Games to Watch: Saturday, Dec. 1

Peter Sblendorio

No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Georgia
No game on Saturday will have more important implications than the SEC title game, as the winner will earn a berth in the BCS Championship. The defending champion Crimson Tide are one win away from their third trip to the Georgia Dome in four years, having been paced by a smothering defense that has allowed an FBS best 9.3 points per game. The Alabama defense will have a tough task, however, as the Bulldogs boast arguably the most dynamic offense in the conference. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has thrown for 3,201 yards and 30 touchdowns, but has struggled to step up in high-profile games throughout his career. Murray will have a chance to change that reputation this week in the most important game he’s played in, but Alabama will be just as eager to win and move on to its second consecutive
national championship.
Game at 3:00 CT on CBS
No. 16 UCLA vs. No. 8 Stanford
The PAC-12 Championship Game will mark the second consecutive week these teams will face each other, with the winner in this one being crowned conference champion. The Cardinal topped the Bruins 35-17 on the road last Saturday thanks in large to a huge effort by star running back Stepfan Taylor, who ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns. The Bruins struggled to move the ball on the ground, as they averaged just 2.2 yards on 33 carries. Running back Johnathan Franklin has rushed for 1,506 yards and 11 touchdowns and UCLA will need a big effort from the senior for a chance to knock off the Cardinal. The Bruins came up small in their first game against Stanford, but a win in the conference championship game will make that loss a distant memory.
Game at 7:00 CT on FOX
No. 12 Nebraska vs. Wisconsin
Many believe the 7-5 Badgers did not deserve a trip to the Big Ten championship game, but regardless of their record it’s rarely a boring affair when these two take the field against each other. This was the case in week five, when the Cornhuskers came from 17 points down to earn a 30-27 victory. Nebraska has been led by quarterback Taylor Martinez, who has thrown for career highs of 2,483 yards and 21 touchdowns. Conversely, Wisconsin has not had much success passing the ball, but running back Montee Ball is enjoying another record-breaking year. The senior has run for 1,528 yards and 18 touchdowns, and he has scored at least once in nine of his past 10 games. The Cornhuskers enter this matchup as the favorite, but it is impossible to truly predict the outcome when these conference
rivals meet.
Game at 7:17 CT on FOX
No. 11 Oklahoma vs. TCU
The Sooners will need a win to keep their conference championship hopes alive, but they will have to go through a tough Horned Frogs team that has picked up wins against two of its past three ranked opponents. Oklahoma touts the seventh-highest scoring offense in the nation at 41.7 points per game thanks to a strong season from quarterback Landry Jones coupled with a balanced rushing attack. Jones could prove to be especially important, as TCU’s run defense is arguably the best in the conference. The Horned Frogs have been inconsistent on offense, but they were able to convert on turnovers and score enough to win on Thanksgiving against Texas. Both teams are bowl-eligible already, but the stakes are higher for Oklahoma.

Game at 11:00 CT on ESPN