Friday, December 4
MAC Championship -- Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois, 8:00 PM, ESPN2
Tune in to see Dino Babers coach Bowling Green in the MAC Championship Game, and enjoy watching the country's #3 overall offense, #3 passing offense, and #4 scoring offense. That firepower is why Dino Babers is (or should be) a candidate for the Virginia job.
Saturday, December 5
AAC Championship -- Temple vs. Houston, 12:00 noon, ABC
Temple's Matt Rhule is probably on Virginia's board, and he's probably pretty high up there. Houston is the vogue team here, but Temple manhandled equally-buzzy Memphis, 31-12, two weeks ago. The Owls don't feature an awesome offense, but they beat you with grit, toughness, and guile -- a true testament to Rhule's coaching. Try to focus on watching Temple's defensive system, and keep your eye on #8 -- linebacker Tyler Matakevich. He's AAC Defensive Player of the Year after Rhule unearthed the hidden gem from Connecticut on the recruiting trail. Matakevich sort of embodies what Rhule brings to the table: outside-the-box recruiting strategy, a keen eye for talent, and the ability to develop players. The grit and toughness is just a bonus. (Other Rhule-groomed future NFL players on that Temple defense include defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis - #9 - and cornerback Tavon Young - #1.)
C*USA Championship -- Western Kentucky vs. Southern Miss, 12:00 noon, ESPN2
Here's your chance to see Jeff Brohm, the odds-on favorite to be UVA's next head coach, and his über-explosive offense (#10 overall, #6 passing, #4 scoring, #1 points per play). Don't miss this one.
Mountain West Championship -- Air Force vs. San Diego State, 7:30 PM, ESPN2
In this one, we're watching Air Force and their head coach, Troy Calhoun. AFA features the nation's #3 rushing offense out of Calhoun's innovative multi-formation flexbone. This is a key watch for Hoofans; do we want that kind of offense in Charlottesville? (Note that Calhoun isn't married to the option like Navy's coach Ken Niumatalolo is --- Calhoun ran a highly productive, balanced offense at Wake Forest (2001-2002) and learned the Gary Kubiak offensive system when he was with the Broncos from 2003 to 2005.)
Set your DVRs, folks!