Championship Weekend is upon us, with the much-anticipated Alabama-Florida SEC title game headlining. Have you got what it takes to take home your very own crown? It's now or never in Week 14.
The publicity for the Big 12 Championship will undoubtedly go to the Colt McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh matchup. However, the game may boil down to the opposite sides of the ball and how successful Nebraska's offense can be against the vaunted Texas defense. We all know that McCoy will get his; can Zac Lee go toe-to-toe with the Heisman frontrunner? The odds are against him, but he should get plenty of opportunities with the Longhorns figuring to focus on the Nebraska rushing attack of Helu and Burkhead. Still, don't count on Lee for much. The same goes for Tre' Newton, the freshman RB who has gotten the bulk of the carries over the last few weeks for Texas but will find trouble against Suh and the imposing front seven of the 'Huskers.
The right to go to the BCS National Championship comes down to the game everyone expected: the Gators against the Crimson Tide. No. 1 vs. No. 2. For all the marbles. Besides the obvious key injury status of Mark Ingram, who should play, Alabama really needs a monster game from Julio Jones. Jones has been a bit of a letdown this season but caught four balls on Alabama's final drive last week to defeat Auburn. He'll draw Joe Haden in coverage most of the time, but possesses the size and athleticism to post a big game. On the flip side, look for WR Riley Cooper and TE Aaron Hernandez to get lots of targets with 'Bama focused on stopping Tebow and the Gator dive.
Start Pitt QB Bill Stull against Cincinnati; while most would think the Big East Championship Game should be a defensive struggle, the Bearcats Version 2009 led by Tony Pike are anything but sluggish, with an insane offense and a mediocre defense. This should give Stull numerous chances to find his favorite target, Jonathan Baldwin, particularly if they fall behind early. No surprises from UConn with Todman and Dixon expected to figure heavily into their game with USF, with the occasional Marcus Easley strike mixed in. Probably not the best idea to start any Bulls either against the emotionally charged Huskies. A stat worth noting for Rutgers WR Tim Brown: the senior has scored in every game since Halloween for the Scarlet Knights. He should find the end zone one more time in his college career in the season finale against WVA.
We'll stay away from the obvious here: CJ Spiller, Jonathan Dwyer and Josh Nesbitt shouldn't come out of your lineup. Clemson QB Kyle Parker's been effective over the last month, with nine TDs to just two INTs over his past four contests. Georgia Tech's defense was slightly suspect last week against Georgia, and they figure to try and clamp down on Spiller in attempt to take home the ACC crown. That should mean added attempts for Parker to hit speedster Jacoby Ford and streaking tight end Michael Palmer. Palmer has caught 15 balls for 186 yards and two scores over his past three games.
The Big 10 ends its season with two Wild West showdowns, as Illinois faces Fresno State and Wisconsin gets Hawaii. Look for Scott Tolzein and John Clay to carve up the Warriors' 79th ranked defense. Nick Toon and Garrett Graham also should make for excellent plays. Toon has snagged 17 balls for 301 yards and two scores over his past three games, and Graham finally appears healthy from his early season back problems. He's got three scores in his past two contests. As for the Illini, well, the best news might be that the season comes to an end on Saturday. Juice Williams actually scored four TDs last week against Cincinnati, and could be a sleeper against the 90th ranked defense of Fresno State.
No games scheduled. At least Charlie Weis can't lose any more games.
Boise looks for that perfect season against New Mexico State, as Kellen Moore should pilot the Broncs to the victory. Titus Young doesn't get nearly enough pub, but he's actually got more receptions and yards than touchdown-machine Austin Pettis. Like Ryan Colburn and No. 1 wideout Seyi Ajirotutu against an inferior Big Ten opponent, Illinois. If you're in a PPR league, San Jose Spartans running back Lamon Muldrow might still be a free agent, and he's received 44 carries over the past two weeks. he also had a 20 carry, 184-yard outburst earlier this season, so the possibility of a monster game exists as well.
High-flying Houston takes on ECU for the Conference USA title. Keenum and the Cougs dropped 73 on Rice last week and should find plenty of open receivers against the Pirates. Charles Sims is the better back to start for Houston, as Bryce Beall has battled fumbling problems. For East Carolina, continue to ride WRs Darryl Freeney and Dwayne Harris while they're hot.
The matchup you've all been waiting for: The University of Ohio vs. Central Michigan. All kidding aside, both teams have had stellar seasons. Ohio is probably the less-known commodity here, as Dan LeFevour has become a fantasy stud at QB for the past few seasons. Theo Scott has been no slouch himself though for the Bobcats. Although he hit a rough stretch during the middle of the year, he's bounced back with eight touchdowns and no INTs in his past two games. Central Michigan likes to air it out, so look for a battle of the wideouts to decide this one: Antonio Brown and Bryan Anderson have the advantage for the Chippewas, but Taylor Price and LaVon Brazill aren't exactly chumps themselves. Lots of touchdowns to be had between those four guys this week.
No games scheduled. TCU awaits its BCS Bowl.
Shane Vereen is naturally a must-start with Jahvid Best out, but QB Kevin Riley also might be a star this week for Cal. Washington has the 88th-ranked defense in the nation coming into this contest. In the Civil War, the game may fall on the shoudlers of Sean Canfield. With names like Masoli, LaMichael and Rodgers getting the pub, the 6-4 senior gunslinger could be the difference maker in a game that should be high-scoring. Canfield has completed over 70% of his passes this season, including 11 for TDs over his past five games. Allen Bradford has scored three TDs over his past two games rushing for USC, but faces the 21st ranked run defense in Arizona this weekend, and since he also splits carries with Joltin' Joe McKnights, it might be best to look elsewhere than the USC backfield.
The mini-battle for Florida between International and Atlantic should allow for FAU QB Jeff Vancamp to find TE Jason Harmon and WR Lester Jean. Vancamp has scored 13 touchdowns over his past four games, and faces the 110th-ranked defense in FIU. Start Arkansas State rusher Reggie Arnold against Western Kentucky. Should be a borderline no-brainer facing the 118th-ranked run defense of the Hilltoppers. In case you are uninformed, Arnold has 12 touchdowns on the year.
Sleeper of the Week - L.J. Castille, WR, Houston
A shot in the dark this week at wideout could be the junior Castille. While he's caught just 19 passes this season, six of them have gone for scores, including three in his past two tilts. You can bet your bottom dollar that Houston will be passing in the C-USA Championship, giving Castille opportunities once again to find paydirt.