THURSDAY, DEC. 1 College football (7-10 p.m. ESPN): Who will win the Big East Championship? West Virginia travels to South Florida. FRIDAY, DEC. 2 College football (7-10 p.m. FOX): The inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game should be a rout for UCLA when they travel to Oregon. SATURDAY, DEC. 3 College football (11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ABC): Houston puts its undefeated season on the line against Southern Miss in the C-USA Championship Game. â€Ś College football (3-6 p.m. CBS): Georgia tries to ruin LSUâ€™s undefeated season in the SEC Championship Game. SUNDAY, DEC. 4 NFL (7:20-10:30 p.m. NBC): The NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints host the Detroit Lions in a matchup of top teams this season. A few more wins, and the Saints will be playoff bound. MONDAY, DEC. 5 NFL (7:30-11 p.m. ESPN): I wonder which primetime game is worse. Is it this game between San Diego and Jacksonville or Thursdayâ€™s game between Philadelphia and Seattle? TUESDAY, DEC. 6 NHL (6:30-9 p.m. Versus): The Detroit Redwings travel to the St. Louis Blues in the annual matchup of playoff teams.
November 30 - December 6, 2011
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 7 College basketball (6-8 p.m. ESPN): NCAA Tournament staples Arizona and Florida meet in an early season clash. The NFL season is in a five-week sprint to the finish. College basketball is beginning its long road to March and the NBA and NBAPA reached a deal last weekend. Delta Stateâ€™s full-page ad says they play for championships, and eggs are for breakfast. The Statesmen better not slip up this weekend against North Greenville. Follow Bryan Flynn at jfpsports.com, @jfpsports and at facebook.com/jfpsports.
JFP Top 25: Week 14
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outhern Missâ€™ Bowl Championship Series hopes died when they lost 34-31 to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Nov. 17. The Golden Eagles only had a chance to earn a BSC bid if they won the rest of their regular season games. Instead, USM ended its regular season Nov. 26 with 44-7 victory over Memphis, giving them the C-USA East division title and a berth in the C-USA title game. On Nov. 25, the Houston Cougars ended their regular season with a 48-16 victory over Tulsa, wrapping up the C-USA West division. By virtue of having the better record, the Cougars get to host the title game. This is not the first time these two teams have met for the C-USA championship. In 2006, Houston hosted USM for the league title, winning 34-20. The two teams did not
USM has its own record-setting quarterback in Austin Davis. In his final season, Davis has broken all of NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favreâ€™s Southern Miss records. He passed for 3,052 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In his career, Davis has thrown for 10,454 yards with 77 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. Because USM is ranked once more in all the major national polls, this will be the first C-USA title game in which both teams are ranked. The Golden Eagles have been ranked on and off late this season. Defense might be optional when these two teams meet Saturday. Turning the channel might mean your missing a highlight-making play. Both teams are going to throw the ball and throw it a lot. Both teams allow only 20 points per game on defense. USM allows 20.5 points, and Houston allows 20.9 points per game. The biggest difference might be running the ball. USM averages 207.8 yards on the ground, and Houston averages 163.6 rush yards. Southern Miss might try to shorten the game and keep Keenum on the sideline by running the ball. It is a trick that might work and keep their defense fresh and rested all day. It would be great to have USM win its conference title game. Southern Miss hasnâ€™t won a C-USA title Golden Eagles quarterback Austin Davis, left, has since 2003, and that was before there bested Brett Favreâ€™s USM records this year. was a championship game. But losing the championship game might turn out to be better for USM and meet this year in the regular season but did the other C-USA members. A BCS bid for an meet the previous two seasons. Houston won undefeated Houston team would bring a nice in 2009, 50-43 in Houston. USM won in payday for the conference. 2010, 59-41 in Hattiesburg. Last season, the Mountain West ConRecord-setting quarterback Case Kee- ference earned more than $12 million when num leads the Cougars. After getting a sixth TCU earned a Rose Bowl bid. That $12 milyear of eligibility due to tearing ligaments in lion was split among the MWC teams. his knee last season, Keenum has assaulted the In comparison, C-USA earned just a record books. This season alone he has thrown little more than $3 million from the BSC last for 4,726 yards with 43 touchdowns and just season. That $3 million was split between the three interceptions. In his career, Keenum has 12 members of C-USA, working out to be thrown for 18,312 yards with 150 touch- about $250,000 for each member. If a BSC downs and 44 interceptions. bid for Houston nets at least the same amount With Keenum at the helm, Houston has as TCUâ€™s did last season, it would add another the number one passing and scoring offense in $750,000 for each school. the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Cougars If USM defeats Houston, the Cougars average 449.7 passing yard and 52.7 points should still end up in the Liberty Bowl, but per game, giving Houston one of the most the conference would miss out on a big paypotent offenses in college football. day. Southern Miss would end up in a bowl
COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
Merry Christmas! The NBA is back.
by Bryan Flynn
by Bryan Flynn
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game, but there is no chance the Eagles would get a BCS game. This is one of those strange situations where losing might be better than winning. Southern Miss would get more monetary benefit out of losing to Houston than by winning the C-USA title game. But Southern Miss will not just roll over. Larry Fedora will have his team ready for a conference championship. If Houston wins against USM, it would become the first C-USA team to ever reach a BSC Bowl. In another strange twist, Houston could bring the conference a big payday before leaving for the Big East after the season. The Conference USA title game starts at 11 a.m. and will be televised on ABC. Prediction: Houston 70, USM 63
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