ZHODB Notes Week 13
BIG TEN UPDATE
The stakes are high entering the final weekend, with seven teams contending for division titles and five still alive for a spot in the Championship Game. Standings here.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP SCENARIOS
EAST: Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State are in a three-way tie for first, with the Wolverines and Buckeyes meeting in Columbus. Michigan clinchs a berth in the Championship with a win, while Penn State could do likewise with a win over Michigan State, coupled with an Ohio State win. The Buckeyes need a victory and Michigan State win to book their ticket to Indy.
WEST: Nebraska and Wisconsin are tied for first, one game ahead of Iowa and Minnesota. The Hawkeyes and Golden Gophers could forge a four-way split of the West Division title with wins over Nebraska and Wisconsin this weekend, respectively. However, the Cornhuskers and Badgers are the only schools still contending for a berth in the Championship. Wisconsin secures its spot with a win over Minnesota or an Iowa victory, while Nebraska needs a win over the Hawkeyes and a Minnesota victory.
BIG TEN BOWLING
Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin are bowl eligible. Indiana, Maryland and Northwestern need one win.
CONFERENCE USA UPDATE
The following is a “simple” evaluation of the league’s 2016 football race and bowl outlook. Standings here.
EAST: WKU (6-1) wins the Division by winning at Marshall. WKU can also win the East with a loss to Marshall if Old Dominion loses to FIU on Saturday. ODU (6-1) wins by beating FIU and having WKU lose.
WEST: Louisiana Tech (6-1) has clinched.
Four teams have at least six wins: Louisiana Tech (8-3), WKU (8-3), Old Dominion (8-3) and Middle Tennessee (7-4). Three teams are one win away from bowl eligibility – North Texas (5-6), Southern Miss (5-6) and UTSA (5-6).
IN THE NEWS
Brad Stephens of the Bowling Green Daily News reminds us that Western Kentucky went to Huntington two Novembers ago to spoil a party. This year Marshall will have the chance to play spoiler. Read more here.
Isaiah Hole (@isaiahhole) of Wolverine247 writes that it’s been five years since Michigan last beat Ohio State and sixteen years since they last beat them on the road -- but that doesn’t matter to this group of Wolverines. Read the rest here.
Jason Munz (@Munzly) from the Hattiesburg American is writes that confidence can be a fickle thing for Southern Miss, once 4-1, in its quest for bowl eligibility. Get more here.
Jason Galloway (@Jason_Galloway) of the Wisconsin State Journal writes that Wisconsin has more at stake against Minnesota than any of the previous 125 meetings with its biggest rival. Read why here.
TICKETS ON SALE
Tickets for the 2016 Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl are on sale at www.heartofdallasbowl.com. Tickets range from $25 for general admission, to $75 for a reserved lower bowl and $125 for a mid-field chair back.
HOLIDAY CHEER IN BIG D
The seventh Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl will be played Tuesday, Dec. 27, at the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium on the grounds of Fair Park. This year’s Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl featuring teams C-USA and the Big Ten is slated to kick off at 11 a.m. CT (noon ET) on ESPN.
PROJECTING THE MATCHUP
Current projections from college football writers for the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl:
Colin Becht (CNNSI): Maryland vs. WKU
Bill Bender (Sporting News): WKU vs. Vanderbilt
Brett McMurphy (ESPN): Eastern Michigan vs. MTSU
Jerry Palm (CBS Sports): Colorado State vs. WKU
Mark Schlabach (ESPN): Hawaii vs. North Texas
Stewart Mandel (FOX Sports): Army vs. LA Tech