It’s hard to believe this is the last weekend of the regular season in college football. This has been an amazing season and we have so many scenarios waiting to play out to figure out who’ll participate in the playoffs. With this Week 14, this will feature all the conference championship games in the major conferences. Last week my record was a perfect 5-0, which bumped my record to 43-17. My overall winning percentage jumped from 69.1 to 71.7%. It was a crazy weekend last week when two of the final four undefeated teams went down. First, we had the Miami Hurricanes fall to the Pitt Panthers and later that night, Auburn upended their rival, the Alabama Crimson Tide. With all the championship games being played this weekend, I’ll be predicting six games. I’ll list my top 5 for this week and the four teams that’ll make the playoffs.
We kick things off with the Pac-12 Championship, which will be played on Friday night. The North division winning 12th ranked Stanford Cardinal will battle the South division winner in 10th ranked USC Trojans. This is a rematch from earlier in the year when the Trojans beat the Cardinal 42-24. Stanford started the season 1-2, but finished the season winning their final eight of nine games. They have wins over Washington and Notre Dame in the last three weeks. Could this be the last game by Sam Darnold in a USC uniform paying in California? USC is riding a 4-game winning streak with the hopes of making one of the big bowls. Can the Trojans beat the Cardinal again? I’m going with the Trojans to barely edge out the Cardinal to capture the Pac-12 Championship.
USC Win 26-24
We have a battle for the SEC Championship and this time there’s no Alabama participating in the title game. We have the 2nd ranked Auburn Tigers battling the 6th ranked Georgia Bulldogs. Three weeks ago, Auburn handed Georgia their first loss when they blew out the Bulldogs. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Auburn handed Alabama their only loss last weekend in the Iron Bowl. Auburn is arguably the hottest team in the country, can they win the SEC title? Georgia didn’t seem like the same team when they played Auburn three weeks ago. Honestly, I’ve said that Auburn is a different team when they play at home and especially at night. Will Georgia fall to the Tigers again? I’m picking the Bulldogs to rebound, defeat Auburn to win the SEC championship and advance to the playoffs.
Georgia Win 30-20
We head to the ACC where many believe this is an elimination game also. The top-ranked and defending national champs, Clemson Tigers will battle the 7th ranked Miami Hurricanes. Despite being undefeated, Miami didn’t play well until about a month ago when they dominated Virginia Tech and Notre Dame back-to-back. It finally caught up to them last week when Pitt upended the Hurricanes and ended their winning streak. I’ve said before that Malik Rosier isn’t a championship QB. Clemson seems to be playing their best football heading into the ACC title game. They dominated South Carolina last week on both sides of the ball and I believe they’ll beat Miami to advance to the playoffs.
Clemson Win 31-21
We head up north for the Big-10 Championship as the 4th ranked Wisconsin Badgers take on the 8th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Wisconsin finally made the top 4 in the rankings despite being one of two undefeated teams in the nation. The Badgers got one of the better defenses in the country, but is that to the fact they haven’t faced a tough schedule. Jonathon Taylor, the talented Freshman Wisconsin RB is one of the better RBs in the country, can he lead the Badgers to the win? Ohio State is trending in the right direction at the right time as they still have an outside shot at making the playoffs. The big question coming into the game is the health of J.T. Barrett and will his knee be an issue. I’m riding with the Buckeyes to pull off the win against the Badgers in a tough game.
Ohio State Win 30-28
We now head to Jerry’s World for the Big-12 Championship game with playoff implications. The 11th ranked TCU Horned Frogs take on the 3rd ranked Oklahoma Sooners. TCU was regarded as one of the favorites to make the playoffs this year. Unfortunately, they lost two of their last five games with one of those losses coming at the hands of Oklahoma. The Horned Frog defense is ranked in the top-10 in scoring defense, but can they stop Baker Mayfield and the explosive Sooner offense? Oklahoma comes into this game 2nd in passing offense and 3rd in points scored in the nation. Baker Mayfield has pretty much wrapped up the Heisman Trophy as he tries to end his career with a championship. This will be a much closer game than their previous encounter, but I think the Sooner offense is too potent and they will punch their ticket to the playoffs.
Oklahoma Win 33-24
The final game of the regular season before the bowls will be the American Conference championship. The 20th ranked Memphis Tigers will head to Orlando to face the undefeated 14th ranked UCF Knights. UCF is one of two undefeated teams in the nation after a tough win over South Florida last week. There are rumors about their Head Coach Scott Frost, who’s rumored to be in the running for the Nebraska job. Will he head back to his alma mater to coach them? Will the rumors effect the team against Memphis? Memphis only suffered one loss this season and it came at the hands of the Knights in a blowout. Will the Tigers avenge their lone defeat and capture the conference championship? I’m going with UCF to complete their undefeated season and beat Memphis.
UCF Win 34-21
Are you ready for week 14 of college football and the conference championship games? What do you think about my picks? What’s the game you’re looking forward to the most? My top 5 teams are below and the playoffs as I see it after Saturday, do you agree? Leave a comment below.
- Oklahoma Sooners
- Clemson Tigers
- Auburn Tigers
- Wisconsin Badgers
- Alabama Crimson Tide
Clemson Tigers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Oklahoma Sooners vs. Georgia Bulldogs