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College football viewing guide: championship weekend

B5Q breaks down the big games on deck this weekend.

Big Ten Football Championship - Ohio State v Wisconsin Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Championship weekend is upon us. The Badgers are in action, but not in the conference title game obviously. This weekend is chock full of good games across all time slots, as the best teams from each conference square off for a chance to be crowned their league's best.

Here is a glimpse of the top match-ups across a great viewing weekend.

Friday, Dec. 18

Oregon (3-2) at No. 13 USC (5-0) —> 7 p.m. CST on FOX

The Pac-12 Championship game is the biggest game of the evening, as Southern Cal has their last chance to bolster their resume. The Pac-12 is likely on the outside of playoff consideration, but these two teams have had some really good games the past few seasons. Washington was originally slated to take on USC in this game, but had to bow out due to COVID-19.

Morning games of interest:

  • UAB (5-3) at Marshall (7-1) —> 6 p.m. CST on CBSSN (Conference USA Championship)
  • Ball State (5-1) vs Buffalo (5-0) —> 6:30 p.m. CST on ESPN (MAC Championship)
  • Nebraska (2-5) at Rutgers (3-5) —> 6:30 p.m. CST on BTN

Saturday, Oct. 26

Morning games

No. 14 Northwestern (6-1) vs No. 4 Ohio State (5-0) —> 11 a.m. CST on FOX

Northwestern is in the B1G Championship for the second time in the past three years. The Wildcats are nearly three touchdown underdogs in this game, as Ohio State will look to punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes have won the conference the past three years, can they make it an even four in a row?

No. 10 Oklahoma (7-2) vs No. 6 Iowa State (8-2) —> 11 a.m. CST on ABC

Despite losing two games this season, Iowa State is on the doorstep of becoming the first two-loss team in the CFP. The Cyclones have had a really good year, and have already beaten the Sooners once this season. Expect a really fun one in the Big-12 Championship.

Morning games of interest:

  • No. 5 Texas A&M (4-3) at Tennessee (3-6) —> 11 a.m. CST on ESPN

Afternoon games

No. 19 Louisiana Lafayette (9-1) at No. 12 Coastal Carolina (11-0) —>2:30 p.m. CST on ESPN

The Ragin Cajuns and Chanticleers meet in a showdown for the Sun Belt Championship. Both teams have had huge seasons, and are looking to cap it off with a conference crown. This game will take place at home for Coastal Carolina, potentially giving them a slight advantage in this monumental game for both programs.

Minnesota (3-3) at Wisconsin (2-3) —> 3 p.m. CST on BTN

In terms of national perspective, this game is the lowest priority of the three games highlighting the afternoon window. However, the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe is always the most important game on the schedule for both of these teams, and it is a chance for the Badgers to get back to .500 and get back on the winning end of things. Expect a really good, hard fought game.

No. 3 Clemson (9-1) vs No. 2 Notre Dame (10-0) —> 3 p.m. CST on ABC

The biggest game of the day in terms of postseason impact, Clemson and Notre Dame play in round two of this series. The two teams had close contest the first go-round, with Notre Dame edging out the Tigers who were without star QB Trevor Lawrence. This time, both teams are expected at full health, and are potentially playing for a spot in the CFP. Saturday is shaping up to be a two-TV type of day.

Other afternoon games of interest:

  • Washington State (1-2) at Utah (2-2) —> 12:30 p.m. CST on FS1
  • Air Force (3-2) at Army (8-2) —> 2 p.m. CST on CBSSN
  • Boise State (5-1) at No. 24 San Jose State (6-0) —> 3:15 p.m. CST on FOX
  • Illinois (2-5) at Penn State (3-5) —> 4:30 p.m. CST on FS1

Late games

No. 1 Alabama (10-0) vs No. 7 Florida (8-2) —> 7 p.m. CST on CBS

The SEC Championship lost some of its luster after Florida fell in #ShoeGate last week against LSU, but Alabama has been on cruise control all season long. The Gators will look to play the spoiler on Saturday, and take down the Crimson Tide in what should be a good game.

No. 23 Tulsa (6-1) at No. 9 Cincinnati (8-0) —> 7 p.m. CST on ABC

The American Athletic Conference Championship pits Tulsa and Cincinnati against one another. These two teams were supposed to play back in October, but COVID-19 issues postponed the game. Both teams have played exceptionally well this year, with Tulsa’s only loss coming in the first week of the season in a close game with Oklahoma State. Expect some offensive firepower in this one.

Other primetime games of interest:

  • Stanford (3-2) at UCLA (3-3) —> 6 p.m. CST on ESPN
  • Michigan State (2-5) at Maryland (2-3) —> 6:30 p.m. CST on BTN
  • Arizona State (1-2) at Oregon State (2-4) —> 9:30 p.m. CST on ESPN