Maybe it is time for a change. Headed into the conference championship weekend, there are still compelling story lines that will make this weekend really great. If Georgia wins, they will be in the playoff. Oklahoma and Ohio State are also fighting for that 4th spot. Certainly, these games will be impactful to the playoff picture. Still, it is hard to get excited for a Clemson -28 vs. Pitt ACC title game, or even a two touchdown favorite OSU vs. Northwestern BIG10 championship game. All I am saying is if we scrapped the conference title games week and replaced it with the first week of an 8 team playoff, it would be much more competitive and interesting. Even if they wanted to keep the conference title games, maybe just add a few weeks to the year for a few teams. Basketball seems to go on forever with their conference tournaments and March Madness, so why can’t football add a few weeks?
Imagine the lineup for an 8 team playoff, if the games were this weekend:
(1) Alabama vs. (8) UCF
(2) Clemson vs. (7) Michigan
(3) Notre Dame vs. (6) Ohio State
(4) Georgia vs. (5) Oklahoma
I would prefer this lineup this weekend rather than the conference title games. Plus, it would add massive revenue for the respective conferences. Definitely something to think about!
Let’s take a look at the games I like for this week:
Oklahoma -8 vs. Texas – The Longhorns won earlier in the year. The Sooner will take revenge and Kyler Murray will put up more insane numbers. Unless Georgia beats Bama, this should lock up a playoff birth for Oklahoma.
Oklahoma 45 Texas 34
Alabama -12 vs. Georgia – UGA is looking to turn the tables on Bama after losing in the championship game last year in overtime. They get to see Tua for a full game this year. Not good for the Bulldogs.
Alabama 38 Georgia 24
Clemson -27.5 vs. Pittsburgh – Pitt snuck in the conference title game because their side of the conference was pathetic this year. Clemson should cover this line in the first half and then rest some people late in the game.
Clemson 42 Pittsburgh 10
Ohio State -14 vs. Northwestern – A lot depends on how Oklahoma does earlier. This game could be less meaningful if Oklahoma crushes Texas. Still, the Buckeyes will make every effort to pass the eye test and put the Purdue gaffe to rest.
Ohio State 38 Northwestern 21
NC State -23 vs. East Carolina – ECU fired Scottie Montgomery this week. The Wolfpack had a solid season and were one play away from a 10 win regular season. Pack rolls.
NC State 45 East Carolina 17
South Carolina -30 vs. Akron – Disappointing year for the Gamecocks. Their offense has been on fire lately. They scored 35 on Clemson and 31 on Florida, so I just don’t seek Akron keeping pace.
South Carolina 42 Akron 10
Memphis +3 vs. UCF – It is hard to lose a start quarterback. Especially when the quarterback is dynamic as McKenzie Milton has been. I think this is the week UCF finally takes an L.
Memphis 34 UCF 31
Boise State -1 vs. Fresno State – Both of these teams come in at an under-the-radar 10-2. As far as the eye test, Fresno State performed better this year. Boise is just used to closing the deal and being in big games like this. I will go with experience.
Boise State 30 Fresno State 24
Virginia Tech -4 vs. Marshall – Horrible year for the Hokies. However, they really could use some extra practice so it probably means a lot to make a bowl game and not end the year with a losing record.
Virginia Tech 28 Marshall 23
UAB +1.5 vs. Middle Tennessee – Odd back-to-back week matchup here. MTSU won last week’s game. I see a different result this time. UAB gets a bit of revenge this week.
UAB 23 Middle Tennessee 21
Stanford -3 vs. California – Not what Stanford expected this year, at 7-4. I have been waiting for a health Bryce Love to show out all year. Maybe he does it in his swan song. Going to be tough against Cal’s run D but I think the Cardinal wins this close game and covers the spread.
Stanford 27 California 23
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