ZHODB Notes Week 14
BIG TEN UPDATE
With a victory on Saturday, Penn State earned its first Big Ten Football Championship Game berth and a share of the East Division title, and will meet Wisconsin on Saturday. The Badgers were also victorious on Saturday and were outright West champs.
The sixth annual Big Ten Football Championship Game is scheduled to kick off at 8:17 p.m. The game will be broadcast nationally on FOX and Compass Media Networks. The winner earns the Amos Alonzo Stagg Championship Trophy and a chance to play in one of the six bowls that comprise the College Football Playoff, including the Rose Bowl Game.
CONFERENCE USA UPDATE
WKU’s 60-6 win at Marshall meant that the Hilltoppers (9-3, 7-1) had repeated as East Division Champions and would host the 2016 Dynacraft Conference USA Football Championship Game. Louisiana Tech (8-4, 6-2 in C-USA) punched its ticket as West Division Champion back on Nov. 12.
The C-USA Championship Game will be televised live on ESPN, beginning at Noon EST/11 a.m. CST. This is the first time in league history that the game will be hosted by the same school in consecutive seasons.
The game represents a rematch of one of the highest-scoring games in Conference USA this season, a 55-52 Louisiana Tech win over WKU in Ruston on Oct. 6.
BIG TEN BOWLING
Ten conference teams have qualified for bowls: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland and Northwestern.
C-USA FIRST TIMERS
Old Dominion and UTSA are making bowl appearances for the first time. UTSA will play in the postseason in its sixth year of football and fifth year in the FBS, matching South Alabama (2014) and Georgia State (2015) for the earliest a program has played in a bowl. ODU will be playing in a bowl game in its eighth season as a program and its second year of full FBS eligibility.
IN THE NEWS
Chip Patterson (@Chip_Patterson) of CBSSports.com details how the Big Ten can place three teams in College Football Playoff. The stage is set for a wild set of scenarios to unfold between now and Selection Sunday. Get the break down here.
Tim Griffin (@TimGriffinBig12) of the San Antonio Express-News notes that the Bahamas are out as a possible bowl destination for UTSA. So where might the Roadrunners go in their first year as a postseason participant? Griffin offers up locales here.
Zach Pereles (@zach_pereles) from InsideNU.com writes that Northwestern’s 2016 season will be defined by its bowl game. The Wildcats do not have a season-defining moment or game. That leaves them with one opportunity. Get more here.
Sean Isabella (@ST_IsabellaTNS) of the Monroe News Star writes that former Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas bowl winner Louisiana Tech’s bowl outlook may go down to the wire like it has in each of the past two seasons. 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): Army vs. WKU
Bill Bender (Sporting News): WKU vs. Houston
Brett McMurphy (ESPN): South Alabama vs. LA Tech
Jerry Palm (CBS Sports): Miss. State vs. WKU
Mark Schlabach (ESPN): LA Tech vs. Miss. State
Stewart Mandel (FOX Sports): Army vs. LA Tech