This Weekend in Sports — Championship Saturday
Nearly all of college football’s biggest conferences will crown their champions this Saturday. Here’s what to watch this weekend:
Friday, December 6
MAC Championship: Bowling Green vs. (14) Northern Illinois
Ford Field, Detroit; 8 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2
Unranked Bowling Green (9-3) will attempt to win the Mid-American Conference title and hand 14th-ranked Northern Illinois (12-0) its first loss of the season in Detroit on Friday. The Falcons will try to do what no team has done this year: stop Huskies’ quarterback Jordan Lynch. He’s passed for 22 touchdowns and run for 20 more scores.
(3) Kentucky vs (20) Baylor
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas; 10 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Third-ranked Kentucky travels to Texas to face No. 20 Baylor on the hardwood of cavernous AT&T Stadium. With a team filled with blue chip talents like Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress and super freshman Julius Randle, Wildcats coach John Calipari — and Big Blue Nation — believe Kentucky can compete for a national title this spring. Cory Jefferson leads the Bears in scoring and rebounding.
UFC Fight Night 33: Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Australia; 9 p.m. (ET) on Fox Sports 1
Some of the UFC’s best fighters battle in Australia on Friday night, which means it will be early Saturday morning in Brisbane. The co-main event pits heavyweights Mark Hunt (9-8) and Antonio Silva (18-5) against each other. Hunt has the superior ground game, but Silva is extremely powerful. Other notable bouts include Mauricio Rua vs. James Te Huna; Pat Barry vs. Soa Palelei; Dylan Andrews vs. Clint Hester and Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh.
Saturday, December 7
(17) Oklahoma at (6) Oklahoma State
Boone Pickens Stadium; Stillwater, Okla; 12 p.m. (ET) on ABC
The 17th-ranked Sooners (9-2) will pull their wagons into a hostile environment when they face No. 6 Oklahoma State (10-1) in the “Bedlam” series on Saturday. If Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell hasn’t recovered from an injury that knocked him out of last week’s win against Kansas State, Trevor Knight will guide the Sooners’ offense. Clint Chelf will call the signals for the Cowboys. If Oklahoma State wins, they’ll clinch a share of the conference championship (with the Baylor-Texas winner).
(25) Texas at (9) Baylor
Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, Texas; 3:30 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Twenty-fifth-ranked Texas (8-3) will stay in state to face No. 9 Baylor (10-1) in a clash of Big 12 powers. Quarterback Case McCoy and the Longhorns’ offense will be challenged to score enough points to keep pace with the Bears’ high-powered attack led by QB Bryce Petty and running backs Lache Seastrunk and Shock Linwood. Baylor needs a win and an Oklahoma State loss to have a shot at the school’s first outright conference title in football since 1980.
SEC Championship: (5) Missouri vs. (3) Auburn
Georgia Dome, Atlanta; 4 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Fifth-ranked Missouri (11-1) faces third-ranked Auburn (11-1) in Atlanta for the Southeastern Conference title. This battle of Tigers was unlikely at the beginning of the season, but quarterback James Franklin and Missouri tore through their schedule to capture the SEC East. Nick Marshall and Auburn had to rely on several last-second miracles to capture the SEC West. They can only hope that they’ll have an easier time getting past Mizzou.
Pac-12 Championship: (7) Stanford at (11) Arizona State
Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.; 7:45 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Seventh-ranked Stanford (10-2) will travel to Tempe, Ariz. on Saturday to face No. 11 Arizona State (10-2) for the Pac-12 title. The Sun Devils have won seven games in a row, but they did lose to the Cardinal in September. Quarterback Kevin Hogan leads the Stanford offense, and receiver/return specialist Ty Montgomery scored two first-half touchdowns against ASU in the earlier match-up. Taylor Kelly leads the Arizona State offense, which will likely be without leading scorer and rusher Marion Grice, who suffered a leg injury against UCLA on Nov. 23.
ACC Championship: (20) Duke vs. (1) Florida State
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.; 8 p.m. (ET) on ABC
An undefeated season — and a bit of good luck — helped Florida State (12-0) become the top-ranked team in the country. Before quarterback Jameis Winston and the Seminoles can play for the BCS national title in Pasadena on Jan. 6, they’ll need to get past 20th-ranked Duke (10-2), which is having one of the best seasons in the history of the school’s football program. Quarterback Anthony Boone leads the Blue Devils’ offense.
Big 10 Championship: (2) Ohio State vs. (10) Michigan State
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis; 8:15 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Undefeated Ohio State (12-0) will face No. 10 Michigan State (11-1) in the Big 10 title game in Indianapolis. Quarterback Braxton Miller will be at the helm of the Ohio State offense, while the Michigan State defense is the best in the nation, allowing just 237.7 total yards per game. The second-ranked Buckeyes could secure a place in the BCS title game if they can beat the Spartans.
Sunday, December 8
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
Candlestick Park, San Francisco; 4:25 p.m. (ET) on Fox
The Seattle Seahawks (11-1) visit the San Francisco 49ers (8-4) in an NFC West showdown. Seattle has already clinched a playoff spot, but it can wrap up the division title with a win on Sunday. The Seahawks stomped the 49ers, 29-3, in Week 2.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans; 8:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
The co-leaders of the NFC South face each other in the Big Easy. New Orleans (9-3) hopes to get back to winning after being humiliated by Seattle on Monday night. Carolina (9-3) looks to extend its eight-game winning streak.