Rivalry week gave us some great games. The Game did not disappoint (unless you are a Michigan fan). There were just a lot of close ones. Washington moved into the top 4 and the Big 10 Champ probably won’t make the playoff over Ohio State. The final rankings come out on Sunday. What a regular season it has been.
How I fared: 5-1 last week, 56-24 overall
Pac 12 Championship Game: 4Washington vs 8Colorado (Friday) This will be the first meeting of these teams this season. Personally, I don’t think the Pac 12 has been very strong this season. That doesn’t mean that these teams are undeserving of their rankings. The Huskies’ only blemish came to a rolling USC team. Colorado’s only two losses are to Michigan and USC. Washington’s offense has been great this season and I think they will just be too much for Colorado. Both of these teams have great defense. This will be the best offense Colorado has faced since Michigan. This could be a great game. I am picking Washington.
MAC Championship: 17Western Michigan vs Ohio (Friday) After the season the Bronco’s have had, I would be 100% surprised if they didn’t finish off the season with a MAC Championship trophy in hand. I think they will row the boat all the way to a NY6 game… of course, that is if Navy doesn’t end up ranked higher than them. We might not find out who is going to the Cotton Bowl until after the Army Navy game. I really don’t expect an upset in the first Championship game of the season. I am picking Western Michigan.
SEC Championship: 1Alabama vs 15Florida Florida has been up and down this season. Somehow they lost to Arkansas while only rushing for 12 yards and allowing 180+ to just Rawleigh Williams, and then they beat LSU in Baton Rouge. Alabama has been Alabama. I expect them to win this game comfortably. Florida is extremely injured and that gives Alabama an even better chance. Bama should lock up their #1 seed in the playoff with this win. I am picking Alabama.
ACC Championship: 3Clemson vs 23Virginia Tech Clemson has been a little confusing this season, but they have been winning. Despite losing to Pittsburgh, Clemson is still in the top 4 and they should stay. I don’t think Virginia Tech will have enough to win this game. Unless, of course, they are looking ahead to the playoff rather than taking the Hokies seriously. I expect Deshaun Watson to have a good game and help lead his Tigers to the playoff for a second straight season. I am picking Clemson.
Big 10 Championship: 6Wisconsin vs 7Penn State I’m interested to see how this game plays out. Penn State did beat Ohio State, but they were smashed by Michigan. Wisconsin only lost to Michigan 7-14 and lost to Ohio State 23-30 in OT. Wisconsin has a great defense and that is why I think the Badgers will win this one. I think this will be a relatively low scoring game, at least through most of it. Both of these teams tend to pull away at the end of games. Unless they get some help from Clemson and Washington, it doesn’t look like the winner of this one will end up in the playoff. I am picking Wisconsin.
American Championship: Temple at 19Navy I haven’t had a chance to really watch Temple this season, but I have seen Navy a couple times. This game will come down to Navy’s great offense against Temple’s strong defense. Navy is still playing for a chance to go to the Cotton Bowl. They will be rooting against WMU on Friday. If both win, we might have to wait until after Navy plays Army to find out which team will make it. I think Navy will be too much, but this might be a closeish game. I am picking Navy.
Mountain West Championship: San Diego State at Wyoming A couple weeks ago, Wyoming won their regular season matchup by 1 point after SDSU was unable to convert their 2pt attempt after scoring with no time left. This rematch should be a good one. I am sticking with my preseason pick. I think the Aztecs will get revenge. Since their loss is still fresh, I think they will want it more. Both of these teams suffered huge losses last week, but I expect this to be a great game. I am picking San Diego State.
CUSA Championship: Louisiana Tech at Western Kentucky I haven’t seen too many CUSA games this season, but I have seen Louisiana Tech up close and personal when they almost beat Arkansas in week 1. These two teams already met early in the season and LA Tech won 55-52 despite WKU scoring 21 in the 4th quarter. Besides that, WKU’s other two losses are to SEC teams (Bama and Vandy). There should be a lot of points scored in this one. It should be an exciting game. WKU has home field advantage here and I think that will be the difference. I am picking Western Kentucky.
10Oklahoma State at 9Oklahoma Though this isn’t officially a conference championship game, this game will decide the winner of the Big 12. Oklahoma didn’t have a great start to the season. They lost to both Houston and Ohio State in the first 3 games of the season. Since then, the Sooners are undefeated. Oklahoma State has a “loss” to Central Michigan as well as one to Baylor back when Baylor was good. I think Bedlam will live up to expectations. I think both will score a lot of points, but I think OU has the better defense. For the Sooners to even have a chance to make it to the playoff, they need to win convincingly this weekend. I don’t think it’ll be convincing enough. I am picking Oklahoma.
Big 12 and Sun Belt Games
Baylor at 16West Virginia
Kansas State at TCU
Troy at Georgia Southern
New Mexico State at South Alabama
ULL at ULM
Georgia State at Idaho
Arkansas State at Texas State