Blog Entry

Conference Title Race Reset, Week 12

Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 2:20 pm
 
Posted by Chip Patterson

With the regular season winding down, we'll check in on the conference title races in all 11 FBS conferences. The contenders, key games, and some early predictions on who will claim the league's automatic bowl berth.

SEC
Champion Destination: BCS Bowl Game
2010 Champion: Auburn

EAST CONTENDERS
1. Georgia (8-2, 6-1 conference)
2. South Carolina (8-2, 6-2)

WEST CONTENDERS
1. LSU (10-0, 6-0)
2. Alabama (9-1, 6-1)
3. Arkansas (9-1, 5-1)

Week 12 Key Games: Kentucky at Georgia; Mississippi State at Arkansas; LSU at Ole Miss

Pick: LSU. The SEC West contenders all have games that should be easy wins this weekend before setting up the dramatic finale to the division race. Alabama needs to travel to Auburn for the Iron Bowl and Arkansas visits LSU in Baton Rouge for an eventful Thanksgiving weekend in the SEC. However, the East will be wrapped up by Saturday afternoon. If Georgia beats Kentucky at home, the Bulldogs win the East outright and punch their ticket to Atlanta for the SEC title game. If the Wildcats pull the upset, South Carolina wins the title game bid thanks to the 45-42 victory in Athens earlier this season.

BIG 12
Champion Destination: BCS Bowl Game
2010 Champion: Oklahoma

CONTENDERS
1. Oklahoma State (10-0, 7-0 conference)
2. Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1)

Week 12 Key Games: Oklahoma State at Iowa State (Friday); Oklahoma at Baylor

Pick: Oklahoma State. With Oklahoma State's dismantling of Texas Tech, Kansas State mathematically falls out of the running for the Big 12 title. Now everything is set up for Bedlam, with the Cowboys having a slight advantage with the extra preparation time. After Iowa State on Friday, Mike Gundy will have 15 days to get ready for Oklahoma's visit to Stillwater. In that time, the Sooners face Baylor on the road and Iowa State at home.

PAC-12
Champion Destination: BCS Bowl Game (Rose Bowl or National Championship)
2010 Champion: Oregon

NORTH CONTENDERS
1. Oregon (9-1, 7-0 conference)
2. Stanford (9-1, 7-1)

SOUTH CONTENDERS
1. Arizona State (6-4, 4-3)
1. UCLA (5-5, 4-3)
3. Utah (6-4, 3-4)

Key Week 12 Games: Utah at Washington State; Colorado at UCLA; USC at Oregon; California at Stanford

Pick: Oregon. With their impressive road win against Stanford, the Ducks jumped into the driver's seat of the Pac-12 North and also made themselves players in the national title discussion. Their argument as the nation's best one loss team is strong, but they will be tested again with a visit from a hot USC team. An upset at the hands of the Trojans would make the North interesting, but the way Oregon has been leaving opponents in the dust I think they take care of business down the stretch. The South is just a mess, with Arizona State and UCLA losing winnable games in Week 11 and suddenly making Utah a player in the race. The Bruins have the head-to-head on the Sun Devils, but Arizona State has more favorable matchups left on the schedule and a victory against Utah. Then again, no one in that division (at least no one eligible for the postseason) has been predictable.

BIG TEN
Champion Destination: BCS Bowl Game (Rose Bowl or National Championship)
2010 Champion: Wisconsin (Rose Bowl berth)/Michigan State/Ohio State

LEGENDS CONTENDERS
1. Michigan State (8-2, 5-1 conference)
2. Michigan (8-2, 4-2)
2. Nebraska (8-2, 4-2)
4. Iowa (6-4, 3-3)

LEADERS CONTENDERS
1. Penn State (8-2, 5-1)
2. Wisconsin (8-2, 4-2)
3. Ohio State (6-4, 3-3)
3. Purdue (5-5, 3-3)

Key Week 12 Games: Indiana at Michigan State; Nebraska at Michigan; Wisconsin at Illinois; Iowa at Purdue; Penn State at Ohio State

Pick: Wisconsin. Even without taking off-field situations into consideration, Penn State desperately needed to win against Nebraska on Saturday for the Big Ten title race. The loss brought the rest of the division one game closer in the standings, and now interim head coach Tom Bradley must lead them on the road against Ohio State and Wisconsin to wrap up a tumultuous November for the program. Ohio State did themselves no favors in the overtime loss to Purdue, which negated the one game they picked up on Wisconsin with 33-29 win in Week 9. If the Badgers can avoid an upset against the Fighting Zooks this week, it will set up a division title game with Penn State in Camp Randall. Everything considered, I like the Badgers' chances in that matchup. The Spartans control their own destiny in the Leaders Division, with a one game lead and just Indiana and Northwestern left on the schedule. The loser of Nebraska - Michigan this weekend falls out of the title hunt, while the winner hopes for a Spartan slip-up. The Cornhuskers are in the best position to overtake Michigan State, but the schedule is not favorable with Michigan and Iowa left.

ACC
Champion Destination: BCS Bowl Game - Orange Bowl 
2010 Champion: Virginia Tech

ATLANTIC CONTENDERS
1. Clemson (9-1, 6-1 conference) - CLINCHED DIVISION

COASTAL CONTENDERS
1. Virginia Tech (9-1, 5-1)
2. Virginia (7-3, 4-2)

Key Week 11 Games: North Carolina at Virginia Tech (Thursday); Virginia at Florida State

Pick: Clemson. The Tigers nearly avoided letting the Atlantic Division slip away with the 31-28 come-from-behind victory over Wake Forest at home on Saturday. The Coastal Division race narrowed last weekend as well, with Virginia Tech knocking Georgia Tech from competition in the Thursday night contest in Atlanta. The Hokies return to action on Thursday against a reeling North Carolina team. Virginia needs a win over Florida State or a Virginia Tech loss to set up a season finale meeting with the Hokies for the Coastal Division title. A Cavaliers' loss to the Seminoles paired with a Virginia Tech win on Thursday will clinch Frank Beamer's fifth division title in seven years.

BIG EAST
Champion Destination: BCS Bowl Game
2010 Champion: Connecticut (Fiesta Bowl berth)/West Virginia/Pittsburgh

CONTENDERS
1. Cincinnati (7-2, 3-1 conference) 
2. Rutgers (7-3, 3-2)
2. West Virginia (7-3, 3-2)
2. Louisville (5-5, 3-2)
2. Pittsburgh (5-5, 3-2)
6. Connecticut (4-5, 2-2)

Key Week 12 Games: Louisville at Connecticut; Cincinnati at Rutgers

Pick: West Virginia. Cincinnati and Louisville needed wins in Week 11 to create some distance in the always-muddled Big East title race. Instead both teams lost and now we are left with this six-team dash towards the finish line. The Bearcats' loss was not just in the standings on Saturday, but starting quarterback Zach Collaros has been ruled out for the season with a broken ankle. Victories over Cincinnati and Rutgers put West Virginia in the best position heading down the stretch, but the Mountaineers cannot afford another loss with the Backyard Brawl in two weeks and at USF in the season finale. The conference is rooting for Rutgers to knock off the banged up Bearcats and even the playing field with two-loss teams. The Scarlet Knights just have Connecticut left on the schedule, but will need some help to overtake West Virginia. Louisville has a favorable schedule with Connecticut and USF, but both games are on the road and they need Cincinnati to lose twice. Pittsburgh and Connecticut are still technically in the race, though there is little evidence in their resume that they are prepared to close out against the competition.

CONFERENCE USA
Champion Destination: Liberty Bowl
2010 Champion: UCF

EAST CONTENDERS
1. Southern Miss (9-1, 5-1 conference) 
2. Marshall (4-5, 3-2) 

WEST CONTENDERS
1. Houston (10-0, 6-0) 
1. Tulsa (7-3, 6-0) 

Key Week 12 Games: Southern Miss at UAB (Thursday); SMU at Houston; Marshall at Memphis; Tulsa at UTEP

Pick: Houston. East Carolina fell from contention with a loss in Week 11, and Southern Miss avoided dropping a costly game to UCF with a gritty 30-29 victory. The Golden Eagles have a favorable slate left, with UAB and Memphis as the obstacles left in the way of a Conference USA title game bid. The West Division continues to set up for a potentially scoreboard friendly regular season finale between Houston and Tulsa. I don't expect the Cougars to lose focus at this point, particularly now that a BCS bowl game bid has become a possibility for Case Keenum and Co..

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
Champion Destination: Maaco Bowl
2010 Champion: TCU

CONTENDERS
1. TCU (8-2, 5-0 conference) 
2. Boise State (8-1, 3-1) 
2. Wyoming (6-3, 3-1) 

Key Week 12 Games: New Mexico at Wyoming; Colorado State at TCU; Boise State at San Diego State

Pick: TCU. For the second year in a row, Boise State is knocked from their perch in the national rankings and conference standings with a missed field goal in the final moments of a close loss. The only way TCU loses the Mountain West conference at this point is falling to Colorado State (3-6) and UNLV (2-7). If sophomore quarterback Casey Pachall is 50% as productive as he was against the Broncos, the Horned Frogs should have the conference locked up in the coming weeks. Still, Wyoming and Boise State can win out to keep alive. But I wouldn't bet on TCU slipping down the stretch.

WAC
Champion Destination: Poinsettia/Hawaii/Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
2010 Champion: Nevada/Boise State/Hawaii

CONTENDERS
1. Nevada (6-3, 4-0 conference) 
2. Louisiana Tech (6-4, 4-1) 
3. Utah State (4-5, 2-2)

Key Week 12 Games: Louisiana Tech at Nevada; Utah State at Idaho

Pick: Nevada. HUGE game in the WAC this weekend as Louisiana Tech squares off against conference-leading Nevada. The winner takes the driver's seat in the conference title race, with the Wolf Pack nearly locking up the championship if they can get the win at home. Utah State still technically has a shot to finish on top, but the extent of help they would need to jump both teams seems unrealistic. Louisiana Tech is on a five game winning streak after starting 1-4, but cannot afford to drop another game if they hope to steal the WAC from Nevada.

MAC
Champion Destination: GoDaddy.com Bowl
2010 Champion: Miami (OH)

EAST CONTENDERS
1. Ohio (7-3, 4-2 conference)
2. Temple (6-4, 4-3)
3. Kent State (4-6, 3-3)
3. Miami (OH) (4-6, 3-3)

WEST CONTENDERS
1. Northern Illinois (7-3, 5-1)
1. Toledo (6-4, 5-1)
3 Ball State (6-4, 4-2)

Key Week 12 Games: Ball State at Northern Illinois (Tuesday); Ohio at Bowling Green (Wednesday); Western Michigan at Miami (OH) (Wednesday); Toledo at Central Michigan (Friday); Eastern Michigan at Kent State

Pick: Northern Illinois. The Huskies continue to own the inside track in the West Division thanks to their 63-60 victory over Toledo earlier this month, but Ball State can shake things up with a win Tuesday night. Toledo needs to win out in-conference and get help from Ball State or Eastern Michigan to jump into first place, while the Cardinals will get an opportunity to knock off both frontrunners in their next contests. The East is even more confusing, with three three-loss teams hoping Ohio slips up down the stretch against Bowling Green and/or Miami (OH). Next week will be the deciding weekend for the MAC East, with Ohio facing Miami and Kent State taking on Temple. Regardless of who finishes on top, taking down Northern Illinois or Toledo in the MAC title game will be no easy task.

SUN BELT
Champion Destination: New Orleans Bowl
2010 Champion: FIU/Troy

CONTENDERS
1. Arkansas State (8-2, 6-0 conference) 
2. Western Kentucky (5-5, 5-1) 

Key Week 12 Games: Arkansas State at Middle Tennessee; Western Kentucky at North Texas

Pick: Arkansas State. Arkansas State continued their surprising tear through the Sun Belt with a much-needed victory over Louisiana-Lafayette in Week 11. The loss eliminated the Ragin' Cajuns from title contention, and now Arkansas State needs just one more conference win to clinch the title. Western Kentucky remains in contention, but need the Red Wolves to lose their final two games to overtake them in the standings.

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Comments

Since: Feb 5, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:04 pm
 

Conference Title Race Reset, Week 12

Great breakdown but Purdue is mathematically eliminated. In a 3-way tie that doesn't involve Ohio State Purdue would be 0-2 vs Penn State and Wisconsin. In a 4-way tie they'd only have beat Ohio State and OSU would win the division.

Withe PSU vs Ohio, and Wisconsin vs PSU it is impossible for them to win the division.
So Purdue is done.



Since: Sep 1, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 8:20 pm
 

Conference Title Race Reset, Week 12

LOL, I think it was a matter of respect. And allot of those teams are still trying to acquire that sixth win and become bowl qualified. Also if any of the top teams fall, then that is of major interests. Go Hogs!!



Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:18 am
 

Conference Title Race Reset, Week 12

Arkansas State continued their surprising tear through the Sun Belt with a much-needed victory over Louisiana-Lafayette in Week 11.

Surprising to everyone except the players, coaches and fans of the Red Wolves!!!

Also, Arkansas State will probably end up going to the GoDaddy.com bowl, not New Orleans.

Go Red Wolves!! Show the nation how to "Run with the Pack"



Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2011 5:26 am
 

Conference Title Race Reset, Week 12

Kentucky at Georgia; Mississippi State at Arkansas; LSU at Ole Miss
Why didn't he just say "no games of interest in the SEC this week."  I mean seriously Georgia vs. Kentucky is of interest?  To who?  I'm a Georgia fan and marked that game as a win long ago, so it bears no interest.  Miss Stake vs. Arky?  As bad as Miss Stake is, this is really of interest?  For what?  To see who many points Arky can ring up on them?  Or how badly Arky can choke on them in the first half like Vandy and Old Maid?  Speaking of Old Maid.....is there anyone worse than Old Maid this year?  So LSU vs. Old Maid would be interesting why?  3 guaranteed wins barring major catastrophes for any of these teams is hardly a mark for a game of interest.
Indiana at Michigan State; Nebraska at Michigan; Wisconsin at Illinois; Iowa at Purdue; Penn State at Ohio State
Okay, so Purdue managed to beat OSU last week, so maybe they deserve some mention as a game of interest, but Indiana?  Seriously MSU vs. Indy is a game of interest, to who?  Another guaranteed win for MSU and should be over by halftime.  I don't even think Wisky vs. Illinois will bear more than a half of interest even as Illinois has shown that their offense is virtually non-existant this year, kind of like PSU.  Speaking of PSU, that game will be of interest for a couple reasons, the rivalry and the fact that both teams have little offense and good defenses, so it should be a poor-man's version of the Bama-LSU game.
New Mexico at Wyoming; Colorado State at TCU; Boise State at San Diego State
Scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for key games here aren't we?  I mean 1-9 New Mexico is involved in a key game?  Seriously?  Is UNLV afraid they might challenge them for next to last in the MWC this year?  Don't worry UNLV fans, I think you're place is safe this week.  Colorado State for another key game?  I guess they're afraid that UNLV can challenge them for 3rd from last if they lose--don't worry UNLV lost to New Mexico, so I think Air Farce can handle them and keep your place secure with the loss to TCU.



Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2011 5:24 am
 

Conference Title Race Reset, Week 12

Kentucky at Georgia; Mississippi State at Arkansas; LSU at Ole Miss

Why didn't he just say "no games of interest in the SEC this week."  I mean seriously Georgia vs. Kentucky is of interest?  To who?  I'm a Georgia fan and marked that game as a win long ago, so it bears no interest.  Miss Stake vs. Arky?  As bad as Miss Stake is, this is really of interest?  For what?  To see who many points Arky can ring up on them?  Or how badly Arky can choke on them in the first half like Vandy and Old Maid?  Speaking of Old Maid.....is there anyone worse than Old Maid this year?  So LSU vs. Old Maid would be interesting why?  3 guaranteed wins barring major catastrophes for any of these teams is hardly a mark for a game of interest.
 Indiana at Michigan State; Nebraska at Michigan; Wisconsin at Illinois; Iowa at Purdue; Penn State at Ohio State
Okay, so Purdue managed to beat OSU last week, so maybe they deserve some mention as a game of interest, but Indiana?  Seriously MSU vs. Indy is a game of interest, to who?  Another guaranteed win for MSU and should be over by halftime.  I don't even think Wisky vs. Illinois will bear more than a half of interest even as Illinois has shown that their offense is virtually non-existant this year, kind of like PSU.  Speaking of PSU, that game will be of interest for a couple reasons, the rivalry and the fact that both teams have little offense and good defenses, so it should be a poor-man's version of the Bama-LSU game.
New Mexico at Wyoming; Colorado State at TCU; Boise State at San Diego State
Scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for key games here aren't we?  I mean 1-9 New Mexico is involved in a key game?  Seriously?  Is UNLV afraid they might challenge them for next to last in the MWC this year?  Don't worry UNLV fans, I think you're place is safe this week.  Colorado State for another key game?  I guess they're afraid that UNLV can challenge them for 3rd from last if they lose--don't worry UNLV lost to New Mexico, so I think Air Farce can handle them and keep your place secure with the loss to TCU.

   

   

   

    
  



Since: May 20, 2008
Posted on: November 15, 2011 9:26 pm
 

Conference Title Race Reset, Week 12

The conference is rooting for Rutgers to knock off the banged up Bearcats
Why would the conference root for Rutger's to win? Cincy is as good if not better than any other BE team and it would be better if Cincy or even WVU to win the BE since we're the closest to getting back into the BCS top25. But it would be best if Cincy would win because it'll look good for when the Big12 comes calling again



Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 2:12 pm
 

Conference Title Race, BIG 12

I gotta say it......... Mike Gundy................ You are THE MAN.  LOL


Great job by Gundy of putting his team together to make a title run.  They should dispatch Iowa State without too much trouble.  Then with 15 days to get ready for Bedlam?  OU is a bit banged up, and with no conference title game, the Pokes are in the diver's seat.  Sagarin has every team in the BIG 12 with a top 13 SOS, and there is no way OSU gets unseated based on that.  The conference rating for the BIG 12 is significantly higher than the SEC, and the rest of the conferences are afterthoughts.



Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Conference Title Race Reset, Week 12

Thanks for doing this. I used to do it on my own blog, but don't have the time.


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