A look at the conference championship games:
AAC: Temple (9-3) at No. 19 Navy (9-2), 9 A.M., ABC
This game offers the always popular irresistible force vs. immovable object. Navy’s running game, in this case, is the force. The Midshipmen are second in the nation in rushing, averaging 342 yards a game. Temple puts up the third-rated defense, giving up an average of 273.4 yards. Navy has won 15 consecutive games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, tied with Houston for the nation’s longest home winning streak.
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SEC: No. 1 Alabama (12-0) vs. No. 15 Florida (8-3) at Atlanta, 1 p.m., CBS
Florida was routed by rival Florida State last week and is a 24-point underdog against the Crimson Tide. Can this Alabama team be beat by any team from the college ranks? Consider this: The Tide defense leads the nation in rushing yards per game at 68.7, total yards per game at 246.8 and points allowed per game at 11.4 – numbers all better than what the team posted last year in a national championship season. What’s more, the Alabama defense has given up only 12 touchdowns while scoring nine on fumble and interception returns.
MWC: San Diego State (9-3) at Wyoming (8-4), 4:45 p.m., ESPN
On the surface, it would seem that San Diego State has the advantage in the Mountain West Conference championship game. The Aztecs nearly swept the conference major awards: running back Donnel Pumphrey was offensive player of the year, defensive back Damontae Kazee was defensive player of the year and return specialist Rashaad Penny won for special teams. But Wyoming has coach of the year Craig Bohl. Oh, and a 34-33 win over San Diego State on Nov. 19 at Laramie, Wyoming.
ACC: No. 3 Clemson (11-1) vs. No. 23 Virginia Tech (9-3) at Orlando, 5 p.m., ABC
A loss by Clemson could allow a second Big Ten Conference team into the national semifinals, and it’s quite possible. Clemson not only lost to Pittsburgh. It was lucky to defeat North Carolina State, which blew a field-goal try at the end of regulation that gave the Tigers the chance to win in overtime. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is a dual threat who tends to run more against tougher competition. That could be bad news for Virginia Tech. In each of their three losses, the Hokies have seen the opposing quarterback run for more than 100 yards.
BIG TEN: No. 6 Wisconsin (10-2) vs. No. 7 Penn State (10-2) at Indianapolis, 5 p.m., Fox
The winner probably is headed to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl game Jan. 2 while one conference team, No. 2 Ohio State, is already a lock for a spot in the national semifinals and another, No. 5 Michigan, is poised to pounce depending on what happens in other conference title games. Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin’s starting quarterback, is questionable because of a head injury, but the Badgers still have Bart Houston, who began the season as the starter and, as a reserve in the past four games, has completed 17 of 24 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.