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Conference championships open thread

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The Gamecocks may not be playing, but there’s still football.

Dec 1, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the Auburn Tigers will play the Georgia Bulldogs in the Southeastern Conference Championship. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

While the South Carolina Gamecocks aren’t in action today, there’s still plenty of football to be had with conference championships and playoff bids on the line. Here’s a quick rundown of the schedule:

AAC

Memphis vs. UCF, noon (ABC)

Why you should care: UCF is undefeated and sits at just 14th in the College Football Playoff poll, which a lot of people have strong opinions about. I can’t say I’m one of them, but the committee should just go ahead and admit that a Group of 5 team will never sniff the playoff if this is how they’re going to handle them.

Big 12

TCU vs. Oklahoma, 12:30 (FOX)

Why you should care: Third-ranked Oklahoma features quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Heisman Trophy frontrunner, and needs a win to secure a spot in the playoffs. Also, it’s the Big 12, so this will probably be an entertaining shootout without a lick of defense played.

SEC

Georgia vs. Auburn, 4 (CBS)

Why you should care: This game has interesting implications for Alabama, which should probably root for rival Auburn if it wants an outside chance of squeezing into the playoffs. Aside from that, the Old South’s Deepest Rivalry is an exceptionally close series (57-56-8, in favor of the Bulldogs) and this is the first time they’ve met for the SEC title. Auburn whipped Georgia in the regular season, but it’s hard to imagine the Bulldogs bringing their F game again. This should be a good one, and the winner is safely in the playoff.

MWC

Fresno State vs. Boise State, 7:45 (ESPN)

Why you should care: Honestly? I got nothing.

ACC

Miami vs. Clemson, 8 (ABC)

Why you should care: I don’t think I need to get too deeply into this on a Gamecocks blog. Help us, Hurricanes. You’re our only hope.

Big Ten

Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, 8 (FOX)

Why you should care: This is an elimination game for undefeated Wisconsin. Should the Badgers lose, that helps open the door for Alabama and possibly even Ohio State. I’m not crazy about either of those teams managing to sneak in, so I’m hopeful the Badgers keep their dream season alive.

Pac-12

Southern Cal 31, Stanford 28

I’ll be honest and admit I had no idea the Pac-12 championship was played Friday night, which I guess is what happens when a conference title game has no bearing on the playoffs. But yeah, the Pac-12 kind of fell off the map this season after the Trojans took a couple key losses, Washington underwhelmed, and UCLA imploded. Because of time zones, national exposure tends to be a bit harder for the West Coast to come by, and the #EastCoastBias was particularly rough on them this year.