College Football Game Predictions: Conference Championship Edition

Via The LA Times

College Football Game Predictions: Conference Championship Edition


College Football Game Predictions: Conference Championship Edition

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Big Ten Championship: Purdue (8-4) vs. Michigan (12-0)
Saturday, December 3rd @ Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana

Matt: Michigan looks to win the Big-10 for the second straight season and if they do, a one way ticket to the College Football Playoff is in their sights. This is a different team from last season and one that seems more mature. They can’t overlook Purdue but the Wolverines are the better team and should easily win this game. I see this being very similar to how last season went for Michigan in the Big-10 title game.

Michigan 40, Purdue 13

Marissa: For a second year in a row, the Michigan Wolverines find themselves heading to Lucas Oil Stadium for the Big Ten Championship Game. This year they will be facing off against Purdue, who came out on top of the wild Big Ten West Division. The Boilermakers are a pass-heavy team led by Aidan O’Connell at quarterback, who has thrown for 3,124 yards and 22 touchdowns, but has also thrown 11 interceptions and taken 18 sacks. This Michigan defense just held the Ohio State Buckeyes to only 23 points, and have allowed only an average of 12.7 points on the season. Mike Morris leads the Wolverines in sacks with seven, but the entire defense has done a good job of getting after quarterbacks, as they have 32 total. Michigan has the defense to slow down Purdue in this matchup. 

Michigan 37, Purdue 10


SEC Championship: LSU (9-3) vs. Georgia (12-0)
Saturday, December 3rd @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, Georgia

Matt: LSU got embarrassed last week against Texas A&M and surely they’ll want to redeem themselves here. Georgia is a different kind of animal however and it’ll be extrmemely tough to take them down It’s essentially a home game for the Bulldogs with this being in Atlanta but LSU fans also travel very well. LSU is a very talented team and defensively may give Georgia some issues. But the Georgia defense is one of the best that we have seen in a long time and I’m not sure Jayden Daniels will be able to have a ton of success. I see this being a tighter game than many think but the Bulldogs prevail and officially punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff.

Georgia 35, LSU 24

Marissa: Heading into last week, this SEC Championship Game had major storylines around it. The biggest one being if LSU pulled off the upset, they could be looking at a College Football Playoff spot. Well, a loss to Texas A&M last week completely derailed that. There is still the prize of the SEC title for LSU, but those chances are looking extremely slim. Jayden Daniels tweaked his ankle against Texas A&M, and with him being a dual-threat quarterback, that is not a great sign for LSU. Going up against this Georgia defense that is only allowing 11.3 points per game and 79.5 rushing yards per game, the Bulldogs will completely slow down this LSU team and get the win. 

Georgia 38, LSU 10


ACC Championship: Clemson (10-2) vs. North Carolina (9-3)
Saturday, December 3rd @ Bank of America – Charlotte, North Carolina

Matt: Clemson enters this game with some redemption on their minds as they’ve lost two of their last four games. Many thought they were almost a lock for the Playoff this season but they have faltered down the stretch. Winning the ACC would be a nice consolation prize for this team but it won’t be easy as UNC will be ready to go. Quarterback Drake Maye has been awesome this season and leads an explosive Tar Heel attack that will give the Tigers defense some fits. However, I think this Clemson team responds and takes down UNC in this game. Their defense will help win this game and the conference for them.

Clemson 30, North Carolina 27

Marissa: Both Clemson and North Carolina come into this title game suffering losses to end the regular season. The offense for North Carolina is what got them to this spot, with Drake Maye throwing for 3,847 yards and 35 touchdowns. The offense is one of the best in the nation because of Maye with scoring an average of 37.1 points per game. Unlike North Carolina, for Clemson it is their defense that has gotten them to this point. The Tigers give up just 20.9 points per game, and Myles Murphy has caused havoc for opposing offenses with 6.5 sacks this season. Despite how the defense for Clemson has played, Maye has the ability to escape the pressure Clemson will bring and create big plays on the run. Look for Maye to create that one big play that gives North Carolina the lead. 

North Carolina 38, Clemson 31


Pac-12 Championship: Utah (9-3) vs. USC (11-1)
Friday, December 2nd @ Allegiant Stadium – Las Vegas, Nevada

Matt: Utah came into the season as the favorite from the Pac-12 to reach the College Football Playoff and while their season hasn’t gone exactly to plan, they now have a chance to deny USC that right. The defending Pac-12 champions are looking to make it two in a row but USC will be a force. Utah handed USC their only loss of the season earlier in the year but the USC defense is much better this time around. This should be one of the better conference title games because of how even the teams really are. USC has the quarterback advantage but Utah has the better defense. I see this being a back and forth game. If USC wins, they are in the Playoff but I think they stumble and Utah competes the sweep of the Trojans.

Utah 40, USC 35

Marissa: In the first season with the new Pac-12 Championship Game format, two teams from the South Division make it in. These two teams met back in October, where Utah handed USC their only loss of the season. USC is coming into this game with their offense still red-hot, as they had their sixth consecutive game with 38 or more points in their 38-27 win over Notre Dame. Caleb Williams dominated the Utes defense last time out with 381 yards and five touchdowns. On the flip side, Cameron Rising dominated the USC defense, throwing for 415 yards and two touchdowns. Expect an offensive game between these two teams again, but this time with Williams being the quarterback who takes the victory.

USC 45, Utah 43


Big 12 Championship: Kansas State (9-3) vs. TCU (12-0)
Saturday, December 3rd @ AT&T Stadium – Arlington, Texas

Matt: TCU has been one of the best stories in college football this season and with a win, the Horned Frogs will go to the College Football Playoff. Even with a loss, they still have a case depending what else happens around the sport. Quarterback Max Duggan has been outstanding this season and looks to continue that dominance against this Wildcat team that he threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns against earlier in the year. TCU has been tested multiple times this season and they have overcome the challenge everytime. I see that going no differently this game. Give me TCU to stay undefeated and win the Big-12.

TCU 27, Kansas State 22

Marissa: It has been a fantastic turnaround season for the TCU Horned Frogs in their first year under Sonny Dykes. To go undefeated, end up in the Big 12 Championship Game, and have a chance at a spot in the College Football Playoffs is phenomenal. During this undefeated path TCU was on, one of those teams they beat was Kansas State. The game looked as if the Wildcats would win heading into halftime with a 28-17 lead, but TCU held Kansas State scoreless the rest of the game and found offensive production to win 38-28. This is a clash of the top Big 12 scoring defense in Kansas State, going against the top scoring offense in TCU. Cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson has done a great job for the TCU defense this season to disrupt crucial passes, and while Will Howard has done good for Kansas State, he has been inconsistent. This inconsistency is something TCU can capitalize on for the victory. 

TCU 34, Kansas State 28


Rapid fire game picks:

American Athletic Championship: UCF (9-3) vs. Tulane (10-2)
Saturday, December 3rd @ Yulman Stadium – New Orleans, Louisiana

Matt: Tulane

Marissa: Tulane


Mountain West Championship: Fresno State (8-4) vs. Boise State (9-3)
Saturday, December 3rd @ Albertsons Stadium – Boise, Idaho

Matt: Boise State

Marissa: Fresno State


Sun Belt Championship: Coastal Carolina (9-2) vs. Troy (10-2)
Saturday, December 3rd @ Veterans Memorial Stadium – Troy, Alabama

Matt: Coastal Carolina

Marissa: Troy


Conference USA Championship: North Texas (7-5) vs. UTSA (10-2)
Friday, December 2nd @ Alamodome – San Antonio, Texas

Matt: UTSA

Marissa: UTSA


MAC Championship: Toledo (7-5) vs. Ohio (9-3)
Saturday, December 3rd @ Ford Field – Detroit, Michigan

Matt: Ohio

Marissa: Ohio

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