This Weekend in College Football: Week 14

As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.

Friday
7:00: Ohio vs. Western Michigan (Mid-American Conference Championship @ Detroit, MI; ESPN2): By any reasonable measure, Western Michigan should win easily. However, I can’t help but think back to the 2013 MAC title game, where an unranked Bowling Green beat an undefeated Northern Illinois 47-27. That said, yeah, you can’t reasonably pick against the Broncos here.

9:00: Washington vs. Colorado (Pac-12 Championship @ Santa Clara, CA; FOX): Strangely, an upset here probably results in overall less intrigue, since Colorado will just slide right into the Rose Bowl. Instead, all the drama is in the Huskies winning. That said, a win here would give Washington a pretty solid victory for the ol’ strength-of-schedule, and they would be a conference champion. Would that be enough to ensure their spot? I think so. And while I think these Buffs are pretty good, I think Washington is just a bit better.

Saturday
Noon:

  • Temple @ Navy (American Athletic Conference Championship; ABC): If you like keeping the ball on the ground, this is the game for you. Featuring two of the best rushing attacks in the country, passing will be at a premium. That said, I think the Owls are better matchup for Navy than South Florida would’ve been, and I think they’ll be able to prevail at home.
  • Louisiana Tech @ Western Kentucky (Conference USA Championship; ESPN): If you like to see the pigskin spending most of the afternoon in the air, well then good news! Featuring two attacks that absolutely like to fling out it around, consequences be damned, this game figures to be a rollicking good 62-58 kind of time. In that scenario, I like the Hilltoppers.
  • Troy @ Georgia Southern (ESPN2): Southern enters this game on a four game losing streak that doesn’t figure to stop there.
  • Kansas State @ Texas Christian (FS1): With the two teams otherwise through the rest of the Big 12 schedule, they enter pretty darn close when it comes to most statistical categories, so I figure this a coin flip. In that case, I like K-State’s chances.

12:30: Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma (FOX): It’s Bedlam! And honestly, I don’t figure this one to be especially crazy. Oklahoma has been pretty good this year! While Oklahoma State is 8-1 in conference, they haven’t exactly dominated the way the Sooners have (seriously, as fluky as that Central Michigan loss was, they should’ve also lost to Texas Tech). I’ve got the Sooners all the way here.

3:30: Baylor @ West Virginia (FS1): West Virginia.

4:00: Alabama vs. Florida (Southeastern Conference Championship @ Atlanta, GA; CBS): Seriously, SEC, just move Alabama (and Auburn) to the East and be done with it. Bama should roll.

7:30: Arkansas State @ Texas State (ESPN2): Texas State is basically the Rutgers of the Sun Belt, so the Red Wolves should roll easily.

7:45: San Diego State @ Wyoming (Mountain West Conference Championship; ESPN): the Aztecs ventured up to Laramie two weeks ago and had a chance to tie with the clock expired with an extra point. Instead, they opted for the two point conversion, which failed. Since then, both these teams have fallen backward into the game. SDSU’s position as West champs was never in any doubt, but they lost to Colorado State last week kinda badly (63-31!). Wyoming, meanwhile, is here mainly because Boise State had the courtesy to lose to Air Force the day before they got bowled over by New Mexico. So, basically, I don’t know what to expect here, except that the San Diego State players are probably going to be very, very cold, with the temperature expected to be somewhere around 20 degrees (Fahrenheit!) at kickoff. So good luck with that, and I like Wyoming here.

8:00:

  • Clemson vs. Virginia Tech (Atlantic Coast Conference Championship @ Orlando, FL; ABC): Hey, remember that time North Carolina totally recovered an onside kick to have a chance at beating Clemson in the ACC title game last year? All I’m saying is that, for maybe only the third or fourth time all year, the Tigers need to come to play, lest they need to get bailed out again. It’s not a good look.
  • Wisconsin vs. Pennsylvania State (Big Ten Championship @ Indianapolis, IN; FOX): So, yeah, this is totally the Big Ten title game we all expected a few weeks ago. Well, okay, it half is, since Wisconsin is pretty good and was a pretty expected pick to win the Big Ten West at that point. Instead, it was the East not holding up its end of the bargain, the circumstances of which we’re all familiar with at this point. So who’s going win this game? I have to say, I’m still skeptical on Penn State. Yes, they beat Ohio State, but (for the umpteenth time) the transitive property does not apply to college football. Also, it wasn’t like the Nittany Lions went out there and dominated the Buckeyes: they were outgained by over 200 yards and needed some special teams luck to win the game. On the balance, the Badgers’ defense was second only to Michigan’s in the Big Ten. They’re a force to be reckoned with, and in a different year Wisconsin would be coming into this undefeated. I like the Badgers here.

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