The season goes by faster every year. Except for a few make-up games, the regular season ended last weekend. For the first time ever, all 10 conferences will play a conference championship game this weekend. Everything will be decided by Sunday afternoon.
Also, how was that Texas A&M LSU game even real? 74-72? Seven overtimes? What a game.
How I fared: 3-3 last week, 47-31 overall
SEC: 1Alabama vs 4Georgia
We’ve known that these two teams would be meeting in this game. Last year ‘Bama and Georgia gave us an instant classic of a National Championship game. I’m really hoping this matchup will be at least half as good. Alabama hasn’t been touched this season. No one has been able to hang with them for 60 minutes. I think Georgia has the best chance to scare them. That being said, I think Alabama will win the game, and even if they don’t, they will be in the playoff.
I am picking Alabama
Preseason Prediction: Alabama over Georgia
Big 10: 21Northwestern vs 6Ohio State
If the Ohio State that played last weekend against Michigan plays this week, they will make the playoff. Michigan couldn’t do anything to stop the Buckeyes despite having been the best defense in the country. This game against Northwestern shouldn’t be all that close. But the Wildcats have been a bit scrappy this season, but by the 4th quarter, this one should be decided.
I am picking Ohio State
Preseason Prediction: Ohio State over Iowa
Pac 12: 17Utah vs 11Washington
Washington found some life last week against rival Washington State. The Huskies haven’t been what they were over the last couple seasons, but they ended up in the same place: playing for the Pac 12 championship game. Utah has been hit with a couple of major injuries recently. They were able to overcome a big deficit to beat rival BYU last week, but Washington is a better team than the Cougars. Motivation will play a big factor in this game, since the playoff is out of reach for both teams.
I am picking Washington
Preseason Prediction: Washington over Arizona
Big 12: 14Texas vs 5Oklahoma
This is the game I am most looking forward to this weekend. It’s a toss up. It was a great game during the season and it should be a great game again. I wish I had more analysis for this one, but I honestly have no idea who is going to win. Oklahoma has more on the line, so I am picking them. There is also the revenge factor but as we saw last week in Columbus, revenge doesn’t always work out in a rivalry game.
I am picking Oklahoma
Preseason Prediction: Oklahoma over Texas
ACC: 2Clemson vs Pittsburgh
This is another game that shouldn’t be close. Clemson is the better team and has shown that every week since almost being upset by Syracuse. I would be surprised if this one was ever really that close.
I am picking Clemson
Preseason Prediction: Clemson over Miami
American: Memphis at 8UCF
Another really interesting conference championship game. This was UCF’s closest game of the season. They had to come back to beat the Tigers 31-30. Last week UCF lost their QB to a gruesome knee injury that will sideline him the rest of the season. Last I heard, the surgery went well, but he had nerve damage. I also heard he was able to walk over the weekend so that is great news. I think the Knights will still roll on offense and fight their hearts out to keep the winning streak alive. There isn’t a way they can make it into the playoff this season, but they’ve had a hell of a year. Memphis is also very good on offense, but their defense isn’t their strong suit.
I am picking UCF
Preseason Prediction: UCF over Memphis
Mountain West: 25Fresno State at 22Boise State
The Smurf Turf is a hard place to win. I said that last week and I’m saying it again this week. Boise State won the game here earlier this season and I think they will ride that momentum to a Mountain West championship. This should be a close game. If either team wins by more than a TD, I’ll be surprised. Both are strong on offense and defense and don’t make many mistakes, meaning this should be a very clean game.
I am picking Boise State
Preseason Prediction: Boise State over SDSU
MAC: Northern Illinois vs Buffalo
MACtion has not been as exciting as usual this season. Buffalo has been the best team in the league this season and should get by Northern Illinois to win the MAC. They did have a weird blowout loss to Ohio a couple weeks ago. Northern Illinois hasn’t been very consistent this season and I don’t think they will be able to keep up with Buffalo.
I am picking Buffalo
Preseason Prediction: Ohio over Northern Illinois
CUSA: UAB at Middle Tennessee
This is a rematch of the regular season finale for these teams. Middle Tennessee blew out UAB. I think the Blue Raiders will get another win this time around, but it won’t be so much of a blowout. The story of this game is UAB being in a conference championship in their second season back from not existing. That is amazing and it is easy to root for the Blazers.
I am picking Middle Tennessee
Preseason Prediction: FAU over UAB
Sun Belt: Louisiana at Appalachian State
I haven’t watched a ton of Sun Belt this season. Appalachian State has been the best team for sure. Since nearly upsetting Penn State in the beginning of the season, they have continued to look strong. Louisiana has been a little up and down. They should be able to fight with the Mountaineers for a little, but they don’t have the depth to keep up for 4 quarters.
I am picking Appalachian State
Preseason Prediction: Arkansas State over Troy
Drake at 23Iowa State
Marshall at Virginia Tech
ECU at NC State
Akron at South Carolina
Norfolk State at Liberty
Stanford at California