Conference championship week is finally here, bringing with it the rights to claim superiority over (nearly) every other team in your league.
And, as usual, the conference championship games will go a long way in determining the College Football Playoff semifinals. This year, that prestigious group of impactful games has shrunk to just three — maybe two — games: The ACC and Big Ten championships, as well as the SEC championship.
As it stands now, No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Clemson are the only teams to control their own destiny.
So it only makes sense that Alabama (10-0) takes on No. 11 Florida (8-2) in the SEC championship; the Gators’ stunning 37-34 loss to LSU in Week 15 likely ended any hope they had of making the Playoff, but a win over Alabama could upset the order of the final pairings.
Notre Dame (10-0) faces Clemson (9-1) in the ACC championship, a rematch of their double-overtime thriller on Nov. 7; the Tigers must win to make the Playoff, but the Irish could very well get in with a loss, depending on the score. Ohio State (5-0) is eligible for the Big Ten title game after the conference waived its six-game requirement, but must beat 15th-ranked Northwestern (6-1) to make the Playoff. Could the Wildcats get in with a win?
Other games worth watching include No. 13 USC (5-0) vs. Oregon (3-2) in the Pac-12 and No. 8 Iowa State (8-2) vs. No. 12 Oklahoma (7-2) in the Big 12; the Trojans, Cyclones and Sooners are all dark horse Playoff candidates that stand to be in contention if chaos breaks out in the ACC, Big Ten and SEC. USC would need to blow out the Huskies and get some more help to truly be contenders. And it’s always worth pointing out that no two-loss team has ever made the Playoff.
Something else to watch: the Sun Belt championship game between No. 9 Coastal Carolina (11-0) and No. 17 Louisiana (9-1) and the AAC championship game between No. 6 Cincinnati (9-0) and No. 20 Tulsa (6-1). The winner of those games will likely claim the Group of 5 spot in the New Year’s 6 bowls. Cincinnati has the inside track for that position.
With that, here’s everything you need to know to watch conference championship weekend:
College football conference championship schedule
Friday, Dec. 18
*Washington, the Pac-12 North division champion, can’t play due to COVID-19 issues on the team. Second-place Oregon will represent the North instead.
Saturday, Dec. 19
|Game||Time (ET)||TV channel|
|Big 12 championship|
No. 8 Iowa State vs. No. 12 Oklahoma
|Big Ten championship|
No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Northwestern
No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 4 Clemson
|4 p.m.||ABC, fuboTV|
No. 25 San Jose State vs. Boise State
|4:15 p.m.||Fox, fuboTV|
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 11 Florida
|8 p.m.||CBS, fuboTV|
No. 20 Tulsa vs. No. 6 Cincinnati
|8 p.m.||ABC, fuboTV|
How to watch, live stream college football games
The conference championship will be broadcast live on national TV, with games appearing on ABC, Fox and CBS. Live streaming options include WatchESPN, CBS All Access, Fox.com, ESPN+ or fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.
College football conference championship scores
Friday, Dec. 18
|UAB at Marshall|
|No. 23 Buffalo vs. Ball State|
|Oregon at No. 13 USC|
Saturday, Dec. 19
|No. 8 Iowa State vs. No. 12 Oklahoma|
|No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Northwestern|
|No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 4 Clemson|
|No. 25 San Jose State vs. Boise State|
|No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 11 Florida|
|No. 20 Tulsa vs. No. 6 Cincinnati|