After 14 exciting and crazy weeks of College Football, it is officially (besides for Baylor and Texas) playoff season. Big conference championships this weekend, determining the College Football Playoff this year. The big games include 5th ranked Michigan State taking on 4th ranked Iowa for the B1G Ten Championship, 11th ranked Florida taking on 2nd ranked Alabama for the SEC, and the ACC Championship, where the 1st ranked Clemson tigers will take on North Carolina. I will be breaking down those games with winners, losers, and of course will make my prediction on the CFB Playoffs. REMEMBER: MY RANKINGS ARE BASED ON BEFORE THE GAMES THIS WEEKEND.
Let’s start with the American Athletic Conference. The 25th Temple Owls will take on 17th ranked Houston Cougars in Houston. I think it is safe to say that this game has no Playoff implications, but do remember the highest ranked Group of 5 team gets to play for a New Year’s Six Bowl Game. I think that Houston does win this game, but not by very much. Temple nearly beat Notre Dame, and if the Owls play well, I could see them easily winning this game. The reason I am going with the Cougars is because the game is on home turf. If this game was in Philadelphia I would probably go with Temple. Cougars by 3 in Houston.
The PAC-12 Championship Game is interesting for me. You have a very hot USC team, who is just coming off a 19 point win over rival UCLA. On the other side of the ball, you have Stanford, coming off a clutch 38-36 win at home vs Notre Dame, winning off a field goal as time expired. Don’t forget, this is a huge rivalry, with huge upsets in the past 15 years. Stanford has 2 of the best players in the country, start QB Hogan and star, I guess everything McCaffrey. But USC has looked dominant as of late, especially last week, knocking off UCLA. This is going to be a Championship for the ages, and in double OT, USC will win the ball game. The Trojans have looked unbeatable lately, and they will win this game, knocking the Cardinals last bit of hope out the window for a playoff opportunity.
Next let’s go to the SEC Conference Championship. The Florida Gators look to upset Alabama, possibly knocking the Crimson Tides chances at the College Football Playoff. But that’s not going to happen. Will give the most overrated team in any sport ever, the Florida Gators, a 1% chance of winning this game. Let’s look at some of the games they’ve won this year: beat Vandy by 2 at the Swamp, only beat South Carolina by 10, who lost to a FCS team, and only beat Florida Atlantic by 6 in OT. Then, last Saturday played rivals Florida State and only put up 2 points in a 27-2 lost at The Swamp. ROLL TIDE ROLL, as Bama wins by at least 21.
For the ACC Championship, the North Carolina Tar Heels look to spoil the Clemson Tigers season, kicking the Tigers out of the playoffs, and with help, possibly the Tar Heels sneaking into the playoffs. This game is awfully confusing to me because I believe that both of these teams are awfully overrated, and they haven’t been able to show their skill sets. Yes, Clemson beat Notre Dame, but how good is Notre Dame? Both of these teams struggled against South Carolina, of course North Carolina losing that game, but that was week 1, and I’m going to be dead honest: Clemson is not the best team in the country. This game will be ugly, but Clemson wins by 5, thanks to Deshaun Watson, who is a legitimate Heisman candidate.
Now to a game which is a basically a play-in game for the College Football Playoff, the B1G Ten Championship game. Michigan State takes on Iowa, both teams are neck and neck. Iowa, shocking the College Football world, going undefeated this season and has really made a big statement. Michigan State on the other hand, lost to Nebraska, but has probably the most impressive schedule, beating at the time a healthy Oregon team, went to Ann Arbor and won a miracle as time expired over the Wolverines, and then went into the Shoe, playing a tough, physical game against the Buckeyes, with terrible weather conditions, and won 17-14 on a game winning field goal as the clock ran out. Iowa, with a decent schedule, beat Northwestern and Wisconsin easily, and has played solid football all year. The Hawkeyes just keep on winning, and probably the most consistent team in all of football throughout the year. The Spartans are favored to win by four. I could right an entire other article on if think an undefeated team should be a betting underdog.
This game is going to be like a playoff game, with 2 fighting teams, knowing this game will define their football programs. Both teams have to play their best football to win this game, and they both will, but in the end I think the Spartans will be playing on New Year’s Eve. Michigan State has more talent in the skill positions, and more experience with many seniors, and Mark Dantonio has lead this program to five 11 win seasons, in the last 6 years. I have the Spartans taking it by 6.
- Now onto the fun part. My top 4 teams this year. Remember this is based on if the season ended today.Oklahoma Sooners come in first on my rankings. Did the Sooners lose to Texas? (Read Longhorn Lament right now)Yes. But the way this team has played the last 3 weeks have been unbelievable. Go into Waco to beat Baylor 44-34. Beats TCU at home 51-50. Then goes into Stillwater, plays rivals Oklahoma State and beats up Cowboys by 35! Very impressive wins against top 20 teams.
- Alabama is looking like the normal in Tuscaloosa. Beat LSU, Mississippi State, and Wisconsin easily. They struggled during the Iron Bowl, but what do you expect during rivalry week? Roll Tide Roll.
- Michigan State is 3rd on my list. Michigan State is looking like a great team right now, and has beat 3 top 20 teams this year, 2 of those games were on the road, at probably the 2 toughest venues to play in any level of football. Not to mention Connor Cook leads Michigan State in almost all quarterback stats all-time. Great offensive and defensive line, the secondary is a little weak, but has played great football in the past couple weeks.
- There the Tigers are! Almost anyone will say that the Clemson Tigers are the best team in the country, too bad they’re all wrong. Yes, I know, they beat Notre Dame and Florida State, but outside of those 2 teams the Tigers haven’t played a top 50 team all season. They also didn’t look good against South Carolina this week, who finished the season 3-9. Clemson beat the 3-9 Gamecocks by less than a touchdown this week. Pretty Weak…
I hope you enjoyed my first post. Leave comment below on your predictions for the game tonight.