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|Welcome to TSLMail #203 - Friday, December 2, 2005||
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For the first time in its history, the ACC will hold a conference championship game this Saturday in ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. Conference championship games have not been around for very long, but there have been some great games from the Big 12 and SEC Title games.
The Big 12 Championship Game has been in existence since 1996. One of the greatest memories came from the very first championship game. Nebraska and Texas were in a dogfight late in the game. Nebraska was heavily favored, but Texas held a 30-27 lead with 2:40 remaining. Facing fourth down at their own 28, the Longhorns went for it rather than punting. It was really a dumb decision, but it worked. Quarterback James Brown executed the play-action perfectly and found tight end Derek Lewis for a 66 yard gain. Tailback Priest Holmes scored from 11 yards out and Texas pulled the upset, 37-27.
In 1998, #1 Kansas State was knocked off by #10 Texas A&M in overtime. The Aggies overcame a 27-12 deficit before rallying and locking up a BCS invitation. Aggie tailback Sirr Parker scored on a 32 yard touchdown pass in the second overtime period to clinch the game.
The Oklahoma Sooners locked up a trip to the National Championship game with a 27-24 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats in the 2000 Big 12 Championship Game. The game was tied at the end of the third quarter before the Sooners took a 27-17 lead with 1:25 to go. The Wildcats would get a touchdown from Quincy Morgan with six seconds left, but the onside kick failed.
The SEC Championship Game was first played in 1992. It was played on Legion Field in Birmingham for the first two years, and has been held in the Georgia Dome ever since 1994. This is different from the Big 12, which has held championship games in many cities, such as St. Louis, Houston, San Antonio and Kansas City. The SEC Championship Game will be in Atlanta again this year.
The Florida Gators used to be a fixture on the SEC Championship Game. Steve Spurrier’s Gators played in the game every year from 1992-1996, winning all but the 1992 game. Their dominance has cooled off recently however, as they have only played in the championship game twice since 1996 and not at all since 2000.
The SEC Championship game is generally never close. Only three times since 1992 has the game been decided by less than ten points. The last time a game was decided by less than three points was back in 1997 when Tennessee beat Auburn 30-29. The Volunteers trailed 20-7 during the second quarter, but rallied behind Peyton Manning. Manning hit Marcus Nash on a 73 yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter for the go ahead touchdown.
Besides that 1997 game, Florida beat Alabama by one point in 1994, and the Crimson Tide beat the Gators by a touchdown in 1992. Those are the only three games in SEC Championship history that have been decided by single digits. That could change this year when Georgia meets LSU. Both teams are ranked in the Top Ten and were considered national championship contenders at some point during the season.
The MAC and Conference USA also have conference championship games. This year the MAC will play its ninth conference championship. Like the ACC, CUSA will hold its inaugural title game on Saturday. Northern Illinois and Akron played for the MAC Championship last night in Detroit (Akron won a 31-30 thriller), while Central Florida and Tulsa will play for the CUSA crown on Saturday in Orlando.
If you are heading to the ACC Championship Game, make sure you check out the ACC FanFest that is being held in Jacksonville. The FanFest will feature over 70,000 square feet of games, contests, merchandise, entertainment, etc. It will take place at the Pepsi Pavilion, which is adjacent to ALLTEL Stadium. The FanFest will start at 10am both days and end at 11pm on Friday and 7:30pm on Saturday. The FanFest will also include a pep rally on Saturday. At 4:15pm there will be a pep rally for Florida State at the Pepsi Pavilion, and Virginia Tech’s pep rally will start at 5:15.
The ACC Championship Game will be the nightcap of a day’s worth of conference championship games. The CUSA Championship Game will kickoff at noon on ESPN, and the Big 12 shortly thereafter at 1pm on ABC. The SEC Championship will be held at 6pm on CBS, and the Hokies and ‘Noles square off at 8pm on ABC.
Beside the conference championship games, there are other football games being played as well. Army and Navy hold their annual clash at 2:30pm on CBS. USC and UCLA will meet at 4:30 on ABC. If UCLA wins, they will win a share of the Pac-10 title with the Trojans and Oregon. USC would still represent the conference in the BCS because of conference tiebreaking procedures.
If everything goes as expected, the winner of the ACC Championship Game will face Penn State in the Orange Bowl. Virginia Tech still has an outside shot at a Rose Bowl berth if they beat Florida State and USC, Texas and LSU lose this weekend.
Tom Sanderson. Tom (who won at Level 1) won a $50 gift certificate to Kroger, just for playing the Kroger "Pro Challenge" football game on our web site.
You can play Kroger's "Pro Challenge" football game for a chance to win $1,000.
Once you're at the Pro level, you can play and enter a sweepstakes drawing. First prize is $1,000 cash! Second prize is $250 cash! All Pro contestants have the same chance to win the cash prizes.
For playing at ANY level, you can enter a random drawing for a $50 gift card, with one card given away each week.
Get one of the ten highest scores, and you'll be given the chance to enter your initials, which are displayed at the beginning of every game.
How to play:
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