Tony's Tip Sheet
By Tony Gerdeman
This is the last week of the college football regular season. It's been what it always is – incredibly quick and incredibly fun.
It's going to be a difficult road for the Buckeyes to claim an AP National Championship, but it's not impossible. Aside from the way the games will need to turn out, as I have described below, the Buckeyes will also need a little bit of additional help to convince voters to side with them.
One way to get this help would be to hope for a complete reversal in the way 95% of the voters think. This can be accomplished through a broad, yet organized plan of completely terrorizing the voters.
We're talking phone calls at three in the morning, driving very slowly in front of known voters, eye balling them in the produce section, all of your standard quirks. You really wouldn't have to change anything that you're already doing, you'd just have to change the people you do it to.
Basically, instead of stalking soccer moms, you would just now stalk voters.
Thursday November 29
Teams: Louisville (9-2) at Rutgers (9-2)
Time (TV): 7:30 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Rutgers
Rutgers is currently leading the Big East with a 5-1 conference record. Louisville is sitting at 4-2. A win for the Cardinals would give us four teams at 5-2, provided Cincinnati beats UConn as well. I have no idea who would get the conference's Big East bid if Louisville wins. I don't even like thinking about it because it's depressing to know that I'm actually going to sit down and watch a Big East team play in a BCS bowl. Just think, in a few years, this will be a Big Ten / ACC Challenge game. We're rooting for Rutgers because of conference pride. It's the most important thing in our lives. Rutgers 24 – Louisville 23
Friday November 30
MAC Championship Game (Detroit, MI)
Teams: #21 Northern Illinois (11-1) vs #17 Kent State (11-1)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (ESPN2)
Cheer For: Kent State
As much as we will all be rooting for Darrell Hazell and Kent State, it's going to be tough to stop Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch. Lynch has thrown for 2,750 yards and rushed for 1,611 yards this season, and has accounted for 39 touchdowns. Needless to say, the Flashes are going to have their hands full. However, Kent State also has their own playmakers. Running backs Dri Archer (1,337 yards) and Trayion Durham (1,176 yards) have obliterated defenses this season. They will make plays in this one as well. These are two of the three best rush defenses in the conference, but neither have faced offenses like the ones they'll see on Friday. I'd like to hope that Kent State's miracle season would continue in this game, but I just don't see it. Northern Illinois 31 – Kent State 24
PAC 12 Championship Game
Teams: #16 UCLA (9-3) at #8 Stanford (10-2)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (FOX)
Cheer For: UCLA
UCLA and Stanford played just last week, with the Cardinal coming away with a 35-17 win at UCLA. They held the Bruins to 73 yards rushing. Essentially, last week's game was meaningless, which you might want to think about when Ohio State and Michigan meet in consecutive weeks next year. I don't expect too much to be different this week in this game, even though UCLA is actually playing for something this week. Stanford is just too mechanical. They are emotionless. Calculating. They are almost the perfect Pac 12 killing machine. Aside from losing to terrible Washington, of course. Maybe Stanford is more like a zombie who doesn't know how to open a door. They're a killing machine as well, but prone to being stopped by the simplest of measures. Stanford 31 – UCLA 27
Saturday December 1
Teams: #23 Oklahoma State (7-4) at Baylor (6-5)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (FX)
Cheer For: Oklahoma State
First one to 100 wins...the first half. The second half will require a second hundred. This should be a pretty entertaining game to watch, but I wouldn't advise watching it with a defensive coordinator or you may lose your television, and any other piece of furniture that isn't nailed down. I once watched a West Virginia game this year in the company of a defensive coordinator and by the third quarter he had beaten his television to death with his refrigerator. There's nothing stronger in this world than defensive coordinator anger/disgust strength. Baylor 56 – Oklahoma State 49 (OT)
Teams: #11 Oklahoma (9-2) at TCU (7-4)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: TCU
TCU is coming off of a 20-13 win at Texas last Thursday, so obviously their confidence is in a good place right now with Oklahoma coming to town. However, the Sooners are a much different animal than the Longhorns. For one, they're not soft as silly putty; and for two, they have an actual offense. TCU will certainly slow down Oklahoma's offense, but they're going to need more than 20 points to win this week, and I'm not sure they can get it. TCU's offense is still growing with freshman quarterback Trevone Boykin, who is 3-4 as a starter this season, and you just never know if he's going to give you a good game or a bad one. Right now, however, it's easier to predict a bad game. Oklahoma 29 – TCU 20
C-USA Championship Game
Teams: UCF (9-3) at Tulsa (9-3)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN2)
Cheer For: UCF
We're cheering for UCF because a Buckeye win over the C-USA Champion can only help their AP profile. What would also help their AP profile is if all of the other teams ahead of the Buckeyes decided to become monks and gave up all of their personal belongings, including their AP votes. Tulsa is about a two-point favorite in this game, but they're coming in off of a 35-27 loss at SMU. That loss was meaningless, however, as they already had their division wrapped up. Still, losing doesn't build confidence. Tulsa is 5-0 in games decided by seven points or less this season, whereas UCF has blown out most of their opponents. But the major exception to that is a 23-21 loss at Tulsa two weeks ago. The game shouldn't have been that close, and I don't expect this one to be either. It's just a shame that this is the game that will cost Ohio State their AP National Championship. Tulsa 31 – UCF 20
Teams: #20 Boise State (9-2) at Nevada (7-4)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ABC)
Cheer For: Nevada
Boise State is trying to avoid their first three-loss season since 2007, and they haven't even moved to the mighty Big East yet. The Wolfpack have one of the best offenses in the nation, having scored at least 31 points in every game this season. I don't see Boise State being able to keep up, and I expect tailback Stefphon Jefferson to have a good game, aided by quarterback Cody Fajardo, who rushed for 186 yards two weeks ago against New Mexico. Both teams had a bye week to prepare for this game, but I can't pick one coach over the other here. Instead I'll just go with the better offense. Nevada 34 – Boise State 24
SEC Championship Game (Atlanta, GA)
Teams: #2 Alabama (11-1) vs #3 Georgia (11-1)
Time (TV): 4:00 pm (CBS)
Cheer For: Georgia
This week Georgia is America's Team. The only people who are rooting for Alabama eat squirrels with their bare hands and drink their turpentine through a straw. I'm puzzled about this game because for months we were made to believe that Alabama was invincible, and then one day against Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide looked all kinds of vincible. Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray is a very good quarterback, but he's not Johnny Manziel. Plus, Murray tends to be pretty terrible against good defenses, and Alabama certainly has that. While we will be united in cheering for Georgia, I just don't see it helping. Sorry, America. Alabama 28 – Georgia 17
Big Ten Championship Game (Indianapolis, IN)
Teams: Wisconsin (7-5) vs #12 Nebraska (10-2)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (FOX)
Cheer For: Nebraska
Now with Rex Burkhead back, I expect Nebraska to run the ball fairly well on the Badgers and simply outscore them. Taylor Martinez will also beat the Badger secondary with the play-action pass. It will be absolutely terrible watching Wisconsin drop to 7-6 and then lose in the bowl game to finish 7-7. Just terrible. Like watching a sunrise over a lake with a breakfast beer in your hand after a long night of bonfiring. Nebraska 31 – Wisconsin 21
Teams: #18 Texas (8-3) at #6 Kansas State (10-1)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ABC)
Cheer For: Texas
I had originally planned on picking Kansas State to choke in this game, but that was before they went and choked two weeks ago at Baylor. They've had a week to get over that loss and prepare for this game. Texas comes into this game following a pretty terrible 20-13 loss at home to TCU last week. I could see both teams quitting in this one, but I'll side with the home team here. Kansas State 24 – Texas 20
ACC Championship Game (Charlotte, NC)
Teams: #13 Florida State (10-2) vs Georgia Tech (6-6)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ESPN)
Cheer For: Georgia Tech
If you've got $3.95 in your pocket, you can buy a ticket for this game from Stubhub. Or, if you show up to the game and just walk in for free, I doubt anybody is going to stop you. I would imagine that instead of stopping you, the people at the gates are more likely to offer a warning about what you are about to see. Like a creepy old groundskeeper warning you about entering the old rundown governor's mansion. Like every episode of 'Scooby Doo' ever. Georgia Tech has won four ACC games in a row, but they also have blowout losses to BYU and Middle Tennessee. The Jackets have to hope a lot of things go wrong for the Seminoles if they're going to win this one. Florida State 41 – Georgia Tech 20
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