One of the most exciting days of the college football season, Championship Saturday, is just two days away.
The champions of the six major conferences receive automatic bids to the five BCS bowls. Three will be settled via a championship game, while another conference still has three teams alive for the title. The Big Ten’s champion, Wisconsin, was determined last weekend.
Here are the most important games to watch this Saturday.
(15) Virginia Tech (10-2) vs. (21) Florida State (9-3), Charlotte, N.C., 7:45 p.m. ESPN
Few could have imagined Virginia Tech would be here after it dropped its first two games, including an embarrassing home loss to James Madison, an FCS school. But the Hokies have not lost since, posting an 8-0 mark in the ACC. The Seminoles will try to qualify for their first BCS bowl since 2005.
Connecticut (7-4) at South Florida (7-4), 8 p.m. ESPN2; Pittsburgh (6-5) at Cincinnati (4-7), noon ESPN; Rutgers (4-7) at (24) West Virginia (8-3), noon ABC
This trio of games will serve as the de facto Big East championship, with the league winner earning an automatic bid to a BCS bowl. Connecticut controls its own destiny; if the Huskies win, they are the champs. West Virginia needs a win and a Connecticut loss, while Pittsburgh needs a win and losses by both UConn and West Virginia.
Big 12 Championship
(9) Oklahoma (10-2) vs. (13) Nebraska (10-2), Arlington, Texas, 8 p.m. ABC
The Sooners beat Oklahoma State in a thriller last weekend to claim the Big 12 South title. Their high-powered offense will face one of the country’s best defenses, though the Cornhuskers have shown they can light up the scoreboard, too. It should be an exciting clash in Cowboys Stadium.
(1) Auburn (12-0) vs. (19) South Carolina (9-3), Atlanta, 4 p.m. CBS
While controversy continues to swirl around Auburn quarterback and Heisman favorite Cam Newton, the Tigers continue to win. Their latest effort — overcoming a 24-0 deficit at Alabama — has them one win away from a berth in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz. Steve Spurrier’s squad took down a No. 1 earlier this season. Can the Gamecocks do it again?
(2) Oregon (11-0) at Oregon St. (5-6), 3:30 p.m. ABC
In last year’s so-called Civil War, a trip to the Rose Bowl was on the line. This year, the stakes are vastly different for the two schools. The Beavers need a win simply to become bowl-eligible. Oregon, meanwhile, has already clinched the Pac-10 title, but a victory Saturday sends the Ducks to the BCS title game.