So some of you might know that I love college football. Conference championship week is bittersweet for me. On one hand, it solidifies what the CFB postseason will look like. On the other hand, it means that the season is almost over. :(
In order of appearance:
American Athletic Conference
#22 Temple v. #19 Houston
Houston embarrassed Navy last week to secure their spot in the AAC championship. This game is over and Houston won 24-13. Frankly, I thought this game would be a bit more lop-sided. This win should secure Houston’s place in a New Year’s Six bowl.
#18 Florida v. #2 Alabama – 1:00 PM Pacific
Two weeks ago, I said that Florida had a shot at the championship game if they could wreck Florida State and sneak a win past Alabama. Well…Florida did not wreck Florida State. After seeing their performance against the Seminoles, I don’t think this is going to be a close game. The Gators have the defense to compete, but their offense is completely lackluster.
Prediction: Alabama wins 28-9
Pac-12 Conference – 4:45 PM Pacific
#7 Stanford v. #20 USC
The only way the Pac-12 can have a representative in the playoff is if Stanford wins and either Alabama or Clemson loses. That won’t be easy on any account. USC seems to have a chip on their shoulder and I can’t see Clemson or Alabama losing to their opponents. This should be a good game, nonetheless.
Prediction: Stanford wins 31-21
Big 10 Conference – 5:00 PM Pacific
#4 Iowa v. #5 Michigan State
This is exactly what the Big 10 and the NCAA wanted from Championship Week: a top five matchup that will definitively send one team to the playoff. Michigan State has been a force to be reckoned with for a few years now, their presence in this game is not a surprise. Iowa, however, is a complete shock. Not only did they make it to the conference championship, but they ran the table undefeated. Despite winning every game and essentially doing nothing wrong, Iowa still hasn’t garnered the respect they want from observers. It doesn’t end here, either.
Prediction: Michigan State wins 28-13.
Atlantic Coast Conference – 5:00 PM Pacific
#1 Clemson v. #10 North Carolina
Clemson is another team that has been very relevant for years. However, the Seminoles have done a good job keeping them suppressed from any shot at a National Championship, let alone an ACC Championship. This year, though, Clemson has been exceptional from start to finish with flashes of dominance. But it’s important not to sleep on North Carolina, either. They lost a close one against a talented South Carolina team at the beginning of the year, then proceeded to win every other game. UNC has an “Iowa Problem” where they haven’t beaten anyone exceptional. That makes it hard to think they have much of a chance. I think they’ll keep it close.
Prediction: Clemson wins 34-24
So I didn’t pick any upsets, and almost all the games were predicted to be somewhat close. Not very exciting. This isn’t to say that there won’t be any upsets (I think USC, Iowa, and UNC all have great shots), I just didn’t feel like including confidence intervals into my predictions.
Woo college football.