And here we are. It is the last Saturday of full regular season/conference championship football before bowl season. It's been a wild ride, and we here at Dawg Sports are glad that you came along for it. The main event of the afternoon is obviously taking place in the Georgia Dome, where the SEC East champion Missouri Tigers will take on the SEC West champion Alabama Crimson Tide (4:00 p.m., CBS).
This one is loaded with rooting opportunities. Some will want to see the Tigers from Columbia pull the upset, thereby validating to some degree the SEC East's status vis-a-vis the West. Others will want the Crimson Tide to prevail in order to avoid the yammering of talking heads who'll have a field day if somehow the mighty SEC doesn't even have an entry in the inaugural four team playoff. You're on your own on this one, but we'd love to hear your reasons for rooting as your heart/head/wallet guides you.
But before that game there are a few appetizers. Houston takes on Cincinnati at noon on ESPN. The Bearcats will be led by former Notre Dame quarterback Gunner Kiel, the Kevin Bacon of college football players. He's been associated with nearly every program, coach, and event in college football in the last five years, and may be a thirteenth year senior. Tommy Tuberville and his guys can wrap up an American Athletic Conference title with a win. I assume Tubs will then be named either head coach at Michigan or Ambassador to Malta. They're the only jobs he's never held or applied for.
Noon's also the time for the Conference USA title game between Louisiana Tech and Marshall (ESPN2). Obviously this one lost some luster last week when the Thundering Herd fell from the ranks of the unbeaten (leaving only one unbeaten, but more about that later today). It will be interesting at least to see how Marshall handles the letdown.
We'll be back this afternoon with another thread for the big games. Until then this is the spot for games going on, discussion of tonight's conference title tilts, college basketball, and whatever else comes up. Until later . . .