MAC Championship from Detroit, MI (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.) - History
Miami, Ohio (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Northern Illinois (10-2 SU, 9-2-1 ATS)
Quick Hits: Dating back to 2002, Northern Illinois has won five straight against Miami but four of the contests were decided by seven points or less and the last three saw outcomes of three, four and five points. The Redhawks covered all three of those tight affairs. Miami, Ohio has made two trips to Ford Field and the school has walked away with one championship (2003), when QB Ben Roethlisberger stood behind center for the ‘Hawks. Northern Illinois only made one appearance in the MAC title game and they came up short to Akron (30-31) as a heavy favorite (13.5). To no surprise, the Huskies are laying wood (-14) again this week.
CUSA Championship from Orlando, FL (ESPN, 12:00 p.m.) - History
SMU (7-5, 6-5-1 ATS) vs. Central Florida (9-3 SU, 9-3 ATS)
Quick Hits: Central Florida has won its only two meetings against SMU and both of them came by double digits, 49-20 and 31-17. Surprisingly, both of those games went ‘under’ too. UCF has made two trips to the title game, losing to Tulsa (27-44) in 2005 but getting revenge on the Golden Hurricane two years later in a romp (44-25). This will be SMU’s first rodeo in the CUSA Championship. The Golden Knights opened as eight-point favorites.
Auburn (12-0 SU, 8-4 ATS) vs. South Carolina (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS)
Quick Notes: The Tigers have won five straight against the Gamecocks, including a 35-27 victory this season on Sept. 25. Auburn trailed by six (21-27) entering the fourth quarter but outscored South Carolina 14-0 in the final 15 minutes. QB Cam Newton had 334 yards of offense and five touchdowns in the victory for Auburn. The Tigers have been to the SEC title game three times and have only won once, with the victory happening in 2004 against Tennessee (38-28). South Carolina has never played for the conference championship. Auburn has opened as a five-point favorite.
ACC Championship from Charlotte, NC (ESPN, 7:45 p.m.) - History
Florida State (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Virginia Tech (10-2 SU, 9-3 ATS)
Quick Hits: This encounter will be a rematch of the first ACC Championship in 2005 when Florida State upset Virginia Tech 27-22 as a 14-point underdog. Since that meeting, the two teams have squared off twice with each school winning and covering at home. The ‘over’ has cashed in all three of the last meetings. This will be third conference title game for the Hokies, who have won in the other two instances, both coming against Boston College in 2007 and ’08. Virginia Tech has ripped off 10 straight wins after starting 0-2, which is part of the reason why Frank Beamer’s team has opened as 4 ½-point favorites against the ‘Noles.
Big 12 Championship from Arlington, TX (ABC, 8:00 p.m.) - History
Nebraska (10-2 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) vs. Oklahoma (10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS)
Quick Hits: Nebraska and Oklahoma didn’t meet on the gridiron this year, but the Cornhuskers did knock off the Sooners 10-3 during their 2009 campaign. In that same season, Nebraska won the Big 12 North but came up short to Texas (12-13) in the conference championship. Even though the ‘Huskers currently hold braggin’ rights, the Sooners won the previous four meetings and three of those were by double digits. Oklahoma is also very familiar with this stage, making seven appearances in the Big 12 Championship. In those games, the Sooners are 6-1 both SU and ATS.