It is here….the conference championship games. We are either going to see teams hold serve or a possible chance at complete chaos in the world of college football. Or, we could see chaos if “normal” happens.
By all accounts, there are 7 teams vying for 4 spots. Some have pretty much solidified the whole “Alabama will get in if they lose Saturday” moniker. Some are also saying that with Clemson as well. Notre Dame, sitting at #3 could be safest from the chaos. Which leaves a possible 4 teams vying for one spot: Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and UCF. Georgia with a win is in. We know that. One argument is if they lose super close to Alabama they may still remain in, pending on if Oklahoma and Ohio State lose their games as well. Oklahoma and Ohio State of all things needs Alabama to win as well as cheer against each other to take that 4th spot. As for UCF…they need blowouts wins from Northwestern, Texas, and Alabama to be remotely considered. And for the PAC-12? Better luck next year…again.
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP: UTAH VS. WASHINGTON, 8:00 (FRIDAY), FOX: In a game where really just a Rose Bowl berth is on the line, the Utes and Huskies play a rematch of their earlier game where Washington won in Salt Lake City. It’s been a different run for both teams as the Utes have been a better offensive team since then while the Huskies are more run-oriented. While Utah may have revenge on the mind, I think Washington’s defense is too strong for the Utes to overcome and it may be a similar game as the first one before. WASHINGTON 24, UTAH 10
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP: TEXAS VS. OKLAHOMA, 12:00, ABC: While this isn’t the big game, this may be the most heated of the games. Both teams hate each other and the win the Longhorns had against the Sooners is still very fresh for both squads. Oklahoma is also looking for revenge with their match-up when Texas stunned them in October. The one thing for sure is that we will see a lot of points being put up over and over. But Texas NEEDS to find a way to slow down Kyler Murray at some point. Since their first game, Murray has been practically unstoppable. And with the motivation from that first loss, Oklahoma may try to take Texas out early in the game. OKLAHOMA 49, TEXAS 38
UCF VS. MEMPHIS, 3:30, ABC: This game also a rematch of earlier where UCF edged Memphis in Memphis. However, this game is in Florida and despite the loss of McKenzie Milton, I think UCF is a very complete football team that can off-set his loss. I like UCF to still win this in their home stadium as they are a very good team. They may be trying not to win, but just blow out the Tigers to prove they are Playoff worthy and it may slow them down early, but I think they will pick up their play and run away from Memphis. UCF 34, MEMPHIS 20
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP: ALABAMA VS. GEORGIA, 4:00, CBS: People think that how Alabama has handled teams this year and the common opponents both have of them (LSU, Missouri, Auburn, Tennessee), Alabama obliterated whereas Georgia “beat” (or in the LSU case, lost). Normally I would be on board with it, but this is one of those cases where I disagree. In fact, the one thing I have mentioned before is that with the Tide and playing those teams is they always get a psychological edge with them as their opponents get overly geared up for Alabama. Georgia isn’t a team that will do that now with Kirby Smart. Both teams are avoiding that bulletin board material message which is good for both, but mostly Georgia. Since the LSU loss, Georgia has been clicking, and Alabama has been clicking all year. What makes this a tough game to pick is that this will be each other’s toughest opponent (with all due respect to LSU). The key questions will be can Georgia get to Tua? Can Alabama jump to a big lead on Georgia? And can the Bulldogs play a flawless game? The one alarming trend is that Alabama, while haven’t been giving out any bulletin board material for Georgia, seems somewhat nonchalant about this game after how they smashed Auburn in the 2nd half last week. Now maybe there is a feel that Alabama will be in the Playoff even with a loss to Georgia. It is not a team to lie down on for sure. And the game is in Atlanta where you have to think it may be tipped more towards the Bulldogs (though Bama travels well and Georgia did dominate the stadium last year with fans). But this time, Georgia is the underdog. It may motivate them and I have that gut feeling of an upset here. Let the debate begin. GEORGIA 27, ALABAMA 24
NORTHWESTERN VS. OHIO STATE, 8:00, FOX: Ohio State saved up their best game with Michigan last week. Is it enough with a win over Northwestern or will the Buckeyes have to pull out a 66-0 win to get some talk to be over Alabama? Northwestern isn’t a team that will score a lot of points but won’t give up a lot of points. They like hanging around and upsetting them in the end. But the key is can the Wildcats keep the Buckeyes offense on the sidelines? If they can, they have a great shot at winning this game. However, the talent level for Ohio State is just too great for Northwestern to handle and if they make it shootout, it will be Ohio State all the way. And I can see it get that way. But it won’t be enough to jump ahead of Oklahoma or Alabama. OHIO STATE 41, NORTHWESTERN 27
CLEMSON AT PITTSBURGH, 8:00, ABC: Clemson is undefeated and Pitt was 7-5. Pitt has been known for that big upset, but that Coastal Division is a giant disaster. And I don’t see any way Pitt stuns Clemson, especially in the Carolinas. Clemson is about as safe as safe can be. Now watch me eat my own words. CLEMSON 52, PITTSBURGH 7
So if the games turn out as I think, then we will have a debate on where Alabama is at (but for anybody bickering about me going against Alabama, anytime I go against them, they ALWAYS win, so really I have that mojo for the Tide when pick them to lose and normally they do it via curbstomp).
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat