Cirminiello Final Thoughts: Big 10 Wild-Card
Posted Nov 30, 2012

Richard Cirminiello's Final Thoughts before the final weekend of the regular season.

Forget the fact that Louisville is headed to the ACC, and Rutgers is a future member of the Big Ten. With the Cardinals capturing the Big East and a BCS bowl berth, this Thursday night's game in Piscataway was a really, really big deal for both schools.

Oh, and with the announcement of the Cardinals to the ACC, does that make it easier for the program to keep coveted head coach Charlie Strong?

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater might want to consider switching his number to 19, that of old New York Knicks warhorse Willis Reed. The sophomore is determined to play this week with an injured leg and a broken wrist on his non-throwing hand.

If you can watch only one game this week, obviously make it the SEC title game. Two? Settle in for Friday night's MAC championship, which will not disappoint, and has major implications outside the conference.

The country will be shocked by the ability of Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch. Ditto Kent State backs Dri Archer and Trayion Durham.

The Stanford front seven vs. the UCLA O-line was a mismatch six days ago. There's absolutely no reason to believe it won't be again this Friday night … on the Farm and with the Rose Bowl at stake.

David Shaw has done a remarkable this season, with a shot of going to back-to-back BCS bowl games since succeeding Jim Harbaugh. For good reason, he has NFL GMs salivating.

After cheating death the last two weeks, I can't shake the notion that Oklahoma is going to blow this opportunity to lock up a BCS bowl bid and a share of the Big 12 title. It would be a very Sooner-like move to squander the opportunity in Fort Worth on Saturday afternoon.

Can't help but marvel at the job being done by Mike Gundy with his unproven quarterbacks. Three have been forced into action, yet they've combined for 32 total touchdowns … with the Baylor D still left to be faced this weekend.

How deep must Mike Riley dig into his bag of motivational tricks to get Oregon State up for Nicholls State, a game cancelled by Hurricane Isaac, the week after losing another Civil War to Oregon?

Boise State has sort of fallen off the radar since the opener with Michigan State, so I was shocked to realize that the Broncos have yielded just three touchdown passes all year heading into this week's regular-season finale Nevada.

The Big East ship is quickly sinking. Suppose that would make Cincinnati and Connecticut, who face off in East Hartford this Saturday, the co-captains of that vessel.

The Bama O-line vs. the Georgia front seven—arguably the best matchup in the trenches that we'll witness all year.

This week will be Georgia LB Alec Ogletree's national coming-out party. Jarvis Jones (justifiably) gets all of the headlines, but Ogletree has been playing out of his mind lately.

Where's Florida State head? Just lost to Florida, lost defensive coordinator Mark Stoops to Kentucky and lost star DE Cornellius Carradine to an ACL tear. Enter 6-6 Georgia Tech, which took the back door into Charlotte for the ACC title game.

With two weeks to prepare and refocus, Kansas State will pound Texas to wrap up the Big 12 title. And Collin Klein will give patient Heisman voters something to think about. Let's not forget that Klein is the driving force of a Wildcats team that many had finishing in the middle of the conference pack.

Rex Burkhead is a real wild card in the Big Ten title game. Burkhead, underrated Ameer Abdullah and QB Taylor Martinez vs. the Wisconsin run defense will be one of the better games-within-the-game on Saturday.