Tonight the University of Central Florida Knights (9-1, 6-0) will host the University of South Florida Bulls (2-8, 2-3) in their second to last game of the college football regular season.
UCF is guaranteed the school’s first ever spot in one of the Bowl Championship Series games if they hold on to win the American Athletic Conference.
With games left against the Bulls tonight in Orlando and the Southern Methodist University Mustangs next Saturday in Dallas the odds do seem to be in favor of UCF holding on for a conference title and coveted BCS bowl spot.
As it currently stands UCF is projected to go to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans where they will most likely face the Tigers of Auburn University.
Of course this is merely a projection based on the information at the time which makes planning for a January 2, 2014 excursion to Louisiana hard to predict.
While on paper UCF should have little difficulty defeating USF and SMU, in reality no one really knows what will happen until the games are actually played.
The UCF versus USF game is just one of many marquee matchup games this weekend as the college football season ramps down and teams from sea to shining sea battle for those coveted bowl game invites.
As stressful as that can be at times for all involved the fact that the games are played is certainly better than a world where the outcomes are known in advance.
From the start of the season most people were convinced that Alabama and Oregon would square off for the National Title this year.
As the preseason script went Alabama would be looking to win their third straight title and the Ducks of Oregon would be trying to show that they were worthy of all of the hype and could win the big game when it mattered by ending the Crimson Tide’s threepeat bid and bring an end to the Southeastern Conference’s stranglehold on the National title.
Some students at the University of Oregon were so sure of this likelihood that they had “We want Bama” shirts printed and sold on campus at the start of the season.
A funny thing happened after the ink on those shirts dried though.
Oregon lost some games and the Ducks were knocked out of the chance to face Alabama this year. On the bright side the “We want Bama” shirts did not have a date printed on them so they should still be valid next year when Oregon and Alabama are likely once again ranked near the top of the teams to beat list.
And even Alabama is not “guaranteed” a spot in the National title game. The Crimson Tide still have to survive games against fourth ranked Auburn this weekend in the Iron Bowl and the SEC Championship game in two weeks in order to make it to the BCS National Championship Game.
Second ranked Florida State University climbed the polls after Oregon fell and while they should certainly manhandle a hapless University of Florida Gators team this weekend even their seat in the title game is not a given. Florida State also has some looming off field pending legal issues that could affect their roster for the rest of the season so their path is far from easy.
So that brings us back to this weekend where today and tomorrow will be filled with wall to wall college football games.
And if two full days of college football were not enough there is also a full slate of NFL action on Sunday making this truly a weekend for football fans to be thankful.
Throw into the mix some leftovers from Thanksgiving and a football fan would have very little reason to leave the house from Friday morning to Sunday night. They should still maintain standard hygiene rituals though for the sake of those around them if they do decide to stay glued to the television all weekend.
Considering the fact that many fans would have started their gluttonous football weekend with three games on Thursday, they should at least leave the house on Monday for work before returning home for Monday Night Football.
With that much football to watch it is advisable to stay well hydrated and to get up and stretch at least once an hour to keep the blood flowing and minimize the risk of numbness in the posterior regions. And again be kind to yourself and others by remembering to leave time to shower and freshen up from time to time during the wall to wall pigskin marathon.
While this weekend marks the arrival of copious amounts of football, the arrival of the countdown to the bowl game season also means that by January there will be no more college football and by February the NFL season will be over.
So enjoy the games while you can football fans and prepare for the months ahead when the gridiron goes dark.
Of course that is the time when the Ballparks of Spring Training come alive so one is never really left without sports to enjoy. And football will be back by next summer to help those suffering from withdrawal.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a game to watch. Go Knights!
Copyright 2013 R. Anderson