Predicting the ACC, SEC and Big Ten Conference Championship Games
The final weekend of the 2014 college football season is upon us, which means it is conference championship Saturday. It has been a season full of twists, turns and unexpected results that has led us to one of the best regular seasons in the history of college football.
The huge product of a memorable regular season is the first annual College Football Playoff set to take place in just a few weeks. The idea of this playoff system reducing the importance and excitement of the college football regular season has been eliminated after what we saw this year.
Friday night, the number two Oregon Ducks claimed the PAC 12 title with a 51-13 victory over the number seven Arizona Wildcats. The Ducks are all but certain to be one of the four teams in the first annual College Football Playoff and Saturday’s action will help determine the remaining three teams.
We will take a look at the SEC, Big Ten and ACC Championship games. The Big 12 does not have a conference title game, but both Baylor and TCU hold records of 10-1 entering Saturday’s action. If Baylor and TCU both win on Saturday they will be Big 12 co-champs. Baylor holds the head to head with a 61-58 win earlier this season, but TCU appears to hold the upper hand when it comes to making the College Football Playoff.
So, as for the ACC, SEC and Big Ten title games here is how I see them playing out this weekend.
SEC Championship Game- #1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #16 Missouri Tigers- The Missouri Tigers are making their second straight SEC title game. They fell to the Auburn Tigers last year and will look to revenge that loss to Alabama this year.
The Crimson Tide sit at number one in the latest edition of the College Football Playoff rankings and are a sure bet to make the final four if they win the SEC title game on Saturday. The Tide are coming off a 55-44 win in the Iron Bowl against long time rival Auburn.
Alabama will have the upper hand in basically every area of this game against Missouri and I feel they run away with this game late. The run game of Alabama will be too much for Missouri to handle for four quarters.
Alabama wins 41-21 over Missouri to win the 2014 SEC Championship and secure their spot in the College Football Playoff.
ACC Championship Game- #4 Florida State Seminoles vs. #11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets- The Florida State Seminoles are looking to win their second straight national title this season, but first must take care of Georgia Tech.
The Seminoles have not lost a game since the 2012 season, but still have their doubters throughout the country. Florida State will have to stop the triple option of Georgia Tech, which is a tough task for any team with just one week to prepare.
Georgia Tech has one of the nation’s top rushing attacks and has the ability to keep the ball away from the opposing team’s offense. That is the key to beating Florida State and if the Yellow Jackets can play keep away they can certainly defeat Florida State.
I feel Florida State will find a way to win yet another close game and make the first annual College Football Playoff. Seminoles’ quarterback Jameis Winston will be the difference in this game on Saturday as he has been so many times this season.
Florida State wins 31-24 to become the 2014 ACC Champions and earn their spot in the College Football Playoff.
Big Ten Championship Game- #13 Wisconsin Badgers vs. #5 Ohio State Buckeyes- The Buckeyes are down to their third quarterback on the depth chart in the most crucial game of their season. The Badgers’ explosive run game, led by Melvin Gordon, is one of the best in all of college football. The combination of these two things means trouble for Ohio State on a number of levels.
Ohio State has an outside shot at making the College Football Playoff, but will have to overcome the loss of another quarterback to defeat a Wisconsin team that can run the ball on any defense.
I feel Wisconsin will ride Gordon to a Big Ten title and hand Ohio State their second straight loss in the Big Ten title game. The conversation of Ohio State making the College Football Playoff will become a non issue after this game, much to be the delight of the College Football Playoff selection committee.
Wisconsin wins 28-20 to be crowned 2014 Big Ten Champions.