It's Conference Championship Saturday! Today marks the end of the regular season of 2015 college football as we know it. We were lucky to even be in a position to have our Gators play on this day. So while this Florida team will still get to play in a yet-to-be-announced bowl game, today was your penultimate viewing opportunity for the 2015 Florida Gators.
The AAC and SEC Championship Games have been played and their winners have been crowned, but there are still several other conference title games that will be decided this evening. The night slate features the ACC, Pac 12, and Big Ten Championships. Which, not so conveniently, were all scheduled at the same time for some reason. At least two of these games have potential playoff ramifications. So, grab a seat and enjoy the last college football before bowl season starts.
Here are our picks for tonight's viewing window:
Evening (7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern)
USC at Stanford, Pac 12 Championship (7:45 p.m., ESPN): The Pac 12 South division winning Trojans just removed the "interim" tag from head coach Clay Helton's title. USC is just 8-4 but managed to win their division despite injuries and coaching turmoil. The Cardinal are coming off a field goal win over Notre Dame, which knocked the Irish out of the playoff conversation. Two-loss Stanford hopes for an outside chance to get back into the playoff picture itself, but needs to take care of business against USC, and have some other losses fall its way, in order to do so.
Michigan State at Iowa, Big Ten Championship (8:00 p.m., FOX): The Spartans and the undefeated Hawkeyes will meet in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship. The winner of this game should book their trip to the playoff on New Year's Eve, making this one of the more consequential match-ups of the weekend.
North Carolina at Clemson, ACC Championship (8:00 p.m., ABC): The undefeated Tigers are #1 and trying to secure their own playoff berth. A win by the Tar Heels could make the playoff picture messy, as UNC might have its own argument for inclusion but other teams waiting in the wings (like Stanford and Ohio State) would demand consideration as well. The Tar Heels have certainly been a good team this year, despite their inexplicable season opening loss to South Carolina, and can give the Tigers all they can handle.