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The World outside the SEC: Nothing left to do but crown conference champs

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Getting these conference champions sorted out is one step closer to the BCS going away forever. Let's get this over with, already! Getting these conference champions sorted out is one step closer to the BCS going away forever. Let's get this over with, already!
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(RNN) – Do you hear that? I think the fat lady is beginning to warm up.

The college football regular season - complete (for most). Bowl season - just a few weeks away. But before we get to bowl season, the cream of the conference crop must defeat one more team. In many instances, it's the best team they've faced all season.

So which teams will be singing Queen's We Are the Champions after their conference championships?

Whoever keeps fighting ‘til the end?

Week 14 winners

Duke – We see you, Duke Blue Devils football team. You let David Cutcliffe coach you up and you actually are pretty good. Believe it or not, people, Duke won the Coastal Division of the ACC, and won 10 games for the first time in their program's history.

Duke's (10-2, 6-2 ACC) ended their stellar season with a 27-25 win over mortal rival North Carolina, who continues to be mediocre at football. A late-game interception of North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams made Duke's victory that much sweeter. NEXT UP: vs. No. 2 Florida State in the ACC Championship game, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Ohio State – The No. 3-ranked Buckeyes were a successful 2-point conversion away from losing Saturday. But the Michigan Wolverines did not succeed, and OSU (12-1, 8-0 Big Ten) won 42-41.

Their next game will be their toughest in a season that saw them compete against Buffalo, Cal, Florida A&M, Purdue and Illinois. Yes, that's right – the conference championship is the first game since Oct. 5 – a 40-30 victory over then No. 16-ranked Northwestern - which the Buckeyes are playing a ranked opponent.

Good luck against Michigan State (11-1, 8-0 Big Ten) – they haven't allowed a team to score more than 28 points all year. NEXT UP: vs. Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship, Dec. 7 on FOX.

Other Week 14 winners: No. 2 Florida State defeated lowly Florida 37-7; No. 8 Stanford defeated No. 25 Notre Dame 27-20; No. 9 Baylor defeated TCU 41-38; No. 11 Michigan State defeated Minnesota 14-3; No. 12 Arizona State beat Arizona 58-21; No. 14 Northern Illinois won against Western Michigan 33-14; No. 13 Oregon defeated Oregon State 36-35; No. 19 UCF beat South Florida 23-20; No. 22 UCLA beat No. 23 USC 35-14.

Week 14 losers

Clemson – The Tigers had a pretty good season. Since losing to Florida State in October pushed them out of a ACC championship game, they will probably return to where they are most comfortable – a bowl on or around the New Year. Regular season is over.

Wisconsin – In a classic late-season upset, the No. 15-ranked Badgers (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten) lost to unranked conference opponent Penn State (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten) 31-24.

The Badgers' biggest problem – three interceptions thrown by quarterback Joel Stave, including one that killed their final possession – was a part of the fond farewell to any Rose Bowl hopes they might have had. Regular season is over.

Other Week 14 losers: No. 16 Fresno State lost to San Jose State 62-52; No. 23 USC lost to No. 22 UCLA 35-14.

Conference championship game of the week: ACC Championship - Duke vs. Florida State 8 p.m. ET on ABC – This game is intriguing for many reasons. What will be the status of FSU's starting quarterback Jameis Winston? Can Duke keep up and get into a shootout with the Seminoles? Will the Florida State defense reveal that Duke is just a fluke? So many questions!

Follow me on Twitter @TanitaG_RNN.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • Region 8 Responds

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