There are some mostly meaningless and uninteresting regular season games to be played today. The interesting ones, though, are obviously the five conference championship games that are being played. One, Buffalo and Ball State for the MAC, is already in the books. Here’s a quick look at the other four, in order of their starting time:
East Carolina (+11.5) vs. Tulsa – This should be a much more interesting game than it actually is. Both teams looked like they had the potential to be giant killers earlier in the season, but neither was able to hold it together. East Carolina has covered just twice in their last 10, while Tulsa has just one cover in their last four and is coming off an incredibly flat game at Marshall last week. One of these teams has to win, but it is pretty hard to care – after all, the prize is only a Liberty Bowl berth.
Boston College (-1) vs. Virginia Tech – Given the ways the Hokies have found to be disappointing this year,it seems surprising that they actually made this game. Then again, this is the ACC – the most overwhelmingly average conference you can imagine. The teams have played once this year, but that doesn’t tell us much – it was a while ago, and Boston College has made several key offensive changes since. Boston College has covered eight of the last ten in this matchup , and they were the better ATS team – 6-4 vs. 4-7. The prize here is a berth is a BCS game that no one will want to watch. If only it could end in a tie – maybe neither team would get to go to the BCS.
Alabama (+10) vs. Florida – This is obviously the game of the weekend. Regardless of what the teams look like, it seems very strange to see an unbeaten SEC team as a 10 point underdog in a neutral site. This is probably amatchup we should get used to, since both Nick Saban and Urban Meyer are much better than they are likable. There are so many storylines to choose from here – Tebow , Jones, speed, defense, experience, the stakes, and so on. It could be close, but to me this has the feel of one of those games that could end as a lopsided blowout. The problem is that I’m not sure which team will come out on top.
Missouri (+16.5) vs. Oklahoma – This is the game I suspected we would get right from the start of the year. The difference, though, is that I thought the game mightactually be interesting. There is obviously a chance that Missouri could make it interesting – they still have huge talent in guys like Jeremy Maclin and Chase Daniel. They just haven’t shown the consistency or determination required to be an elite team. They have shown weaknesses, and Oklahoma should be able to exploit them. The question that remains, though, is if they can bet them by enough to cover. 17 points is a lot against a good team. On the other hand, this is a rematch of last year’s game, and a lesser Oklahoma team beat a better Missouri team by 21.