The latest meeting of the minds in college football produced a Top 4 of Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, & Washington. This weekend’s schedule features all of the conference title games, and it will be fascinating to see how it all shakes out. Theoretically if all of the previously mentioned teams win everything stays the same. But wait…we already have a fly in the ointment with Ohio St. not even playing in the Big Ten championship game!! No big deal though, as the Buckeyes look like they are solidly in the playoff. It actually works out in their favor that their one loss occurred way back in October and they won’t have an opportunity to lose now. Alabama is in the playoff too. It doesn’t even matter if they lose the SEC championship (they won’t). So the drama lies with Washington & Clemson. If either of them lose then there are 3 or 4 teams in the mix to jump into the playoff debate, depending of course on the outcome of some other contests. Buckle up fans…it’s going to be a great weekend. Oh, speaking of great weekends, both Zach & I did well last time out. He was 4-3, while I was 6-1 because Ohio St. won but didn’t cover.
My Season: 40-38
Z’s Season: 30-48
Colorado vs. Washington (-7.5)
The Pac 12 title game takes place in Santa Clara, CA and kicks off the weekend festivities on Friday night. This might turn out to be the best battle of them all. The Huskies are in a precarious position. They need to win, but it’d help their playoff cause if they would do so in impressive fashion. I’d love to pick the upset…but I just can’t go there. I wish I could. Conversely, Zach has no problem picking the upset, although he has ulterior motives.
My Pick: Washington
Z’s Pick: Colorado
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (-11.5)
The Big 12 doesn’t officially begin having a conference championship game until next year, but since expansion isn’t happening and future title games will feature the top two teams in the conference this really is basically the same thing. The Sooners have the home field and have been playing well since some early season struggles. A win won’t get them in the playoff, but it’ll get them a warm bowl destination in January. Zach likes the Sooners chances of winning the game, but he doesn’t believe they’ll cover the points.
My Pick: Oklahoma
Z’s Pick: Oklahoma St.
Alabama (-24) vs. Florida
The only drama in the SEC title game is whether or not the Tide will roll enough to cover the substantial point spread. The game takes place in Atlanta so there is no home field advantage for either team. Typically I am rather uncomfortable with 3TD+ spreads, but I’m going to throw caution to the wind just this once. Zach is a bit more conservative. He thinks ‘Bama will win, but it’ll be a little closer than 24 points.
My Pick: Alabama
Z’s Pick: Florida
Clemson (-10) vs. Virginia Tech
The ACC championship game takes place in Orlando, FL, which again means no home field advantage for either team. The Hokies have been inconsistent and haven’t really beaten anybody significant. The Tigers have spent the season on the brink, with too close for comfort victories over Auburn, Troy, Louisville, NC St., Pitt, & Florida St. I’m rooting for a little chaos in this playoff situation, and it feels like this may be the only opportunity for that to occur. It’s probably not the wise choice, but what the hell…let’s have some fun. Zach is once again playing it smart, picking Clemson to win easily.
My Pick: Virginia Tech
Z’s Pick: Clemson
Wisconsin (-2) vs. Penn State
The winner of this game has the most to gain if another playoff contender slips up. The committee isn’t going to put both Ohio St. and Michigan in the playoff while leaving out the Big Ten Champion. Or would they?? Both of these teams did lose to the Wolverines. I look forward to a fascinating argument wherein the inherent flaws of this playoff system are exposed and subsequent changes are made. Zach likes the Badgers’ defense to get the job done.
My Pick: Wisconsin
Z’s Pick: Wisconsin