Conference championship week is upon us and nothing is decided yet! This is great. Since none of my teams are still alive, I can just be a fan of college football this weekend. There were a couple big upsets, mainly Pittsburgh over Miami, but also Auburn took it to Alabama. So many things can still happen. All four of the top four teams could lose this weekend. I am looking forward to the second Saturday in a row of sitting on my couch and watching good football.
How I Fared: 4-2 last week, 56-25 overall
I have listed the championship games in order of appearance.
Pac12 Championship Game: 12Stanford vs 10USC (Friday)
These two teams played really early in the season. USC won the game by 18 and it wasn’t very close. That Sam Darnold was a bit better back then. Since that game, the once Heisman-hopeful has been bitten by the turnover bug. Stanford has looked good over the last few weeks and have beat 2 top-10 teams. USC didn’t play last week while Stanford took advantage of ND mistakes early in the 4th quarter to win 38-20. I expect the Cardinal to use Bryce Love and I think they get a close win.
I am picking Stanford
AAC Championship Game: 20Memphis vs 14UCF
Another regular season rematch. UFC is a great team. They are undefeated and have been winning by a ton. Memphis can score a ton of points, but they don’t have a great defense and in their previous game against UCF, they only put up 13 points and gave up 40. So, while scoring 70 points on ECU is cool and exciting, I don’t think they will do it against UCF. I do think the game will be closer than 40-13, but UCF should win. Also, remember that Justin Fuente was the one who brought Memphis to prominence and Mike Norvell still is benefiting from that. He wouldn’t be my next choice to coach Arkansas.
I am picking UCF
MAC Championship Game: Akron vs Toledo
ANOTHER regular season rematch. Toledo shouldn’t have many problems with Akron. The Zips have been doing well recently, but Toledo is a very good team and should win this game comfortably with their offense. I don’t have much more to say.
I am picking Toledo
C-USA Championship Game: North Texas at FAU
YET ANOTHER regular season rematch. Florida Atlantic was the only CUSA team to beat North Texas this season. Both are 9-3 overall. The Owls score a ton of points and actually play pretty decent defense. UNT also scores a ton of points, but their defense isn’t as great. I expect lots of points in this game. It should be a ton of fun.
I am picking FAU
Big 12 Championship Game: 11TCU vs 3Oklahoma
Hey, guess what? These two teams played already too! Oklahoma’s offense is insanely good. Baker Mayfield should win the Heisman. TCU has a decent defense, something Oklahoma does not have, so that could make things interesting. I think it will be a relatively close game, but I think Oklahoma will win. The Sooners can score on everyone. I want them to be in the playoff just for the excitement. BUT, if TCU does win, then the Big 12 will probably be out of the playoff. The whole reason for a Big 12 Champ game was to give the Big 12 a better chance to get to the playoff. So that would be pretty dang funny. Still think OU will win.
I am picking Oklahoma
SEC Championship Game: 6Georgia vs 2Auburn
So. Many. Rematches. A few weeks ago, Auburn stomped then-top ranked Georgia 40-17. Auburn is a little banged up after beating Alabama, but they should have Kerryon Johnson for this game. Auburn’s run game is very, very good. Their defense is stellar. Since losing to Auburn, Georgia has had two comfortable wins over Kentucky and Georgia Tech. I think this game will be much closer than 40-17. The winner of this game will be in the playoff. As an SEC West person, I want Auburn to win. I also want everyone else to lose so 3 SEC teams get into the playoff, but that won’t happen. Two is still possible. Keep your fingers crossed!
I am picking Auburn
MWC Championship Game: 25Fresno State at Boise State
Now for the rematch of all rematches: these two teams played LAST WEEK. The venue is different this week. The two will square off on the Smurf Turf. Fresno State won last week’s meeting 28-17. I think this game will be closer mainly because Boise will be the home team. (I did just see a tweet that said there are still tons of Boise State tickets left so that’s not good.) I think the Bulldogs will come out on top again, but by a much closer margin. This probably won’t be the most exciting game of the weekend.
I am picking Fresno State
ACC Championship Game: 7Miami vs 1Clemson
Woo! Not a rematch. This is a huge game. Some say this is a win and in game, but I’m not so sure it is for Miami. If the other top 3 teams win, would Miami jump Alabama? I don’t know. Just some food for thought. I’m not 100% sold on Clemson yet. I know that their loss was mostly because QB Kelly Bryant was hurt. They are a very good team, but since beating Auburn back in week 2, they don’t have that signature win. (Don’t yell at me yet, I know Alabama has no signature win either. We can discuss that Sunday if needed.) Miami has a bad loss to Pittsburgh last week. I think Clemson is the better team but this should be a great game. Clemson’s defense should be the reason the Tigers win.
I am picking Clemson
Big 10 Championship Game: 8Ohio State vs 4Wisconsin
Finally a big game for Wisconsin. The Badgers haven’t lost this season, but they haven’t really played anyone. Going undefeated in a Power 5 conference is hard to do, but with the schedule they had, they should be undefeated. Ohio State has two losses, one is a really bad one to Iowa. That said, the Buckeyes are a very good team. Their offense is efficient and their defense is impressive. I think Ohio State will win the game, but Wisconsin will not go quietly. I think this will be a hard fought game and should come down to the end. Ohio State winning also causes some problems. The committee is going to have a tough time this season. If anyone on the committee thinks it will be too hard for them, let me know, I’d love to take your place!
I am picking Ohio State
Sun Belt and Other Games
Georgia Southern at Coastal Carolina
Idaho at Georgia State
ULL at Appalachian State (ULL needs a win to be bowl eligible)
Troy at Arkansas State
South Alabama at New Mexico State (NMSU needs a win to be bowl eligible)
ULM at Florida State (FSU needs a win to be bowl eligible)
UMass at FIU