2021 Conference Championship Preview

Here we are in Conference Championship week! What a season it has been. This is the last chance for teams to prove themselves worthy of the College Football Playoff. There has also been two crazy coaching changes this week. Former Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley decided to take the USC job after everyone was sure he was going to LSU, then former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly decided to take the LSU job even though the Irish still have an outside chance to make the playoff. This has been one of the craziest seasons of college football that I can remember. Let’s get into the final 10 games (technically there are 12 more) before bowl season.

My Record: 4-3 last week, 51-28 overall (65%)

C-USA Championship: Western Kentucky at UTSA (Friday)
These two teams met earlier this season and UTSA won in a shootout. UTSA has been America’s team in the second half of the season, and we were all devastated when the Roadrunners got upset last week when they played North Texas. I am not super sure that UTSA will win this game because WKU has one of the most potent offenses in the country. UTSA’s offense didn’t really show up in their loss last week but they might’ve been looking ahead to this game. I expect this to be another close one.
I am picking UTSA

Pac 12 Championship: 10Oregon vs 17Utah (Friday)
Unfortunately for the Pac 12, this game will not impact the College Football Playoff. Utah demolished the Ducks a couple weeks ago when they met in Salt Lake City. I think this matchup will be much closer, but I think Utah is the better team. Utah’s defense has been one of the best in the Pac 12 this season and I think that will be the difference. While this game might not lead to a Playoff Spot, a Rose Bowl bid is still up for grabs and I expect both teams to be excited and bring their best stuff for this game.
I am picking Utah

Notable Games
SEC Championship: 1Georgia vs 3Alabama
Georgia has been the best team all season. I have seen them in person, and they are just scary good. Alabama has played a tougher schedule this season, but they have shown some vulnerabilities. I have also seen the Tide in person, and they are beatable. I don’t like to pick against Nick Saban because I am confident he will have his team ready to play, but I think Georgia is the better team. I worry for Bryce Young in this game because the UGA defense is mean. I think UGA wins this one by at least a TD.
I am picking Georgia

Big 10 Championship: 2Michigan vs 13Iowa
I’m not sure many people projected these would be the teams to make it to the Big 10 Championship game. I know I didn’t. Michigan is coming off a huge win over Ohio State and Iowa got a comeback win over Nebraska. I think Michigan is the better team and should win this game. I don’t think Iowa will be able to score enough points to win this game. There is potential for the Wolverines to come out a bit slow with a bit of a hangover after last week’s win, but they will get it together by the 2nd quarter.
I am picking Michigan

ACC Championship: 15Pittsburgh vs 16Wake Forest
This really could be one of the more fun and interesting games of the weekend. Both teams like to score a lot of points. Honestly, pick Pittsburgh might be a smarter choice based on how they play defense, but I really like how Wake Forest has played this season. I hope this game is determined by the team that ends up with the ball last. First one to 45 points will probably win this game.
I am picking Wake Forest

American Championship: 21Houston at 4Cincinnati
This is one of the most important games of the season. It is very likely that if Cincinnati wins this game, they will make it to the Playoff. That said, this will not be an easy game. Houston is probably the toughest team that Cincinnati will have faced all season. The Cougars are 11-1 and that loss came way back in week 1 to Texas Tech. Unless you are a Houston fan, you probably are rooting for the Bearcats in this game. I know I would love to see a Group of 5 team make it to the Playoff. This has potential to be one of the closer conference championship games.
I am picking Cincinnati

Mountain West Championship: Utah State at 19San Diego State
I feel like I can’t get a handle on the Mountain West this season. I have picked against SDSU this season and I don’t think I’ve ever been right. I will pick them in this game because they are a very strong team and they have proved that they can eke out a win against pretty much anyone. They also have the best punter in the country and who doesn’t love a punter?
I am picking San Diego State

Sun Belt Championship: Appalachian State at 24Louisiana
The Sun Belt has been a bit weird this season. Louisiana has been the best team by a lot and I don’t expect this game to be all that close. The Ragin Cajuns’ only loss this season came to Texas. The Mountaineers are on a six-game winning streak since losing to Louisiana, and their defense has been strong. This game will probably be closer than the 41-13 blowout that is was earlier this season.
I am picking Louisiana

MAC Championship: Kent State vs Northern Illinois
This game was a toss-up pick for me. Kent State won earlier this season 52-47, but I think NIU is going to come prepared for this game and will bring their defense. That’s really all the insight I have in this game, I didn’t watch as much MACtion this season as I usually do. I think this game will be close. I like an underdog, and the Huskies were originally picked to finish last in their division, so I hope they win the conference.
I am picking Northern Illinois

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Posted in 2021 Season, Football

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CFP Top 25

1. Georgia
2. Michigan
3. Alabama
4. Cincinnati

5. Oklahoma State
6. Notre Dame
7. Ohio State
8. Ole Miss
9. Baylor
10. Oregon
11. Michigan State
12. BYU
13. Iowa
14. Oklahoma
15. Pittsburgh
16. Wake Forest
17. Utah
18. NC State
19. San Diego State
20. Clemson
21. Houston
*23. Kentucky
*24. Louisiana
25. Texas A&M

Dropped Out: 14Wisconsin, 22UTSA

Poll released on Tuesdays

AP Top 25

1. Georgia (12-0,8-0)
2. Michigan (11-1,8-1)
3. Cincinnati (12-0,8-0)
4. Alabama (11-1,7-1)
5. Oklahoma State (11-1,8-1)
6. Notre Dame (11-1)
7. Ohio State (10-2,8-1)
8. Ole Miss (10-2,6-2)
9. Baylor (10-2,7-2)
10. Oregon (10-2,7-2)
11. Michigan State (10-2,7-2)
12. BYU (10-2)
13. Oklahoma (10-2,7-2)
14. Utah (9-3,8-1)
15. Iowa (10-2,7-2)
16. Houston (11-1,8-0)
17. Pittsburgh (10-2,7-1)
18. Wake Forest (10-2,7-1)
19. San Diego State (11-1,7-1)
20. Louisiana (11-1,8-0)
21. NC State (9-3,6-2)
*22. Clemson (9-3,6-2)
23. ARKANSAS (8-4,4-4)
24. Texas A&M (8-4,4-4)
*25. Kentucky (9-3,5-3)

Dropped Out: 15UTSA (11-1,7-1), 19Wisconsin (8-4,6-3)

Bowl Eligible Teams

SEC: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M
Big 10: Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Big 12: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, West Virginia
ACC: Boston College, Clemson, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Pac12: Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah
Independents: Army, BYU, Liberty, Notre Dame
American: Cincinnati, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulsa, UCF
Mountain West: Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, San Diego State, Utah State, Wyoming
Sun Belt: Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, Louisiana, Western Kentucky
C-USA: Marshall, MTSU, North Texas, Old Dominion, UAB, UTEP, UTSA
MAC: Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (OH), Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan,

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