team from the Pac-12 off the board.
No. 16 Central Florida (10-1, 7-1) over SMU (5-6, 4-3), Noon, ESPN
The American has six bowl tie-ins with just four bowl-eligible teams. 5-6 SMU can become bowl eligible with a win over Central Florida. UCF has already clinched a BCS bowl berth after winning the American, but can win the conference outright with a perfect 8-0 record. A fifth bowl-eligible team from the American would close down the possibility of an at-large team playing in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham.
Update: UCF holds off SMU, 17-13, in front of ~5 fans in frigid Dallas. The American will now only put at most five programs in bowls, opening up a spot in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. Syracuse Quest for Beef Achievement Unlocked?
The winner of this game, coupled with an Oklahoma State loss, will represent the Big 12 in the Fiesta Bowl. But an Oklahoma State win combined with a Baylor win may be enough to land two Big 12 teams in the BCS (OSU to the Fiesta, Baylor to the Sugar). Two Big 12 teams in the BCS would open up a spot in the Big 12's no. 6 bowl, the Texas Bowl, for an at-large selection. The Texas Bowl is on December 27 in Houston opposite the Big Ten's no. 6 selection.
Update: Baylor defeats Texas, 30-10, claiming a spot in the Fiesta Bowl. Looking likely that a spot in the Texas Bowl will open up for a replacement team.
South Florida (2-9, 2-5) over Rutgers (5-6, 2-5), 7:30 PM, ESPN2
Root against Rutgers for the same reasons as SMU. A Rutgers win makes the Scarlet Knights bowl-eligible and removes one more American-affiliated bowl game for an at-large team. Wins by both SMU and Rutgers would take both the BBVA Compass Bowl and Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl out of play for at-larges.
Update: Rutgers defeats USF 31-6 to become bowl eligible team #79 for 70 slots.
Louisiana-Lafayette (8-3, 5-1) over South Alabama (5-6, 303), 8:30 PM, ESPN3
South Alabama can become bowl eligible with a win, though the Sun Belt has already more than filled its bowl spots and it's extremely unlikely South Alabama gets into a bowl game over an at-large from the ACC. Better to be safe than sorry though.
Update: South Alabama crushes Louisiana-Lafayette 30-8 to become bowl eligible team #80.
Bonus! Here is your #Andre44Heisman rooting guide and TV sched:
No. 9 Baylor Bears (10-1, 7-1) over No. 25 Texas (8-3, 7-1), 3:30 PM, FOX
But Baylor QB Bryce Petty fails to put up video game numbers.
Update: Petty finishes 21-of-37, 287 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INT passing and 10 carries for 24 yards rushing. Pretty sub-par performance from the Heisman hopeful.
No. 20 Duke Blue Devils (10-2, 6-2) over No. 1 Florida St. Seminoles (12-0, 8-0), 8:00 PM, ABC
A guy can dream, right?
Update: Florida State QB Jameis Winston wins the Heisman Trophy.
No. 10 Michigan St. Spartans (11-1, 8-0) over No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes (12-0, 8-0), 8:17 PM, FOX
Root against big days from Ohio State QB Braxton Miller.
Update: Sparty upsets Ohio State 34-24, sending Auburn to the BCS National Championship Game vs. FSU. Doubt Miller earns an invite to New York.
Basically, Boston College fans should root hard against SMU and Rutgers. Root kinda hard for Oklahoma State and Baylor, but hope Bryce Petty, Braxton Miller and Jameis Winston combine to throw ~20 interceptions. The rest of the day's games are mildly interesting, but ultimately won't matter.